ROSES to Scott Adams of Chapel Hill, who is doing more than most -- a lot more -- to help support research into the prevention and treatment of cancer.Adams is running across North Carolina. All the way across, from Murphy at the western tip to Manteo on the coast, a total of more than 740 miles. His goal is to raise $25,000 for the American Cancer Society and its related hospice program.He left Tuesday and plans -- this hurts just to think about -- to run 42 to 52 miles a day, over 18 days. He'll be supported and cheered on by a team that includes his wife Mindy (the pastor at Chapel of the Pines Presbyterian Church in Chatham County) and a bunch of good friends.When he's not in motion, Adams is the information technology director of the UNC School of Information and Library Science. A veteran marathoner and ultra-marathoner, he trained for the run by, among other things, running a marathon a day for nine days.Still, what he's embarked on is a lot more daunting than that. He's doing it in the cause of defeating an illness that takes the cruelest toll on far too many lives.We're pulling for you, Scott. You can check out Adams' daily progress, and make a donation, at RunNC2008.ning.com.
ROSES to coach Lindsey Linker and her East Chapel Hill High School boys tennis team.The Wildcats, laden with talented but untested freshmen, pulled off a pair of upsets to capture the state 4-A dual-team championship.First East rallied from a 4-1 deficit to top perennial power Broughton in the semifinals. That earned the Wildcats a spot in the title match against undefeated Charlotte Ardrey Kell on Saturday.There are nine individual matches in a dual team meet -- six singles and three doubles -- so the first team to win five of them takes the match. East did it the short way, winning the first five singles contests to post a 5-0 victory.Congratulations, 'Cats.
ROSES to the Rev. Ken Barker, who has launched an effort to establish a space for worship and reflection in the Orange Correctional Center.Barker, a Baptist minister, has been the prison chaplain for more than 20 years. Local churches take turns leading weekly services in the prison dining hall, but that space is far from ideal, and in practice means that Barker isn't able to do much more than meet with inmates in his office one at a time.So he conceived the idea of building a "peace center" at the prison, and he initiated the drive to raise money to do it. Inmate Bill Rasor has been instrumental in the fundraising campaign, conducting drives at local churches. The effort has raised an astonishing $235,000 -- none of it government funding -- and construction, using inmate labor, is just about ready to begin.When it's done, the space will allow for worship services and quiet contemplation, as well as serving as a meeting space for clubs, seminars and other gatherings.Some may question whether inmates deserve such amenities. But who needs spiritual guidance, contemplation and faith more? Most of them are going to return to society at some point, and having a spiritual foundation can only increase their chances of making a successful go of it. Where better to put a peace center than in a prison?