A little fun goes a long way

Published 8:49 pm Thursday, April 16, 2009

News reporters appreciate people like Jim Shannon. If you don’t know Mr. Shannon, he was the guy on our front page Wednesday looking into a toilet.

Shannon, the pastor of Lime Springs United Methodist Church, promised he would sit on a toilet in front of the church for every $100 donated to Lime Springs’ Relay for Life fundraiser. He ended up sitting about 24 hours on his blue throne, which was originally supposed to be purple — Relay for Life’s official color.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Shannon and taking a picture of him getting ready to spend some time on the john. I laughed when I found out the only reason he could leave his seat was to take bathroom breaks (oh, the irony).

Thursday night, he did something else out of the ordinary for Relay. Shannon is also the vice principal of Chilton County High School, and he got several educators involved in his antics. He volunteered to spend a night on the school’s roof if the CCHS Relay fundraising team met its goal of $3,000. With every additional $1,000 they raised, another person volunteered to join Shannon on the roof Thursday night. After the school raised well over $8,000, six people ascended a ladder Thursday afternoon as the student body watched in amusement.

Shannon has received a lot of attention in our paper this week, but that’s because he does things out of the ordinary. I admire someone who puts himself through hours of discomfort for a good cause. When you are able to laugh at yourself, it makes things fun for everyone. It also goes a long way toward raising money for worthy causes like Relay for Life.

I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I am saying one person is more important than anyone else. There are hard working people all over our county who come together each year to make Chilton County Relay for Life happen. The real reason they do it is to find a cure for a disease that has affected everyone in some way. They do it in memory of loved ones lost to this disease, and they do it in honor of the cancer survivors who give us hope that someday we will find a cure.