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One man's opinion

Just a little help.

That's all Ashley Frankenfield needs right now, as she prepares to compete in a national ice-skating event in Massachusetts in August.

Ashley, a rising senior at Thomson High School, has loved the sport since she was 9. She hopes to become a member of the Disney On Ice team someday and later become an ice-skating coach.

Her aspirations are high.

Why not?

Ashley's desire is coupled with robust energy and a strong determination to succeed.

Those of us who know her realize it's only a matter of time before her dreams become a reality. The reason -- she's incredibly talented.

Right now, Ashley could use a little help, financially speaking.

As a single-parent, Ashley's mother, Joyce, along with the help of the good Lord, has been making her daughter's dreams come true.

It's been anything but easy, though.

For the sport of ice-skating isn't cheap.

In fact, it's downright expensive, especially when one considers having to purchase skates, blades and various outfits.

Ashley has a part-time job, but it doesn't bring in much money.

So again, her mother is left holding the bag.

Why would it be any other way? Joyce has been there every step of the way for her daughter -- offering her love and support as only a mother could.

Joyce, who is most creative and talented her self, has contributed in many other ways to her daughter's success, too.

One of those ways is sewing, as she makes most of the outfits worn by Ashley when she performs on the ice. It's something she's very good at. The outfits look like the ones that would cost lots of money, if purchased from a store.

Ashley's mother, however, not only makes them, but attaches something special to each one of those outfits -- her love...something that can't be measured or bought.

Ashley has never openly sought financial help from the community before. At least that was the case until recently when she appealed to members of the Thomson Rotary Club to help.

There is nothing wrong with that approach in the slightest.

In fact, I applaud Ashley for having the courage to seek financial support.

I also commend members of the local Rotary Club for allowing her to address them and to help one of our young, aspiring teenagers in McDuffie County.

Others can help, too -- anyone for that matter.

People wishing to help Ashley Frankenfield financially can do so by calling the church she and her mother attend as members -- Second Baptist Church in Thomson.

Please keep in mind, it's not how much is given by whomever, it's simply showing Ashley how proud we are of her and her accomplishments thus far and the ones we believe she will conquer in the future.

It would serve as a shining example of what we should do to show our support for a young girl, quickly becoming a young lady, just what real generosity from a community is.

Web posted on Thursday, May 27, 2010

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