ALL ABOARD: Great people, good times and lots of good cheer

Last week’s Republican Telethon reminded me what I miss most about today’s politicians: the three-named luminaries.

Names like John Quincy Adams, William Howard Taft and Robin of Lochsley.

My favorite three-pronged political name almost sounds like an imported beer: John Foster Dulles.

John Foster Dulles, like me, was raised in a strict religious family.

Dulles’ dad was a minister. So was my Grandpa.

It was Dulles who said: “The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year.”

Using the logic of John Foster Dulles, one can readily see that one of South Whidbey’s latest success stories is the Good Cheer Food Bank in Bayview, just down the street from that continuing success known as the Bayview Corner.

Last Saturday marked the first-year anniversary of Good Cheer’s visionary board of directors acquiring the Masonic Temple as their new headquarters for their Gemkow Construction-enhanced state-of-the-art food bank.

A day of celebration, compassion and concern was wonderfully choreographed by Good Cheer’s executive director Kathy McLaughlin and her dedicated staff.

During the community appreciation ceremony, Gene White, president of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation, pointed out that the global food crisis has, in just the last year, “added 100 million new faces of hunger on this planet. Globally, a child dies of hunger every five seconds.”

More than 18 percent of South Whidbey residents depend upon Good Cheer Food Bank.

Reading that last sentence makes it easy to write the next one.

How can we help? What can we do? A good primer for me was attending last Saturday’s celebratory consciousness raiser, not only featuring community wisdom with live music, but fun stuff like corn-on-the-cob eating contests, stick- pony races and chicken bingo.

Yep, chicken bingo.

As the poster above the chickens stated — Don’t ask, just play.

One of many tips shared by John Foster Dulles’ dad, as well as my grandpa and Robin of Lochsley, is found throughout the most widely read book in the world.

“Be of good cheer.”

Four words that have continued to focus me through thick and thin, but mostly thin. Be of good cheer.

Living on South Whidbey brings good cheer to, as MAD TV’s Keegan-Michael Key says, “a ‘hol nuddah level.”

Volunteer good cheer runs rampant throughout the 4,500 square feet of the Good Cheer Food Bank, as well as the Good Cheer’s retail locations in Clinton and Langley.

Good cheer rocks the Rock!

That volunteer good cheer that we see daily on South Whidbey with Senior Services of Island County, Friends of Friends, Helping Hands and so many of our local nonprofit successes.

John Foster Dulles was right.

Success breeds success. Good cheer creates volunteerism. Volunteerism creates more good cheer.

September is National Hunger Awareness Month.

To find out more, call 360-221-6454 or log on to

With the help of others, we can take our Good Cheer to a whole other level.