As usual, the Daybreak Rotary WinterFest at Tan-Tar-A was a rousing affair Saturday. More than 300 people turned out for the annual fund-raising event, many of whom dressed in the theme of the night – Movie Mania. We were supposed to dress as a favorite movie character.


Dan Field
dan.field@ lakemediaonline.com
As usual, the Daybreak Rotary WinterFest at Tan-Tar-A was a rousing affair Saturday. More than 300 people turned out for the annual fund-raising event, many of whom dressed in the theme of the night – Movie Mania. We were supposed to dress as a favorite movie character.
I had secured a pink bunny suit from The Christmas Story. If you recall, poor Ralphie was forced to wear the suit as a gift from Aunt Clara. I couldn’t bring myself to do it, though after seeing some of the other costumes I regretted my decision. Gilligan’s Island was represented, Star Trek, The Blues Brothers, Captain America and Wonder Woman, Wizard of Oz, Drew Cary, Back to the Future, Zoro, Audrey Hepburn and more.
We had a full compliment of Lake Media people on hand, but none of us crossed the line to become someone we are not. Maybe next year.
The Rotary Club outdid itself with multi-media, table decorations, silent and live auction items, a photo booth and a plethora of other really good ideas that made for a festive and relaxing evening. The club turns funds raised back to the community through a variety of charities and non-profit organizations.
The Lake of the Ozarks area is one of the most giving communities I’ve known. I suspect that level of compassion is driven by a corresponding level of need. Thankfully, there are enough folks of a charitable mind and ability that nearly every need is funded to some degree.
When Mitt Romney released his tax records and it was revealed he gave away millions of dollars to charity, I had a thought: If President Obama and his socialist cohorts get their way and the “rich” are taxed at a higher rate, do you think those who give such huge amounts will continue to do so? If the federal government takes away the incentive to give to charity, who will take care of those charities?
But that’s fodder for another column, another day.
As I was milling around the confines of Tan-Tar-A, a business owner stopped me to comment (favorably) on a recent column that raised a potential red flag about the lack of traffic on old Highway 54, aka Osage Beach Parkway. She shared my concern that more businesses — including hers — may fall by the wayside if (1) the economy doesn’t improve and/or (2) if traffic continues to prefer the Expressway over the Parkway.
Other people — business owners, employees, shoppers — have expressed similar doubts to me over the last year that old Highway 54 could become our own “inner city” with empty buildings dotting the landscape. The consensus among many is that the next 12 months will be a make-or-break for many.
Again, thank goodness for the Rotary clubs and Kiwanis clubs and Optimist clubs and others that take a leadership role in fund raising for good causes.
-0-
I’ve shared with Focus readers the challenges my sister and I are facing as our aging father (88) makes the transition from living by himself to an independent living situation.
None of this is new to those of you who have watched as their parents move from middle age, to the golden years (not so golden, I’m told), to dependency on others for sustenance of life. We’re at that juncture.
My father was a lieutenant in the Air Force during World War II. He flew A-20 dive bombers in the South Pacific. He is not a friend of the Japanese, even today. I’ll grant him that, not having been faced with the “kill or be killed” aspects of war. He also is of the generation where the man rules the roost. He owned his own business for more than 50 years. John, delicately said, has always been in control of his life.
My sister and I have spent countless hours touring what are now called “resort living community” facilities near where she lives in Liberty. Our thought has been to narrow the choices to be less confusing for our dad.
They certainly are not “rest homes” or “nursing homes” or “old folks homes” as my dad first believed. They are very nice, modern independent living facilities for older folks who need a little bit of guidance each day. Nice apartments, quality food in a cafeteria style, daily activities and excursions, a small theater room, a bank, post office and a small store, happy hour and more.
As he took his initial visit Friday afternoon, his first comment was: “Look at all these old people sitting around just waiting to die.”
Ugh.
Our dad spent the better part of 30 days over the holidays in the hospital. He spent some time at my sister’s, but that has come a halt as he moved back home. He lives with his dog in a two-story, 2,300 square foot home on the edge of town. The closest neighbor is a quarter mile away.
He’s unable (or unwilling) to do his own laundry and cleaning; his food intake is minimal and not so nutritious; he has fallen several times. He’s not supposed to drive because of the medication he takes.
So now the challenge is to convince him it’s time to be among his peers where there is more socialization, better food and care, and closer to his family.
Oh, the crosses we bear.