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SCUFFY kicks off campaign drive

The Rev. Bill Horner speaks during Wednesday morning’s SCUFFY kickoff breakfast.

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

A few years ago, the Rev. Bill Horner of First Christian Church was on his way home from a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, when he met a group of teenagers who had been on a mission trip.

Believing Horner had been on the trip with them, the teens started talking to him about their experience. They were excited they had done something helpful, he said.

At one point, Horner asked one of the males if he was tired.

“This is the best tired I’ve ever been,” the student told him.

Horner shared that story as the guest speaker during the kickoff breakfast for the 64th Shelby County United Fund For You drive. The breakfast opened this year’s drive, which has a goal of raising $830,000 for 12 local agencies.

He then turned to the group running this year’s drive, including Aaron Haehl, this year’s drive chair.

“At the end of this, you will be tired,” he told them. “Because there will be dinners, there will be speeches, there will be time away from family, there will be work to do. But at the end of this, I think you will be able to say, ‘This is the best tired I’ve ever been.’”

He explained that a lot of good comes when the community rallies around each other for the annual drive.

“When we are at our best, when we are who God created us, we are serving one another, we are caring,” he said, adding he used to believe he had to turn people’s lives around in “big jumps.”

He’s learned that that is not the case, and that something as simple as showing love and helping a child can go a long way.

He cited a letter he recently received from a young woman who told him he said a few things to her when she was a child that changed her life.

“Sometimes, it’s just being there, its just trying, and I think that’s what SCUFFY has done for 64 years,” he said. “I’m not afraid of the $830,000. We’ll make it. We will make it. We always have. The past is prologue. We will make it.”

Horner then asked what the difference between bounty and excess is.

He pointed out that people thank God for the bounty of food on Thanksgiving, not the excess.

Excess is related to greed, waste and selfishness, he said.

“The way we turn excess into bounty, the way we make that change, we make life bountiful, we make our community bountiful, and we celebrate the gifts we share,” he said. “That’s what makes life bountiful. We give.

“So as a community, we have a history of SCUFFY being perhaps the most bountiful organization because we all come together,” he said.

SCUFFY board President David Fisher challenged the audience with three things.

He challenged them to lead the way in donating.

He challenged them to set the goal a little higher at their places of work.

“If you don’t set that bar a little higher, we all know it doesn’t get there,” he said. “We’ve always reached our goal and I don’t see how this can fail either.”

And he encouraged them to tell the community about how SCUFFY helps the community. He said when SCUFFY members reach out to other organizations, they often bring one of the 12 agencies along to share their stories.

“It’s the stories of personal contact and the impact on people’s lives that really make the difference,” he said.

Horner told SCUFFY board members the responsibility doesn’t only fall on them to reach this year’s goal.

“This drive, this purpose, this drive for bounty belongs to each and every one of us,” he said. “We make it work. We make lives better. We make Shelbyville better. At the end of the day, I want to be that little boy, who looked up at me and said, ‘You know what, reverend? This is the best tired I’ve ever been.’

“Because then we will know we’ve turned excess into bounty.”

SCUFFY Pacesetters 2018

Ryobi Die Casting USA: $55,744.16

Shelby Materials: $29,651.01

PK USA: $16,734.12

MainSource Bank: $6,809.25

First Merchants Bank: $3,350,18

The Fiddlers Three/Maxim Events: $1,200

Freeman Family Funeral Homes: $1,356

Shelby County Co-op: $3,678

St. Joseph School: $1,582.27

Total: $120,104.99