Gretchen is for the Children

Written by Gin Quesada

I do not know Gretchen Culaste personally. But I endorse the idea she represents. I do not personally know Alex (even his family name does not come to my mind easily while writing this piece), her staunch supporter, or probably her coach during college days. But I support the idea he and Gretchen represent.

Yes, ‘Gretchen is for the children’ ! She is for the cause of the Badminton Team, who prevents children from falling into ontoward activities by providing sports as the alternative, and simultaneously providing educational support. No, the Badminton Team is not a school that provides education, but rather assists its Team members by providing them champion-class training to get scholarship in college.

The Team, aside from being able to mould college scholars, is also bringing honor to Pozorrubio in sports competitions, which in turn attracts more team members and more trophies, and more scholars. (I hope someday that out of these scholars we will harvest cum laudes).Now the Team needs support for the upgrading of their equipment to bring the sports members competencies to the next level. An athlete cannot just rely on his muscles. He needs a good training paraphernalia comparable, it not better, than his competitors, too. And for the purchase of these sports paraphernalia, Gretchen has decided to donate the entire percentage of her royalty proceeds from her bid in the town fiesta Ms Pozorrubio 2011 competition.

I admire her for this gesture of self-sacrifice. This noble idea of developing children into athletes, eventually becoming college scholars, and developing into a supportive manpower of the community deserves our financial support. Who knows, your kids or your relatives’ may be walking through this career path.

Your donation today paves a clean path for our children’s personal development, and concomittantly, our community development. Look at Gretchen now: she has metamorphosed into community-serving Pozorrubian from a sports loving kid!

She may not be aware of it, but to me, Gretchen is an icon, an idea, a model, a voice call. Together with her mentor who fathered the Badminton Team, they are voices in the wilderness trumpeting in unison a call: it is high time we pause from the several years of building edifices from the proceeds of the town fiestas, and instead start focusing on a programmed development of our community’s manpower. Gretchen, sacrificing her share in her candidacy proceeds, is a shining example that should drive us all Pozorrubians, NGO, government organizations, balikbayans alike to have a more coordinated efforts toward harnessing manpower development, especially from the untapped pool of the marginalized. Of course, we will keep on needing vertical and horizontal infrastructures, but we need to develop competent people to man our physical infrastructures. We need educational infrastructural partnerships to be self-sustaining towards the future.

Sustainability is among a community planning’s components. And sustainablity is not only preserving the eco-environment- the mountains, the trees, the rivers. It is also developing the manpower of a community that come from the greater and young unharnished part of the populace – our poor children.

The more there are citizens with high purchasing power, the more there will be customers of existing businesses resulting into a heightened economic activity. We cannot cling to our close friends in the higher ups for long. We, the private and government sectors, together should aim for our own community’s sustainability.

From my standpoint (“which is 7,000 miles away from Pozorrubio”), the Pozorrubio Badminton Team’s advocacy to develop children should be viewed from the above context. The group’s great symbol, Gretchen, embodies this aspiration.

In her bid for Ms Pozorrubio 2011, Gretchen is not fighting for a crown nor glory. Gretchen is fighting for the children. Let us support her !

(Tomorrow, I will publish my call for support in Pangasinan language to DECS and my fellow Senior Citizens, and other NGOs who had been assigned to support Gretchen.)

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