EDITORIAL: A hero's welcome home

York Dispatch
  • Field Hockey season brings tributes to Amanda Strous.
  • Logos Academy scholarship to aid York Rescue Mission students

Thumbs Up: To the Spring Grove community for honoring hometown hero Hali Flickinger who went from Olympic swimmer to grand marshal of her own Parade!

Organizer John McLucas said community organizations teamed up to make the parade a reality.

"We are here to celebrate Hali, our local Olympian. We're here to show her what she means to this town and how proud we are of her," McLucas said during the event.

Family friend Bob Grim, of Spring Grove, leaves the street side to steal a moment  with Olympian and Spring Grove native Hali Flickinger, currently of Athens, Georgia, during a parade, in her honor, as it makes its way down Main Street in Spring Grove on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5, 2016.  Dawn J. Sagert photo

Community members lined the parade route to cheer the Olympic finalist. Flickinger placed seventh in the women's 200-meter butterfly at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

Spring Grove welcomes home Olympic swimmer Hali Flickinger

Afterward Hali signed autographs and met with members of the crowd — many of whom attended the watch parties held during her races. Most importantly, several young athletes attended, like Michael and Addie Lehman who attend with their mother Sarah. She said her children look to Hali as an inspiration.

"We are Spring Grove Rockets, and we’re Spring Grove residents, and we are proud of all that Spring Grove has to offer, especially Hali," she said.

Thumbs Up: To Dallastown field hockey, which honored the memory of former player Amanda Strous before a game this week. Strous was pulled from her burning apartment and later pronounced dead last June. A man is charged with her murder.

Strous' parents, Crystal and Eric Strous, of York Township, spoke to the crowd about their daughter. Eric read a letter from Amanda.

"When I die, I want to be remembered as a person who lived life to the fullest," Eric Strous read from the note.

The team gave the Strous family her jersey which they had framed, along with pictures of her while on the team.

After a moment of silence, the crowd released 100 purple helium balloons from the stadium.

Amanda Strous honored at Dallastown field hockey game

"The balloon release was just wonderful," Crystal said.

Perhaps the event inspired the Susquehannock Warriors field hockey team to sponsor a benefit during its game with Dallastown this week. The team wore purple (Amanda's favorite color) ribbons and sold soft drinks and baked goods during the game. All the proceeds will go to the Shippensburg University’s Amanda Strous Scholarship Fund.

Thumbs Up: To the York Rescue Mission CEO Matt Carey and his plan to create a scholarship to allow two students from the mission to attend Logos Academy each year. Carey got the idea while touring the school,

"I thought, 'How do we start to instill some dignity and pride in the children, because it’s not easy to move around several times in a year,'" Carey said.

Kindergarteners Sicelia Brillhart, 5, left, and Milliany Geronimo-Williams talk during lunch at Logos Academy in York City, Monday, Aug. 29, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Carey ran the idea past Aaron Anderson, CEO and head of Logos Academy, who loved the idea.

The scholarship would be for $8,000 per student and is being paid for through the reallocation of some of the mission's funds designated for youth and through donations from community members and businesses.

Carey said he sees many children who move three or four times in a single school year, causing disruptions in learning and instability in their social development.

Giving a child a school to call home will lend some stability to their often disordered lives.

New Logos Academy scholarship for homeless students

"It gives that child that stable environment, and what better way to start changing some of the problems that we have in this community than by starting with children?"