Thumbs up to the Rotary Club of Florence for its support of local Alzheimer’s efforts. As part of that commitment, the club will hold a new event later this month. The Forget Me Not 5K Family Fun Color Run/Walk to Beat Alzheimer’s is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Aug. 20 on the grounds of the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology Center at the Florence-Darlington Technical College campus. Registration is $25 in advance and $30 the day of the race. Race participants can register at it will be a colorful event. Each participant will be given a T-shirt and sunglasses before the race. As participants reach several color stations, they will be doused with paint that will wash off easily. The result will be a rainbow of fun for a wonderful cause. The event emphasizes family and run over completion, but there will be prizes for top finishers. The Morning News is joining the Rotary Club of Florence as a sponsor. On Tuesday, we will start a six-part series about Alzheimer’s disease called “Forget Me Not.” Look for another story Thursday as well as stories on Aug. 9, Aug. 11, Aug. 16 and Aug. 18. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America estimates that as many as 5.1 million Americans have the disease, which has a devastating effect on family members. Alzheimer’s support is nothing new for Rotary Clubs. The Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust (CART) Fund, a program of Rotary Clubs in North America, was introduced by District 7770 – the Rotary Club of Florence – in 1996. At each meeting, Rotarians deposit pocket change in CART buckets. This North American initiative has raised more than $5.5 million in grants for Alzheimer’s research.

Thumbs up to the Florence American Legion Post 1 baseball team, which won its third state championship in the past five years on Wednesday in Sumter. Coach Derick Urquhart and his players not only excelled on the field, but they represented Florence in a professional manner. Blake Robinson was chosen the tournament’s Most Outstanding Pitcher. Teammate Grayson Cottingham was honored with the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award. Good luck to Post 1, which takes a 36-3 record to the Southeast Regional, which starts Wednesday in Asheboro, North Carolina. Thumbs up to the Florence American Legion Post 1 itself, which does a tremendous job supporting the baseball team as well as other youth programs such as Palmetto Boys and Palmetto Girls States and veterans.

Thumbs down to the burglar who stole more than $6,000 worth of baby supplies last weekend from Lighthouse Ministries. But as Lighthouse Ministries executive director Cecilia Meggs said Tuesday, something good has come out of something bad. The community rose to the occasion. A Gofundme page was created Monday morning to raise funds to assign with the organization’s recovery from the loss. A goal of $6,000 was surpassed Tuesday morning, and the money kept coming in. Lighthouse Ministries also received a donation from Anderson Brothers Bank, two individual donations worth $1,000 each and smaller donations. Community members also donated baby supplies. Such news helps restore our faith in humanity.

Thumbs up to Francis Marion University for honoring the late R.N. Beck, the late physician and humanitarian, with a statue. Sculpted by Florence’s Alex Palkovich, the statue was placed Tuesday at the fountain on the grounds outside the Luther F. Carter Center for Health Sciences at the busy intersection of South Irby and West Evans streets in downtown Florence. Check it out. The bronze, life-size statue looks magnificent. According to Palkovich, it weighs 470 pounds. We would have guessed more. Read all about Beck in your Sunday edition of the Morning News. FMU will open its impressive building with a ceremony on Thursday.

Thumbs up to the city of Florence for the new sidewalks on South Dargan Street that extend down the “Corridor of Culture” all the way to National Cemetery Road. Bricks are being added to the left and right of these sidewalks. What a nice finishing touch. We’re eager to see further streetscaping in downtown Florence. Projects in the first block of North Dargan Street really seem to be coming along. In another year or two, people who moved away from Florence won’t believe what they will see if/when they return to this renaissance city.

Thumbs up, thumbs down is a regular feature of the Morning News and appears each Saturday on our Opinion page. We seek nominations for both good and bad deeds from our readers. Send nominations to us by email at Be sure use the word “thumb” in the subject and include a contact number. Thumbs can also be mailed to us c/o The Morning News, 310 S. Dargan St., Florence, S.C., 29506.

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