I would like to take the time to recognize the passing of a special person who set a wonderful example of what true caring and love is all about.
In my early days at Bar-O Ranch the boys were "adopted" by the Commercial Fishermen's Wives organization. There were several things that both organizations did for each other over the years, but the biggest and most influential thing was the Christmas dinner that "The Wives" put on for the boys. The women fed the boys very well and always sent us home with lots of leftovers.
While at the hall we would often sing carols, play games for prizes and just enjoy each other's company. I can't count the times that I had boys comment in amazement on the fact that these ladies were doing all of this for them just to be nice¬óa lesson we have striven hard to impart to our boys.
It has never been about being thanked, paid back, getting public recognition or the like. It has been about wanting to reach out to someone else in need. I have seen this type of kindness many times in this community throughout the years, but never has it been any more loving and caring than what has been put out by this group.
Another part of this celebration was when the women would hand out gifts to the boys that had been purchased and wrapped by the ladies. There were gifts for game prizes, a larger gift to the camp and individual gifts to the boys with their names on them. Many a tear was quietly shed by boys not knowing how to handle such kindness.
Included in this gift to each boy was a "labor of love gift." Each year a woman named Elaine Evanow would knit each boy a stocking cap that was beautiful and unique. Every year after the holidays Elaine would begin her work in order to be sure every boy got a cap for the next Christmas. Elaine's caps have warmed the hearts and heads of more than a thousand boys.
We were sorry to hear recently that Elaine had passed away. Elaine has touched the lives of many people, I am sure, and there will always be a special place in the hearts of Bar-O Boys and staff for Elaine.
Thank you Elaine.
Director of Bar-O Boys Ranch