On the day of victory no one is tired.
Such was true Sunday evening as the final numbers were tallied for the annual Minden St. Jude Auction. For weeks, organizers had been going about the business of making preparations for the 37th edition of the community clarion call.
Then the time came.
The event began midday on Thursday, as it always does. The phones began to ring immediately, as they always do. Orders began to stream in over the Internet, as they have been the past few years. And, as it always does, hope began to promptly kindle.
The boards were full of donations from the Minden business community. Auctioneers, our friends from throughout our town, bantered with one another, smiled, laughed and passed the time as they gave away donation after donation.
The grand prize bids rolled in as did the Partners in Hope pledges. The Civic Center filled with locals and non-locals, folks coming to town to see what all the fuss was about when it came to Minden and St. Jude.
Meals were served by our elected officials and our friends. Prayers were shared and hope was raised.
Days stretched. The weekend came. The donations continued.
In the end, just about the time the lights were going out on the San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl comeback hopes, the final tally came in here in Minden.
One point one million dollars. An achievement that would seem impossible to those not from around these parts. The total is more than $700,000 than what was raised just a decade ago. Each year, the goal grows. Each year, the goal is met, surpassed or down right shattered.
We are taught that pride is a sin. But how can you not be proud to be a part of such a significant event? How can you not be proud to call home a place that gives with no thought of return? No matter the economic woes, no matter the state of the world, Minden rallies every year and answers the call.
It's a call for hope, a call for love, a call for compassion.
On the day of victory no one is tired. But in truth, now that I think about it, there may have indeed been some tired eyes Sunday at the Minden Civic Center as the 11 o'clock hour drew near.
But only because true victory hasn't yet been achieved. However, one point one million dollars will go a long way to getting there.
And the "there" is a world free of cancer and diseases that take those we love.
Be proud Minden. But moreover, be thankful that you, I and all of us can call this place home.
Josh Beavers is the publisher of the Minden Press-Herald. He is a two-time recipient of the Best Newspaper Column award given annually by the Louisiana Press Association.