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by Abigail Van Buren

It's Time Again to Tip Our Hats to Towns With Spirit

DEAR ABBY: We in Midland, Texas, owe you a debt of gratitude for informing your 95 million readers about our Midland Community Spirit Award. Each year we honor a community that best represents the American ideal of people pulling together and helping one another.

Last year, we heard from 108 cities in 35 states. The 1990 Midland Community Spirit Award went to Yakima, Wash., for its ongoing war against drug problems.

Past nominees have included: Brownsville, Texas, whose citizens worked shoulder to shoulder for more than 60 hours to clear rubble from a collapsed building in order to rescue the trapped survivors; the good people of Saco and Glasgow, Mont., who graciously fed, clothed and cared for the waylaid passengers of a train derailed in their vicinity; the members of Valley View Methodist Church in Valley View, Texas, who walked from car to car inviting hundreds of stranded motorists to spend the night in their church when a blizzard halted traffic late one afternoon. The townspeople brought whatever they had in their freezers to feed them all. The residents of Colonial Beach, Va., who raised half a million dollars through bake sales and bingo to replace their old school built in 1912.

Abby, we are again seeking nominations for the 1991 Midland Community Spirit Award, which will be presented in November. So please encourage proud citizens to nominate communities that have shown the cooperative, caring spirit during a time of need or crisis.

Thank you for your continued support in making this project a success. -- CARROLL THOMAS, MAYOR, MIDLAND, TEXAS

DEAR MAYOR THOMAS: This past year has been one of the worst for both natural and man-made catastrophes, so there should be an abundance of nominations.

Readers: The deadline is Oct. 15, 1991. So to obtain an official nomination form for the Community Spirit Award, write to: Midland Community Spirit Award, P.O. Box 1152, Midland, Texas 79702, or phone (915) 685-7206.

I'm sure there are many other communities whose citizens rose to the occasion when tragedy struck. Readers?

DEAR ABBY: In the plant where I work, there are seven girls in my department. One of the girls was recently married. I pitched in for a shower gift, but I couldn't attend the shower.

I never did get an invitation to her wedding, but the other six girls got one. Two days before her wedding she mumbled, "Some of the invitations must have gotten lost in the mail, so if you didn't get one, consider this a verbal invitation."

Abby, I didn't have anything to wear, and it was too late to get ready. Do I owe her a wedding gift? -- SLIGHTED IN ASHEVILLE, N.C.

DEAR SLIGHTED: No. Give her your verbal congratulations.

DEAR ABBY: I received your booklet, "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It" on July 30, 1991.

You have saved my life. I cried tears of joy for the first time in my 47 years. Before that, they were tears of pain and sorrow.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. God bless you. -- MARY T. GREEN, SANTA MARIA, CALIF.

This one's for everybody, from teens to seniors! To purchase Abby's new booklet, "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It," send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

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