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This punishment would fit the crime

April 13, 2011
Morning Journal News

Every act of vandalism is senseless and malicious, but when these cruel acts are perpetrated on a benevolent and charitable group like the Guilford Lake Area Ruritans, they seem especially heinous.

Last Saturday night or Sunday morning, vandals cut power cords from four refrigerators, three freezers, all the fryers, five roasters, three coffeepots, a microwave oven, a chlorine pump, a floor polisher, a pressure washer, a bingo board and a television. One club member said he has been told power cords are being stolen to be sold for scrap, so it may have been more an act theft than just vandalism.

They also stole three gallons of green beans, 48 cups of ice cream, 10 pounds of fish, 10 pounds of sausage patties and a 24-pack of toilet paper.

The club, which has monthly dinners to raise money for its community projects, holds fish fries twice monthly during the Lenten season. Despite the damage, club members say the fish fry scheduled for April 22 will go on as usual.

According to the club's website, the group has been "Celebrating Fellowship Goodwill and Community Service since 1971," and donates $14,000 annually to local charities, including scholarships.

Membership in Ruritan is open to all persons of good character, according to the website. While the thieving vandals who damaged the group's clubhouse would definitely not be good enough characters to qualify for membership, we think perhaps a taste of Ruritan life might do the scumdogs some good.

After being caught, prosecuted and found guilty, we hope that, in addition to fines and jail time, the judge will consider sentencing the culprits to toiling side-by-side with the Ruritan Club on each project the club undertakes for a year. Let them see first-hand the hard work Ruritans and other civic organization members perform for free to benefit others.

It might be a longshot, but perhaps witnessing how others perform selfless and beneficial acts, might cause these criminals to turn over a new leaf. If nothing else, it will give the Ruritans some much-needed extra help.



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