May 16, 2003 at 11:13 a.m.
Just about the time you think you have heard of nearly every scam ever, a new one shows up. A hand-addressed envelope from South Africa containing a letter from the director of the Department of Minerals and Energy in Pretoria, South Africa. The crux of the letter is the fact that the government is determined to pay off all foreign contractors’ debts and explains that a U.S. contractor has been paid for his work but that the letter writer and his associates over-invoiced the government by $14.5 million U.S. dollars. They are seeking the assistance of a U.S. corporation to front as the beneficiary of the unclaimed funds.
They assure in the letter that it’s completely safe and secure, provided it is treated with the utmost confidentiality. I suppose I won’t be considered again since I chose to write about this offer.
Oh yes, they are offering 25 percent of the takes or $3.625 million, while keeping the balance for themselves. While there was no explanation of the details of how it would all work, I’d be willing to wager that you would need to put up some funds for whatever reason to get the process started. I’d also be willing to wager that you could kiss that money goodbye when you send it off. All of our lives we have been told that if something sounds or looks “too good to be true” then it probably is. Please be cautious if you receive these types of offers, whether in the mail or over the phone and never ever give anyone money in advance for some chance to make money or save money. And, never give your bank or credit card information to one of these solicitors. If you have questions, call the local law enforcement people and let them check over the offer. Also, remember to be definite and firm when you tell them no or they will continually bug you, hoping to gain some information.
Next Monday, May 19, is the legally-mandated end of our current legislative session and as a casual outside observer, it appears that the division between the two sides seems to be as wide or wider than it was when the session began. As is the norm, both sides had to blame each other and so it has gone for years and years. I wish I had a magic solution that would make it all fall into place and all of the peoples business could be done in an orderly fashion and the results would truly serve the needs of the majority of the people. We can hold onto the hope that in the next four or five days, with perhaps divine intervention, that all the work will be done and we won’t need a special session. And yes, I do believe in the tooth fairy as well.
This past weekend, in spite of the cold rain, the Race for the Cure drew about 50,000 people to Edina on Mother’s Day in hope of raising $2 million for cancer research. Hats off to the hearty souls who took part. Soon you will have a chance to get involved at the local area with the annual Relay for Life fundraisers in North Branch and Chisago Lakes. This year’s Chisago Lakes event is planned for the first weekend in August.
Your help is needed. The funds raised by the teams getting pledges to walk throughout the night are used for cancer research. The more teams involved, equates to more money being pledged and upping the chances of finding cures for the dreaded disease. Anyone or any group can form a team. Your family, your neighborhood, Scout groups, 4-H groups, youth groups, ball teams, church groups, co-workers or you can do it by yourself––it all helps.
The event is a great sharing of hope, love, joy and support. Businesses and individuals are needed to provide sponsorships and to support the teams soliciting pledges. People are always talking about looking for things that provide a spirit of community and I don’t know if there is any better event than this one to get involved in. August sounds like it’s a long way off, but it will be here before you know it. To volunteer or to get sponsorship information, call Chisago Lakes Relay for Life Co-Chair Jody Sellman at 257-9366 very soon. We all knew someone who has been affected by cancer and this is a great way to do something to help the cause.
Graduation at local high schools is soon upon us. Graduation is a time of great jubilation, pride and celebration. It is truly one of the major milestones in young people’s lives and a very proud time for friends and families. As you plan your open house celebrations, please use good judgment and be responsible so that we get through this time of great joy accident free.
To all the high school seniors, congratulations on your accomplishments. Your family, friends and the entire area are proud of you and are counting on you to lead us all into the next phase.
Our subscription renewal campaign is over and your response and cooperation was great and greatly appreciated. If you did not renew and had to stop by the store to pick up your Press, we want to remind you that if you mail in your renewal notice and payment, delivery to your mailbox will be restarted ASAP. Thanks again for your support, it is appreciated.