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Losing USCL would have impact on many

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By The Staff

A few weeks ago, the University of South Carolina at Lancaster Dean Dr. John Catalano asked us to imagine our county without USCL.

It is painful to try to imagine how losing USCL would hurt the people of – not just our county – but of the surrounding area and in fact, our entire state.

It is hard to imagine the hardships many of our senior citizens would face if they could no longer go to the USCL Gregory Health and Wellness Center for therapy.

It is hard to imagine how much our efforts to fight diabetes and heart disease would be harmed if we lost USCL’s Carole Ray Dowling Diabetes Education Center and the USCL Cardiac Health Center.

It is hard to imagine how difficult it would be for the hundreds of adults who use USCL’s wellness center each day to be involved in programs to improve their overall health.

It is hard to imagine the negative consequences for our children if we could no longer use the USCL pool to teach our fourth-graders to swim or the other programs for children were gone.

It is hard to imagine how difficult it would be adults to go back to school to get better jobs or to retrain for new jobs because their old jobs have disappeared.

It is hard to imagine the blow to our local economy if we lost not only the jobs of the professors and support staff at USCL, but also the business for merchants and people who travel here to attend USCL.

Most of all, it is hard to imagine how many of our high school graduates would never make it to college if they could not attend USCL. I worked as an educator in Lancaster County for more than 30 years, and I know that USCL made college possible for thousands upon thousands of our young people who would never have been able to attend college.

And many students who attend other colleges – like my own children – benefit greatly from the courses they take at USCL during the summer to help them graduate on time.

The education our young people receive at USCL does not just improve their lives – it also improves the lives of their families and helps them do more to serve in their communities.

Since the proposal to close USCL was presented, I have met with members of the House of Representatives to help them understand how important USCL is to our state, to help them understand how cost effective USCL is, and to help them realize the difference USCL makes in the lives of the people it serves.

I appreciate the calls, letters and e-mails I have received from people who want to save USCL, and I urge you to join us in this fight. Your contacts with legislators make a difference, and you can be assured that I will continue to be a strong and vocal advocate for keeping USCL.