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Ringing the Bell for “Sech”

Dave Sechler was truly one of the good guys. His lifetime of work comes to life each Christmas season with the sound of those Salvation Army bells. I still expect to see him manning his post during my shopping, with his friendly smile, kind words and commitment to helping others.

As I walked into the Salvation Army the other evening it was like a ghost appeared. You look through a window and a gentleman was sitting there, blue baseball cap, looking out the window at what was going on. I thought maybe I was about to have a visit from a ghost of Christmas past. Nope, it was just Steve Wenzel who took over the desk for Dave.

I have known Steve a long time from our days together at Brandon Little League. Along with his wife, Rosellen, they took great care of the league and softball. He laughed about my ghost story and then he shared with me, “You know Dave is so missed here, you never replace someone like him, he did so much more than just run the gym.” Steve is also one of those good guys. What he was referencing was Sech’s caring for people daily and sharing of Christianity by example and showing love for his fellow man. Dave was like this in every walk of his life.

The past two years many of you have joined me in a “Red Kettle Remembrance of Dave.” It has been an amazing tribute to who he was, and how many lives he touched. Together we have raised over $20,000. Thank you my friends. Our efforts did not go unnoticed nor did Dave’s lifetime of working for the good. A few months back, without much fanfare, because I knew that’s how Dave would want it, a special tribute took place. The old gym at ‘The Sal’ was named in his honor. As you walk in, now above the door is a small sign ‘Sech’s Court’.

Upon entering, the gym is now identified as David J. Sechler Gymnasium. Dave’s smiling face is again greeting everyone just like he did for decades.
The first words on the sign are, “In loving memory of our friend Dave, a true follower of Jesus Christ and a friend to all.” No truer words have ever been written. Wow, how he used basketball to do the Lord’s work.

I thank Major Don Spencer, Tony Perrotta and the Salvation Army Board of Directors for making this happen. What a great way to honor and keep Dave’s memory. Again, I thank all that have given to The Salvation Army in Dave’s remembrance. The organization does wonderful work within our community. As always, your donations stay right here at home. If you would like to make your donation in remembrance of Dave just mark it so.

I know Dave Sechler would not want us to stop here. He would want us to keep on ringing that Red Kettle Bell and helping out. So that is what I’m going to do and I again appeal to you for help in the name of helping others.

We will have our traditional Red Kettle at our Webb Weekly office, you are welcome to stop in and drop off your donation. For your efforts Nickie, Kristy, Steph or myself will have a coffee mug or hat and a smile for your act of kindness. It’s always great talking with so many folks.

This year my staff and I have decided we are going to help the Salvation Army out with something that is much needed and would be near and dear to Dave’s heart. We are going to have Sech’s Court refinished.

This will affect everyone who uses that area of the Salvation Army, not just basketball. It is used for kids’ programs, the staging area for distributing Christmas baskets and toys and more daily activities than I can list. It is much needed. I must add that it will also make it much safer for those playing basketball. A slippery, worn gym floor can be a problem.

So enjoy the hustle and bustle of your Christmas shopping. I hope you find the perfect presents. When you hear the background noise of Yuletide carols and the ringing of the Bell think of all the folks Dave helped over the years and let’s continue on with his good work.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb

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