Trust a cooperative effort


Published: Friday, January 17, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 17, 2003 at 1:12 a.m.

Thanks for your article (Jan. 14) announcing the results of the GO*NY NonStop! Campaign. It was accurate, but not quite complete.

To me, it is newsworthy that business, education and government leaders from Gainesville and Ocala worked together successfully and for a common purpose.

Our success in raising $650,000-plus in pledges for a Ticket Trust shows what cooperative community spirit and growing mutual trust between the two communities can achieve.

Co-chaired by Gainesville's C.B. Daniel and Ocala's Mayor Gerald Ergle, the campaign recruited 52 substantial pledges by individuals, by small and large businesses and by major educational institutions, all in just a few weeks.

The substantial commitment made by the University of Florida to assist in a community endeavor like this is fantastic. It sends a powerful message that the university considers itself truly part of the North Central Florida community, linked to its future.

Santa Fe Community College also stepped up with an impressive pledge, underlining its important role in community economic development.

Also newsworthy is the commitment of local businesses like Regeneration Technologies Inc., AllChem Industries, Exactech, US Biomaterials, Shands HealthCare, Barr Systems, ECT and others.

All of these were quick to respond to the challenge and committed their resources to this effort promptly. They understand the importance of good air service and are committing valuable resources for the overall community good.

It should be newsworthy that Florida Citizens Bank, host bank for the Ticket Trust, offered, without being asked, to pay 3 percent interest on all pledges to encourage more businesses to participate.

City and the county governments have been more than responsive with their support and encouragement and they are working together on this effort.

The airport continues to try to improve its service and facility so that we can accommodate Continental when it comes and we can accommodate the growth of our old and good friends, Delta/ASA and USAirways Express.

Ticket Trust pledges are still coming in via the airport's Web site, flygainesville.com. The more money we raise, the better our chances for a successful recruitment.

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