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B.J. DRYE COLUMN: Getting by with help from friends

Sorry I’m a bit late with this, but there are many components to this column …

“Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for.”

These lyrics to “That’s What Friends Are For” are remembered mainly as sung by Dionne Warwick and friends Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight in the mid-1980s. The song was a hit and raised millions for AIDS research.

It’s nice to have friends, and one retired Albemarle police officer knows about having friends in “good times and bad times.”

Friends began a GoFundMe page Jan. 10 to raise funds for Mike Martin. Friend and fellow officer David Hunt even climbed atop Albemarle Police Department to generate awareness for the campaign. A month later, the drive has raised more than $7,000 to get Martin, who is battling brain cancer, two motorized chairs and a lift for his vehicle.

It’s nice to have friends in high places, as Hunt was on the roof. It’s nice to know law enforcement and fire personnel as well.

They and other emergency responders have unfortunately been in the news for the past few weeks. I say unfortunately because it was for bad events.

Fire broke out at two law offices in downtown Albemarle — an event unlike any other in recent memory for many residents.

We also had a tornado touch down last week. Other high winds and rain created much havoc for much of the northern end of the county and Albemarle, with flooding reported as well in other spots.

It certainly is a time when we can use some friends.

We are here as well. Whenever someone is in need, we like to help by spreading awareness for the person and the cause. We hate it that the need exists, but we are glad when we can do a small part in a greater good.

So if there is a fundraiser, let us know. If there is a charity event happening, let us know. If there is someone doing good in the community, let us know. We will not be able to get everything at once, but we will try our very best. Therefore, my friends, we are here for you.

We can help.

B.J. Drye is editor of The Stanly News & Press. Contact him at 704-982-2123, bj.drye@stanlynewspress.com or follow bjdrye1 on Twitter.