Forest City, Iowa – The Forest City Wellness Coalition (FCWC) is partnering with Waldorf College to host its first community common reading experience. Students and community members are invited to read “The Sacred Acre,” the inspirational story of football coach Ed Thomas.
“It’s an incredibly powerful story,” said Kristi Leonard, Waldorf College Associate Professor of Wellness and FCWC member. “Ed Thomas was a football coach who helped rebuild the community of Parkersburg, Iowa after a tornado struck in 2008. A year later he was shot point-blank by one of his former football players. There are inspiring messages in ‘The Sacred Acre’ that anyone can benefit from,” said Leonard.
“The Sacred Acre” follows the recovery of Ed Thomas’ family and the Parkersburg community after his death.
“Ed wanted his community to come together to overcome adversity and tragedy after the tornado, and that’s a great message for our students,” said Director of Student Activities Amy Woods. “His life is an example for all of us. We don’t need to deal with everything on our own. There is a need for community and Ed embraced that.”
Waldorf College Speakers Series Committee members spent the summer reading books to select one for the First-Year Seminar class. “The Sacred Acre” was selected because of its inspirational message and its Iowa setting. It was clear to the Forest City Wellness Coalition that the book’s message was meant for more than just college students.
“The book talks about life, integrity, character development, and faith,” Leonard said. “It’s not just another football book. It has a strong message about what our priorities in life should be and what role you have in a community.”
Forest City will host two discussion groups prior to a presentation by Aaron Thomas, Ed’s son. The first discussion will take place on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Forest City Public Library. A second discussion will occur on Monday, Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the Luise V. Hanson Library at Waldorf College. Both discussions are loosely structured and may cover any part of the story. "The Sacred Acre" is for sale in the Waldorf College Bookstore.
The reading experience concludes on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 at 7 p.m. in the John K. and Luise V. Hanson Fieldhouse with Aaron’s presentation. Both discussions and the presentation are free to the public.
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