by William T. Beverly, Ph.D.
WALSENBURG — It’s a virtue to be able to do “good” without expecting praise. But some acts should be celebrated publicly.
One day during a Hospital Foundation Board meeting perhaps a year ago, Ron Scarcella got a bug in his ear and commenced a mission that would eventually bring a number of much needed Bausch & Lomb, American Instrument, physician-quality microscopes to the schools in La Veta, Walsenburg and Gardner.
Hearing of an opportunity to acquire these fine teaching instruments at a very reasonable price, Scarcella thought, “How can a kid dream without seeing the world through a microscope? How do you create doctors and scientists and leaders without microscopes?” Even though there was little tangible support available; Scarcella committed to getting the job done – even at his own expense if need be. There was no stopping him.
With some encouragement from several board members such as Dr. Sternberg and Stirling Lathrop, Scarcella drove through several storms way out east to Fort Lauderdale, FLA and Charleston, SC and then back through Tennessee gathering the scopes. After gingerly carrying his sensitive payload back to Huerfano County, he quietly donated them to our local schools.
In retrospect, he admits he was proud and thrilled to have acquired two-headed teaching microscopes – one for each school. That’s not to mention these include mono- and stereo-scopes, and some even include oil-emergent capabilities. “Great for teaching!” Scarcella says. He thought, “This is something that can surely be used for 20 years.” And what a catch! The estimated value of these useful tools easily reaches into the tens of thousands of dollars – a much welcomed gift for schools that seem to be cutting budgets as a yearly ritual.
Local science teachers were also thrilled about Scarcella’s microscopes. La Veta science teacher Rita Kasper declared, “They are just super and have certainly been put to good use!” She went on to say, “The microscopes are of excellent quality and are used frequently.”
Deb Striegel of John Mall High School said,“ … it is especially nice to have three microscopes that are dependable. The teaching scope is pretty cool because I can adjust the focus and pinpoint exactly what I want a student to look at and because it has two ocular viewing lenses, I can talk to the student about what they are seeing. They can then do the same thing with a classmate which helps connect the learning for them.”
It’s great when good people do nice things for a wonderful community. Thanks Ron!