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Letters to the editor

Mike Agnew

I just spotted a letter that you published from a critic of Polly Letofsky, Eileen Rowe. I just had to write you because I was shocked at the printing of such an isolated opinion. The letter’s tone seemed like a personal bashing with the sole purpose of defaming one of the most generous and loving people I have ever met. In fact, you have given an incredible amount of positive coverage on Polly, so I would have hoped you would have seen it as a personal attack and spared us the experience.In the five years Polly traveled around the world, she wrote about only one place in a negative light. Normally Polly is such a positive person that frankly I was very surprised. Having never been to India and being in the travel industry, I started asking around, and you know what I found out from the majority of people that have been there? Many had the same experiences and thought that she described accurate cultural differences. Furthermore, when I told these folks she was a single white woman traveling alone on back roads and in tribal regions, they were amazed. They couldn’t imagine how much tougher that must have been as their experience was visiting larger cities and tourist areas. Now to the part that really upset me. Polly with a privileged life? What insanity! When I met Polly, she was working multiple jobs just so she could afford a meager condo in West Vail. She’s never in her life even owned a car! Plus she has sold that little one-bath “privileged mansion” in order to sustain her dream and its cause. And if Eileen thinks living out of a three-wheeled buggy, not knowing where you are going to sleep each night for five years, is privileged, then I don’t even know how to respond.Lastly, as far as Polly not being an ambassador for breast cancer? This could not be further off base. The record speaks for itself. Awareness was increased wherever Polly traveled and the literally thousands of survivors she came into contact with would loudly defend her. This one reader with her one opinion should check with breast cancer organizations all over the world before making such comments. If she was offended by Polly’s honest reporting about her Indian experience, then comment on that. But that message was totally lost when she started her character assassination.Mike AgnewHardly a stuntThis letter is written in response to “A critic,” written by Eileen Rowe on Aug. 4. Ms. Rowe, do you know Polly Letofsky? Obviously not! I find your letter to be terribly uniformed and as you put it, “completely lacking in compassion.”To suggest that a person would dedicate five years of their life to walking around the world in an effort to raise money and awareness for breast cancer is nothing but an adventurous stunt? Ms. Rowe, you have no clue what Polly went through over the five years that she was on the road. Giving up a perfectly good life in the U.S. to work for the benefit of others is not a STUNT!Polly gave up her job, all of her belongings, her family, her friends and her country to dedicate her life to helping solve the terrible tragedy that is Breast Cancer. Everything that Polly had was reduced to a 2-foot by 2-foot baby carriage. She walked alone most of her trip through countries that would just as soon spit on a U.S. citizen as help them with a nickel towards a disease they know next to nothing about. Five years of not knowing where she would sleep that evening. Five years of not knowing if she was going to be eating properly. Five years of not knowing if she would even make it through the five years! STUNT? Fuggeddaboudit!Polly’s comments about India may have been offensive to you and you have that right. However, facts are facts! She described India for what it is. The facts are that India is a dirty place. Sorry, Eileen. There is no trash removal to speak of, a level of hygiene is non-existent, and yes, when people wake you up at 2 a.m. just to say “Hello” or “How much money do you make?” that is “invasive.” In this day and age of political correctness, it is nice to hear someone calling the kettle black. You say that the people in the non-privileged populations are simply trying to survive malnutrition, AIDS, malaria and war. Are they not also trying to survive breast cancer? Was not Polly trying to help in THAT survival??Was it wrong for her to have a desire for people to become aware of breast cancer? Should they not care about breast cancer simply because they have too many other things to worry about? I think not, Eileen. You seem to suggest that breast cancer is the result of coming from a “privileged” lifestyle. That it is the result of obesity, alcohol abuse and an inactive lifestyle. While these may be contributors to the disease, how do you explain the breast cancer in India, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey and Greece? You yourself have stated that these are underprivileged countries, but yet breast cancer is prevalent there as well. Hmmmmmmm, go figure. Bottom line, Eileen, is that what Polly has done for the past five years is anything but a “stunt.” She does not come from a privileged background and she did not profit monetarily from her endeavors. She raised over $200,000 for breast cancer. All of these funds stayed in the countries in which they were raised. She raised the level of awareness towards breast cancer globally by holding educational forums, even in India. Ms. Rowe, I thank the Lord that there are people like Polly Letofsky in our world. Perhaps you should get to know Polly before you start making judgments! Charlie ChapmanPhoenix, Ariz. Missing a favoriteAs a former resident of Vail, it is always with delight that I return to my favorite place in the U.S. One of my first two places to go is the Tearoom Alpenrose. What a surprise when I saw the place boarded up in the high season of July. I understand that there are difficulties between the new owner of the building and restaurant owner Peter Haller, but that should not be allowed. What a loss of income for Peter and his staff. I also know for a fact that a lot of locals miss their good food and baked goods.Antje TyedmersTorontoThank you We would like to express our most sincere thanks to our friends of this community. It’s nice to know we live in a community that comes together and helps in any way they can. Words can’t express our gratitude for the words of kindness and encouragement, the gifts, cards and flowers. Also thank you for all the food donations and help in preparing the dinner. Thank you and God bless all of you. The Casaus and Salazar familiesvail colorado


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