The typo doesn’t change the message even if it eliminates the opportunity for some fun.
A cold weekend morning in February with not much going on created an opportunity for some early spring cleaning, which included my office at Muscatine Center for Social Action. It was there that I found the shirt given to me by Dick Maeglin, a retired Muscatine businessman who played a pivotal role in the founding of MCSA.
Last summer, Dick drove the support vehicle for a group of bicyclists from Faith United Church of Christ in Muscatine. The cyclists rode part of RAGBRAI XLII, raising nearly $1,200 in pledges for MCSA. I saw them in Edgewood on the ride’s last day. Dick was wearing one of these shirts, which I told him was pretty cool.
A few weeks later, he stopped by MCSA with a shirt he had found somewhere for me and it was even in my size. Who knows where it came from. And I was all set to wear it the next time I set out to raise money for MCSA, which is my primary duty as the nonprofit organization’s deputy director.
That’s when I noticed the typo on the back of the shirt, which has kept me from wearing it. I don’t know who made this long-ago mistake or who didn’t catch it, but as a recovering ink-stained newspaper wretch, I can relate. I’ve made plenty of similar mistakes through the years — some of them in much bigger type.
It’s unfortunate that Maggie Curry, MCSA’s current executive director, wasn’t working there when this mistake was made. She is a stickler for this sort of thing and it’s possible — although highly unlikely — she would have missed it.
Still, I like the moxie behind the message. It’s the attitude you must have when you go out to ask for money. That kind of pluck helped MCSA survive its early years and grow to become an organization that helped more than 700 people last year through its various housing programs, along with the MCSA Domestic Violence Shelter and the MCSA Homeless Prevention Program.
MCSA represents an impressive legacy for many people in Muscatine — the least of whom is not Dick Maeglin. Before he retired, Dick was involved in what is now an Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. insurance office, Community Bank and Muscatine Travel Service.
In the early 1990s, when the Muscatine Community Y moved to 1823 Logan St., Dick bought the old YMCA at 312 Iowa Ave. so that the men who lived in the old building’s dorm rooms wouldn’t lose their housing. His purchase of the building gave birth to the organization that became MCSA.
That’s a legacy from which a typo on the back of a shirt cannot detract. And that old shirt’s message is one I’m proud to continue working to uphold.
If you’d like to donate a few dollars to MCSA after reading this, you may do so here.