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Merit Makers

Every week, there are seen and unseen heroes that help keep Kadampa Center running.
Here are just a few!

Thanks go out this week to everyone that made the appeal happen! You know who you are! The designer, envelope stuffers, reminder emailer, idea makers, KC Players, announcers, media team, thank you note writers and children who danced us out! It took many Sunday's and lots of effort for a successful 2017 Annual Appeal. You are all appreciated!

The Annual Appeal closes Jan 31 and we want to thank the "Kadampa Players" for their acting prowess in our skits displaying ways to FILL YOUR HEART for the 2017 Appeal. Thanks go out to the brave souls willing to put themselves in the lime light: Royden and Layla Saah, Tim Mulhern, Hemant Pandya, Donna Seese, Sandy Carlson, Robbie Watkins, Miranda Benson, Magnes Batts, Margo and all the little ones from our Family Program who danced their hearts out for you!
Hats off and take a bow!

Big Thanks go out to Joey Gooch for his years of dedicated service as Facility Manager. Joey worked for many hours joyfully and tirelessly to make sure our facility was beautiful, safe and welcoming. Joey's wish is always for you to feel like this is your Center and we thank him for everything he did from keeping air filters clean to building a pergola for the Buddha. Since we have no replacement for Joey yet, you may sign on to be a Handy Helper on our communication wall and continue the service he did so well. A Tara Puja was conducted at Kopan in honor of Joey's service. He will now show his love of the Center as Garden Manager. Thank you Joey!

Thanks go out this week to our faithful pen pals for the KCPP, Kadampa Center Prison Project and Amanda Henry as pen pal coordinator. Ashlee Williams, Amanda Henry, Herb Cunningham, Andre Smith, Helen Schwartz, Jeffifer Shoemaker, Elise Strevel, Karen Mastroianni, Barb Baranski diligently pick up their letters, correspond and discuss the dharma in a casual and meaningful way and help the inmates stay connected. There are many more inmates in need of a pen pals. Go here, https://kadampa-center.org/pen-pals to join the team! Thanks guys for your age old skill of letter writing.

Our dear resident teachers, Geshe Gelek and Geshe Sangpo, are so knowledgable that they leave pretty big shoes to fill when they are away. We were able to offer inspiring programs every Sunday during their absence, including a Lamrim retreat and many interesting discussions on a variety of Dharma topics — not to mention Santa Robbie! Big thanks to our Discovering Buddhism teachers who led our Sundays: Robbie Watkins, Don Brown, Shankha Mitra and Steep Smith!

Thank you to all of you who have Filled Your Heart by pledging and contributing in 1 of 5 ways to the 2017 Annual Appeal so far. You are a big part of why the Center thrives! Keep up the good work and Happy New Year!

Big thanks go out to Kevin Murphy this week for buying us a lovely tall, sparkly Christmas tree! Kevin heard us mention our old one was on it's last leg and he stepped up and offered to get us a brand new one. He even dropped it off the next day for a couple Family program elves to decorate it in time for our Sunday Celebration with Robbie-Claus. Thanks Kevin, you are appreciated!

A huge thank you goes out to Ann Skvarcius this week for her amazing Annual Appeal design. Ann worked diligently and happily to produce all the products you saw when mailed out to you, the poster, the mug design and your gift that will come when you Fill Your Heart! Thank you once again Ann, for bringing a vision to life in hopes that many will benefit from ... all the way to enlightenment.

Thank you Erin Sloan, Cherie and Jen Sutorus, Miranda Benson, Dan DeMaio-Newton, Deva and Viola Kumar, and Sheila Smith for your practice of one of the six perfections: Generosity. Your offering of money, time, and attention to Kadampa Center's members and especially to the children in the Family Program made this year's 5th annual holiday celebration a heartfelt success.

Thanks go out this week to the small yet committed group from the 3-day Lamrim Retreat and its leaders Don Brown and Robbie Watkins. Lee Clark, Scott Dickerson, Linda and Orion Saah finished this intensive retreat together on Thanksgiving weekend. No one professed to be enlightened yet lots of positive seeds were definitely planted:) They dedicated it all to others. Hands folded to you all especially our first teenager to do a full retreat!

Thanks go out this week to Carol Love, Julia McCollum, Diane Meyer, Rene LaReau, Venerable Lhamo, Miranda and David Benson for stuffing envelopes just days before Thanksgiving stuffing! We had a lovely time and some shared backgrounds were discovered. The more we get to know each other the stronger our Center becomes. Thanks to all y'all!

Thanks go out this week to Joey Gooch, David Horton and CJ Wilkerson. They have labored diligently to create a attractive block wall in our garden by the stupa for erosion control. The view from the road is enhanced and our property is well taken care of. Thank you guys for the hard work!

Thanks go out this week to Carol Vogel. Carol's love of flowers and plants blossomed into a question "May I take care of the plants and the freshen the flowers at the Center once a week?" Yes Carol you can! She visits us every week to nurture the plants and freshen the flowers on the alter, thrones and desks. We all appreciate your artistic eye, love of growing things and your happy, content smile when done. Thanks Carol!

Many thanks to all the volunteers who are helping to make Jonathan Landaw’s visit a success! We rely on our members to pitch in with greeting, setting up and taking down water bowls, driving the teacher and assisting during the program. Big thanks to Ven. Khando, Julia McCollum, Jim Barnes, Karen Mastroianni, Carol Vogel, Arlene VanRyckeghem, Elise Strevel, Jill Medford, Fran DeRespinis, Craig Cornish, Joey Gooch, Amanda Henry, Peter Cranford, Sara Alasandro, Jill Marie, Glenn Hunt, Erin Sloan and Trish Coffey.
You rock the Center!

A big thank you to Kim Lillig and Patti Pandya for planning, hosting and leading a very fun Mala Making class Saturday morning. Everyone had a great time learning how to redo broken malas or design new ones from scratch. Patti and Kim were so excited they can't wait to do another class, so watch the calendar and start shopping for beautiful mala beads now! Thanks Kim and Patti for all your time and effort.

Thanks go out to David Horton this week. David popped in a couple weeks ago saying he'd like to help and after we discussed what he loved to do, we quickly found an uncoated new set of cabinets that could use some attention. David finished the project with ease, a happy mind and lightening speed. Now our communication corner is complete. Look to the wall over the bench for communications about 'us' and the wall by the bathrooms about events or offerings from our 'members.' Thanks David for your willingness to step in and help.

Many of us get our first taste of the Dharma through one of our introductory courses — Meditation 101 and Buddhism in a Nutshell. A wonderful group of senior students leads these courses, helping to open the door to the Buddha’s teachings. We’re so grateful to them! Our big thanks to Ven. Lhamo, Ven. Khando, Ven. Choekyi, Sandy Carlson, Karen Mastroianni, Elise Strevel, David Machles, Scott Miller and Hemant Pandya.

Thanks go out this week to our former bookstore manger Cherie Sutorus. Cherie has decided to step down as manager after many years of volunteering in our fabulous bookstore. She oversaw the relocation and design of it's beautiful current location as well as the procedural changes of a new register and it's helpful ease of use. Cherie supports and manages a volunteer staff of 7 comprised of 2 managers for merchandise and books, Kolleen and Dan, plus 5 check out staff. Of utmost wonder is how Cherie managed this year's LOP retreat with sales that support our ability to fulfill Lama Zopa Rinpoche's wishes.
Thank you for your loving years of service to the Center Cherie!

Thanks go out this week to Erin Sloan for kitchen magic! From time to time kitchen cabinets bust at the seams and need to be culled out. Erin took on this task with gusto and is making our KC kitchen more functional and user friendly. She has worked many hours during the day and after classes at night. Thank you Erin for all your hard work behind the scenes!

Thanks go out this week for a behind the scenes helper, Michael Flaherty. Most of you would never know the wonderful things that Michael does at the Center since he has a "call when you need me" approach. He has opened, picked up, dropped off, repaired, moved, touched up and driven whenever we ask. "Happy to do" is reflected in Michael's smile. If you want to catch him to say thanks, drop in any weekday at 8 am when he opens the door for our morning meditators. Thanks Michael!

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