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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!

In the midst of a tropical storm and torrential rains, Kadampa Center held our first offsite Family Camp at Noland’s farm this month. Everyone had a fabulous time, and it all arose in dependence on the kindness of many volunteers. While many parents had official roles,  all the parents helped out in many ways! 

    Big thanks to: Kara Weilding — coordinator, Lee Clark — kitchen cleanup,  Sarah Wright — art, Valerie Jones — coordinator,  Rob Warren — cook, Keith Ferreira — drama,  Vincent Batts — meditation,  Brian Wright — meditation,  Don Brown - parent

  All the parents are very thankful for our non-camper adult helpers and special visitors. We couldn't have done it without  Geshe Gelek, Geshe Sangpo,   Venerable Choekyi, Venerable Lhamo — discussion, Joey Gooch — nature, Elise Strevel — planning and cook, Sandy Carlson and Sarah Brooks — Saturday activities,   Barb Baranski, Chris Baranski — cooks for taco night! and Suzanne Weigand — orientation and cleanup.

Big thanks to all!


     The summer gardens got a facelift at the June garden work day. Helping to weed, put down weed cloth, mulch the gardens, and plant a few more summer bulbs were Karma Lhundup, Kevin Murphy, Kim Goll, and Carol Vogel.

Thank you all!

Our Kadampa Café had been dormant for several years when, this past winter, Siddhi Shonibare took on the task of reviving it.  Siddhi envisioned a  vibrant enterprise that would offer delicious goodies to our members while also providing income to support our center.  She recruited a great team of volunteer bakers to provide a consistent stream of delightful delicacies.  With the Café now on a firm foundation, Siddhi is turning her energies to  other activities.

Thank you, Siddhi!

Our recent Inside Happiness event was a great success, thanks to the hard work of many volunteers who organized a venue, tickets, publicity, a raffle  and Kadampa Café baked goodies for folks to buy.  Many thanks to Venerable Choekyi, Steep Smith, Sandy Carlson, Elise Strevel, Julie Cox, Jim Barnes, Jeffifer Shoemaker, Barb and Chris Baranski, Louise Miller, Marianne Hartman, Christy Batts, Traci and Guillermo Haas-Thompson, Karen Mastroianni, and Becky                                       

Thank you all!

The first step before we sit down to practice is to create a clean environment.
Every week, Suzy Boehm comes and cleans our gompa; mopping the floors, vacuuming the cushions, tidying the prayer books and creating a clean, welcoming place for our community to practice and hear teachings.
Thank you, Suzy!

Much is happening in our gardens and grounds this spring, thanks to our garden team. This dedicated crew of green thumbs has planted our summer flower beds, weeded and watered, begun landscaping around the stupa and prepared beds in the gravel are for future plantings. In addition, they are working on a master plan for the gardens and grounds. Many thanks to team coordinators Jacqui Harris, Carol Vogel and Kim Goll and all the volunteers who help weed, water, dig, plant and nurture our gardens. Thank you all!

When we consecrate our stupa this Saturday, we can thank numberless beings who contributed to its creation — from the many volunteers who labored to build and paint it to the makers of bricks, concrete, wheelbarrows, the paper the mantras are printed on, and so on. We could not have built the stupa without the kindness of all these numberless beings. Thanks to all!

Our lawns stay trim and neat with the help of Kadampa Center’s mighty mowing team. Many thanks to our mowers, Josh, Zak and Scott Dickerson, Marianne Hartman, Monica Schario, Al Maginnes, Keith Ferreira, Lisa Matthews, Matilda Parker, Noah Wright and our mower coordinator, Scott Miller. Thank you all!

Our children have their part in beautifying the grounds around Kadampa Center.  At the last family fun day, the children created stepping stones for the gardens. Many thanks to Monica and Greg Schario for providing concrete and forms and to Erin Sloan and Chantel Smith for hosting the day and providing decorative elements for the stones. Last, thanks to the children and their parents for their energy and creativity.

Thank you all!

Lots of folks joined in at our Spring Merit Mashup, beautifying the center both inside and out. Our gang weeded, planted and moved flowers, prepared ground around the stupa for seeding, cleaned inside and topped off the morning with a pizza lunch. Many thanks to Kim Lillig, Kim Goll, Julia McCollum, David Strevel, Ashley and Sharon Mullen, Louise Miller, Jacqui Harris, Neil Williams, Carol Vogel, Patrick McGinity, Jaya Reddy, Karin Simpson, Tomomi Freitas, Rebecca Bernstein and Denise Flora for their hard work!
Thank you all!

Noland’s farm provides a wonderful environment in the country for our weekend retreats, but there’s still a lot of work to create a pleasant, clean environment for peaceful transformation. Many thanks to this spring’s team  of volunteers who headed out a week in advance to clean, move furniture and make the place beautiful: Ven. Choekyi, Caeman Toombs, Elise Strevel, Suzanne Weigand, Melissa Ward, Sandy Carlson, Arika Johnson
Thank you all!

Our summer garden is on the way to being a reality, thanks to all who came out Saturday to dig, transplant and move things around. Many thanks to Brian and Aimee Pattison — our main muscle, digging a long, deep and wide area to enlarge the new garden — and their children, Brendan and Avelin, Kim Goll, Sarah and Brian Wright (also major muscles!), Jeannette White, Carol Vogel, Jacqui Harris and Joey Gooch. Because of their joyful effort, we are ready for the next phase of gardening.
Thank you all!

Many people are involved in making a retreat successful — our Spiritual Program Coordinator, who works with Geshe Gelek to design the program, a fabulous cooking team to provide meals for the retreatants, our web team to set up the registration page, the bookkeeping team to process payments, and the retreatants themselves  who come to take advantage of the opportunity to do deep practice.  Our Lamrim Reading Retreat last weekend relied on many happy, helpful folks for its great success.

Thank you all!

Over the past few weeks during the final push to complete the stupa, many hands have come out to help get the work done.  It’s hungry work, but Richard Potter has ensured that no one need work on an empty belly. Day after day he has  provided delicious homemade lunches to our stupa volunteers.

Thank you, Richard!


It’s so welcoming to come into a space that’s clean and orderly. We have many volunteers who help clean our center on a weekly basis, and last weekend a special team came in to do seasonal deep cleaning. Many thanks to  Kim Goll, Susan Boehm, Peter Cranford, Sylvia Hill, Erin Sloan, Patrick McGinity, Ven. Choekyi, Denise Flora, Caeman Toombs and Deann Washington. And a special shout-out to Kim, who set aside other plans to step in and organize things when our cleaning coordinator had a personal emergency.          

Thank you all!

Our bookstore offers not only Dharma books but also a wide range of   items such as malas, shawls, monastery bags and greeting cards. Kolleen Mitchell, who has recently joined the bookstore team, brings a spark of fun to the store and works to keep the displays lively, creative and welcoming.

Thank you, Kolleen!

Construction of our beautiful stupa and the meditation garden surrounding it has flourished under the drive and guidance of Patrick McGinity and David Strevel.  Over the past two years, they have worked with Jampel on engineering designs, obtained building permits, coordinated volunteers, raised and deconstructed scaffolding, and fine-tuned plans for the circumambulation path around the stupa. Their joyful effort is getting the job done!

Thank you, Patrick and David!

It's very inspiring to see a clean and shiny altar, and cleaning is a wonderful offering to the Buddhas and the center.

Thanks to Traci and Guillermo Haas-Thompson, Carol Vogel, Susan Boehm, Joey Gooch, and Marita Schlesser for spending a Saturday afternoon cleaning our altar and polishing statues to golden brilliance.

Thank you, all!

Our children have the benefit of a rich curriculum that exposes them to the basic concepts of Buddhism as well as the traditions of our own Gelugpa lineage.  
Coordinating both our Sunday programs and other activities for children, Erin Sloan works hard, with a strong corps of volunteers, to develop learning opportunities for our children.  
Thank you, Erin!

Every month we receive numerous requests from students wanting to visit the center or speak with someone so they can learn more about Buddhism for a school project or paper.  Elise Strevel coordinates our response to student requests, working hard to accommodate their needs.

Thank you, Elise!