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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!

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!

Most of the prayers and practices we use at Kadampa Center are from the FPMT and need to printed or copied. David Machles and Karen Mastroianni generously have donated the use of their printer over a long period of time to make these copies available to us.

Thank you, David and Karen!

As Jampel worked on the final concrete ornaments for the stupa, Jill Medford stepped in and offered invaluable help, making decorative molds and helping all around. She jumped in at a moment’s notice, and worked cheerfully in the cold and the rain, helping to complete this phase of the stupa. 

Thank you, Jill!

A wonderful team of folks dived into action the first week in December and put together our delightful Season of Giving holiday party. On very short notice, these big-hearted folks organized a tree, ornaments, age-appropriate gifts, financial sponsorship, a potluck lunch, and a giant helping of holiday spirit. Big thanks to Sandy Carlson, Erin Sloan, Elise Strevel Chantel Smith and her family, Becca Zuvich, Heather Luden, Sandy DeMaio-Newton, David Machles, Karen Mastroianni,  Venerable Choekyi, Sarah Brooks, Barb Baranski and Patti Pandya.

Thank you, all!

We decorated the Center for the holidays on Lama Tsongkhapa Day, making light offerings at the entry to the parking lot and the building with luminarias.  A crew of young people created the luminarias — decorating the bags, filling them with sand, adding candles, and setting them in place. Many thanks to Avelyn, Magnus and Roald with Vincent; Meadow, Sebastian and Tenzin with Kolleen and Sandi; Zane and Kai with Erin; Miranda, and Lee. Special thanks to Ven. Lhamo and Erin Sloan for organizing it all.

Thank you all!

A pretty hedge of nandina bushes has sprung up in front of the classroom building, thanks to our own gardener, Monica Schario, who first dug them up in her own yard, then carried them here to plant.

Thank you, Monica!

With cheerful respect and joyful effort, our altar-cleaning team gives the offerings and sacred objects on our altar sparkling a weekly cleaning. Traci Haas-Thompson recently succeeded Heidi Von Ludewig as coordinator of this team, which also includes Siddhi Shonibare, Marcus Horne and Angela Horne.

Thank you all!

Throughout the summer and into the fall, our intrepid lawn crew keeps our lawns trim and tidy. Pushing the mowers weekly are coordinator Scott Miller and the team: Scott, Zak, and Josh Dickerson, Casie Burton, Marianne Hartman, Al Maginnes, Chris Barr, Royden and Orion Saah, Matilda Parker, Lisa, Noah Wright, Keith Ferreira, and Stan Arnold.

Thank you all!

   When we host a visiting teacher, there are many opportunities to help out with numerous tasks big and small. More than four dozen members of our community signed up for specific jobs during Venerable Robina’s visit, and many others kept their eyes open, noticed when things needed doing, and quietly stepped up to get them done. Dedication like this creates the karma to continue receiving the precious teachings from both our dear Geshe Gelek and visiting teachers.              

 Thank you all!


On a brilliant fall Saturday, a dozen-plus Kadampateers set to work sprucing up the center with deep cleaning indoors and weeding, pruning and winterizing gardens outdoors. Many thanks to Jill Marie, Sandi Mitchell, Matt Maurer, Kathleen Newport, Scott Miller, Patrick McGinity, Lisa James, Kim Goll, Barb Baranski, Chris Baranski, Robbie Watkins, Johnny Paul, Joey Gooch, Matilda Parker, Deann Washington.     

Thank you all!

Many hands can make light work of any task. We sent more than 1,000 Annual Appeal letters to our members and friends.  The work went quickly and pleasantly with help from Ali Burke, Susan Daniel, Julia McCollum, Traci Haas-Thompson, Barb Baranski, Jill Marie, Matilda Parker, Lisa James, Stacey Moore, Deann Washington, Elise Strevel, Sandy Carlson, and Susan and Richard Potter.

Thank you all!