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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!

A very special thanks goes out this week to Joanna Smith. Among the many tasks Joanna takes care of for us at the Center, she has done an A+ job as a Program Assistant during the 2 year Discovering Buddhism course. Joanna not only filled the needs of the students with materials, communication and explanations, she assisted the teachers in what ever was required to make their class go smoothly. Thank you Joanna for your tireless service towards the Discovering Buddhism Program and for fulfilling the wishes of FPMT and our precious Teachers. The graduates thank you, the teachers thank you and the Center thanks you!

This week we'd like to thank David Strevel for his untiring effort to help the office prepare to transition towards a new operating system. For many months, David has researched, discussed and helped our Center Manager make sure "Realm" is the perfect fit for our organization. He even traveled with Amanda and Jill to Baltimore where they attended a painstakingly detailed conference to learn about Realm. This new system will allow our members and guests to update their own financial and personal data as well as promote connections via communications and socialization. Realm's intuitive system will save time and money on many fronts. We know the Center, it's members and the office will benefit from this harmonious, financially responsible decision. Thank you David for all your effort toward this goal.

We can start sending our altruistic wishes spinning through the universe as we enter the gompa now, thanks to the prayer wheels by the door. Many thanks to Patrick McGinity for building the case to hold them and installing it on the wall! Remember to dedicate for the benefit of others when you spin them. Thank you, Patrick!

Here's a shout out to all of you who help without being asked and work diligently with no title or position to keep the Center thriving. We know you pick up trash in the parking lot, wash the dishes, empty and fill the water bowls, drive people who need rides, tidy up the cushions, return a bulletin to the stack, benefit the Center by circumambulating and a million more ways. Little things go unnoticed and we want you to thank you for every 'little' thing you do!

This week we want to honor and thank Shankha Mitra for his 8 years of dedication to the Board of Directors. Shankha brought his business and logical skills to the Board every month even serving as President for awhile. Thank you for your joyful effort and patience through the years Shankha. You will be missed at the board meetings!

We couldn't have visiting teachers without the help of our wonderful volunteers, who do all the hidden work behind the scenes. Big thanks to Suzy Boehm, Venerable Khando, Elise and David Strevel, Chris Baranski, Brian Dyer, Karen Mastroianni, David Machles, Joan Lacey, Sandy Carlson, Karen Edwards, Bob Brown and Jill Marie. Thanks to you all!

An enormous thanks goes out to the Family Dharma Camp volunteers! This year's camp was amazing and we couldn't have done it without the loving support of our Families that attended. Thank you to all the Sangha who came in support of the program and the leaders in our community that pitched in where need be.
There is no way this could have happened without the enormous amount of work, hours and labor of love that Karen Edwards and Christy Batts put into this year's successful camp. Thanks to all of you!

What a wonderful visit we had last week from the monks of Sera Mey Monastery, who performed a magnificent Medicine Buddha Puja and offered wisdom about the seven Medicine Buddhas on Sunday! Many thanks to all who helped make it happen: rearranging the gompa, setting up and taking down offerings, helping with their little shop. Our amazing efforts support the education of monks in their debate court, helping to keep the Dharma alive!

Thanks go out to Paul Lochner this week for all the Dharma sort work. We have many holy images and text that collect in our office. These all need to be sorted to handle in different ways and Paul took this mission on diligently. Now we are all caught up and ready for Dharma burn to begin! Thank you Paul.

An enormous amount of gratitude goes out to everyone who helped make the Calm Abiding Teachings a success! This wonderful weekend of amazing teachings could not have been possible without the support and hard work of so many    volunteers.
Thank you all for your joyful effort in making this weekend possible!

Compliments about our beautiful gardens are heard from gompa to parking lot! We have the following people to thank for the Spring Planting Day: Joey Gooch, Tsewang Topgyal, CJ Wilkerson, David Strevel, Craig Cornish, Donna Seese, Kyle Huber, Tashi Dolkar and Lobsang Dolma. Your efforts are enjoyed by us all! Thanks also to the following for donating plants, seeds and a tree: Donna Seese, Venerable Lhamo, Elise and David Strevel, Kim Lillig and Wendy King.

Thanks this week goes out to Scott Miller for recruiting and organizing the All-Star-Mowing Team. They are up and running, ready to roll for another season of taking care of our beautiful grounds. So if you happen to catch one of our happy mowers in action, give them a thumbs up, since they won't be able to hear a word you say:) Thanks again Scott for your years of service (even when you didn't live in Raleigh!)

Thanks this week go out to Suzy Boehm and Sandy Carlson for helping out with Venerable Tendron's class last Saturday! Preparing for the teacher is not only good for the Center, it's good for the ones who help as well. Many thanks to all of you who fill and empty water bowls, tidy up the flowers, organize the gompa and greet folks when they arrive. It's quite a wonderful team all around!

This week we have Craig Cornish to thank for many things. Craig met a member during Buddhism in a Nutshell course where he asked that magic question, "What can I do to help?" He decided to sign up for the all-star-mowing-team and became a greeter on Sundays. Tuesday, he came in before Buddhism in a Nutshell to vacuum/sweep our whole Center and cleared away branches that were trimmed! 2 weeks ago he came in one day and sorted for Dharma burn. Thanks for the amazing love you've shown our Center, Craig!

In preperation for Spring and our visit from Venerable Robina, Joey Gooch got a fantabulous Grounds team together consisting of: Steven Goldner, Steven Richardson, Paulette Veloon, Becca and Ellie Zuvich, Scott Miller and Rene LaReau. They cleaned up the limbs from the storms, planted in the gardens, cleaned and raked the walkway, and weeded around the stupa with great detail. Thank you so much for all your sunny hard week you guys! We appreciate you.

Venerable Robina’s recent visit would not have been possible without the help of many volunteers who shopped, drove, greeted visitors, assisted in the gompa, and did so much more.  Big thanks to Ven. Tendron, Ven. Lhamo, Brian Dyer, Lisa James, Hemant and Patti Pandya, Diane Meyer, Brian Dyer, Chris Baranski, Kim Lillig, Jack Shannon, Scott Miller, Joan Lacey, John Castelloe, Mike Flaherty, Christine Wiecek, Sandy Carlson, David Machles, Catherine Deverter, Elise Strevel, Steve Hale, Marian Hale, David Strevel, CJ Wilkerson, Rene LeReau, Louise Miller, Suzy Boehm, Dorothy Robson, Susan Daniel, Jill Marie and Robbie Watkins for your amazing contributions of time and energy!

A whole bunch of joyful effort went into keeping the dynamic teachings of Venerable Robina available to us all at the Center while she visited us last week, and one of the ways in which our  extraordinary volunteers helped with this was by driving Venerable Robina to and fro! Many delightful volunteers assisted with this: Joan Lacey, John Castelloe, David Machles, Kim Lillig, Herb Cunningham, Jack Shannon, Scott Miller, Catherine Deverter and Michael Flaherty have all been so kind as to escort Venerable Robina to and from teachings and her various appointments while she was in North Carolina. Thank you all for the awesome job you did to benefit everyone!

Thanks to Joanna Smith for her outstanding dedication as Program Assistant to the DB class. She is always prepared and knowledgable about the materials needed for the students while taking care of the specific needs of each teacher. Thanks also to Patrick and Bodhi for their efforts keeping an eye on the lobby as folks arrive. Thanks to a dynamic trio!

Whenever we do puja, we include an amazing array of offerings -- water, flowers, incense, light, perfume, food!  Each type of puja has its own special way to arrange the offerings, quite a meditative practice in itself, and creating a beautiful offering altar is part of the joy of doing puja. Big thanks to Karen Edwards and Deann Washington, who are our offering dakinis for Tara practice, and to Suzy Boehm, who is helping with Medicine Buddha puja. Amazing!

To make one fantastic Tibetan New Year Celebration, you need volunteers extraordinaire and we had them! Thanks to Patrick McGinity for arranging everything with help from Donna Seese, Louise Miller, Khando-la, Hemant and Patti Pandya and the marvleous servers: Tomomi Freitas, Rebecca Cheng, Layla, Magnus, Ava and Grayson. Everyone enjoyed the wild and wooly snow lion with Gen Norbu and Geshe-Sangpo at the helm. As always we thank Sherab Lama for his portrayal of the history of the Tibetan New Year. Last but not least, big thanks to the Tibetan student's and their performances! It was a great hit, adding rich cultural heritage to the special day. Nice job everyone!

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