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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 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!

Thanks go out this week to Carol Laing for her dedication as program assistant Sunday mornings. Carol happily shows up early and stays late to make sure everything runs smoothly for us all during the teachings. She is a big support to the SPC and is greatly appreciated. Thank you Carol for your joyful effort and beautiful smile for us all, it's a great way to start our week.

Big round of applause goes out to the Inspiring Generosity Team and other team players for their joyful effort in Coming to The Table to volunteer for the 2016 annual appeal:

Designer: Ann Skvarcius
Info givers: Venerable Choekyi-la and Susan Daniel
Idea makers: Chantel Johnson, Traci Haas-Thompson, Jaya Reddy, Elizabeth Roman and Christy Batts
Admin:Suzanne Wiegand, Donna Seese, Jackie Scott, Sheila Parker
Stuffers: Elise Strevel, David Strevel, Rene Lareau, Donna Seese, Joey Gooch, Jill Marie, Laura Carballo, Julia McCollum, Cherie Sutorus, Kim Lillig, Diane Meyer, Lee Clark, Christine Weicek, Michael Flarehty, Meagan, Matilda Parker, Pat Long, Jeff Suss, Bob Brown, and Jaya Reddy
Media magic: Chris Baranski and Brian Dyer
Skit perfomers: Chantel Johnson, Kim Lillig, John Castelloe, Christine Wiecek, Becca Zuvich, Michael Flaherty, Christoper Currie, Shankha Mitra, Robbie Watkins, Hemant Pandya, Scott Miller, Royden Saah, Suzy Boehm, Amanda Henry, Christy and Vincent Batts, Patrick McGinity, Joanna Smith, Joey Gooch, Donna Seese, Sebastian Clark, Sebastian Mitchell, Sandy Carlson, Elise Strevel, Suzy Boehm, Cherie Sutorus, Peter Cranford, Nathaniel and Victoria Mercer and Miranda Benson
Happy Closers: Patti Pandya, Shankha Mitra, Dorothy Robson, Steve Hale and Robbie Watkins
Thank yous: Elise Strevel and Ali Burke
Website Appeal page design: Barb Baranski
Social Media: Sandy Carlson

Big thanks go out to the fabulous team that gave the education building a face lift. A lot of effort went into getting the fresh and happy colors of orange and green ready for last Sunday's class. Erin Sloan and Sue Stern cleaned out and organized everything for Joan Lacey, Kathy Kochevar and Joey Gooch to spend the day painting both rooms. Joan and Kathy both volunteered off of the Wish List that went out in the appeal. Thanks heaps to you all!

We are getting more organized by the minute! Thanks go out this week to Cherie Sutorus and Arlene VanRyckeghem for cleaning out and reinventing our cabinet storage in the bookstore. Years of stocking things away makes for a fun time finding old memories. Now the bookstore has plenty of space to stock up for new goodies to sell. Thanks Arlene and Cherie for a day of hard work.

On Monday, Wendy King flew into our Center with a big smile and a big heart offering the service of tidying up. She did an amazing amount of work trimming the flowers and sweeping around the stupa. She then came inside and noticed the floors needed tending and vacuumed every inch. The kitchen got a big hit of love in ways that were so helpful. Thank you Wendy for dropping in and making a difference (and leaving bowls of tangerines!)

It's amazing when our members see a need and find out how they can make it happen. Fred & Kristen Oshinsky noticed the back steps to the education building were less than stellar and asked our manager if they could fix them. Done! Now our little ones can safely walk in and out of their classroom building. What a team we have! Thanks Fred and Kristen.

Cheers to Bob Whitehead for making our out buildings sparkle and shine using his own power washer. He noticed we had painting needs from our "Wish List" and since volunteers have already stepped up, he offered other options. Service in action, how exciting! Thanks Bob for your holiday time-off efforts.

Thank you Jack Shannon for letting us "borrow" your steam cleaner by letting it live at the Center. This will come in handy during our seasonal cleans to keep our rugs looking fresh. Thank you for noticing a need from the 'Wish List' and make it appear like magic.

Thanks to Matilda Parker for spending some time at the Center going through last years appeal and separating items for Dharma burn from Holy images. She also gave some great ideas for new ways to inform folks on how to offer simple service here at the Center. Thanks Matilda, it's always great to brain storm with you!

Last Sunday upon walking into the Center, Denise Flora and Cherie Sutorus were decorating the Christmas tree so we would be ready for our Holiday Celebration. The beautiful thing about their action is nobody asked them to do this. They saw a need and filled a need. Patrick McGinity assisted by getting the lights ready to shine. Great teamwork. Thanks guys for making it happen!

Our Holiday Celebration was a huge success, thanks to the hard work of joyful volunteers! Special thanks go out to everyone who assembled the ornaments; Cherie Sutorus and her daughter Jennifer for cutting the horse from vinyl and Sandy DeMaioNewton for the inspired design, and to Jennifer Sanford-Johnson and Vivian Magarino for the fantastic selection of delicious snacks that were enjoyed by everybody! All of your hard work made the celebration wonderful! The holiday gifts were generously sponsored in the memory of Charlie Smith by his loving family. His love for the season is honored by the love and joy that surrounds us this time of year.

Lately folks have been popping in for a visit and asking "Can I do anything to help?" Music to our ears for so many reasons! One such bodhisattva helper is Diane Meyer. She has donated her time by helping with the 2016 annual appeal stuffing and the dispersal of the 2015 annual appeal materials. Diane has said she loves the quiet, the offering of help and the Chai tea:-)
Thank you Diane for assisting is such kind ways. We look forward to your next visit!

A special thanks goes out this week to Mike Nix for the gift of the magnificent iron bell! The bell was created by Mike and graciously given to us to enjoy to enhance our beautiful garden beside the Center. It currently resides in front of the main Buddha statue in between the main building and the classroom building. A special thanks also to Joey Gooch for taking on the arduous task of placing the bell and its stand. Thank you both for this wonderful treat! I'm sure we all will enjoy it for years to come.

Our delightful kitchen at the center is a happening place for us all, and this week it was given a vast amount of love and attention by Arlene Van Ryckeghem, our wonderful new volunteer kitchen fairy. Arlene will utilize her organizational skills to make sure the kitchen is nice and tidy for us all each week. How wonderful! Thank you, Arlene for your hard work, we will all benefit!

Every aspect of the Annual Appeal is the result of the joyful efforts of many dedicated and hard working helpers. This week, our lovely volunteers folded many wish lists and stuffed many envelopes, with Suzanne Wiegand as fearless leader! We thank them for their tremendous contributions of time and effort. Donna Seese, Joey Gooch, Jill Marie, Laura Carballo, Julia McCollum, Cherie Sutorus, Kim Lillig, Diane Meyer, Lee Clark, Christine Weicek, Rene LaReau, Michael Flarehty, Meagan (a visitor!), Elisa and David Strevel, Matilda Parker, Pat Long, Jeff Suss, Bob Brown, and Jaya Reddy.  There is an abundance of gratitude for you all!

Many thanks go out to our Dharma Sowers Group, who spent their time and joyful effort last Saturday sewing fabric backs to hold prayer books for the new chairs in the gompa. Not only are the new chairs spiffy, they are functional too! We all appreciate the hard work and dedication our fabulous volunteers put in. Thank you to Venerable Tendron, Kim Lillig, Joanna Smith and Jill Marie for all of your awesome work!

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