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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!

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!

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.

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