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Merit Makers

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

Our Center was buzzing with activity on Lha Bab Duchen, from the taking of the Eight Mahayana Precepts before dawn to     celebrating Shakyamuni Buddha puja in the evening.  These   practices can only happen with the help of volunteers who    provide breakfast after precepts, set up the gompa and offerings for puja and then take it all down afterward.

We are so thankful to Elise Strevel for her kind donation of a Keurig machine. Now Robbie gets his cup of coffee lickety split when he walks in Sunday morning. It's easy to make a hot beverage and is a wonderful addition to our Kadampa Cafe.Thanks Elise!