For Love, Not Money
(page 5 of 5)
Photography: Courtesy of Expedition Inspiration, La Alianze, The Senior Center. Souper Supper photography Dev Khalsa
Any community is a sum of all its parts, but if the community is a viable one, it is growing and changing, greeting the new, caring for the old. Keeping a community sound through good times and bad requires unity, understanding, open minds and creativity. There is no better way to make decisions that affect the whole than by consulting those that comprise it. We are lucky to have diversity, to have a place for our community pioneers to share their days and their stories, and people interested in building bridges to the future.
The genesis for Expedition Inspiration was in 1990, as Laura Evans ended her seventh week in isolation during a bone marrow transplant to fight a stage 3 breast cancer. During her personal struggle, she developed the idea of forming a team of breast cancer survivors and others to climb a mountain to raise awareness and financial support to fight breast cancer. It would be a visible tribute to the courage of breast cancer survivors everywhere. From this spark of an idea came the plan to climb Argentina’s Mt. Aconcagua which, at 22,841 feet, is the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere. In January 1995, Laura Evans and Peter Whittaker, a premier international mountain guide and founder of Summits Adventure Travel, led a team of 17 breast cancer survivors to the top of Aconcagua, raising awareness, research funds, and hope for the breast cancer cause. With the triumph of Aconcagua, Laura and her team were able to send a powerful message about the determination of women everywhere to fight what is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in America. From this initial effort, there have been several successful expeditions, various hikes, special events, speeches and fund-raising activities across the U.S. These important works have allowed Expedition Inspiration to fund numerous research projects and to host the important “high energy” discussions and sharing activities that occur during EIFBCR’s annual research symposium. Expedition Inspiration leaders want the public to know “with the mapping of the human genome, we are on the cusp of finding a cure. Every dollar counts.” For more information call 208.726.6456 or visit http://expeditioninspiration.org/.
The Souper Supper Dining Room began with a group of women from various faith communities whose mission was to serve hot meals to those who need them. “We serve anyone who is hungry, without question. We know there are lonely older people and hungry young people in our community and encourage them to come and eat with us.” More than 20 “Head Soupers” and their crews vary from three to eight people and are comprised of students, religious groups, neighborhoods and just friends who wish to perform a wonderful service in the community. All meals are provided thanks to donations, either in the form of cash or food. Souper Supper volunteers served their first meal in December 1997 and in 2007 served more than 3,000 from the church hall adjacent to St. Charles Catholic Church. They spend no money to fundraise or advertise and rely on donations and volunteers. To join a crew, prepare food, serve a meal and make people smile, contact Tara Martin 208.726.5453 or Lynn Flickinger 208.726.5227.
The Senior Connection
For 34 years, The Senior Connection at the Blaine County Senior Center, 721 South Third Avenue in Hailey, has offered meals and support to older adults for little or no cost. Led today by Kimberly Coonis, the gathering spot which started in the miners’ hall on North Third and now operates from a generous room across from Roberta McKercher Park in Hailey, reaches out to adults 60 years and older. The Senior Connection is a community campus offering field trips, programs, information, in-home care assistance, social and educational programs, exercise classes, meal programs and meals on wheels, all geared to help people age with grace, dignity and good health. Their goal is to keep people in their homes for as long as they are safe while offering enriching programs to keep them intellectually, socially and physically fit. The majority of the clientele are the original pioneers that built this community. The connection is here to help make sure that these pioneers can maintain a quality of life that without us they would not have. For more information call Blaine County Senior Center 208.788.3468 or visit www.wrvseniors.com.
La Alianza (The Alliance) Multicultural Center has only been in action for a short time, but the motivation behind it has been percolating for years. In 2007, concerned community members led by former Blaine County Commissioner Sarah Michael met to talk about the demographic shifts in our community and the ensuing cultural divisions. The group—comprised of local Anglos and Latinos—created the new organization to build cross-cultural alliances in Blaine County. Currently, about 85 percent of La Alianza’s clients are Spanish speakers who come to the Multicultural Center to access local information in Spanish and about 15 percent are English speakers who contact La Alianza for assistance in building cross-cultural relationships and in including Latinos in their community events. The result is a resource center that not only assists those who actively pursue the information, but trickles out to the extended community to improve relations as well. Volunteers are sought to help with everything from taxes to college applications. For more information call 208.578.5408 or visit http://laalianzaidaho.org/.