February 13th, 2020
Some more pix from last week’s ribbon cutting at the new Ronald McDonald House in Boise!
We lost Ken Coiner on February 10, 2020. He had been our friend for over 40 years, which made all of us very lucky. Few of us will leave this earth with everyone liking and respecting us, but that is part of Ken’s legacy. Our community lost a good man but heaven welcomed him home. We send our prayers to his family and friends. Rest in Peace Ken, you will be greatly missed in our Club and in our Community!
Childhood Cancer – Robin visited a little about a new program in the Magic Valley called “Magic Valley Pediatric Cancer Coalition” (MVPCC): This is a new program for the Twin Falls area, and she’s on the board of directors. Here’s some background: LG’s Army was formed by Matt and Lacey Lancaster in January 2019 to help the Stone family of Twin Falls. Their daughter, Lily-Grace (LG), was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in December of 2018. Matt Lancaster and Grayson Stone, LG’s dad, are childhood friends. Matt visited LG in the hospital within days of her diagnosis and felt compelled to rally around LG and her family. Right there from a chair in LG’s hospital room, he put into motion the beginning of LG’s Army. His hope was to lessen the family’s financial and emotional load that inevitably develops over the course of a child’s cancer treatment. Matt and Lacey organized a benefit for LG in February of 2019 at Milner’s Gate Restaurant, with the help of some amazingly driven and dedicated Twin Falls community members. The City of Twin Falls showed up in a BIG way for this family. The love, generosity, and overwhelming support that came together for this event was impressive and inspiring. Immediately all those involved were motivated to take it further and help other families in our community that are going through a childhood cancer diagnosis. The thought of a non-profit organization to serve the Magic Valley was born out of the spirit of what our community can do for one family, we want to do for all families afflicted with childhood cancer in the Magic Valley. For about a year now this effort has operated under the umbrella of LG’s Army, but it was time to launch these efforts in a BIG way. LG’s Army is currently in the process of morphing into MVPCC, with a vision arising out of love and compassion, and in the spirit of honoring life. No family should have to fight the childhood cancer journey alone. The aim of MVPCC is to provide financial and emotional relief, as well as to be a support system to Magic Valley families so they can — without burden — concentrate on taking the very best care of their children while they battle cancer.
To date there isn’t a non-profit organization to serve Magic Valley families battling a childhood cancer diagnosis. All families in our immediate area have to travel to Boise, Salt Lake, or even further for cancer treatment. From day one, these families are often unintentionally alienated from their community. The MVPCC seeks to change that.
Lost Wages – Kathleen Hale announced that we’ve secured Don Anderson Construction as our Title Sponsor! ICCU has signed up to be an additional Silver Sponsor, joining Scholes Dermatology, and Plant Therapy will be our Gold Sponsor. Eddie McKean and Cherie Vollmer have purchased tables as well.
Coats for Kids®– Danae Klimes announced that we provided three more coats this past week.
Youth Support Services – Tracy Knoblich reported that we’ve provided a backpack in response to a request from juvenile probation, two pairs of basketball shoes for students at South Hill Junior High School, so the kids can play on the school team, and a pair of black dress shoes, for a student at Robert Stuart Junior High School so she could participate in the choir concert.
Josselyn Smith, from the Twin Falls County Juvenile Probation Office, spoke to us about the grant-funded Victim Services Program, under the Victims of Crime Act, which provides broader assistance than just to victims: services are provided to at-risk youth and their families. Over the past year, she said they’ve served 901 individuals, provided 24 mediations, and 86 emergency financial assistances. In addition, they’ve conducted 37 classes, seeing 802 students. The program serves Jerome County, and provides help to families to find resources and services they need. Josselyn, who works with counsellors at area schools, said they help folks get beyond the embarrassment and shame many feel, and they work with social workers and counselors at area schools.
Club News – We received a proclamation from Optimists International recognizing our Club’s 50 years of existence ! We’ll be seeing if we can get the City Council to issue one too. There are a couple of new books at the Twin Falls Public Library, purchased with a grant from our Club, for which we received a nice “Thank you!” letter: Not a Butterfly Alphabet Book, by Jerry Pallotta and Shennen Bersani, and Our Vanishing Bees, Butterflies, & Beetles, by Mark Kurlansky. Drop in, check ‘em out, and read them to your kids, grandkids, or to yourself (don’t deny it, there’s a kid inside each of us!!) You’ll find them in the Children’s New Books area for the next few months.
Put these Optimist (and others of interest to Optimists!) Events on Your Calendar!
- Lost Wages – March 14 at Canyon Crest 7-10 PM
- 2020 Valley House “Hands of Hope” auction and dinner, April 24, from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m., at the Canyon Crest Dining and Event Center.
- Lost Wages committee meetings – Wednesdays @ 5:30
- Guild Mortgage Golf Tournament – June 26 (not an Optimist event, but one benefiting the Ronald McDonald Youth House!)