Art Appearing on Boughs

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The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands.’  ~Robert M. Pirsig 

It is surely nearing Christmas time! When the Kiwanis Club of Steamboat begins selling their annual ornament at places around town, the holidays are drawing close. Beginning this weekend, the ornament will be available for buying. 

Our club’s major fundraising campaign is selling ornaments. From the proceeds we buy gifts for needy children at Christmas time, provide funding to send children to science camp, provide “Where to Worship” brochures for people visiting the area. We can be proud of our other random acts of service in our home town, too. 

This year, a talented and nationally known artist, Jean Perry helped us in fulfilling our interest in decorating the ornaments a little differently this year. Jean gave permission to Kiwanis to use an image of her painting “Fish Creek Falls” to embellish the bauble. 

It is a fair trade! Many visitors to the area purchase the ornaments in commemoration of their trip to Steamboat. They will take them as gifts to family and friends in other States, too. The ornaments will hang on boughs of Christmas trees far beyond Steamboat Springs,Colorado and people will become acquainted with the artist’s work. Good deal! 

Kiwanis of Steamboat is grateful to painter Jean Perry for her generosity in sharing her art, so that as a Club, we can “serve children of the world.” For more information on the artist, please visit www.JeanPerryStudio.com.

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Closing out a Chapter

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“The heart’s intention is the measure of all things.”-Maimonides

Today, Kiwanis International is on my mind. Perhaps because Monday is the day our Steamboat Springs chapter of the service organization meets. 

Did you know every nine minutes, a newborn from somewhere around the world dies from tetanus? This shouldn’t occur. The vaccine is available and inexpensive.($1.80 per vaccination). Kiwanis International and UNICEF have partnered to eliminate this fatal disease. 

All Kiwanians look forward to the day when fulfilling this mission is complete. This service organization has already proven a project of this scale can be successfully accomplished by the global elimination global of iodine deficiencies disorders. This new mission to eliminate neo-natal and maternal tetanus can be achieved, too. It will mean closing out a chapter of worry in the lives of mothers in far off places around the globe. Sixty one million child bearing women in 38 countries will be protected against the deadly disease of MNT. 

You can do your part by learning more about the good work of Kiwanis in local communities and around the globe. Join in and “serve the children of the world.” http://bit.ly/byhSUg.

Thanks for hearing my plea. And one more thing – Today is Halloween so be on the watch for little ghosts and goblins as they they walk down the street trick or treating. Please slow down and be alert!

Coming tomorrow, more independent thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

I Wish Upon A Star

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Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same.” -Franz Peter Schubert 

Three years ago, when I moved to a new community, I met a woman my age and her husband and three boys at church. She and her husband were given the responsibility and honor of raising a special needs son. When we first met, she talked with  me about their family’s involvement with the Special Olympics and what their volunteer efforts have meant to their entire family. They have found such enjoyment in the athletic events, the camaraderie felt between Special Olympians and other families with special needs children. She visited our Kiwanis Club and described the mission of the Special Olympics, too. http://bit.ly/oDJ4n3.

As time has gone by our friendship has grown closer. We have had meaningful talks about her special son, and how God has endowed him with the ability to communicate with others about faith in very unique and profound ways. 

The other day, I began to think what an opportune time it is for parents, families and individuals to share stories of special needs children who are making their distinctive mark on the world. The dynamic and growing world of independent publishing provides a fulfilling platform for teaching other families about the lessons and gifts their special needs children contribute to their family’s life. 

I wish upon a star that more families everywhere will find the means and a voice to tell their stories so others will better understand the joys and challenges of raising special needs children. 

 For more information on how ordinary people are telling extraordinary stories by educating, inspiring and informing others through non-traditional books and films, there is a new 18 minute on-line webinar published by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association that discusses the basics of independent publishing. Please visit http://bit.ly/oIkV2g.

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Giving Back for Children’s Sake

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Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.”               ~Anthony Robbins 

I love reading stories of people who have a deep understanding of the value of life and convey that understanding by reciprocating their gratefulness through random acts of kindness or by a creative or a uniquely meaningful approach. 

The other day the August 2011 issue of Kiwanis Magazine arrived in my Post Office Box and I began to read it. I was interested in knowing  about the Kiwanis International  Convention, which was held in Geneva, Switzerland this year. www.kiwanis.org

As I browsed the articles, I learned something about actress Jamie Lee Curtis. She was honored at the July 2011 Convention with the World Service Medal for her charitable work for children’s hospitals. She is also a best selling author of children’s books such as and “Tell Me About the Night I was Born” and “I Feel Silly: And Other Moods that Make My Day.” These books are illustrated by Laura Cornell and are geared for young children four and up. 

Philanthropy in the world of entertainment often gets drowned out in the media by the stories of those that create sensationalism of another kind. Entertainment and media “notables” partnering with organizations such as Kiwanis International for the purpose of accomplishing fulfilling missions and goals that make this world a better place inspires ordinary people to become superstars in their own right by volunteering for causes that are near and dear to their hearts.

 All around the world there is a service club and it’s members are “dedicated to improving children’s lives one community and one child at a time” they are tagged as Kiwaniians! I am very happy to be included in this group.

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Mellifluous Monday

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Mellifluous: “Flows like honey, smooth and sweet.” Sounds like a very fulfilling way to live life and an apropos adjective to describe my week ahead. 

The first day of the business week – attending weekly Kiwanis meeting. Always worthwhile because it’s “an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children, one child and one community at a time.” www.kiwanis.org

  • Tuesday – Meet-up at City Café in Steamboat Springs,Colorado at 4pm. Our third monthly meeting of SHe Writes Steamboat. Lots of independent publishing business to tend to this month. Susan Mead, MH will also be presenting her book “Take Back your Body.”
  • Wednesday – stay tuned to the back story of an author and actress who took the stage on The Days of our Lives.
  • Thursday – Come on back to All Things Fulfilling. We will be on a blog tour with an interview of an author and actress whose life converged with mine due to common interests.
  • A music banquet feast at the end of the week. On Friday night Grammy nominated artist Eliza Gilkyson, world-renowned, singer-songwriter  John Gorka (with 11 albums to his name)  and  Winner of Best Pop Album of the year for the Association of Independent Music, Lucy Kaplansky will join forces. Their band Red Horse will entertain at Strings in the Mountains www.stringsmusicfestival.com. I’ll be there to help people to their seats! 

    This summer is slipping away quickly. Kids will soon be back to school. Take advantage of the next few weeks by treating your children to a museum, the theatre, art or culture of your favorite kind. It will broaden your child’s life experience and you may just stir up their  life-long love for the Arts.

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Bringing New Life

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Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech and a life of service and compassion are things that renew humanity.”      ~ Buddha 

On Monday night, my fellow Kiwanians and I gathered together to paint. There were no easels, cotton duck or linen canvases in sight. Not even a hardboard panel or a can of gesso anywhere to be found. Only drab, scratched surfaces, well-worn by hundreds of children’s hands and feet. 

We gathered at Young Tracks, a ChildCareCenter, to fulfill our obligations of volunteer service. We went about putting a fresh coat of stain on structures designed to shade the children from damaging ultra-violet rays, we put a fresh coat of paint on building trim work and worked at other tasks that were needed to spruce up the facility. 

When the tots return to the place they call their other “home,” they will probably be much too busy playing to notice the look of renewal and rejuvenation. But, our spirits as a club were lifted, as we once again served our promise to each other and to our organization of “improving the world, one child and one community at a time.” 

For more information on Kiwanis International and the work the service organization does in communities in this country and around the world, please visit www.kiwanis.org.

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Rockwell Art: All about Community

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All I know is that whatever type of work I do, I try to give it my very best. Art has been my life. ~ Norman Rockwell        

Some of the most recognizable art in history are the illustrations of Norman Rockwell. His work reflects what was most important to him – life in small town America and the people who were integral to the fabric of the community in which he lived. For me, fulfilling thoughts of life in much simpler times are recalled when I see iconic Rockwell images. 

Now, by agreement between Kiwanis International www.kiwanisinternational.org and the Norman Rockwell Licensing Company of Niles, Illinois, outstanding community leaders, recognized by Kiwanis International, can now receive a fulfilling award of a Rockwell-style portrait to grace the walls of their homes. Photographs of Kiwanis Recognition Award recipients are transformed into images by outstanding artists licensed to put the stamp of Norman Rockwell Moments™ www.normanrockwellmoments.org onto their work. 

What a natural and splendid pairing of Kiwanis International and Norman Rockwell Moments™ this is!  Norman Rockwell-style portraits are heirloom gifts to entire families. They are lasting reminders to children, in future generations, of what set their ancestors apart. It was the very same qualities that Norman Rockwell sought in his subjects to paint – people who stood out in their communities. 

Kiwanis aims to bring a new whole generation of young adults into the fold. Maintaining and building strong communities in the 21st century will be as important to this non-profit organization as when the organization began in Detroit in 1914. 

Are you a young adult who believes that community spirit builds a better world? If so, contact your local Kiwanis Club and become a member. Perhaps someday you will be recognized as a community leader!

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