This always popular event, Closer to Heaven, a tour of mountain homes in the Idaho City area, raises money for Mountain Kids Day Camp.
The faith-based camp is open to all children, free of charge. Eighty children from the area attended the camp this year, said organizer Jennifer Alban, and 120 volunteers pitched in to help.
This year’s self-guided driving tour, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 12, will raise money for the 2016 camp.
Five private homes and three historic buildings that are rarely open to the public are on this year’s roster. They include a Victorian house built in the 1860s, a cozy cabin built by Idaho Public Television’s “Outdoor Idaho” host Bruce Reichert, the Odd Fellow’s Lodge built in 1875, and others.
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The Idaho City Senior Center, 102 Bear Run Road in Idaho City, will serve as tour headquarters. Ticket holders will receive a brochure/map and be able to go at their own pace.
A potato bar lunch will be available for $5. Presale tickets are available for $10 online at nampaciviccenter.com, or by calling 468-5555, or at the Idaho City Visitors Center. Tickets on the day of the event are $15, (cash and checks only) at the Senior Center.
Art in the Park seeks volunteers
Hard to believe that Art in the Park, Boise Art Museum’s annual art sale and fest, is marking its 61st year in Julia Davis Park. Art in the Park begins Friday, Sept. 11, and ends on Sunday, Sept. 13. Organizers need volunteers to help in a variety of positions including sitting in booths and in the welcome centers and Children’s Art Tent. Event set-up and take-down shifts are available along with recycling and accounting. Register online at boiseartmuseum.org.
We received a note from reader Rick Gehrke, who shared an uplifting story about community generosity. His son is deployed to Afghanistan. Gehrke read about soldiers using homemade neck and helmet coolers to stave off Afghanistan’s high temperatures. Gehrke contacted the national Quilts of Valor, which provides quilts for service members and veterans, to inquire about the possibility of providing coolers for his son and fellow soldiers. Quilts of Valor contacted local quilting groups. Local quilters stepped up.
Connie Emmen, outreach coordinator for the Boise Basin Quilters’ Guild, said the guild partnered with a group of Craft Warehouse Quilt Party customers. The quilters made 200 sets of neck and helmet coolers to send to Afghanistan, not to mention 235 neck coolers and 180 helmet coolers for the firefighters fighting the Soda Fire in Owyhee County.
The Boise Basin Quilters’ Guild supports other projects as well, including baby quilts for local hospitals and infant care facilities, ConKerr Cancer, Mountain States Tumor Institute mastectomy patient care, Quilts of Valor, comfort quilts for local police departments and emergency response projects where people need quilts.
If you’re a fan of quilts or would like to thank local quilters for their efforts, note that the guild’s annual “Bloom & Sew” quilt show, the only professionally judged quilt show in Idaho, takes place from noon to 7 p.m. on Sept. 25 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 26 at Expo Idaho. Nearly 300 quilts will be on display. Demonstrations and a group presentation to the Quilts of Valor Foundation will also take place. An Idaho Commission on the Arts exhibit, featuring Artisans for Hope picture quilts made by refugees, will be on display along with quilts from the Mt. Harrison Quilters from the Burley/Rupert area.
The entrance fee is $6 per person and free for children age 6 and under. Attendees will receive $1 off admission with two cans of food for the Idaho Food Bank.
Learn more about the Guild online at boisebasinquilters.org.
A volunteer’s story
This is an ongoing feature in the Helping Works column. If you’d like to share your story as a volunteer, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a photograph (JPEG format) in your email of yourself volunteering.
From John W. Morgan, a manufacturer’s representative at Snake River Sales, Emmett:
My experience doing volunteer work, is with Carberry Elementary School in Emmett. A third-grade teacher, Bonnie Cronquist, asked me to read with some of her kids. These are kids from good homes, not so good, or almost non-existent. Out of a class of 28 or so kids, I read with six to eight children. The routine includes reading with each student in the hall for about 15 minutes. Mrs. Cronquist provides the books, one for the student, one for me. I help the students with words they can’t pronounce or don’t understand. I explain both the pronunciation and meaning of the word. When they get it right, I encourage them. When they have a hard time, we read and re-read and talk about the word until they understand it.
This year, Mrs. Cronquist asked me to do multiplication tables with some of the kids with flash cards. Again, when they get the right answers I give them “EE,” or enthusiastic encouragement. When they don’t, I just keep working with them.
When you volunteer in a classroom, and I think everyone should, you remember that it’s not about you. It’s all about the student. This year, during our last session before summer break, Mrs. Cronquist gave me a card and a cookie. The kids, all in unison shouted, “We love you Mr. Morgan!” Well, that makes you feel like someone just gave you a shoebox full of $100 bills.
Note: School districts across the Treasure Valley have numerous opportunities for volunteers to help in a variety of ways. Contact your district directly to inquire.
Veterans transition workshop
A group of local organizations have come together to host this workshop for veterans transitioning into the civilian workplace. The free two-day workshop is available for active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members, veterans, spouses and caregivers.
It takes place Sept. 8-9 at The Friendship House, 610 Reserve St. in Boise. Breakfast and lunch are provided. Dress is business casual.
Workshops begin at 8:30 a.m. both mornings and continue throughout the day. Topics include resume writing, interview skills, using LinkedIn and more.
Register online or contact Elda Auxiliaire, USO programs manager at 703-908-6415 or email@example.com.
Note, registration ends Sept. 4.
Free haircuts for donors
The American Red Cross and Sport Clips Haircuts are teaming up to offer a free haircut coupon to those who come out to donate blood or platelets during September. The coupon is valid through Nov. 8, 2015, and donors must have a valid email address on record to receive the coupon.
Donors of all blood types, especially O negative, A negative and B negative, and platelet donors are urged to give.
To make an appointment to donate, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).