Central Peninsula Hospital Celebrates Volunteer Week
(Photos # CPH Volunteer pty 001, # 002, CPH Volunteer coordinator Elizabeth Wilson thanks Jane Smith CPH front desk director at Volunteer Week kick off luncheon.
# 003, Jane Smith CPH Front Desk coordinator Jane Smith gets a standing ovation from her volunteers.
#005, Susan Smalley wins a door prize at CPH Volunteer luncheon.
# 006, CPH C.E.O. Rick Davis hands our door prizes to lucky volunteers.
# 007, Auxiliary Volunteer Marge announces amount raised for scholarships.
# 009, #013, # 014, # 016, CPH Volunteers honored during volunteer week. (maybe run these side by side group too big for single shot.)
April 21st – 27th was National Healthcare Volunteer Week, a time set aside to express appreciation to the volunteers who make our local hospitals a friendly place for healing. At Central Peninsula Hospital (CPH), Elizabeth Wilson is the coordinator of 250 some volunteers, “We invited everyone to come in for lunch and we had some special awards and prizes that we presented, it was a big thank you to all of our volunteers who have donated their time over the past year to the Hospital, Serenity House and Heritage Place,” Wilson told the Dispatch in an interview.
Today health care providers agree that the healing process as well as the support for family and friends of those who are ill begins with the friendly greeting and smiles that welcome everyone that comes through the main entrance at CPH. “I’m in charge of all those smiley faces at the front desk,” says Jane Smith, “I’m the one that schedules them so we always have someone there to greet you and help you find your way.” Wilson presented Smith with a bouquet of flowers and a special recognition pin following which the 110 some volunteers who were able to attend the luncheon gave her a standing ovation. “I’m kind of the next person a volunteer sees after going through orientation with Elizabeth and I introduce them to all our areas of need and match the volunteers with their particular area of expertise. Whether they’d like to work in the gift shop, front desk, or Heritage House, there are a variety of needs and opportunities to volunteer at CPH and of course we are always looking for new volunteers and we have packets available at the front desk to anyone interested in joining us. Volunteers are involved in more ways than ever before and the people who come here want to be here and they come with such big hearts to give their time to help our patients and residents,” said Smith.
Junior volunteers are also welcome at CPH according to Wilson, “We welcome youth from 14 to18 years of age and have a wide range of services they can contribute. It can help them fulfill their graduation or honor roll requirement honor roll and also helps them qualify for scholarships. For youth interested in volunteering they can call me directly at 714-4543 and I’ll get them an information packet. As we look forward to the opening of the new oncology/radiation wing this July we are going to have an immediate need for an additional 10-15 volunteers to help out with greeting, information and directions in the new facility. New volunteers are welcome to start signing up for that service right now, so please call me and we’ll get your orientation underway,” said Wilson.
Graduation Day for CIA Pre-School restaurant etiquette class
(Photos # CIA rest-ed 001, Alicia West passes out menu’s to CIA pre-schoolers.
# 002, 4-year-old Jayden checks out the menu before placing his order.
# 004, # 005, Miss Becky collects coats from her 14 pre-schooler’s as they prepare to take their final exam at the Duck Inn.
# 007, Miss Becky discusses restaurant etiquette with her students at the Duck Inn.
# 009, 4-year-old Scarlette discusses her menu selections with Miss Becky.
# 011, # 013, Alicia brings out the sodas for the politely waiting pre-schoolers.)
Think about taking over fourteen pre-school age children three to five years old out to lunch by yourself at a restaurant and chances are it would be like awakening from a nightmare. That was exactly what Ms. Becky Dwinnell; Cook Inlet Academy (CIA) pre-school teacher did last week right in the middle of the lunch hour rush at the Duck Inn on K-Beach Rd. It was their final exam of sorts Miss Becky, as she is fondly known, told the Dispatch, “This is their final exam, the real world test of how well they have learned everything we have talked about in their restaurant etiquette class,” smiled Miss Becky her arms filled with more than fourteen coats and hats. Where did the idea come from to incorporate such practical training into her pre-school classes, “There’s nothing worse than going out to eat at a restaurant and get seated behind or next to a family of unruly kids. So I was challenged to figure a way to teach my students some simple, practical, restaurant etiquette that would be a blessing to their families and to them because they’ll probably get to go out to nice places to eat more often when they practice what they’ve learned and have fun using good manners,” explained Dwinnell.
As lunch time patrons came into the Duck Inn you could sense a bit of in trepidation as they appeared a bit puzzled as to why so many little kids were all their at the same time, but with no noise or climbing over and under the booths they became confident and were seated and served lunch in a normal fashion. Actually, except for those who were texting at their tables the adults were louder than the kids. After checking out their menus they accompanied their requests to the waitress with, “Yes please and Thank you.” “We knew they were coming but nonetheless it was a little overwhelming but they were so cute and well behaved they were a lot of fun to be around. I’m super impressed at how well they are all behaving and how well mannered they all are,” said Alicia West, who was waiting on their tables. After 4-year-old Olivia ordered a grilled cheese she said that she had learned that the waitress then takes the order back to the kitchen where the chef makes her lunch and then the waitress brings it back to her, “she was very nice and smiled a lot too,” she said. “And we learned not to kick people,” added 4-year-old Jayden. The most popular menu item among the pre-schoolers hands down was a grilled cheese with fries.
“They all passed with flying colors and I’m very proud of them!” reported Miss Becky the next day. “A special thank you to the great staff at the Duck Inn who took such good care of us and the parents of course who helped to drive, without parental support none of these special outings would be possible,” said Dwinnell.
All American Oilfield becomes “Corner Stone” Boys & Girls Clubs sponsor
(Photos # All American to B&G, # (1), # (3), Boys & Girls Club president Ryan Tunseth receives a $25,000 check from Pete Dickinson AAO president.
# (2), # (4), Boys & Girls club members say thanks to Pete Dickinson of All American Oilfield for becoming a “Corner Stone” sponsor.)
While there are new players in the Cook Inlet Oil & Gas industry these days, many of them have a lot of Inlet experience and have been working in the Inlet for a long time. Pete Dickinson has been in the industry since 1997 and today is president of All American Oilfield Associates a company providing unparalleled support for Alaska’s oil and gas industry and one of the new players in the Cook Inlet. Last week Dickinson met with Ryan Tunseth, president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula at the Economic Development District in Kenai to present them with a check for $25,000 and to become the latest Corner Stone partner with the Boys & Girls Clubs. “We are happy to be able to be there for our kids and support the programs that support them,” said Dickinson, “The Boys & Girls Clubs has a lot of activities for our kids here locally with their before school programs and after school programs as well as weekend sports activities so we’re proud to be able to support their work and All American appreciates all the hard work that goes into those programs and benefits it yields for our local community,” he said.
Dickinson says he is happy to be part of the new activity in the Inlet and hopeful, “Business is good there are a lot of new players here and we are happy to be here to support them.” He also feels that the resurgence is good news for young people looking for careers in the industry, “There is a big need for qualified workers right here locally and right now to support the increased level of activity so that workers won’t have to be imported. Our young people can get training for the skills they need here locally and have a bright economic future. It’s been great to me, it supports my family and it has a great future,” said Dickinson.
“We are thankful to Pete and All American for this contribution and welcome him to the family of Corner Stone sponsors for the Boys & Girls Clubs that includes XTO Energy, ConocoPhillips, Central Peninsula Hospital, BP, City of Soldotna and the United Way. It’s through those groups that the core of the services that we provide is made possible and we are excited about it. Donations in this amount have a tremendous impact for our kids and knowing we have these kind of commitments from industry let’s us focus on the services we provide and making scholarships for those services available for kids in need. The term corner stone says it all because if you don’t have that corner stone as your foundation for which to build the services nothing gets built or stands for very long and that’s what All American has become a part of to us,” said Boys & Girls Club president Ryan Tunseth, who presented Dickinson with an autographed photo of appreciation from Club members. For information about summer programs of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula go to www.positiveplaceforkids.com or visit the staff at the Kenai Club house.
“America’s Riddle King” & Children’s book author Mike Thaler visits Redoubt
(Photos # Author Thaler 002, # 003, Author of over 200 children’s books Mike Thaler draws a poster as Redoubt students visit with him in the library.
# 006, World famous author Mike Thaler draws a poster for students at Redoubt Elementary.
# 008, Author & Cartoonist Mike Thaler encourages kids worldwide to follow their dreams.
# 009, Carpet art by Tim Marsh of a Mike Thaler character greets the author at Redoubt Library.
# 011, # 012, Author Mike Thaler meets Carpet Artist Tim Marsh at Redoubt Elementary.
# 013, # 014, The first time author Mike Thaler sees one of his characters’s done in carpet art.)
Mike Thaler, world famous children’s book author visited Redoubt Elementary School last week where to the delight of the students he did two assemblies and then met with a few of the kids in the library where in minutes he drew and autographed a “Follow Your Dreams” poster. Thaler has been writing children’s stories since for over 50 years, his first published book being “The Magic Boy” in 1961 has been followed by over 200 books including “The Black Lagoon Series” and world popular stories such as “King Kong’s Underwear,” that has earned him the title of “America’s Riddle King” and “The Court Jester of Children’s Literature.” Thaler says he started as a cartoonist in New York when a famous editor Ursula Nordstrom called him, “She had seen a cartoon that I had done and she asked me if I would like to write a book, I said I would and she asked when I’d like to come in and I said tomorrow, because the rent was due on Friday. So I went in the next day and sold my first book ‘Magic Boy’ which I had written the night before and I’ve been writing ever since,” he told the Dispatch in an interview.
Thaler says the ideas for his books come from his imagination, “Imaginations are the most powerful nations in the world and all the kids here at Redoubt have imaginations that are as good as mine and they just have to use them.” Thaler added that he doesn’t have to think like a child, “I am a child, and I think everyone has a bit of a child in them, you don’t change that much, you may get a little smarter, but not that much,” he said. After completing the poster in the library, Mike was introduced to carpet artist Tim Marsh who had etched/swept one of Thaler’s illustrated characters onto the library carpet in honor of his visit and get kids interested in reading his books, “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this,” commented Thaler, “You could make a business doing this.” Marsh, a custodian at the school told Thaler that he first noticed that when he vacuumed the carpet one way or another way that it would appear to change colors, “So originally I started making checkerboards and triangles and then one day for the kids sake I thought I try drawing some pictures on it and I started drawing pictures from the books that the librarians were reading to the kids with the idea being that when the kids came and sat on the carpet Redoubts Magic Carpet would bring them into the story and stimulate their imaginations and it just started from there,” Tim told the author.
After using the vacuum to lift the carpet Marsh says he uses a wood dole to make the lines for the drawing, “I’ve been drawing since Jr. High School and through High School I just like to draw and do a different one everyday, the kids walk over the carpet and its kind of like having a new canvas to draw on everyday, they may be here today and gone tomorrow like a sand castle or ice carving, but I take a picture of everyone that I do and just download them on my laptop so I remember all the pictures I’ve drawn,” he said. Mike Thaler shook Tim’s hand and said, “Having kids laugh, seeing things you’ve created and knowing that you’ve contributed something to the world that is about as good as life gets.” Where does the world traveling author and Riddle King go from here? “To dinner!” he said. And to the person who has always wanted to write a children’s story Thaler advised, “Write It!”