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Community members give thanks

Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Preparations for Thanksgiving Day 2003 went further than the traditional feast last week, when Dr. Fraser of the Soldotna Medical Clinic sponsored a special edition of the radio talk show "Life on The Kenai Live" aired over local radio station KSRM. The broadcast was hosted by the Aspen Hotel, where community members were invited to come by and talk about why they were thankful to call the Kenai Peninsula their home. From mothers who recently returned from a journey to Swaziland, to local officials, people came out to express their appreciation for the generosity of the community they live in. "When I tell friends back where I was raised that I sell a pie for $2,000 at a fund raiser, they just don't believe me. I guess their community just isn't like ours, it's really overwhelming," said auctioneer Norm Blakeley.

It was an hour filled with stories of meeting community needs with the continual support of the businesses and individuals who share a common belief that the more you give and help others in need, the happier and financially healthier you become. Executive directors from organizations like the Peninsula Food Bank and Women's Resource & Crisis Center told of the impact that their agencies are having on people's lives because of the generous community support. "Individuals can make a difference, and we are a community of individuals who live together, support each other, and reach out a loving hand not only to our neighbors but to people in far away lands as well. You can't measure the richness of this community in dollars," said Mary Jenson.

 

Members of the Swaziland Mom's mission display memorabilia from their trip.

Voices choked with emotion as individuals recalled experiences with community pioneers such as Dr. Elmer & Ruby Gaede, and Nick & Marion Leman of Ninilchik, that sewed the seeds of charity that changed there lives and made this their home. Producer for the program Renee Duncan said that she just hoped that many of the people who give so greatly and never hear the word thank you were listening and would know how much they were truly appreciated. Borough Mayor Dale Bagley, drew hearty applause when he said that this would always be a good place to live and expressed appreciation for the school system and all the people that made our community such a great place to call home.

 

Members of the Swaziland Mom's mission display memorabilia from their trip.



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