“The Joy Is In Serving…!”

“Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served.”                                    By  Mahatma Gandhi

Anne G. Broady

On this date in 2013 at the age of 87, Anne (Elizabeth) G. Broady quietly passed away. To honor her memory, we established Marty Pics 097the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund. Scholarships have been funded for five years now and we are very grateful for the many “Friends” who have supported this scholarship. It has served us the givers as well as those who have received by making a difference in the lives of children in Copey.

Mom’s name has become very familiar in this remote area of Costa Rica and many families expressed their deep and sincere appreciation during my visit there last November. It has also been very personally rewarding getting to know well several of the recipients. Some of them have traveled to the USA under our “Pathway Project”. We all have been blessed.

Can You Go To Copey?

Fall is starting to show up as the kids in my area are ready to return to school this week. The Copey schools and the Learning Center have been open all summer and now they are focused on getting to November when schools close for their summer.

Jane with students

Jane…True Volunteer

I am using this platform to help the Learning Center connect with qualified teachers. I “know” there are many of you “Friends of Copey” with teaching experience and have many friends in the teaching profession.

If you are available or if you know of anyone interested in a very unique and possibly life-changing volunteer experience in Copey, Costa Rica, please let me know. It will be an extremely rewarding experience and I think we can get things set up very quickly.

This reminds me that on September 14, 2017, my friend Joe Thomas wrote this note to me… “Art, this project–a “project of the heart”–continues to be a witness for the topic of this post: divine intervention. All of the things that have happened in the past four years to make these transformational moments possible for the Copey students could simply not have happened by chance!”  There has been other transformational moments since Joe’s note was received. I am in full agreement with him. “Divine Intervention” is alive and well!

Spelling Bee

The Spelling Bee report indicates there has been a major change in the spelling competition this year in Costa Rica. In the recent past, winners at the different levels moved upward to the national Spelling Bee level to compete. I am informed there will not be a “national” competition this year…but the lower level competition will continue.

Spelling Bee. 2

Margarita

After the first round, Margarita won both the Impromptu Speech

Spelling Bee.1

Melany 

and the Impromptu Conversation competition. Melany won the Spelling contest. Both have an excellent chance of winning at the next round.

Also, you may recall Margarita’s older sister Mariana in the past has been a consistent winner at all levels and competed at the National level last year.

Mariana, apparently is not eligible to compete in this same competition now that she is in high school. However, she is participating in another contest and we will keep you updated on her progress.

We are very proud the students are competing and continuing to demonstrate to others that their English education provided by the Learning Center is a true benefit.

Happy (100th) Birthday!

Katherine Johnson

I wish to use this Post to say once again…”Happy Birthday…!” to Aunt Katherine. All the “Friends of Copey” wish you well and extend our love and admiration.

 

Travel Well Your Journey…!

“Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.”    By  Oliver Goldsmith

It seems difficult to imagine it has been two weeks since Ana Yancy and the rest of the Costa Rican guests returned home. Their two weeks in America visiting us also went by just as fast.

I have visited with Ana Yancy via Skype and it was a very fun time reminiscing and recounting the many diverse experiences she and the others enjoyed. We focused much of our attention on the first week when most of the recreational activities were planned. During the second week, the two students were very busy participating with other students as members of the Summer Scholars and Leadership Program while Ana Yancy and Dihianna were conducting classes on Costa Rica.emory 52 Capturing class photos and detailed information is more challenging when everyone is participating in classes.

But, we have a few photos to share. And, the news is very positive regarding the success both students had interacting with their peers during the week. (Brian is on far right.)

We have learned that Lourdes and Brian met many new friends and became popular for adding a unique cultural experience for other students. Also, they experienced new cultures and had the opportunity to utilize their English communication skills while enjoying possibly a once in a life-time experience. All this is “priceless”. By all accounts, Lourdes and Brian left the campus much different from their arrival two weeks earlier. (Below Lourdes in the center back row and Brian third from far right.)emory-48-e1531064018914.jpgemory-32.jpgEMOry 37emory 39emory 38

One of the reoccurring revelations I have had over the past several weeks (and there has been many), is just how many lives are touched in many positive ways by the “Pathway Project”.

We can start with the students of the Learning Center, then the Copey emory 40community and parents, financial donors and college affiliated supporters stretching across our country, my Kiwanis Club, and many personal friends and family.

Then, as I look at these photos, even the students attending the Summer Scholars and Leadership Program have been touched in ways we will never know.  We now have six Learning Center student ambassadors representing the “Pathway Project” positioned in the Copey community to provide positive influences and encouragements to those wishing to follow the ambassadors’ footsteps to America.

For you as it is for me, the total impact of our collective work and support for this project is beyond our ability to fully comprehend. It all works…thanks to you “Friends”.

Sad News!

I wish to dedicate this Post to a dear friend and a devoted “Friend of Copey” who passed away suddenly this past week. Winton Lackey was a 1955 graduate of Emory & Henry College, long-time strong college supporter, past E&H Trustee, member of the E&H Sports Hall of Fame, successful business and family man, and much much more as a kind, loving, and generous person.Lackey

When I became an E&H Trustee seven years ago, Winton was the first among the Trustees to welcome me with a big smile and his arms wide open. He served as my mentor while I watched him demonstrate in meetings his commitment and devotion to the college by serving in accordance with the principles he lived by. Without question, Winton’s love for E&H College was evident every minute I had the pleasure to be in his presence. We enjoyed sharing our political views and our perceptions of the world. In addition, he and his wife Donna have been very strong supporters of “Friends of Copey”. The “Pathway Project” would have never become what it is today without their support.

Winton’s life-journey was rich and full. This is a true loss of one of the “good guys” and on behalf of the many “Friends of Copey”, we express our sincere condolences to Donna and the family.

 

 

 

Small Acts of Kindness…continued!

“Friends”… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.”               by  Henry David Thoreau

There are still many photos documenting the “Pathway Project’s” two weeks of activities.  Imagine how different things are in America and the many impressions the students experienced and carried home. The project is blessed to have so many “Friends” involved and devoted to making this a life-changing experience.

Emory 28  emory 44  emory 42emory 34emory 40      emory-45.jpg  emory 43 Emory 22

And then, consider the reactions and feelings of those in Copey who welcome home these returning students. The potential and positive impact Brian and Lourdes will have on students wanting to be the next ones selected for the “Pathway Project” will be tremendous.

                                  Again…thank you “Friends”!

 

Thanks to Friends

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

It has been one week since the Costa Rican guests landed in Washington, DC. Neither space nor time will allow me to cover all the many different places and experiences they have enjoyed since their arrival. No exaggeration! Each day has been a full day of planned activities.

One highlight was the (now) annual reception which involves many “Friends” gathering to officially welcome our guests. Our guest host treated us with emory group 11a sumptuous meal outside in wonderful country evening air. There were short presentations spoken in very good English provided by the students and a cultural dance routine the students created specifically for their trip to America.

Trampoline jumping, bowling, the theater, shopping malls, constant eating, and other activities made up the week. Places visited included site-seeing in DC, the Natural Bridge, the Luray Caverns, two church services, a concert, and Hungry Mother State Park to mention a few.  Emory group 10

Starting today, they all are on a different plan.  They are enrolled in the Summer Scholars Institute and Leadership program on the Emory & Henry campus. Lourdes and Brian will join other students from area schools and schools from other states in course study work on a variety of activities designed to broaden academic interests and building leadership skills.  emory group 12

Ana Yancy and Dihiana will participate in the Summer Scholars event by conducting classes on Costa Rican culture, history, and customs. More reports to follow.

Health Report

On a completely different note, several “Friends” are aware Braxton, my 10-year-old grandson, underwent a serious surgical procedure last Monday to correct a bone development problem in his chest. The operation went well and there has been no after surgery problems to speak of. Now, he is working to get his body healed and back to being a 10-year-old. Just slow going but we are certain he will soon be 100% back to normal.

Gratitude! 

There are no limits in gratitude I have for this life, my family and “Friends”, and the opportunity to see visions become reality. This past week alone I have said more heartfelt “Thank You’s” to others than you can imagine and came nowhere close to saying enough. I am very grateful.

“Thank You “Friends”

The Eagle Lands Again…!

“You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.”   by  Zig Ziglar
The “Pathway Project for 2018” is officially underway. Ana Yancy and her students arrived in Washington, DC Saturday afternoon. Zina Griffith, my cousin and life-long   zina and guestsresident of the DC area and retired public school teacher, greeted them upon arrival. Since retirement, Zina spends her time teaching English in DC to Spanish-speaking students. Being a devoted “Friend”, she stepped in to those big shoes Angela filled for two years. Thank you.

The Pathway Project Fundraising Campaign is over. With a very small number of promised donations pending, we expect to meet our goal. Some of our planned costs have gone down because of very generous in-kind support. For example, the wonderful meals being enjoyed by our guests as shown in the photo was covered by Zina. The hosting support provided by Zina also cut local DC transportation costs.

Monica Hoel, our college’s famous Alumni Director, provided significant in-kind support by personally transporting our guests from the DC area to the campus which included site-seeing tours and meals along the way.  During the previous two years, we emory Group 2had rental car and other expenses as our guests made their way from DC to our campus.

When the “Pathway Project” is complete, I will provide a detailed report on the financial results of our efforts. Based on today’s info, we are in really good shape.

In the past, I have shared my thoughts about “partnerships”. Getting folks and organizations engaged to work together for a common purpose is vital and can be seen most vividly in action with a project such as this. When it is all said and done…we have clearly five organizations along with all the donors, and those many others providing in-kind support from Copey to E&H College, all engaged making this happen.  So many of you in so many different roles to thank…!

We are all now set for a couple of weeks of full and complete enjoyment, learning, and making differences. Stay connected for more updates.

 

 

 

 

“The Pathway…Is The Way”

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”            By  Harriet Tubman

“Pathway Project for 2018”

This is the final week before the Copey Learning Center guests depart for America. There is a tremendous sense of excitement flowing from Washington state, across the country, and then down into Costa Rica. Can you imagine the thoughts of the proud parents of our guest students, the feelings of accomplishment by the Learning Center’s Board of Directors, and the sense of pride felt by the Copey community? And, all the “Friends of Copey” should also be excited. The Pathway Project could easily be a one of a kind since it is not spearheaded by any official organization, business, government, or agency. Just old everyday “Friends” sharing a common belief that when a few commit to doing even a little to help kids, then much can be done for kids. Such a bold concept!

Goal  $6,200.00      Actual Income=$5,200.00    Deadline:  May 25th, 2018 (extended)

Last week I sounded a gentle alarm regarding our fundraising campaign situation. We were running a little below our expectations for the funding needed to fully support this project. Many of you answered the alarm and now our funding situation is much more Tracking 10positive. We still have a short distance to go to completely meet our goal. We are at about 84% of our goal today with several donations still expected to show up soon.

So, if you have not yet sent your donation but plan to, now is the time. Even if you send $5.00 or $10.00, you will have made an investment in one amazing experience for two students…and an entire community.

We have tightened our plans a little, reduced our goal some, and now more certain all will work out. We are “good to go” thanks to all of you.

Following the students’ two week experience in America, they will return home to Copey as “education ambassadors”, obligated to be inspirational student leaders for other Copey students to follow. Soon, there will be a total of six ambassadors in the Copey community who have participated in the “Pathway Project” sharing this obligation. Keeping students excited about education is one major element of the “Pathway Project” and one reason it is growing more popular each year. We are making a difference.  Instructions for donating provided below

Lest WE Forget…!  There is the other half of the Pathway Project we should not lose sight of. We have two Emory & Henry College students (Kara and Matthew) at the Learning Center now and completing their 4th and final week on Friday.

Matthew and Kara

Ana Yancy, Kara and Matthew

All reports on their participation and involvement as volunteers have been outstanding. I personally met Kara and Matthew during my campus visit in March and knew then these two students were ideal volunteer candidates for Copey. Both have exceeded all our expectations and have become special friends to the Copey community and the students. We can see a trend of excellence developing as we can now account for six E&H College students (Including Jane) who have made their mark on the community and the Learning Center. Our college has become a household name in the community and is well thought of as a caring and devoted college with high ideals and amazing representatives who come to their community to help.

In my opinion, Kara and Matthew have maintained those excellent standards of excellence set forth by Xavier and Casey, our first E&H Pathway students in 2016 and Melody who represented us in 2017.  All these students have represented E&H College, “Friends”, and even American students in general, most honorably. Thank you for your service!

I firmly believe both Kara and Matthew will leave behind Copey a little better than they found it. And I am convinced Kara and Matthew will return home understanding better the challenges of our world and are better prepared to take them on.

Just One More Thing!

I really love receiving photos from the Learning Center. And, every now and then I will get a photo that will just shock me. This week Ana Yancy sent the photo below and it was really a Angela Karashocker! Angela (far right) is in Copey now on vacation from her job in Boston. She has impeccable timing since she has been around to meet Kara and Matthew (also pictured). And, she is available to wish her prior students well as they depart for America.

Angela helped set up the “Pathway Project” and is the 1st to have brought the “Pathway Project” students to America in 2016. She led the way back to America with Ana Yancy by her side in 2017. This year Angela’s work and schedule would not allow her to be involved. So Angela travels with us in spirit. “Friends” has been fully blessed with two wonderful Directors leading the way at the Learning Center.

Next Week…! We Roll!

Please send your donation to my Kiwanis Club:guidelines for Pathway

And, please do not make the check to “Friends of Copey” or to me personally. All funds will go into the TCI Kiwanis Foundation account to pay the Pathway expenses. The account will be managed by the Foundation’s Treasurer, Ms. Julie Meek, CPA. The Foundation has 501c3 status.

THANKS “FRIENDS”

 

 

 

Memorial Day Weekend…Remember Them!

“Real courage was what our troops…my heroes…face everyday. Real courage is being willing to give up your right to everything you want for your future, your memories from your past, and even, if need be, your life to make a better place for others.”                      By  Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee

Again, we observe Memorial Day and take time to thank those who have served our country by giving the ultimate for our freedoms. One of my practices is to go back and read previous Posts I have written on Memorial Day Weekend. The messages are generally the same and are reminders of sacrifices made by many. If you have family or friends who served and died in battle, there is not much you can do but observe and honor their willingness to serve. There is one more thing we can all do…respect and appreciate the freedoms that have been paid for in full.  4th of July

This Memorial Day Weekend, again as is my custom, I pay my respects and salute those close friends of mine who died while serving our country. My high school friends included Danny Watkins from Meadowview, Virginia; Michael Charles and Kenneth Delaney from Bristol, Virginia; and Frank Campbell from Chilhowie, Virginia. There were several others who also died while in service. I have added Curtis “Duck” Montgomery, a World War II veteran and my long time friend who passed away last year at 101 years of age. And, this is a special time to remember my cousin “Marty” Clark who passed away on Memorial Day in 2016. All of these were great folks who deserve to be remembered each and every Memorial Day.

“The Pathway Project for 2018”

Goal  $6,500.00      Actual Income=$4,250.00    Deadline:  May 25th, 2018 (extended)

Time is getting very short. In two weeks our Copey Learning Center guests will be Graduation 8heading to the United States. We are nearly 95% complete with the planning for the trip and from all indications, things will be just as exciting and productive as the previous two years. We are very eager to see Maria Lourdes (Left) and Brian (right) arrive in America and experience our culture for the first time. And, eager to have them share their culture with us.Brian and Lourdes. 2

Thank You!

“I thank each of you who have already made your donation. Your funds have us well on our way to covering our immediate financial needs.”

However, we do still have fundraising challenges yet to contend with. The official end date for the fundraising campaign is today but I have unofficially extended the campaign another week to provide “anyone and everyone” the opportunity to support this project with large or small donations. Based on my best count at this time, we are just under 66% of our goal. And, this includes both the funds I have received and the funds I have not received yet but have firm commitments.tracking 9

It would be great to hit our target of $6,500.00 and be assured we can financially support all the plans we have for our guests during their visit. However, if funds are short, some plans may be curtailed or even eliminated. I have not eliminated plans in the past, but I am prepared to apply any adjustments needed to make this project as financially successful as possible.

If you intend or feel inclined to support this project financially, please send me a short note to confirm the amount and expected date the funds will  be mailed. This will allow me to avoid making unnecessary changes.

I ask you to consider being a financial supporter of this very extraordinary project. It is certainly worthy of your support. Based on current donations, it will take more past “Pathway Project” donors and some first time “Pathway Project” donors to make our goal. Thank you and please send your donation to my Kiwanis Club:guidelines for Pathway

And, please do not make the check to “Friends of Copey” or to me personally. All funds will go into the TCI Kiwanis Foundation account to pay the expenses. The account will be managed by the Foundation’s Treasurer, Ms. Julie Meek, CPA. The Foundation has 501c3 status.

Finally, make plans for the big “reception” scheduled for June 15th in Abingdon, Virginia. You can let me know if you plan to join us and I will arrange for you to be placed on the list of invitees. There is still room. The guests and I certainly would enjoy having a large group of “Friends” attending to meet and greet our guests and experience first-hand their appreciation for our support.

“God Bless America…land that I love!”