Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.

“We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But, it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I have been to the mountaintop…I have seen the Promise Land.”                                                            By Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.

On April 4, 1968, I was a college student at Emory & Henry College, Emory, Virginia. The day of Dr. King’s assassination in many ways was a “beginning” for me. My age, maturity, and life experiences at that time did not afford me the means to appreciate the depths of this tragic event and the historical and social impact it would have. I was a 20 year old college student and knew very little about the civil rights movement in the deeper south. This event began my quest for a better understanding of Dr. King, his message, and his mission. MLK Jr. Book

Fifty years later, I still continue to celebrate Dr. King’s life and his work. He has been a role model, honored and respected for his determination and courage to “make a difference”.  Dr. King felt the difference he was making was worth losing his life over…and he did.

On the night prior to his assassination, April 3, 1968, he spoke in his final public speech to his Memphis audience about his lack of fear of dying. “I have been to the mountain top..!” he exclaimed. This is the Dr. King I celebrate and honor.

Unfortunately, I am concerned that over the past 50 years, the Dr. King many of us grew up knowing has been re-engineered. I am dismayed at times when people with totally different beliefs, claim Dr. King (mostly for one day) as someone they follow.

I place a great deal of confidence in the writing of Dr. King’s own personal lawyer and one of Dr. King’s closest confidants at the time of Dr. King’s death. Clarence B. Jones, author of “What Would Martin Say?” knew Dr. King in all aspects of Dr. King’s life. Jones shares what he thinks Dr. King’s position would be on numerous modern day issues. This assumes of course that Dr. King would have maintained his core beliefs for the past 50 years. If so, Dr. King most likely would not be viewed as very relevant today. Things have changed.

Do we as a nation still subscribe to Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” message dated August 23, 1963? Do we as a nation strive to become a place where we look forward to being judged based on the content of our character and not color…or other distinguishing traits?

Today, we seem very busy assigning multiple labels and identities to each other. Many labels and titles serve to influence our judgements of others, define our values, and even justify our politics. In my opinion, this sadly moves us away from “I Have A Dream”  and more importantly, this separates us from the man we celebrate and honor on this day.

I believe we should honor Dr. King on MLK, Jr. Day, and continue to celebrate him everyday for the man he was and what he believed, dreamed, and died for. And, this perhaps should include making “content of character” important again. What do you think Martin would say? 

Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund

AGBSF   Goal:  $1,500.00    Actual: $780.00     Deadline: February 14, 2020

Today is our seventh anniversary of the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund (AGBSF). We are AGB 2020 Trackinghonored to launch this year’s campaign again to support the ongoing English education provided by the Copey Learning Center.

With $780.00 donated in advance by several “Friends of Copey”, we are really off to a great start. Caution…do not let this be a reason to not support this campaign. We still need the remaining 48% of funds to reach our annual goal. The funds will provide a total of 15 first time students or returning students the opportunity to attend the Copey Learning Center in 2020.

Executive Director Salary Support

EDSS Goal: $2,000.00         Actual: $400.00            Deadline: March 13, 2020

EDSS 2020 TrackingToday, we are also launching our annual Executive Director Salary Support (EDSS) fundraising campaign for 2020. As with the AGBSF campaign, we have already received donations to get us started. This is our 5th year of support and as the scholarships are needed, so is providing some compensation for the Executive Director.

Without question, the survival of the Copey Learning Center has much to do with day to day, competent leadership. Obtaining this quality leadership is a significant challenge since there are very limited economic resources within Copey to support a reasonable salary to attract and maintain qualified educational administrators. The financial support we provide added to the resources the Copey Learning Center has available, allows for the level of leadership needed. I can promise that the absence of the Executive Director provides the Copey Learning Center with a very questionable future.

The Campaigns for 2020 

It is most unusual to have two campaigns active at the same time. Understanding this, we have little choice since we need to raise the funds for scholarships in time to notify parents and recipients before school begins. And, less urgent but necessary, we need to provide the salary support early enough to confirm the funds are available for the salary commitment.

This year, I ask you to support these fundraisers if you have not in the past…if possible. Many of you have been extemely helpful in other ways over the years and I try to recognize this often. However, if you have been around as “Friends” for some time, you know our track record of success and devotion. Consider being a first time donor and be part of the financial success we will enjoy.

METHODS of DONATING

The methods available for donating have not changed since the first fundraising campaign. If you are planning to be a financial supporter this year, the two methods below have served us well and without any complications.

  1. The Copey Learning Center’s PayPal can be used to make donations directly. Please access the PayPal system by clicking on….http://copeylearningcenter.org/. Find the PayPal logo in the upper right hand corner of their homepage. To make certain the Copey Learning Center recognizes your donation and how it should be applied, indicate in the comment section on PayPal that the donation supports the “AGBSF” or the “EDSS”.
  2. The alternate method is to send me your donation. Make the check out to me (Arthur Broady). Once received, your check is deposited in my account and then paid directly to the same Learning Center PayPal system as in Method #1. I will enter your name and designate where it is to be applied per your directions. The PayPal system will issue me a receipt which I send to you as “proof” the donation has been submitted to the Learning Center in your name. Make your check out to Arthur Broady and send to:
    725 N. Center Parkway, Apt. N-201, Kennewick, WA 99336 
    Phone:1-509-783-5897
  3. If there is a special request pertaining to 501c3 and IRS, please contact me.

One Picture…Thousands of Words

“Too many of us are not living our dreams…we are too busy living our fears.”                    By Les Brown

As a devoted follower of this Blog, how many times have you seen the image of the front of the Copey Learning Center? Each Post since 2015 has had the image presented. Additionally, the image has been in the background for hundreds of photos we have enjoyed posting over the years.

We can say with some certainty the image of the Copey Learning Center has earned the right to be called an icon. Among us “Friends”, we recognize it and feel some emotional connection each time we see it. We know without question the color scheme along with the name uniquely presented on the front is something we have become very familiar with. I have Jane Rutledge 4 featured the same photo more than 300 times as the official Post photo. And, the actual number of times this same image has been seen by those visiting the Post since 2015 exceeds 17,600 times.

Also, conservatively speaking, the front of the Copey Learning Center has been the backdrop many more times and seen by others possibly in the hundreds of thousands.

Changes Are Coming!

Today, the Copey Learning Center is preparing for the construction crew to come into the facility to make significant renovations. A new home (temporary) is being sought and the new location is expected to be confirmed this week. Following construction, it is not certain if the Copey Learning Center will resume operations in the newly remodeled facility. The decision in part depends on the local city government officials and they may have other plans in mind.

Utah Team and kidsThe Copey Learning Center will continue although just where at the moment is not certain. Students, volunteer teachers, and the community are already set up for continuing the wonderful work they have been doing now for over a decade. The location is the only uncertainty at this hour.

Good News…Bad News!

The good news is the Copey Learning Center has been a safe location for students to learn English. The location has provided stability and continuity. At best, the location has been a “quasi” suitable facility to house twenty or thirty plus students daily and a storage place for numerous educational supplies and materials. And, frankly nothing else has been available in Copey capable of meeting these various facility requirements.EH Shirt Photos

The bad news has been the existence of various structural problems, leaking issues together with electrical and plumbing issues. These very deep rooted problems were seldom fully corrected or significantly improved on. Typically, quick fixes were often applied causing frequent and continuous issues that impacted learning. Regardless, the Board of Directors, Executive Director, volunteer teachers, parents and students all worked together to achieve the very special mission of English education.

The Church

Historically, the Catholic Church, which has burned down, has been the most Angela with studentsrecognizable landmark in Copey. However, since the church was destroyed by fire two years ago and the emergence of the devoted followers of this Blog, I think it is very possible the Copey Learning Center has become the more recent landmark for the community. Certainly, for the past six years, the images of the Copey Learning Center has been seen many more times by a much wider range of viewers than the historical church. My data indicates people from more than 75 countries have visited this Blog since 2014. Each follower has seen the iconic photo of the front of the Copey Learning Center and in the background of photos many times worldwide.

Therefore, I have a special relationship with the image of the Copey Learning Center photo. It has been very special to me and saying goodbye to this image is difficult. Fortunately, we still have the past Posts, the everyday photos, and the memories of this distinctive entry way into the Copey Learning Center and into the hearts and souls of a community.

The next chapter of this journey is just up the road. We are planning to start the 2020 school year soon and next week I will launch the annual fundraising campaigns as we have done each year. graduation 1

The Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund and the Executive Director’s Salary Support  campaigns will be formally announced in next week’s Post. Our annual goals will be similar. I sincerely hope many of you will consider this opportunity and financially support this project. If you have never been a financial supporter, this would be a great time to start.

Our expectations for 2020 are as great as ever and could never be met without some financial support.

Seldom do we have the opportunity to impact lives as directly as we do. Our financial support goes directly to the sources of need with no overhead, no red tape, or other administrative distractions interring with education. Please check in next week to experience the fundraising kick off. Even with a new location…“We will make the difference!” 

 

 

“Be A Bold Faith Leaper in 2020”

“Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source – a Sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true.”                                     By Sarah Ban Breathnach

Annual Fundraising Soon!

While preparing for the start up of our 7th year as “Friends of Copey”, we look ahead to several signficant events waiting to kick in.

In two weeks, the official Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund will begin its annualAnne Urn fundraising efforts. The funds will provide partial scholarships for about 15 students interested in attending the Copey Learning Center.

We have already received several very early donations which will allow us to start the campaign with nearly 40% of our goal already covered. 

At the same time, we will also start our second annual fundraising campaign. These funds provide partial support for the “Salary of the Executive Director”. Details for both campaigns will be provided over the next two weeks.

Next Copey Learning Center Location!

The Copey Learning Center will change location in 2020. The facility used by the Copey Learning Center for more than six years is now undergoing major rennovations and is not expected to be available when school opens late February. Other suitable Copey locations for the Learning Center are under consideration.

Remember This?

Surely, you will recall our desire to someday help the Copey community construct a new facility to support the Copey Learning Center.

The need for such a facility continues to grow and we still believe one day the structure shown below will become the centerpiece of the Copey community.

IMG_1308 (2)

The estimated $200,000.00 construction price tag is a huge challenge for the community to raise without major outside support.

Also, the second major challenge is the Copey community’s continued struggle with the loss and questionable replacement of their community church destroyed by fire in early August 2017.

“Friends of Copey” is not currently seeking the funding for the new center out of respect for the difficult decision confronting the community regarding the rebuilding of the church.

However, any door of opportunity that may open will be welcomed and pursued because we believe in the enormous impact the new facility would have on the education and economy of the community.

Family Illness Continues!

Only a few weeks ago I reported my uncle Harold Evans experienced a stroke following Thanksgiving Day. Although he is now home recuperating, his wife (my aunt) Patricia Evans has been hospitalized for check up and observation. We have sensed some decline in her health following Harold’s medical setback. Please keep both in your thoughts and prayers.  AMEN!

 

 

 

2019 Non-Financial Scorecard

During 2019, “Friends of Copey” volunteers continued to have a major role in our success, especially for the Pathway Project. We began to witness the volunteer impact in 2018 and then confirmed its very positive impact in the “2019 Pathway Project”.

Volunteers and their hours of support resulted in a very high quality project and provided significant cost reductions. It is most noteworthy to point out all of our key volunteers have now supported the “Pathway Project” for two or more years.

A key volunteer greets our guests at the Washington DC airport upon Abingdon Concert 1arrival and extends host services during the next 24 hours while in the DC area. Next, a key volunteer travels to the DC area to retrieve our guests and transports them to Emory & Henry College.

Then, upon arriving on campus there are numerous additional key volunteers waiting who have paved the way for room and board provisions, arranged for local transportation, and assist with shopping, educational, and recreational activities. The “Annual Reception” growing in popularity, is a key event voluntarily provided and funded. The combination of the support provided by all these key volunteers is “priceless”. Kiwanis New Image

My local Kiwanis Club located in Richland, Washington at a distance of about 2,500 miles from the college campus, provides annually accounting services for the Pathway Project. This important voluntary service provides excellent documentation on income and expenses in support of the Pathway Project that extends across two countries.

These following volunteers did a “masterful job” providing support for the Pathway Project without charging anything to the project: Dr. Celeste Gaia, Monical Hoel, Zinareception Griffith, Dr. Edward Davis, George Whitley, Jane Rutledge, and Julie Meek. Each of these volunteers are commended for their substantial contribution of personal time and resources.

They are the “extra milers” who routinely go beyond expectations. They each add a unique gift of personalized richness to the experience each Copey student takes back home. 

Additional Areas of Non-Financial Support

All “Friends” in large and small ways contribute non-financially to our support for the Copey Learning Center. Certainly, there are some “Friends” who may think they do not contribute much of anything. I seldom see things that way.

It is always important to remember what “Friends of Copey” actually is. We are simply a collection of people who share a common interest in the Copey Learning Center…and in varying degrees. Some “Friends” pray for our success and others simply pull and push for our success. Then, some “Friends” financially support our success. The vast majority of “Friends” I know contribute in one or more of these areas.

Non-Financial Support Measurement Data

This Post closes out our 2019 year and represents Post #323 issued since December 2013.  The total number of Posts closely tracks to one Post per week for over six years and provides a long history of documentary evidence of our work and success. Much has happened and much has been reported over time.Measurements2

The past four years provides strong evidence of a consistent interest and support for our work. One measurement I watch carefully each month is the frequency of visits to our Blog. This represents each of you opening the Post to read. Only you can impact or add to these numbers each week. So Be Counted!

The year 2017, was an unusually good year. Over 800 visits were recorded over the previous year 2016. Then, in 2018 we settled back to numbers closer to reality but remained  higher compared to 2016. And, the recorded visits for 2018 and 2019 indicate similar and continous levels of interest at the present time. The short message is “interest remains high” among followers of the Blog.

Post Visits

We can be very proud of these numbers since we basically stand alone in the Blogging World and do not fit the profile of traditional Blogs. We do not focus on selling products and services to the world of consumers. We are not set up for profit and our Blog is not political or social in nature. It is closely related to educational. The Blog offers absolute freedom to be or not to be involved. You alone determine without gadgets or some slick sales pitch, whether or not to visit the Blog, read the Post, and be an active “Friend of Copey”.

The Blog also tracks locations and you can see for 2019 the top two or three countries are easily understood. However, Hong Kong SAR China, Japan, Ireland, and others have long been a mystery and show up each year.

Our mission has not changed since the first Post was issued and we have remained true to our vision and principles. To this date, no “Friend” has received a dime of compensation or even reimbursement for either service or time provided. Domain expenses, printing, mailings, travel, and other expenses have all been donated. The only compensation provided has been in support of the salary for the Copey Learning Center Executive Director.

So, this is us…”Friends of Copey”, in 2019. We are at the doorstep ready to open the door to a whole new year. I ask you to remain connected and involved. You are the real story of success and we together can look forward to some wonderful accomplishments in 2020.

Always Grateful for Friends!

 

 

Merry Christmas “Friends”

Christmas Messages from the Past

My very first Christmas Post was December 2013. “Friends of Copey” was brand new and ready to go. We knew very little for certain about the future then and today we celebrate our seventh Christmas Post of joy. Let’s look back at past Christmas messages.

In 2013, I shared the following:

“On this most special of days, I wish all a very Merry Christmas and a joyful New Sunrises 4Year. I am so excited about the upcoming year and the possibilities of great things to come.”

So little did we know in December 2013 what “Friends of Copey” would become.

In December 2014, after one full year of this wonderful experimental journey, I was emotionally inspired to share this Christmas message:

“I am truly blessed and the thrill of hope runs rampant within me as I look back at what we have done and looking ahead to see what we could do. Let go and experience the joy of Christmas. Know you have been part of that “Peace on Earth and Goodwill Towards Men (and others)” you hear about. You have been an active partner in the “thrill of hope” in a weary world. A small part of the world is rejoicing today because of you.”

O Holy Night

The Christmas message December 2015 reflected my growing appreciation for those who decided to share this very unique adventure with me as we worked to have a  meaningful impact on the lives of children in Copey. The Christmas message included messages from “Friends”:

Outstanding accomplishments, Blessings enumerable.  Christine C.

What wonderful work is happening at Copey. Love the idea of having a student come up for a US school experience.  Cynthia M.

Amazing work! You are an inspiration to us all. May GOD continue to bless you.  Paulina V.

You can count on my positive thoughts and my prayers. I truly believe in your venture and we both know “All things are possible, when God is in the mix”.  Charles J.Christmas Joy 1

In 2016, the fourth Christmas Post reflected the confidence that our work was truly purposeful and successful. I felt so grateful to have “Friends” who shared this vision and had proven themselves dedicated to this work.

“This Christmas Greeting  is my deep and heartfelt message to each of you during this wonderful holiday season. So, please accept this as my Christmas Greeting and my wish for the very best for you and yours and my thank you for all you have done.”

My 2017 Christmas message said;

“It is Christmas Time!  It is the time to celebrate the real meaning of the Christmas season and to share the joy of life. My joy is believing we all come into this world for a reason. Jesus could be the very first poster child for a purpose driven life. His birth, His life, and finally His death were totally dedicated to fulfilling that purpose.”

“So, my Christmas message to “Friends” is that as a group of folks we have a purpose. We are divinely called upon to help Copey and we should consider our work a joy for us and a blessing to others.”  “Don’t miss the joy”.

The Christmas message in 2018 came in a prayer: Christmas Joy 3

“As the old year retires and a new one is born, we commit into the hands of our Creator the happenings of the past year and ask for direction and guidance in the new one. May He grant us His grace, His tranquility, and His wisdom!”    By Peggy Toney Horton

This year’s Christmas Post, number seven, ties together all the previous Posts with the message of:

“Thanks for believing and supporting this effort. Thanks for your Service as we willingly extend a hand of friendship and support to others in need…for we are called on to be “cheerful and joyful givers”. And, thanks for the joy that does not begin early Christmas morning and does not end late Christmas night. Similar to the work hours of “Friends of Copey”, this joy is at work 24/7 and I encourage all “Friends of Copey”…stay involved and do not miss the joy waiting for us in 2020.”

Merry Christmas!

 

2019 Financial Scorecard

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”   by  Francis of Assisi  (A repeat…!)

Good NewsDuring a typical conversation with strangers about “Friends of Copey”, I am often asked about money or funds to support this project. I wish I had a more convincing response than the usual “we don’t have membership dues or we just call on people to help financially when needed”.

Year in and year out we consistently raise and spend less than $10,000.00 to honor our commitment to support the Copey Learning Center.

Again, this is true for 2019.

Annual Fund Raising Successes!

Each January we launched the dual fundraising campaign to support the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund and support for the Executive Director’s annual salary.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is check-mark.jpg The Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund goal was again set for 15 scholarships or $1,500.00. The actual amount raised with donations was $1,750.00. In addition to this scholarship success, we received a grant from a special friend:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is check-mark.jpg “The Quido A. and Elizabeth H. Binda Foundation”

Based in Battle Creek, Michigan, the Quido A. and Elizabeth H. Binda Foundation provided a special grant of $500.00 to be applied to Copey Learning Center scholarships. We are very grateful for this one-time grant spearheaded by Robert and Cheryl Binda from Boise, Idaho.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is check-mark.jpgThe Executive Director’s Salary was set at $2,000.00 and was successfully achieved with a final total of $2,000.00. As in 2018, this goal was reached nearly a month earlier than planned.

Successful Financial Year for the Pathway Project! 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is check-mark.jpgThe 2019 Pathway Project fundraising goal was originally set at $6,500.00 to cover round trip costs and related expenses from Copey, Costa Rica to the USA and back home for three students and one chaperone. In years past, we covered two students and two chaperones. Group Photo

In 2018 we paid an unusually high price for airline tickets and put forth efforts in 2019 to seek out better prices. Also, the addition of more “Friends” volunteering their time and involvement provided some additional reduced costs. These various and important in-kind support features allowed us to cautionously reduce the goal from $6,500.00 to $6,200.00.

The final cost of the “2019 Pathway Project” was $4,807.62 due to the extremely favorable prices paid for airline tickets. The total amount raised/spent represents an average of $1,202.00 per traveler on the “2019 Pathway Project”.

 This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is check-mark.jpg  2019 Fundraising Summary 

In Summary…for the entire 2019 year, a total of $8,558.00 was officially donated to meet our three major financial commitments in support of the mission of the Copey Learning Center.      thank you

“Friends of Copey” does not impose membership fees or dues. We obtain and provide financial support only on a voluntary basis. And, we only raise funds we need!

“Friends” as financial donors are amazing and generous supporters. Without question, the continuation and longevity of the Copey Learning Center is in part due to the voluntary generosity most (or all) of the similar community based educational programs are lacking in Costa Rica.

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Season of Joy…!

“Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”     By Mother Teresa
Thank you for the several comments following last week’s Post. The notes ranged from wishing my uncle Harold Evans well and a quick recovery, giving praise to my grandson Maliek on his final days wearing a Nevada Wolfpack Football uniform, and extending “best wishes” to Ana as she moves on to new adventures.

The Copey Learning Center Update

I have been in contact with the newly hired Copey Learning Center Director and we are excited about the 2020 school year. Ines Sugura Serrano, the new director and I will have our first Skype session next week. She takes on the position having obtained her BA Degree in English from the National University in Costa Rica along with other educational experiences.

She comes on board with several major challenges including helping to find a new location for the Copey Learning Center. The current location is now closed for several months for much needed repairs. We welcome Ines into this wonderful and exciting adventure. CLC Graduates 2019

We are also very happy to show a few of the 2019 Copey Learning Center students (graduates) who have successfully completed their educational requirements.

I should point out I have personally spoken to all three of these students via Skype a couple of months ago. I predict we will hear and see much more of these students over the next year or two. They are excellent students and have a bright future.

Some updates on the news!

Uncle Harold is back home and has some lingering medical issues with his speech and memory caused by his recent stroke. At age 90, he has some obvious challenges ahead but we are all praying for a complete recovery.  Keep praying…Thanks!Maliek.grad.1

Maliek spent this past weekend attending his graduation ceremony at the University of Nevada. This was certainly a huge event and major milestone for Maliek. He now has his BA Degree in Business and we are very proud of his academic success. Only his mother and brother were able to attend since several of us were in Reno the previous weekend to attend the Senior Day football game.  Maliek.foot.2

Maliek also spent time this past weekend attending the annual Nevada Wolfpack Awards Banquet.

We were there in spirit. And, in case the news has not reached everyone in “Friends of Copey” land, the University of Nevada has been invited to participate in the upcoming “Famous Idaho Potato Bowl” scheduled for January 3, 2020.  We have one more opportunity to see #16 just below the name “Broady” on the back of the Wolfpack jersey.