More than 100 guests gathered recently to honor volunteers at the annual Appreciation Night of the Spokane Guilds’ School and Neuromuscular Center.
Jennifer Johnson was named Parent of the Year, the school’s highest recognition. Johnson was cited for her volunteerism and dedication to helping kids with special needs.
Brian McNaughton was named Outstanding Person of the Year for his contribution of time and talent to the organization. McNaughton is a Guilds’ School Foundation trustee and will organize the 1998 “Kids for Kids” Penny Drive.
Other recognition on Appreciation Night was acknowledgment of more than $30,000 - 3 million pennies - collected through the Penny Drive from schools and businesses.
Faris Charbonneau was recognized for her work as creator and chairperson of the fund-raising project.
The Spokane Guilds’ School and Neuromuscular Center is a comprehensive assessment and treatment center for children from birth to 3 years who exhibit developmental disabilities. Services are provided without regard to a family’s ability to pay.
For more information, call 326-1651.
Virtual town hall in North Idaho
For North Idaho residents, a virtual town hall in cyberspace provides community news, job information and plenty of conversation.
Welcome to NICON, acronym for North Idaho Communities ON-Line. This new, Internet-based network is a community bulletin board and gathering place of sorts, where a visit is merely a computer click away.
The NICON project was founded through grants and donations from local and regional businesses and national foundations. It is maintained by the non-profit Information and Referral/Volunteer Connection (IRV) in Coeur d’Alene.
“What we wanted to achieve with NICON is to make it possible for all residents, regardless of economic, social or educational status, to have equal access to vital information,” says Dean Thie, executive director of IRV.
Residents throughout the counties of Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone now have quick, easy and free access to a wide variety of community information that organizers hope will enrich civic and community life.
For those with Internet access, NICON’s Website address is http://www.nicon.org. The colorful main menu allows viewers to select from categories leading them to information on libraries, local and state government, weather, museums, community services, education, employment, health care, economic resources, kids’ attractions and a public forum.
While NICON is a Worldwide Website available to anyone with Internet access, the network also offers free e-mail accounts to those without Internet access.
The free e-mail service allows for text-only viewing, not to be confused with the color and graphics interface offered by Internet Service Providers (ISP) for a monthly subscriber fee.
“People are delighted with NICON’s e-mail service. The information is the same (as with a graphics interface), but it’s not as flashy as what you would get from an ISP that you pay for,” says Thie.
Residents who wish to open an e-mail account can fill out a User Registration Form at most North Idaho libraries. Or, they can contact IRV at (208) 667-6400.
For those without computers, IRV hopes to place free-use computers in senior centers, supermarkets and community agencies. Libraries in North Idaho are already equipped with computers for NICON access.
“The libraries are getting busier all the time,” says Thie. “NICON is available and it’s easy. It’s the way of communicating for the future.”
For more information, contact Thie at (208) 667-6400.
Daybreak of Spokane, a residential treatment center, will be able to communicate quickly and efficiently in emergency situations, thanks to a donation of wireless phones by GTE Wireless, a company of GTE Corp.
Personal Communications Services (PCS) phones offer voice mail, paging and caller ID, enabling the non-profit organization to more effectively help area teenagers overcome drug and alcohol addictions.
GTE Wireless opened a Spokane office in January and will contribute more than $70,000 this year to local arts, education, sports and civic organizations.
“It’s always refreshing when companies new to Spokane commit to a philosophy of sharing,” says Tim Smith, executive director at Daybreak. “We’re very gratified that GTE Wireless believes in our mission and wants to help out.”
Spokane Valley La Leche League hosts its annual World Walk for Breast-feeding on Saturday at Riverfront Park.
The walkathon begins at 11 a.m. in front of the Clocktower. Individuals and families are invited to participate in the mile-long stroll to raise money through sponsored pledges for the non-profit organization. The walkathon ends with a group picnic and a stroller-decorating contest.
Proceeds from the fund-raiser will help the Spokane Valley La Leche League continue its work offering breastfeeding education and encouragement through mother-to-mother support groups, telephone counseling and interaction with health care providers.
Similar walkathons will be held around the world in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding for children of the world.
For more information on the walkathon, call 448-1465.
Children of all ages will enjoy the annual Kids’ Carnival of Safety from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday. The free, outdoor event will be on the grounds of Valley Hospital and Medical Center.
Nearly 60 community agencies will be represented offering exhibits, films, presentations, games and giveaways that focus on personal safety for children.
Kids will learn about water safety, fire prevention, first aid, bicycle skills and more. Festivities include a puppet show, bicycle rodeo and games such as “Wheel of Safety.”
Washington State Healthcare Safety Council named the event as the state’s best safety program for medium-sized hospitals.
For more information, call 924-6650. , DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Spokane’s Habitat for Humanity celebrates its 10th anniversary next weekend - a decade of allowing low-income families the “luxury” of owning their own homes. A chapter was formed here when a group of residents recognized the city’s poverty housing conditions needed to be addressed. As a result, 50 houses have been made available to families which had little hope of ever becoming homeowners. To recognize the milestone, Habitat’s board of directors will serve a Builder’s Breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m. Friday at Fifth and Stone, site of a future Habitat home. Special building projects and tours of area homes is scheduled from 9 to noon. A potluck dinner at 5:30 that night will be at the East Central Community Center. Participants are asked to bring a potluck dish to share with others.
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