North Stake turns out in force to support community center

Jean Farmer, director of Spokane’s Northeast Community Center, expected around 50 volunteers to show up on Sept. 13 to help clean and add a new fence. Instead, 400 enthusiastic volunteers from the North Spokane LDS Stake arrived, ready to participate in the annual Day of Service with smiles and hard work.

“It was a great level of involvement and advanced thinking from the volunteers,” said Farmer. “It was a beneficial day for both the community center and the volunteers. Equally important to the physical work is the support we feel from the community that tells us the work we do here is appreciated.”

Members of the North Spokane Stake helped transform the Northeast Community Center on Sept. 13 as part of the National Day of Service.

Members of the North Spokane Stake helped transform the Northeast Community Center on Sept. 13 as part of the National Day of Service.

The North Stake project was one of many provided by LDS volunteers throughout the Spokane Temple District last month as part of the National Day of Service. The program was initiated in 2009 as a way to honor victims, survivors and responders involved in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Northeast Community Center provides support and assistance to all ages and works with programs such as Daybreak Youth Services, Head Start, Hillyard Senior Center, Nurture Northeast Child Development Center, Riverstone... Read Full Story →

Festival showcases strength, diversity of Latino community

A total of 22 flags, carried by 22 young men and women, marched through a crowd of nearly 350 people on Saturday Oct. 12, to open the first annual Festival Latino Americano, hosted by the Spokane area LDS Spanish Branch.

The Lopez family serenaded the crowd at the inaugural Festival Latino Americano on Oct. 12 with songs featuring violin, viola, cello and guitar.

The Lopez family serenaded the crowd at the inaugural Festival Latino Americano on Oct. 12 with songs featuring violin, viola, cello and guitar.

The extravaganza at the Spokane Stake Center included the flag ceremony, a choir presentation, dance and musical numbers, a barbacoa dinner, and ended with a fun family dance.

A choir opened the ceremony with a piece called “Oíd El Toque Del Clarín” (“Hark, Listen to the Trumpeter”) and followed that with “Grande Eres Tú” (“How Great Thou Art”).  Other music performances included songs celebrating Mexico by Juan Vasquez and Alicia Chavez, as well as the Lopez family playing a medley of songs on violin, viola, cello, and guitar.  The choir finished the program with “A Vencer” (“Carry On”).

Alicia Chavez sang a popular song from Mexico called “Volver volver” which means “going back.”  It is a love song, but Alicia says that a few people felt differently when they heard her sing.

“They said to me that hearing the... Read Full Story →

Stalwart steps – Rathdrum youth makes great strides through dance

Walking down the sidewalk, Isaac Sanders looks just like any other teenager from North Idaho.  Until the moment he leaps into the air and does a Gene Kelly heel-click, then returns to earth with a solid toe turn.  That’s when you realize that Isaac is the dancing equivalent to a McDonald’s High School All-American basketball star. Sanders dances, and he dances ballet, good enough to have recently attended one of the top competitions in the world.

Isaac is part of a group of “ballerinos” – male ballet dancers – who are often shuttled into the same  category of obscurity as offensive linemen in football – integral but unheralded.

Isaac pic

Isaac Sanders, a teacher in the Lakeland First Ward in Rathdrum, Idaho, recently participated in the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet class.

“Ballet would not be complete without us,” Isaac said. “Our job is to make the girls look good.”

Isaac has been dancing since the age of 8, and began training in ballet at the age of 11 at the Brindusa-Moore Ballet Academy in Pocatello, Idaho.   His mother, Emily Sanders, says that it was a real test of faith and prayer when they were told by his teachers that Isaac had the potential to be an accomplished dancer.

“We needed to know if this was a gift that Heavenly Father really wanted him to focus on, or if it was more... Read Full Story →

Missionary turned physician brings healing to those in need

In 1983, a young LDS missionary set out to do the Lord’s work in Honduras. Now, 30 years later, Dr. Glen Baird continues to serve the people of Honduras, this time sharing his talents as an orthopedic surgeon.

Before his mission, Brother Baird wanted to be a doctor, but while on his mission, he remembers seeing many children with malformed feet or other orthopedic defects that went untreated. It was then that he decided to be a doctor and help children like them.

“A big part of why I do what I do is because I went on a mission there,” Dr. Baird said. “I saw things I wanted to fix.”

A member of the Northpointe Ward in the Spokane North Stake, Dr. Baird currently works as a surgeon at Shriners Hospital for Children, Spokane, and is also assistant chief of staff. Along with his busy schedule at the hospital, Dr. Baird has long been involved in offering free care to those in need. For the past 14 years, Dr. Baird has participated in around 70 trips to a free Shrine clinic in Nogales, Ariz., which provides care to patients from Mexico that they cannot access in their own country. He has also made two trips to Honduras, and hopes to go on many more.

Dr. Baird has made around 70 trips to the free Shine Clinic in Nogales, Ariz. where he treats children from Mexico who cannot afford medical care in their home country.

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Spokane couple relishes opportunity to serve in South Africa

For Rick and Janet Stumm, the adventure of a lifetime began in April with a mission call to a continent 10,000 miles from their home in the Inland Northwest.

Rick and Janet Stumm of the North Spokane Stake were called in April to serve a mission in South Africa.
Contributed Photo.

The Stumms traveled first from the Green Bluff Ward in the North Spokane Stake to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah and then on to Cape Town, South Africa. From there, they were assigned to Port Alfred, where Rick was installed as the branch president. Janet serves alongside her husband, filling in for many different callings within the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary organizations.

The Stumms had planned for years to go on a mission together – so, not long after retirement, they turned in their paperwork.

“We figured we’d go some place in the States, hoping for somewhere exciting, but we didn’t expect this!” said Pres. Stumm. “We did it right away so we wouldn’t chicken out! It would have been easy to stay home and be comfortable, but we have been blessed so much in our lives that we just felt we had to give back. “

The Stumms serve in a branch of over 50 members located in Port Alfred, South Africa. There have been eight converts to the branch in just over a year.
Contributed Photo.

They are giving back a lot, dedicating much of their time to the branch, the members, and the missionaries. The branch is young, with most of the members having... Read Full Story →

Holiday strides – North Stake Fun Run tradition still going strong

Last Monday – for the 32nd year running – the Spokane North Stake held its annual 5K Labor Day Fun Run.

Over the past few years, the race has grown to a scale that requires many contributed hours, volunteers and preparation. This year, the format was pared down a bit to allow for a more family-friendly format.

The 32nd rendition of the Spokane North Stake Labor Day Fun Run took place last Monday.
Contributed Photo.

The organizers of the race posted this statement on the registration site: “It is important to note that we have changed the format of the race this year and in doing so have eliminated aspects of the Fun Run that have been present in the past. We have done this in an effort to keep the fun run as a tradition but to also reduce the man hours it takes to put on a race.”

Some of the major changes were the elimination of event shirts and entry fee and participation certificates given to participants 11 and under, instead of awards for all ages.

The event now requires a considerable effort from volunteers each year.
Contributed Photo.

Although the attendance was down from previous years due to less focus on advertising, the runners who participated didn’t seem to mind. The weather was a good deal more accommodating that last year, with lots of sun and a slight breeze to cool the runners down. Missionaries serving in the North Stake provided help with handing out water and directing runners along the course.

One family that attended the fun run was... Read Full Story →

Sentinel Standout – February 2012 – Sam Voigtlaender

Sam Voigtlaender does not like losing. So it’s not a surprise that it was a loss that really got him motivated in the sport of wrestling. Apparently he took it to heart, because he just won a 4A Washington state title at 170 pounds.

The senior was one of four state champions for Mead High School, which placed second in the 4A competition to Tahoma. Mead’s 168.5 points were the most ever by a state runner-up. The Panthers finished undefeated in the Greater Spokane League and earned first-place trophies at the district and regional events leading up to state.

A member of the Northpointe Ward, North Spokane Stake, Voigtlaender arrived at wrestling a little later than most of his teammates. His first season as a seventh grader went well, but it wasn’t until his sophomore year of high school that the sport took on a new meaning. It was then that he placed fourth at a districts competition, just missing his chance at the regional bracket.

“I absolutely hate losing,” Voigtlaender said. “But wrestling is a sport where, when you lose, you can’t blame anyone but yourself. I knew I needed to do more work if I wanted to really succeed.”

From there on out, Voigtlaender kicked his work into high gear and was totally committed. He started working out a lot more, learning from his teammates, listening to his coaches and attending summer camps. He worked extra jobs to pay for these camps, but was taught a good work ethic by his parents from a young age. They, in turn, supported him by driving him to competitions, and helping him find jobs that would pay for the extra training.

Voigtlaender continues to work hard at wrestling, and also puts the work of the Lord as a high priority.

“Seminary gives me focus and gets me going for the day,” he said. ... Read Full Story →

Local Zerorez owner succeeds with integrity as top priority

Contributor’s Corner

Cleaning a house is usually considered a chore, but when it’s the House of the Lord, it’s a whole different story.

For Jeremy McGee, owner of Zerorez Spokane, cleaning the carpets and upholstery in the Spokane Temple is a privilege – but with the blessing comes responsibility.

“It makes you a little nervous, because you want it to be perfect,” McGee said. “You’re dealing with some really high-end fibers and you have to be very careful.”

Still, McGee considers it a unique opportunity to do his part.

McGee has built the Spokane Zerorez branch into one of the most successful of its kind in the nation.
Contributed Photo.

“We want to make it better and more beautiful for everyone that comes through those doors,” he said.

McGee served in the Provo, Utah Mission and had the opportunity to take part in maintenance at five different temples in the area. He loved learning about the history and craftsmanship of the temples as he and other missionaries cleaned, and often got personal tours from the temple presidents. Now he also enjoys working directly with the temple presidency in Spokane to meet the needs of the temple here.

Business was always a passion for McGee and he knew from an early age that he wanted to run his own one day. Shortly after returning from his mission, he began researching franchises and found that he liked the look of Zerorez, which offers carpet and upholstery cleaning services that do not use soaps, shampoos, detergents or residues that attract dirt. Zerorez also cleans tile, leather, fine stone and air ducts.

“I wasn’t specifically looking to be in the... Read Full Story →

Coeur d’Alene Youth Conference resonates with ‘One Voice’

“One Voice,” a call to work and serve together in righteousness, was the theme of the 2011 Coeur d’Alene Stake Youth Conference, held June 17-18. The theme was based on Doctrine and Covenants 1:38 – “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”

A total of 120 youth from Coeur d’ Alene, Post Falls, Saint Maries and Plummer gathered for a two-day agenda that included teamwork games, dinner, devotionals, a dance and service project. A workday for the city of Plummer helped the youth to put into practice the principles taught at the conference. They participated as part of the city’s “Make Your City Beautiful” project.

Tami Dirks, stake Young Women’s secretary and member of the Post Falls Second Ward, enjoyed being a part of the service project and felt that it was one of the activities the kids liked most.

“I think they really enjoyed being able to serve an entire community and I think it also was great that they went to a small town that doesn’t always get much attention,” Dirks said. “The youth from Plummer always have to come into town for all the activities so I think it showed them mutual respect and helped them make some more friends outside of their small town.”

LDS youth from Coeur d’Alene, Saint Maries, Post Falls and Plummer gathered for the 2011 Coeur d’Alene Youth Conference last month. The annual event featured devotionals, games, a service project and a dance. Contributed Photo.

Bishop Alan... Read Full Story →

Bed and Breakfast owners share hospitality, memories and faith

In 1905, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho opened its first permanent school house and named it the Roosevelt School. One of the many students that eventually passed through its doors was a boy named John Hough who attended from first to fourth grade. Now, almost 100 years after the school first opened, that same John Hough now owns the historic building along with his wife Tina, where they manage a bed and breakfast called The Roosevelt Inn.

John and Tina Hough have owned the Roosevelt Inn, a Coeur d’Alene bed and breakfast, since 1999. Photo by Kara Houser.

Members of the Coeur d’Alene Second Ward in the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Stake, the Houghs purchased the building in 1999 after they became disillusioned with the stress of a corporate job in Northern California. The building immediately brought back a lot of memories for John.

Sliding down the banister and climbing trees were off-limits at the school, Hough recalls. Shoveling coal in the boiler room was recompense for the latter, although the former student stayed clear of injury when scaling the surrounding forest.

“Except I did break my wrist on the monkey bars,” he said.

Hough can share many good memories about school as well, but these recollections could not prepare him for the effort required to run a bed and breakfast. Having never done anything of this nature previously, he and his wife learned that some adjustments would be needed in their lifestyle.

Built at the turn of the 20th century, the Roosevelt building is listed on the National Register of Historic... Read Full Story →

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