The sky over Spokane Valley was growing a darker shade of gray with each passing minute last Saturday morning.
Brian Holloway, a member of the Pines Ward in the Spokane East Stake, works as the director of Development and Communications for The Arc of Spokane, a local nonprofit agency that advocates for people with developmental disabilities. Contributed Photo.
The overcast conditions and impending rain did not bode well for the third annual Community Fun Run scheduled for the Centennial Trail at 9 a.m. Even so, volunteers and staff with The Arc of Spokane, a nonprofit agency sponsoring the event, remained focused on the job of checking in participants and shuttling the crowd to the 3-mile course on a scenic path bordering the Spokane River.
Brian Holloway, director of Development and Communications for The Arc, was among the hundreds in attendance on Saturday. Back in 2008, Holloway had seen a small gathering of around 50 people brave the snow for the inaugural run. As another less-than-ideal weather front settled in on this year’s proceedings, Holloway talked about the value of moving beyond exterior hurdles.
“You really need to get past the superficial,” he said.
Employment Resource Services – A reliable haven in an uncertain job market
Note from the publisher: “Employment Training Works!” is a new monthly feature in the Latter-day Sentinel focusing on programs offered by the local office of LDS Employment Services. This month’s installment provides an overview of the organization by Jim Rundlett, a volunteer at the agency.
For over three decades and through a variety of economic climates, Spokane LDS Employment Resource Services has been assisting church members and non-members in the Spokane area.
In addition to providing job referrals, the office provides resume writing assistance, counseling, career workshops, self-employment training, career fairs, and entrepreneurial seminars – all with a staff of two professionals and a rotating staff of employment missionaries.
Ron Buchanan and Sherrie Hibberd are the glue that holds this operation together. Ron spends a great deal of time on the road. In addition to nine local stakes in Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington, his territory also includes additional stakes in Alaska, Western Montana, Central Washington and the Hermiston Stake in Oregon. He also oversees volunteer offices, staffed by employment missionaries, in Anchorage, Coeur d’Alene, Kennewick, Moses Lake, Missoula, Moscow, Sandpoint and Yakima. With Ron’s schedule, vehicles and suitcases don’t last long.
Roger and Leanne Pugh thought they would stop by the local LDS bookstore after attending a wedding at the Spokane Temple on Saturday.
The couple from Ephrata drove up to the former home of The Journal on 32nd Avenue in Spokane Valley, only to find that the business, now known as The Brass Plates, had moved to a site on Sprague Avenue near Sullivan Road.
With the crisis averted, the Christmas shopping could begin.
Residents throughout the Spokane Temple District are learning to navigate their way to the store’s new location – still just five minutes from the temple – after The Brass Plates moved in early July. Rob and Cori Wright of the East Valley Ward in the Spokane Valley Stake purchased the retail venture from The Journal owners this summer and began work on renovating a 1,000-square-foot space next door to Rob’s business, Wright Brothers Sunrooms, at 15704 E. Sprague Ave.
Inside view of The Brass Plates LDS Bookstore. Photo by Craig Howard.
So far, customers say the transition has been a good one.
There were no sandy beaches, palm trees or tropical breezes at Spokane’s West Central Community Center earlier this month , but there was a charity performance by the Northwest Hula Company.
Sheri Maier (pictured left), the owner and founder of the company, is a long way from Hawaii where she was born and raised. The grayer and colder it gets around here, the farther it seems from the surroundings of her homeland, yet Sheri, who also graduated from BYU-Hawaii, is very closely in tune with her native Hawaiian ancestry, and has spent the last few decades celebrating it.
Hula has been compared to storytelling through dance, almost like it is its own form of sign language. The movements are a departure from the trendy, sharp, hip hop dance moves so prevalent on television today.
Missoula stay-at-home mom Heather Burnham had been looking for a way to make a little extra cash since her husband is a full-time student and unable to find part-time work these days. Fluent in Spanish as a second language and a skilled American Sign Language interpreter, Burnham did not want to leave home to join the workforce because staying at home to raise her kids herself was just too important.
Many moms in similar situations have turned to their hobbies to make a little extra income from home but Burnham, a member of the Missoula Third Ward in the Missoula, Mont. Stake, admits she’s not very “crafty”. “I can sew but not well enough to turn a profit,” she said.
A couple years ago Heather was introduced to vinyl lettering. She loved it because she could decorate her “rental white” apartment walls without damaging them. When she heard about so-and-so’s sister or friend who produced vinyl decals from home she thought it was something she could do.
Zags, Huskies, Eagles – and even Utes – are welcome at meetings of the BYU Management Society.
Eric Enloe, a BYU graduate and treasurer of the Spokane chapter, makes it clear that the Cougar fight song is not included at the group’s monthly luncheons and topics like Danny Ainge’s jump shot or LaVell Edwards’ offensive patterns don’t top the discussion agenda.
“It’s not intended just for BYU alumni,” Enloe said. “It’s meant to be a service organization that promotes ethics and morality in business.”
Established in 1977 by Brigham Young Dean Merrill J. Bateman, the society originally consisted of friends and graduates of the BYU School of Business, now known as the Marriott School of Management. The organization now includes around 6,000 members in 40 cities throughout the U.S. as well as chapters in 10 other countries.
How crazy do you have to be to start a business in these difficult economic times? Just ask Chris and Gary Swiss who recently opened a new restaurant called, appropriately enough, Crazy G’s.
When Gary, an engineer for semiconductor companies in California and Arizona, retired he and Chris decided to move to Spokane to be near family.
Mike Godek arrived at the home, ready to listen, prepared to help.
An elderly woman had been caring for a husband with Alzheimer’s and wasn’t sure where to turn. The couple wanted to stay in their own home, but the increasing demands of caregiving were taking their toll. A nursing home seemed like the only solution.
Godek then walked through the benefits of a company called Senior Helpers. A caregiver could be assigned to the home, providing support with day-to-day tasks from shopping to food preparation. From two hours a week to around-the-clock care, the assistance could be flexible, depending on conditions in the home.
“She cried when I left,” Godek said. “She said, ‘Thank you so much for helping us.’ It’s those kinds of situations that make all the work worthwhile.”
Mike Godek launched the Spokane branch of Senior Helpers in August of 2006. The company specializes in providing in-home care for seniors, allowing them to maintain a level of independence in their own homes. Photo by Craig Howard.
It was the same sort of gratitude that Godek saw at a North Carolina senior center while serving on a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Godek and his companion would volunteer for a few hours a week at the site, lending a hand with meals and delivery of bread donated from a local bakery.
“It was great to see them smile,” Godek said.
As a former coach, Mark Spear understands the importance of an effective pre-game pep talk.
These days, as president of the Mark Spear Home Selling Team, Spear is in his best Vince Lombardi mode as the real estate industry emerges from one of the most challenging chapters in its history. In the midst of nationwide news about foreclosures, shaky lending practices and a housing market gone sour, Spear remains optimistic that there are brighter days ahead.
Mark Spear (left) and his son, Jon, are the pillars of the Mark Spear Home Selling Team, a Spokane Valley-based real estate company established in 2003. Photo by Craig Howard.
“It looks like it’s beginning to turn the corner,” Mark said.
If you find yourself looking for The Journal, LDS Bookstore -recognized for years as the Inland Northwest’s shopping stop for LDS literature, music, greeting cards and a remarkable assortment of CTR mementos – you may have to relocate your bookmark.
The Brass Plates, formerly The Journal, was recently purchased by Cori and Rob Wright of the East Valley Ward, Spokane Valley Stake. The store itself is still located less than a mile from the Spokane Temple at 13221 E. 32nd St., Suite 5.