Nenana Wellness Coalition
February 18, 2014
The Nenana Wellness Coalition is an alliance of representatives from various organizations, government agencies, community groups and individuals that meets weekly to discuss, evaluate, coordinate, consolidate, masticate, celebrate, and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.
There were 12 in attendance today, including: Kat McElroy, David Poppe, Jessica Durtsche, Bonnie Reed, Tara, Virginia Young, Karen Kriska, Jeannie Bennett, Harriet Borst, Nick and Demitra DuPlantis and Tim Horn. We enjoyed beef stew, salmon salad sandwiches, carrot/raisin salad, Ritz crackers with sliced cheese, strawberry cupcakes, and raisins and pecans for lunch.
WELCOME followed by the READING OF MISSION STATEMENT, by this week’s chair-person: Jeannie Bennett.
PRAYER was led Damitra DuPlantis, followed by the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIENCE
PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: There were three additions to the agenda as presented today.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Minutes were posted at the WIN link at http://www.railbelt.org and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list.
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: No new guests today.
Envisioning Wellness: Nest month, March 18th, Amie Verhagen will do a presentation on the Nenana Health Challenge. On the 25th, Miles is scheduled to do a presentation on some of the horticulture techniques he learned during his stay at Club Fed. Tim will ask Chuck Hugny and Carrie Farr about the Couples Enrichment program; also perhaps they would like to do a presentation about the Quaker Faith. We would still like the new VPSO, Clinton Wiehl, do an introductory presentation as well as to have Adam White and/or Brian Blair to talk with us about the KIAM Ministry.
Supporting Nenana Fire Dept./EMS: Jeannie has reserved a table for Tripod Days and will be making healthy trail mix snacks to sell. She will not be there to people the table. Kat and Jessica have volunteered to take lead setting up the table and selling coffee and other hot drinks and snacks. Maybe by next week others who want to volunteer to people the table could figure out what times they are willing to make themselves available?
Health Fair: Kat will be doing food for the volunteers and those having blood work. Tim is especially pleased that there will be one corner of the Civic Center set aside as an activity corner: activities planned include—Native Dancing, Stretching, Line-Dancing and Tae Kwan Doh. Tara will be doing Plant Medicine. Eight AM-Noon there will be blood draws. This requires a 12 hour fast before the blood draw and do not forget to drink plenty of water so as to be hydrated. We are looking for breast cancer survivors or testicular cancer survivors willing to speak about their experiences.
Summer Volunteers: It is proposed that someone will need to take lead if we are to organize projects for summer volunteers in our community. One project that comes immediately to mind is the burnt down cabin on the corner of Second and D Streets. Kat is willing to talk to Jason to see what we would need to have in place legally to tackle that lot and clear it of rubble and junk. It was suggested that we poll the Seniors to get projects lined out in advance. Discussion ensued regarding various clean-up efforts in our community. Karen stated her belief that our youth need to be taught: Who Am I? and Why Should I Be Proud Of Who I Am for them to grow pride in themselves. She said they need to read and learn about their heritage, this is the missing piece, she says. If you do not know who you are and you have nothing to be proud of, there is no reason to take pride in your community. She mentioned that she cleaned up all along Sixth street down to the highway and took all the trash she collected (bags of it) to the Student Living Center to talk to them about littering. It would help if we could coordinate our efforts, Kat said, so that no one feels blamed or put-upon by clean-up efforts. Damitra has the dates that volunteers will be available and will coordinate that information with WIN. It was agreed we should involve the tribe, the city, other faith communities and community entities that might have projects.
Bored? Let’s Brainstorm: Ideas were shared of activities available or that could be organized in Nenana. Discussion ensued regarding “boredom” and strategies to engage people. Part of the issue may be how we are becoming passive recipients of entertainment instead of active participants in activities that provide a sense of purpose. We need to establish some kind of calendar as there are many activities already in place of which people are unaware. Karen would be interested in teaching how to make Blueberry Yum Yum’s and to play Snerts. Nick would be interested in having art projects for youth. Karen asked about the Serum Run; couldn’t we organize some kind of art project to commemorate the start of the Serum Run in Nenana? Kat had an idea about having sleepovers for the little kids, assisted by older kids, to allow young couples to have some free time to enjoy a date. She was thinking maybe a Movie Night for grown-ups would be a welcome activity. It was agreed to run this as an ongoing topic and to invite others into the process.
WELLNESS THOUGHT: Easy to find what’s wrong; harder to find what’s right.
Ancient Folk Wisdom
Nick: Continues having Friday night youth group. He enjoyed volunteering at NIT. Is going to the school to see if he can volunteer to do art projects with the students.
Damitra: Is leaving Thursday for a holiday to Anchorage and Aleyeska Ski Resort.
Bonnie: The Senior Center will have their annual meeting and elections tomorrow, Wednesday, February 19th, at the Senior Center, at lunch.
Tim: Next week is a Baha’I gift giving holiday. There will be a themed devotion hosted bty Virginia Young at Bonnie Reed’s house The 26th, at 7 PM.
Friday, February 28 at 6:30 and 8:00 PM there will be basketball games, followed Saturday morning at 10:30 and Noon—Nenana V/S Tok.
March 3-7 is the NCPS Spring Break with a Regional basketball tournament March 6,7 and 8th.
Harriet: Finishing up a lot of quilt top projects.
Virginia: Planning a Market Garden. Se has ordered her seeds.
Who is going to talk to Beau Hawkins to see if he is interested in leasing out one of the small gift store cabins this summer?
David: they had a nice Fire Department meeting Sunday night; the family of a snow-machine accident victim they rendered assistance to were there and offered their thanks to the emergency responders.
He had separated one of the calves from the mama cow to up his milk production but they made such a bawling row the neighbors complained and so he has put them back together until he can build a fenced enclosure so they can be separated but are still able to maintain nose-to-nose contact.
Jessica: Two cool things this week. She got to fly over to Old Minto Camp Thursday as part of an RHS homework assignment, tour the camp, interview people and then fly back home again, all in one day. Then yesterday she took a 22 mile dog sled tour with Jerry Riley and got to drive the dogs. She had a great time.
Karen: Glad she started coming to WIN meetings. In Koyokuk, raising six kids, she was very active in the community. Then, moving to Nenana, she took some time off. But now her youngest son, Binka, is getting ready to turn 18 and she has time to be more active again.
Jeannie: She had her first organizational meeting for the Gospel Fest 2014. She has managed to pass off many tasks to committee members so will not feel like she has to be running the whole show on her own . The fest will be Julky 4th and 5th with a big community feed by donation the evening of the 4th.
ADJOURNMENT: 2:10 PM