Grand Junctionites share their ‘Aha’ moments

NaNa Hastings sits in front of the camera in the Aha Moments Tour Bus sponsored by Mutual of Omaha. The bus recorded at Mesa Mall this week.

Most people have had the experience when, within a millisecond, their brains put together information into a useful idea, leading to the exclamation, “Aha!”

These are the moments that insurance company Mutual of Omaha are looking for as they travel to 25 cities this summer, filming the personal experiences of everyday citizens that have led to great transformations in their lives and communities.

The Aha Moment Tour spent two days outside of Mesa Mall this week filming Grand Junctionites’ bright ideas.

NaNa Hastings, a children’s reader at Western Colorado Pediatrics Associates, a division of Primary Care Partners, described her aha moment for the camera, set up within a modified Airstream trailer. It came when a young cowboy joined the reading circle with his wife and young child.

“He said to me — ‘you used to read to me when I was little’ — it just made me feel so good,” Hastings said.

Kathie Clark, Reach Out and Read Colorado coordinator for pediatric office, told the camera that her moment comes every day when she gives babies books as part of the Healthy Steps Program at Primary Care Partners.

“My moment comes when I give a 6-month-old baby a book and I see how their face lights up — and I realize that a baby can enjoy books long before they can talk,” she said.

Hastings and Clark shared their moments with the Aha Tour in an effort to bring national awareness to their reading program, which was just nominated for the 2011 Richard Robinson Award for their outstanding reading model. The program started in 1999 and has distributed more than 8,000 books to children under the age of three.

“Our state organization asked us to come down and do it, to give the clinic exposure,” Clark said.

Jessica Henry, tour manager, said people come to tell their stories for all kinds of reasons.

“We have heard so many interesting stories on this tour,” Henry said, “It’s just amazing some of the things people come down and tell us.”

Grand Junction is the 24th city on the tour. The trailer has traveled from Albany, N.Y., all the way to Eugene, Ore.

Henry expected about 25 people to participate in the Grand Junction taping. Interviews will end at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

All of the videos are posted to within two weeks of taping. Some of the interviews will be selected to be featured in the insurance company’s national television commercial ad campaign.


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