Your Town, June 9, 2013

Last week’s column touched on how Facebook and Twitter might negatively impact interactions with classmates at a class reunion — what do you talk about when you already know everything about them from their posts, photos and profiles?

Today, I counter that point with a heartwarming story about how Facebook can bring people together in a profoundly rewarding way.

After my younger sister passed away in 2005, Mom hoped to locate one of Sheri’s closest childhood friends to tell him of the sad news. She Googled Phil’s last name, but because she was unsure of the unusual spelling, kept running into a dead end.

Phil was 11 years old in 1974 when his family relocated from Colorado to Indiana. Phil and Sheri exchanged letters for many years, even after she married and started a family, but the correspondence slowed and eventually stopped several years before she passed away.

After several years of failed attempts to locate him, in the fall of 2008, Mom searched the new social media site she’d heard so much about — Facebook. Mom typed variations of his name in a Facebook search, and she was thrilled when a lone result popped up. She set up her own Facebook page then messaged, asking the fellow if he had lived in Colorado during his childhood. His quick reply confirmed he was the friend she’d been searching for.

Fast forward to June 2013. Phil and his wife were vacationing in eastern Utah and, on their way to Moab last week, met my mom and my older sister and I for lunch on their way through town. Forty years had passed since we’d seen him. When it was time to leave, Phil surprised us with a treasure that he’d saved all these years —  more than 25 years worth of letters he and Sheri had exchanged — from elementary school through adulthood.

“It’s like reading her life’s story,” Mom said after reading a few of the handwritten letters that humorously detailed the daily life of a preteen, and her years beyond.

“I am so grateful to Phil for sharing these with us.”

A happy story, 40 years in the making, brought to you by Facebook.

“Like!”

Vestafjell Lodge, Sons of Norway will celebrate its 23rd anniversary at 2 p.m. June 9 at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 3133 F Road.

John Lynch will present a program on “Norwegian Coins,” and Vestafjell Lodge scrapbooks will be on display. Take a dish to share for the potluck dinner. Anniversary cake will be provided.

Guests are invited to join the celebration and learn about Scandinavian history, tradition and culture.

Call Barb at 245-5649 or Bud, 242-3396, or visit http://www.vestafjelllodge.org for information.

The Young Professionals Network of Mesa County’s new website, ypnmc.org, is now operational, offering a centralized location for events and membership information.

YPNetwork is, according to the website, “a diverse group that strives to help foster future leaders in the Grand Valley. Comprised of a variety of individuals from a wide array of professional disciplines, YPN serves to promote and develop connections between the Grand Valley’s best and brightest young professionals and others within the community.”

Visit the website to learn more.

The Kiwanis Club donated 60 Pancake Day tickets to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center for use for its clients.

The tickets were donated to recognize veterans and treat them to Kiwanis Pancake Day, which is June 14, Flay Day, at Two Rivers Convention Center.

Pancakes will be served from 6 a.m.–10 p.m., and the event will feature an all-you-can-eat breakfast or lunch, a silent auction, a cake walk game for kids and live music.

Tickets are $5 for one adult or two children younger than 12.

Call 216-1707 or visit Kiwanis-GJ.org for information.

A free adoption informational meeting, sponsored by Hope’s Promise Adoption Agency, will be at 7 p.m. 
June 20, at Four Winds Coffee and Tea, 1235 Bookcliff Ave.

If you have ever thought about pursuing adoption as a way to enlarge your family, you’re invited to attend and learn about the agency’s domestic and international adoption programs.

Light snacks will be served. Space is limited. To reserve a seat, call 263-7771 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The Bookcliff Barbershop Harmony Chorus annual yard sale fundraiser will be J
une 28–29, in the former Tuesday Morning space on the northeast corner of Red Cliff Pointe Shopping Center, behind PartyLand, 2650 North Ave.

Sale hours are 7 a.m.–6 p.m. June 28 and 7 a.m.–4 p.m. 
June 29.

If you have items you would like to donate to the cause, call 255-9992 for information and pickup.

Proceeds from the sale help support vocal music programs in local schools.

The second Grand Junction St. Baldrick’s Head Shaving Fundraising Event, for childhood cancer research, is planned for 11 a.m.–4 p.m. 
June 29 at Edgewater Tap and Grill, 905 Struthers Ave.

Participants will be shaving heads and having fun to honor children and families fighting the battle against childhood cancers. Take a chair or a blanket for sitting on the new lawn at Edgewater.

Want to join the event to save and raise money “on your head?”

Register as a shavee and/or start a team (or sign up as a non-shavee volunteer) at http://www.stbaldricks.org/events/GJ or call organizer Jim Hamlin at 314-5888.

Sustainable Roots will sponsor two events this week to bring awareness to the organization’s mission.

■ Growing a Dream: A presentation about Sustainable Roots will be at 6 p.m. Friday at Grand Junction Climbing Center, 1548 Independent Ave.

Toni Walters will give a slide show presentation about Sustainable Roots’ works in Ecuador. Donations will be accepted.

■ Eat out for the Roots will take place from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Saturday at Naggy McGees Irish Pub, 359 Colorado Ave. Naggy’s will donate 15 percent of all food sales from the day to Sustainable Roots in support of its work in Ecuador.

Learn about the organization by visiting sustainable-roots.org, call Walters at 462-2860 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

■   

Submit your Planner and community news items by email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), by fax at 244-8578, or by mail to P.O. Box 668, Grand Junction, CO, 81502. Items to be considered for Your Town should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event.


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