It made me realize just how much I miss hearing from all the folks I’ve written about on theses pages, for going on 17 years now. I pray everyday that this dad-gum pandemic will make a quick exit and the hundreds of the Grand Valley community organizations can get back to what they were doing — meeting and sharing common interests and contributing to the flavor of our western Colorado home.

Some groups have been able to meet on a regular basis, be it in person or through Zoom, but some haven’t been able to meet at all. There are groups, like the members of Vestafjell Lodge Sons of Norway, who have found a unique way to reach out.

Talented members of the lodge have been creating these handmade cards to “stay in touch with our members, near and far,” wrote past-president, Barbara Firth in the note I received with one of the cards.

Since most of the lodge members are elderly, many have been ‘staying home” since last February, she wrote.

The national organization of Sons of Norway recently sent $200 to each of its local groups with the idea of reaching out to members and offering encouragement.

“We were quick to put together a ‘beginner level’ crafty bunch and made Valentines for everyone” Firth wrote. Slipped in with the cards is a note to Vestafjell members that expresses anticipation for being able to meet again — in person — and encourages members to share ideas about reaching out, even if it’s just to chat.

“We look forward to resuming our lodge meetings where we can socialize and enjoy the foods and culture of our heritage,” the note said.

Want to learn more about the group and its heritage? Go to vestafjelllodge.org, email the new lodge president, Lynn Stout, at lindycindy2004@yahoo.com or call 260-5381.

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Grand Valley Audubon will host a virtual program on Feb. 15, highlighting birds of the Galapogos, presented by Nic Korte.

“A visit to the Galapagos is bittersweet,” a news release said.

“It is impossible not to question whether one’s own visit is a boon or a bane as tourism both threatens and protects the remarkable natural history of these islands,” the release said.

Korte’s talk will include visuals of the extraordinary scenery and wildlife of the Galapagos Archipelago.

The zoom link will be available at audubongv.org and GVAS’s Facebook page. You can also e-mail gvas.executivecoordinator@gmail.com for more information or to be provided the link.

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After more than 10 years of meeting at the Bookcliff Country Club, the Horizon Sunrise Rotary Club of Grand Junction has a new home.

Beginning Feb. 18, the club’s Thursday morning meetings will be held at “The Venue at Fishers,” at 625 24 1/2 Road, behind Fisher’s Liquor Barn.

Anyone interesting in attending in person or on Zoom, as a guest or potential members, can email Biff Messinger at biffmessinger@yahoo.com or call 210-464-4707.

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Roice-Hurst Humane Society is offering free pet vaccines and discounted vaccines and services for all veterans who enroll in VA benefits or speak with the VA Outreach Coordinator about benefits on Monday, Feb. 8.

The event is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, in the Western Region One Source parking lot, 482 28 Road.

To receive free vaccines, veterans must enroll in VA benefits (or for veterans already enrolled, they must speak with the VA Outreach Coordinator) at the Western Region One Source. Veterans who do not enroll in VA benefits or speak with the VA Outreach Coordinator can receive vaccines at discounted prices.

The pet vaccines and exams are subsidized by a grant from the Trutta Fund, through the Western Colorado Community Foundation. Funding allows Roice-Hurst to host monthly vaccine clinics for dogs and cats of veterans, in conjunction with human health services, every month.

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Submit community news items and fun greeting cards by email to communitynews@gjsentinel.com, by fax at 244-8578, or by mail to 734 S. Seventh St., Grand Junction, CO, 81501. Is your club or organization meeting in person or online? Events can be uploaded at GJSentinel.com/local-events.