by Judy Woods
We were at the “Coffee With the Mayor” meeting this morning and the subject of the Sultan High School tech class came up and how proud everyone is of the students in that class.
Last spring, all of the emergency response teams in the area arranged to have a large practice emergency with a wrecked school bus and other vehicles. The tech class was asked to record the whole incident with video and the whole bit. Everyone who saw the video was so impressed, from the mayor, the city administer, and everyone else on down.
There is going to be a Christmas caroling celebration here in town Dec. 17. That’s on a Tuesday, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., unless we are soaked or freezing before that. There will be hot chocolate served afterward to help thaw us out. It should be a lot of fun.
Not to be outdone, the kids from Safe Stop are also going to have a Christmas celebration. It will be held at Galaxy Chocolates on Dec. 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. They are going to decorate cookies, have an ugly sweater contest and a white elephant gift exchange. Santa will be there!
The library is going to be busy too. On Dec. 20 they will be offering a Fun Candy House to the little ones ages 1 to 3. Family and child will get to work together to glue candy to graham crackers using frosting as glue. Then they get to put the decorated crackers together to resemble little gingerbread houses.
Bronn and Katherine Journey, who are from Sultan, are bringing their Christmas music performance to the Everett Performing Arts Center. There are two performances, one in the afternoon at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 22. That is the matinee. The performance that is very close to my heart is the evening performance where a portion of all of the proceeds from Sultan will be donated to Susie Hollenbeck .
Here is how you see to it that those proceeds go to Susie. Make your reservations through Mayor Eslick for the evening performance only by phoning (425) 327.2093.
If you have never seen Bronn and his wife, you are in for a very pleasant, big surprise. He is a very gifted harp player and she sings beautifully.
We want to offer a very big “thank you” to Gordon MacDonald for setting the tone for the Sultan Harvest. Although he was not present, his dedication and high standards were felt every single day from the planning stage to the finish when the last piece of turkey was served. We sincerely hope that he truly enjoyed Thanksgiving with his family after all of the years of serving Sultan theirs. Also, we want to extend a big “thank you” to Grocery Outlet for all of the new warm apparel, the turkeys, blankets and gloves, to Fred Meyer for the gift certificate used to buy more turkeys, and to Crosswater Church for the very large donation of the food for the dinner. Thank you to all that helped in one way or another. We served 360 that day.
Most of us are content with our accomplishments, victories, and failures with others like us. Then there are those who choose such an unusual path and direction that it is hard for the rest of us to appreciate.
Here is a single grandmother living in a very lovely home surrounded by mementoes of beautiful memories. And what does she do? She sells her successful business and risks everything to follow a dream straight from her heart and with such depth that it could be frightening to many of us.
She dreams of healing the pains of those who have suffered so much from the reality of serving our country in war.
She saw a video of a young man who was showing such deep signs of depression and alienation that he seemed unapproachable until another young veteran came and just laid his hand on him. Not a word was said; not long after another young veteran came up and also laid his hand on the young man. Again, not a word was spoken. They just sat there until the young man started to show signs of relief. This video touched Arlene Gibson so much that it changed her life.
She set about dedicating everything towards her goal and reeducating herself to be of service to those young people who need help. So, in March of 2012, she sold the business and started working towards turning her home into a sanctuary for healing.
She was familiar with horses and was aware of the calming effect that a horse can have on people. She knows that a horse can relate to the emotions of those around them. She experienced this very thing just recently when it had been “just one of days” and her mustang, who is an “in your face” horse, walked up and put his head over her shoulder and just stayed there until she began to feel better, and then he meandered away.
Arlene has finished two certifications leading to the full certification that she needs to become a non-profit organization. She has 30 acres of land, horses and a great business plan. She has counselors who are impressed with her operation, and military officers who want to help. The only hang-up is her non-profit status with the federal government. She has some military people who are using her facilities now but she is very limited with what she can do.
Her goal is to buy a quarter-acre lot across the street, put in a mobile home to live in and turn her very beautiful, five-bedroom home to the veterans where they may find peace and begin to build the self confidence needed to start the healing process. She ultimately wants her home to become the East County Veterans’ Center.