Teen writing group inspires and delights

I was privileged to attend an enjoyable and meaningful event at the Anacortes Public Library recently – the first ever book launch for the library’s Teen Writing Group.

It reminded me what can happen when children and teens are encouraged and supported in discovering that unique “personal voice” that dwells inside them.

It was delightful to witness the presentations of excerpts from their stories articulated in such expressive ways. The teens in the group obviously have a passion for writing and a desire to help one another along in the process. In the question-and-answer portion, they talked about general issues such as favorite authors, how they get ideas and the editing process, but what was most compelling to me was how they have grown into a “family” as a group, helping one another with ideas, feedback and revisions.

There was an authentic connection among the group members that has been nurtured and developed over time, and it was exciting and heart-warming to hear them talk about it.

What was especially evident was how instrumental Briana Alzola has been in developing and facilitating the Teen Writing Group. Her love and enthusiasm for writing, personally and professionally, is contagious, and she has inspired and encouraged the individuals in this group in innumerable ways. This came out many times in the teens’ comments.

Briana’s writing abilities and her gift for helping teens strengthen their own writing, always with a sense of humor even while setting deadlines and expectations, have helped these teens work hard and be proud of their accomplishments. She has fostered a climate of acceptance within the group and been a large part of the “family” feeling mentioned above. I admire her and the work she does with teens more than I can say.

I feel so proud to be a long-time community member of such a dynamic town. Anacortes bursts with opportunities of all kinds for all interests. I want to thank the Anacortes Public Library and its crew for the multitude of experiences it provides, and, particularly, for all it offers in programming for youths.

Sherry Chavers

Anacortes

Editor’s note: Briana Alzola is a valued member of the Anacortes American staff.

Thank you to the community

The Anacortes Senior Activity Center Foundation would like to thank the community, sponsors and volunteers of Anacortes for the support and enthusiasm displayed at our second Unconventional Runway Show. We are proud to work along side the city in creating a vibrant and welcoming activity center for residents of all ages.

If you missed the sold out event this year, we hope to see you at the next Runway Show. As always we look forward to displaying our creative community, showcasing the Anacortes Senior Activity Center, as well as providing a fun and entertaining evening.

Michele Pope

ASAC Foundation vice president

Thank you for support for equipment

This is a strong and benevolent community. The outpouring of generosity at the 16th annual Gala of Hope, The Color of Miracles, benefitting Island Hospital Foundation was truly inspiring. A record-breaking gross amount of $712,027 was raised for Island Hospital.

Of the total amount raised, $453,728 was given through the Heartstrings “Raise the Paddle” appeal and will be designated to upgrading life-saving equipment in the Emergency Department. State-of-the-art healthcare will continue to be an asset for our community.

The remaining balance, after expenses, will sustain funding for patient relief grants, low-cost health screenings, cancer patient support grants, the Health Resource Center, cardiac pulmonary rehabilitative therapy grants, and other programs, services and departments supported by the foundation.

The Gala of Hope would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of the volunteer planning committee and event volunteers, the charity of our sponsors, the generosity of attendees, the auction items donated from businesses and individuals and the kindness of this community. On behalf of Island Hospital, its staff and patients, thank you all for coloring our community in miracles.

Dianne Kuhn

IHF board president

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