JC Breakfast Optimist Club

Carolyn Tolliver-Lee, Family Advocacy Program Specialist at Fort Riley, was the guest speaker at the JC Breakfast Optimist Club meeting Jan. 31. She told club members that the general purpose of the program is “to help military families stay healthy and functioning.”

She meets with soldiers and families in groups or one on one to show them ways to cope with the stresses of not only military life, but also to cope with the stresses of life in general. Some of the programs available at no cost and which are taught at the Army Community Services building include “Active Parenting for Parents WITH Teenagers”; “To Spank or NOT to SPANK”; “24/7 Dads”; “Scream-Free Parenting”; “Scream-Free Marriage”; “Co-Parenting & Divorce” and  others. 

Attendance at these workshops is usually voluntary. The exception is in the case of child abuse, when a soldier may be mandated to attend training. 

Tolliver-Lee also shared that she was for many years a caregiver for her husband, who was a disabled veteran. He recently passed. She was invited to be an Elizabeth Dole Fellow, attended a meeting in Washington, D.C. with many other caregivers from around the nation and shared her story with them. The Dole Foundation established “Hidden Heroes” within the last five years for caregivers. Mrs. Dole has had experience as a caregiver in taking care of her own hero, Bob Dole.  Tolliver-Lee said at times caregivers feel isolated; sometimes their employers don’t understand that caregivers need to leave their job on short notice during the work day to deal with an emergency and even though there is love for their hero, being a caregiver can be stressful for the entire family, which includes the children. “Hidden Heroes” provides support for these caregivers. While in D.C., Tolliver-Lee met with Congressmen Roger Marshall, Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts to share ways to improve the services to veterans in Kansas. 

Since her husband has passed, Tolliver-Lee intends to continue to be an advocate for caregivers and their children. She told club members about her son’s story and his closeness to his father at Mr. Lee’s funeral.  

“Even though Mr. Lee couldn’t talk or walk, the son knew his father’s favorite ice cream and favorite movie” from all the time they had spent together as the family cared for him until his passing, she said.

For more information about the Family Advocacy Program, contact Tolliver-Lee at (785) 239-5864.

Lyon Creek 4-H Club

The Lyon Creek 4H club met Sunday at the Geary County 4-H/Senior Citizen’s building. Roll call question was “what is your favorite wild animal?” After hearing the officer’s reports, our leaders reminded us of two important upcoming dates in February:  Feb. 17 is Geary County 4-H Day at First Presbyterian Church in Junction City and Feb. 25 is Beef Weigh-In day at 2 p.m. at the Geary County Fairgrounds. Aleeya Williams shared a project talk on “How to Be a Leader” and her experiences in the Leadership project, and Jewels Williams gave a project talk on the differences between butter and margarine and the benefits to using butter in your 4-H baking projects. Our recreation leader for this meeting was Amelia Strauss, and she led us in a round of “Squirrels in a Tree.” Prior to the meeting being adjourned, it was shared that there will be a Pitch Party at the 4-H/Senior Citizen’s Center Feb. 4 beginning at 5 p.m. This event will be a fundraiser for the Geary County 4-H Interstate Exchange program. Our next regular club meeting will be held Feb. 25 at the Geary County 4-H/Senior Citizen’s building. Submitted by Josie Strauss, Lyon Creek 4H Club Reporter.

Social Duplicate Bridge

Ron Moon and Russell Gaston were the first place winners at the meeting Jan. 29. Bob and Ramona Norcross tied with Jorja Poppe and Lois Moon to win second and third place. We welcomed guest Ron Ullmer from Milford for the evening. Six pairs were in attendance participating in playing the Howell movement.

The SDB Club meets each Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Valley View Estates located at 1440 Pearl Dr. Junction City and invites all bridge players. For more information contact Twila Branfort at (785) 844-0601 or email twilabran@gmail.com.

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