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Posts tagged ‘Ennis’

Ennis, Montana


Our little town of Ennis, Montana has in it some of the most interesting people in the world. There are less than 1000 residents in the city limits. Another 1000 (perhaps) live in the surrounding area of Madison County.

They come from all over the United States and from every background imaginable. I am constantly amazed as I get to know people at what their previous (or other) life involved (involves).

Many of them are part-time residents who come here to hunt, fish, golf, hike, ski, or take a break and enjoy the gorgeous scenery seasonally. It’s a relaxing, slow-paced place; a little like stepping back fifty years in time.

People here are friendly, inclusive, and welcoming. A typical first question is, “Where are you from?” Montana natives are far outnumbered – hard to come by! A treasured rarity! But because they welcome us “transplants” with open arms, strangers aren’t strangers for long.

There are more than 50 service organizations in Madison County. Each of them, from the Woman’s Club (👍yup, spelled singular on purpose) to the Lion’s Club, the Aquatic Club to the History Association, the various churches (7 of them) to the Friends of the Library and the Madison County Writers’ Group, all are anxious to help people find a way to serve, to connect, to feel a sense of purpose and belonging.

In his daily devotional, Rick Warren (author of The Purpose Driven Life) wrote today, “… being a member means being a vital organ in a body, an indispensable, interconnected part… ” Quoting from Romans 12:4-5, he reminded us, “We are created for community. Don’t just come, belong!”

It’s such a privilege to BELONG to a community where folks are encouraged and welcomed and valued. You might think such a place only existed in “The Good Old Days.” Guess again. Come to Ennis, Montana! It’s a place where The Wild West still is. The deer and the antelope roam. And the sky is not cloudy all day!

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Don’t just come. BELONG!

Where the Money Goes


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In my last blog, I told you about the many helping hands in the Madison Valley Woman’s Club and shared a song we sang to the tune of “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain.” I indicated that the ladies of the MVWC donate countless hours as well as gently used clothing and household goods to the Nearly New – the thrift store owned and operated by the club. They sell the items for an affordable price (like $4 or $5 for a nice pair of jeans or a shirt or pair of shoes, and $2 for a t-shirt). Over $51,000 of the proceeds from the store in fiscal year 2012-13 went back into the community.

As promised, here is a list of the individuals and organizations to whom the money was donated:

Woman’s Resource Center
Ennis Caring and Sharing
Madison Valley Public Library
Senior Companion Program
Montana Dentist Outreach
Piecemakers of the Madison Valley
Madison Valley History Association
Montana Talking Books
Madison County Volunteer Respite Care
Meals on Wheels
Madison Valley Manor Auxiliary
Madison Valley Manor
Ennis High School Booster Club
Pennies for the Arts
Ennis Children’s School
Madison Farm to Fork
Ennis After Prom
Ennis Lions Club
CASA
HOBY
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Ennis Arts Association
Madison Meadows Golf
George Ball Australia Trip
Madison Valley Medical Center Foundation
Ennis Community Choir
Giving Tree
Madison Byways
Madison Valley Aquatic Center
Ennis Ambulance Service
Madison Valley Rural Fire Department
14 Scholarships (ranging from $500 to $1000 each)

The total giving actually was closer to $52,000 (exact amount was a whopping $51,890.00). Remember, our little community of Ennis has less than a thousand residents! This is an impressive undertaking. It takes many hands working together to make all that giving possible.

Isn’t it amazing what the sale of other people’s castaways can do? If you have items to donate, be sure to come by the Nearly New in Ennis, MT. You can be sure your cast-offs will find a new home – and the proceeds will be put to good use!

God Bless the Madison Valley Woman’s Club and their incredible generosity!

Madison Valley Woman’s Club


I am the inspirational leader for the women’s club in my town – the appointed “Chaplain.” The club is part of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), known as the Madison Valley Woman’s Club (MVWC). This week we kicked off our new year with a meeting of more than 50 ladies (our town has a population of less than 1,000 – so fifty is a sizable number for our little community). For the inspiration this month, we featured M&M’s = Music and Movement.  I explained that the M&M’s on the tables were not just a sweet treat, but a reminder to add Music and Movement to their lives for a fuller, healthier existence. Then, clapping along to the accompaniment of my accordion, the ladies joined our “Sing-Along”  to the tune of “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountains.”

ImageGet up, stomp your feet, clap your hands and sing along with me:

 

We’re the Madison Valley Woman’s Club, you know.
We are women in the flow and on the go.
We work hard at Nearly New –
Donating hours (quite a few),
As we give and sell and buy and work and grow.

We don’t have to work at Nearly New it’s true.
But some do it to be helping me and you
Earn the money for our giving,
Providing others a better living;
We give scholarships – and donations, too – Woo-hoo!

We have interests that are as varied as we are.
Some attend a church or garden or sit at a bar.
We are philanthropic souls, though;
We accomplish many fine goals, oh –
We cook, play bridge, fish, hike, sew, paint, golf near par!

We’re the Madison Valley Woman’s Club, you see.
We live here and love to be in this valley.
We tell others how we groove it,
Finding ways we can improve it.
Join us, friends, and you will smile contagiously!

Our Madison Valley Woman’s Club returned more than $50,000. back into the community in the 2012-13 fiscal year! Those were the profits realized from the sale of “Nearly New” items at our local thrift shop. It is owned and operated by the ladies of the GFWC-MVWC. Amazing, isn’t it? So much good comes from the donation of time and talent and “stuff” that people don’t need or don’t want anymore. If you’re anywhere near Ennis, Montana, come by and see us! You, too, won’t be able to help yourself – – – you’ll find a bargain for a few bucks – – – buy it, knowing it is for a good cause – – – and leave the shop smiling contagiously!

Tune in tomorrow for a list of to whom or what those funds were donated 🙂

 

Hope for Marigolds


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I am a member of the Ennis Chapter of TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly). Those initials also might stand for “Take Off Pounds Socially.” As a social being who finds it difficult to remain motivated in isolation, I tried unsuccessfully to take off weight by myself. Seeing the weight creep up over the years so that my size 8 body needed a size 14 to cover it, I had a wake-up call when the 14s were too tight and I realized I might need a 16 if I did any shopping. Hey, I am only 5’1″ and this body was never intended to be more than an 8. Age is not an excuse! Lots of pictures were taken at our 50th wedding anniversary party. When I saw those, I realized pictures don’t lie. I was FAT! I didn’t like the looks of myself. I needed to stop procrastinating and making excuses, stop looking at my obese aunts and rotund paternal grandmother, and telling myself, “You can’t help it. It’s in your genes.” WRONG! My mother avoided excessive weight gain. My father did not become round like his father and mother had. I needed a support group who could help me become accountable – and a program that would teach me to make wiser food choices.

A friend here in Ennis, Montana who is about my height and used to weigh about what I did, encouraged me to join her in the newly formed TOPS group. My friend had lost a pound a week over about 25 weeks. She looked terrific. If she could do it, I decided, I could, too. I joined. That was about a year and a half ago. Today I have reached my 30 pound weight-loss goal and have graduated to KOPS status. I have given away all the size 12s and 14s – and I am determined to live up to the KOPS label: Keep Off Pounds Sensibly. I presented my weight steps “secrets” in a program for my support group today. I titled it “Hope for the Marigolds” and gave a marigold plant to each of the others (5 of them) who also has reached her goal weight.

Here are the “Seven Steps from TOPS to KOPS” that I presented today:

     Select
Healthy

Options ; Choose

Portions

Effectively.

Find

Opportunties for

Renewal.

Move

Actively.

Read

Inspirational

Guidelines.

Own your

Limitations.

Decide on

Slimness/Success!!

 

Seven Steps to Being Merry and Reaching the Gold (Reaching your Goals)

1 – Select Healthy Options

2 – Choose Portions Effectively

3 – Find Opportunities for Renewal

4 – Move Actively

5 – Read Inspirational Guidelines **

6 – Own Your Limitations

7 – Decide on Slimness/ Success

 

** Some of inspirational guidelines that TOPS members are familiar with are the pledge we recite at the beginning of each meeting and the poem we recite at the close of each gathering. They are below.

PLEDGE:

“I am an intelligent person. I will control my emotions, not let my emotions control me. Every time I am tempted to use food to satisfy my frustrated desires, build up my injured ego, or dull my senses, I will remember, even though I overeat in private, my excess poundage is there for all the world to see. I will TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY.”

FAREWELL (close of each meeting):

“You take my hand and I’ll take yours
And we’ll start out today.
For a helping hand is what we need
To guide us along our way.
For the road to goal is a rocky path.
We need someone to care.
So, reach out, my friend, and take my hand.
We’ll encourage and we’ll share.”

Unlike some other weigh-loss organizations, TOPS does not end when you have reached your goal. It only costs $5. a month to join the local organization – and an annual dues of $29. for the national membership. It is not only affordable to remain in the group, but it is wise, encouraging, and altruistic. By continuing to belong, members encourage one another, remain accountable to the group, recognize the importance as serving as a role model for others, and keep from slipping back into old habits. TOPS and KOPS are not a diet program. They represent a way of life. Once you have learned a healthier way to live, you won’t want to slip back into those bigger sizes ever again – and you will want to be there to support your new friends, just as they supported you when you were on the path to a better body.

I gave a marigold plant to each of the ladies who had met her goal. I encouraged the others to follow the seven steps being “Merry” and reaching their “Gold” also. I have a marigold for you. Come join us!

KOPS Pledge:

I am an intelligent person. I have controlled my emotions and not let my emotions control me. Every time I am tempted to use food to satisfy my frustrated desires, build up my injured ego, or dull my senses, I will remember that I am to be an example of what TOPS can do, as I KEEP OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY.”

 

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