Submitted by Providence St. Peter FoundationDr. Deborah Hall, Sexual Assault Clinic Medical Director, with colleague John Skinder, Thurston County Special Victims Prosecutor (photo courtesy Steven Herppich)OLYMPIA, WA– The 25th annual Christmas Forest raised over $550,000 which benefits the mission of Providence to provide health care to all, with special concern for the poor and vulnerable. During the five-day event, over 4,500 visitors came during public viewing to see the trees and wreaths which were decorated by dedicated volunteers, many who have been involved for over 20 years. During public viewing, 25 different artistic groups from the community delighted attendees including the Chinook Middle School Band, and the Capital Concert Band. It is estimated that over 300 volunteers participated, contributing more than 10,000 hours to make the Forest a reality.The Forest included 27 trees, 13 wreaths, and other specialty items which were auctioned off at the Gala Auction and Dinner, held Friday, November 30. The gala raised $375,000 alone, including $180,000 for the Providence Sexual Assault Clinic and Child Maltreatment Center. At the Gala, Dr. Jim Reus, Emeritus Foundation Board Member and surgeon at Surgical Associates, spoke from the heart, reminding those attending, “These are our children, this is our community, and they are all our responsibility.” The Sexual Assault Clinic provides care to over 300 children and their families each year who have been affected by sexual abuse, playing an important role in the community’s overall response to sexual abuse, and helps victims and their families begin the long journey toward healing.The Dr. Seuss Tree, “There’s Fun to be Done!” is now displayed at Hands On Children’s Museum.One-third of the trees and wreaths were donated back to the community. Larry Brooke, Providence St. Peter Foundation Board Treasurer, and volunteer coordinator for tree delivery, says, “Not everyone realizes that so many of these trees end up back in the community for people that are being served during difficult times in their lives.” This year, trees can be seen in places such as the Hands On Children’s Museum, Group Health Olympia Medical Center, SafePlace, and multiple locations at St. Peter Hospital including the lobby, Oncology Center in Lacey, Chemical Dependency, new Critical Care Unit, and other Providence locations. According to Brooke, “There were several children at SafePlace when we delivered the tree, and they may not otherwise have had a Christmas tree this year. It was really special to see their joy; they followed us down the hall like Santa was coming through with his sleigh!”The Raffle Tree, Polar Bear Express, was won by Olympia resident Thelma Geuin. Geuin says, “Winning the tree is absolutely the most amazing thing that has happened to me in a long time! I sit and look at it in the evenings and just marvel at how magical it is.” The tree, designed by Victoria Schmidt, was delivered to Thelma’s home on December 6.Dr. Dan Davidson, Providence St. Peter Foundation Board President, thanked the co-chairs of Christmas Forest, Dr. Jay and Carla Rudd, saying, “Jay and Carla have chaired the event for three years and we are so grateful for the innovation they have brought to this event, as well as their dedication to Providence, its mission, and the community.” Facebook0Tweet0Pin0
As well as the sold-out 16-team HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2018 main event running across three days from Friday-Sunday, two qualifier events will also run parallel to the core competition.Twelve teams will battle it out in the men’s world series qualifier, with the winner taking the prestigious prize of core team status for 2019. The same applies in the women’s qualifier competition, played across Thursday and Friday, with a core team spot on the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series 2019 up for grabs.In the men’s world series, reigning Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens champions Fiji will enter this year’s tournament chasing their fourth consecutive title. The Pacific Islanders have brought a star-studded squad to the competition as they look to leapfrog series leaders South Africa, who are just eight points ahead in the standings. “For the Fijians this is one of the biggest tournaments that exists,” said coach Gareth Baber. “I’ve selected a squad to go and win both Hong Kong and the Commonwealth Games and we’re ready to compete at the highest level.”With a hotly anticipated Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco just over 100 days away, hosts USA will be aiming to make their mark in Hong Kong and build on their Cup-winning form in Las Vegas last month. “The competition is as intense as ever,” said USA coach Mike Friday. “Ultimately it’s about which teams delivers on the pitch in front of an electric atmosphere. When you get the opportunity to play in Hong Kong, you grab it with both hands.”Hosts Hong Kong will look to improve on their quarter-final exit from last year’s qualifying competition and captain Ben Rimene is hoping training with the likes of Fiji has got them set for the event.”We moved into the hotel yesterday and had training with Fiji last Saturday which has given us an idea of the level that’s required, so we’re settling in well,” he said. “We’ve done the training so we’re just fine tuning everything so we can get stuck in this Friday.”Playing in front of a home crowd there’s always going to be pressure, but we just have to take it as motivation and accept it, we know what’s expected. The crowd is always supportive no matter what the results are. We know they want a win and we’re hoping we can deliver that.”In the women’s qualifier, which will be played in the main stadium on Friday for the first time, Wales captain Philippa Tuttiett is excited by the challenge and prospect of core team status.”We’re focusing on ourselves going into this tournament, it may sound cliche but it’s down to our performance,” she said. “We’ve been building for this now for about two years, we’ve got a great set of players in a really challenging environment. As individuals we’re all world-class players we just have to bring it all together on the day and if we look after that we should enjoy the tournament.”
BARCELONA, Spain: Huawei is the top information communication technology brand in its China-based headquarters, and an impressive third in smartphones globally. Now Kevin Ho, president, Handset Business, Huawei Consumer, feels that with international football star Lionel Messi, the brand will move from challenger to global leaders soon. The Huawei brand can be found in more than 170 countries around the world including Jamaica and the Caribbean. It is considered the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world, having overtaken Ericsson in 2012. Huawei chose Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi as their brand ambassador because his journey to becoming the best player in the world, his domination over his opponents and other inspiring qualities speak to what the brand is seeking to achieve globally. Messi is a five-time FIFA World Player of the Year. “We are seeking a long-term partnership. He is a win, win. Look to see Huawei and Messi in the future,” Ho assured, following Thursday’s announcement of Messi as their global ambassador. He believes the Messi-Huawei partnership will prove vital in helping them to overcome rivals Apple and Samsung. “He overcame physical challenges as a young footballer to become the best, and the way he dominates on the field and always helps his team win … is very inspiring to a lot of people,” Ho continued. When asked by The Sunday Gleaner if Huawei could, in the near future, look to contract Jamaican track stars like Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, Ho said for now they are happy with Messi, but will always look to grow the business. Meanwhile, Huawei is set to launch their new P9 smart phone. It is expected to be launched in London on April 6. According to Ho, five reasons why Huawei devices stand out from others are, “design, craftsmanship, user experience, long battery life and excellent camera quality.” LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIP
DENIES WRONGDOING PARIS (AP): The FIFA ethics committee has requested a life ban for Michel Platini, the Frenchman’s lawyer said yesterday, a move that would rule the UEFA president out of the race to succeed Sepp Blatter. Thibaut d’Ales told The Associated Press that the maximum sanction was asked for when the FIFA ethics committee investigations unit submitted its final case report. Blatter could also face expulsion from world soccer over a US$2 million payment of FIFA money he approved to Platini in 2011. Platini and Blatter face separate hearings before FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert in December. “The overreaching of the request really convinces us of this commission’s total lack of credibility,” D’Ales said in a telephone interview. “There is not a single tangible element in this case that can confirm the suspicions.” Platini is currently serving a 90-day ban over cash he got as backdated salary almost nine years after he stopped working as Blatter’s presidential adviser from 1998-2002. Platini denies wrongdoing and says he had a verbal contract with Blatter to receive the money. Blatter has argued that an oral agreement is valid under Swiss law. However, FIFA was also not legally required to pay Platini after five years passed. Eckert is expected to give his verdicts in the cases of Platini and Blatter in December. Any sanctions can be challenged at the FIFA appeals committee and Court of Arbitration for Sport. D’Ales said he was informed of the ethics committee’s request on Monday and decided to make it public after it leaked in the French press. He said FIFA’s aim is to prove that there was no contract between Platini and Blatter. “Obviously, we’ve got the proof that such a deal existed,” D’Ales said. “We will submit it to CAS, which will handle the case within a fairly short space of time.” A spokesman for the FIFA ethics prosecutors declined to confirm what sanction was requested last week. “We are entitled to comment, but we decided for reasons of personality rights and the presumption of innocence not to publish the request,” Andreas Bantel told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “If Mr Platini wants to comment on the request he is entitled to do that.” Platini aims to clear his name and stand as a candidate in the FIFA presidential election on February 26 to succeed Blatter, who is stepping down. Blatter announced his exit plans on June 2 under pressure from American and Swiss federal investigations into bribery and corruption at FIFA. Switzerland’s attorney general has opened criminal proceedings against Blatter over the US$2 million payment as suspected criminal mismanagement of FIFA money.
People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Chief Whip Gail Teixeira has alleged that Government has deliberatelyPPP Chief Whip Gail Teixeiracancelled the date for the annual National Toshao’s Council (NTC) from July to August to rein in a high presence at its bi-annual congress.Teixeira said government had an agenda when it cancelled the National Toshao’s Council conference set for July 18 last, and rescheduled it to begin on August 22. She said by the time the conference comes to an end on August 26, it would be just in time for the commencement of the People’s National Congress’ 19th Bi-annual Conference.According to the Chief Whip, her party was reliably informed and was even shown a letter by the NTC to the Minister, requesting that the Conference be held in July, however this was ignored.“The change came after the PNC’s announcement that it will be having its conference on the 26th to the 28th. We also have information that the Government is paying for persons to come for the NTC and that accommodation will continue for a number of areas until next week Monday.”She told the media Friday that the government has even decided to utilise the ferry service which runs from Georgetown to Region One (Barima/Waini) to facilitate delegates and observers for the Congress.The NTC was established in accordance with the Amerindian Act of 2006 as an autonomous body comprising Toshaos representing 212 Amerindian villages and communities. The body’s executive is elected in sub-regional elections every three years.The PNC Bi-annual Congress will commence on Friday, August 26, and is expected to see an attendance of some 500 persons, including representatives from each Administrative Region.President David Granger is scheduled to address the congress, making it the first time in decades that the party’s leader would be making an address as Head of State.Several matters are said to be high on the agenda for discussion, including anything that would arise out of the Head of State’s Address.
Counselor James Elijah Pierre, Grandmaster of Freemasonry in Liberia, last weekend was given the royal treatment at a benefit dinner planned and organized in his honor by members of Amos Lodge No. 10 of St. John River City based in Grand Bassa County.A pavilion full of Brothers from other Lodges, colleagues, relatives, friends and guests toasted the Grandmaster heartedly as he sat back and, for once, enjoyed recognition and praise for what many summed up as a ‘lifetime of achievements that produced a cascade of flowers, kisses, plaques, slaps on the back and more attention than the guest of honor could stand for one evening.’The Grandmaster was roundly praised as a hardworking leader for Free Masonry who had toiled tirelessly building on the successes of his predecessors.In welcoming the guests to the black-tie occasion, Worshipful Brother Curtis R. Findley, Worshipful Master of Amos Lodge No. 10, called on the Almighty to lead and bless the Craft and its members.He informed the organization’s brothers and sisters, guests, and relatives, that the dinner already had been paid for, and the monies raised would go toward charitable work in St John River City, and directed at students’ needs in equipment, supplies, food, a local clinic and aid to farmers. TOASTIn his introductory remarks, Worshipful Brother Eden Reeves ll, reminded Freemasons to remember that the fraternity to which they have given their allegiance is designed to be the great moral force for breaking down barriers which separate men from each other; and most importantly, for the creation of charity as broad as the human race.“We as Masons are taught to honor those that work long and hard in the service of Freemasonry. So we have gathered here tonight to say “thank you” to the Most Worshipful Brother James Elijah Pierre, Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons and Freemasonry in Liberia,” Brother Reeves explained.“Your wisdom and strength have edged us into a new era as you have…taken Craft Masonry to higher heights,” he told Grand Master Pierre, referring to the conference of the exalted, high degree of Grand Inspector General 33rd degree on Liberian Freemason in more than 40 years. On his feet to respond to the trophy, flowers and other gifts and expressions of affection and devotion to their leader and the Craft, the Grand Master thanked the hosts, friends and loved ones, for the honor bestowed on him. “This is a great opportunity to express our intent to advance our projects of charity,” he continued. “A large portion of the public does not understand what we are about. We need to be active, but we have to be seen to be active.“We have much work to do in dispelling negative comments against our fraternity – misinformation. No one person can organize, control or lead. Many have helped in the achievement of our goals.” Counselor Pierre thanked Amos Lodge NO. 10 for its initiative and hoped other lodges would follow its example.ROASTBut the highlight of the occasion had come earlier in the program. And as one after the other, friends, colleagues, or loved ones put the Counselor through something he probably had avoided for a long time: A royal roasting that hailed James E. Pierre as an exceptionally nice person, was underway. Would it nail him for his legendary ‘sweet temper’ and an easy-going persona? You’d better believe it!One by one, the Grandmaster’s friends and relatives served him some of his own medicine – their collection of funny anecdotes (short stories) related to J. Elijah Pierre’s self-effacing style, and that ‘charming’ way he has when dealing with people, things and circumstances that get out of hand. And so, a Toast was not out of place; but neither was a Roast! A roast is a facetious (not meant to be taken seriously) ceremonial tribute in which the guest of honor is both praised and, in a sweet way, criticized, teased, and sometimes even insulted. Listening to the roasters recall some of their experiences with their friend and brother, James E. Pierre, it was clear that the guest-of-honor was pretty close to being a taskmaster – both to himself as well as to any wanting to ‘form the fool’ (inclined to tomfoolery). He was portrayed as not caring a hoot about being billed the nicest person who ever walked the earth as most who know him continue to say…even though, they say, “he has his ways.”According to Worship Brother N. Oswald Tweh, a co-partner of the Grand Master’s at the Pierre and Tweh Law Firm, “Counselor Pierre is a hard worker and one of the smartest people in Liberia.” The Lodge’s Grand Secretary suggested that when he and Counselor Pierre first began working together, people had wondered aloud how they would ever be able to get along. “But, he is a soft man; a compassionate person; and we have come a long way. But 70 is a lot years and there might be a need to slow down,” he concluded.Taking the podium, the Grand Master’s sister, Carmena, had this to say about her brother, among other things: “James is tough, understanding; he is special.”Said Deputy Grand Master Tony Deline: “At 150 years, ours is the oldest Grand Lodge in Africa. We are happy to have Worthy Brother Pierre as our Worshipful Grand Master.” “I know the man.” explained Brother Benoni Urey. “I got to know him through my brothers. He crushes, but you should listen to him. I always listen to him. His problem has always been that he cares for his fellow man. We all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. But we are a loving fraternity – a good fraternity that teaches the good of all. We love and appreciate you. God bless you Jimmy.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Growing Seed School System over the weekend held its 2nd graduation and Thanksgiving Exercises at the school’s campus in Soul Clinic, Paynesville, outside Monrovia. The ceremony brought together educators, parents, students, well-wishers and community residents.The guest speaker, Cllr. John A.A. Gabriel, informed the gathering of a common enemy that is plaguing the growth and development of the country. He named the common enemy as illiteracy, and therefore, called on all Liberians including the student community to join the fight to rid the country of illiteracy.‘’It is because Liberia has 96 percent illiteracy rate, and only 4 percent partially educated, that our country has continued to languish behind the growing community of global technologically advanced nations.’’Cllr. Gabriel is the Head of the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Section at the Ministry of Justice (MOJ). He further stated that Liberia, because of the lack of quality education of its citizenry, can be compared to Bangladesh and East Timor, which are among the poorest countries in the world.Cllr. Gabriel called on parents to redouble their efforts and resources and send their children to school to bridge the widening gap between literates and illiterates, adding, “Anything short of this, they are doomed for failure.To the graduates, he encouraged them to continue pursuing education, which is the best way to future success. Addressing the female students, Gabriel called on them to muster the courage in the pursuit of their education, telling them that they are the ones who have the responsibility to change the society.Stephen Y. Mambu, the Founder and Executive Director of Growing Seed School disclosed plans for the construction of a technical high school in the near future.Growing Seed School system, an institution founded in 2011, will grow to become the best technical high school in Liberia, he said. Mr. Mambu stated that the mission of Growing Seed is to mold the hearts, heads, and hands of adolescents and give them a special place in the Liberian society and the world at large.More than 30 students from the kindergarten section, and five ninth graders took part in the graduation exercise.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Presentations and field trips are planned for July 27th and 28th, while the evening of the 26th will feature a cash bar at the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery. Plans for the evening include a tour of the adjoining PRPRC, and the “Quintette Doors” will be unveiled as well.Representatives from the Canadian National Committee for Geoparks will be on hand for three days after the symposium concludes, at which time they will examine the programs, region, and facilities, and make a recommendation whether the Tumbler Ridge Expression of Interest qualifies for an application to the Global Geoparks Network.Funding from the Peace River Regional District has made the symposium a possibility. Previously, the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation approached the PRRD in hopes of creating a Geopark for the Tumbler Ridge Area.- Advertisement -The Geopark would be a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization Global Geopark, and only the second in North America. There are currently 80 UNESCO Geoparks in the world today.There is no registration fee to attend the symposium, and members of the public are encouraged to attend any or all of the event.Anyone wanting more information on the proposed Geopark can visit http://www.trmf.ca or http://www.globalgeopark.orgAdvertisement
1 Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has told Marco Reus to reject a move to England and stay in Germany.Reus has been continually linked with a move to the Premier League over the past 18 months, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all said to be keen, and that speculation has intensified following Borussia Dortmund’s poor start to the season.Jurgen Klopp’s side are currently 14th in the Bundesliga, 22 points behind league leaders Bayern Munich.Next summer sees the activation of Reus’ release clause, allowing the 25-year-old to leave Dortmund for around £28m.That has alerted the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea who, along with Manchester United, are keen admirers of the Germany international.However, Bayern captain Lahm has told the winger to reject the Premier League and instead stay in the Bundesliga.“It is first of all a good thing that quality national team players, who can strengthen any team, stay in the league,” Lahm told Sky Deutschland.“It is an advantage for the Bundesliga if the stars choose to remain in Germany.”Bayern have also been linked with a move for Reus, having previously raided Dortmund for both Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski over the past two summers. Marco Reus