Contributors share hopes and wishes for new year


It's another New Year, full of hope, inspiration and new beginnings. What will 2011 bring to all of us and the world? What are your hopes and fears? What can be done to bring our hopes to fruition and lay our fears to rest?

Several regular contributors to 55 Plus address our current state of affairs and their hopes for the New Year.

Mike Johnson, executive director of the Center at the Park said, "I hope that those in need might be able to find those things for which I'm thankful and in abundance: food, for those that are hungry; a job for those for those who are jobless; a house for those who are homeless.

"And for those who are disenfranchised for whatever reason, I hope for them peace and equanimity."

"For me the challenge is to do something new and daring each year," said Suzie Aldrich, volunteer and former mountaineer. "There are a lot of things left to do on my 'bucket list!'" And she always hopes for the absolute best for everyone.

At Helpline, executive director Dan Willms said, "From my perspective, my hope is that the county of Walla Walla develops more affordable and energy efficient housing. We don't really have affordable housing. Most of these homes are older and not energy efficient. Tenants can easily rack up a $400 heating bill. I got one today for $600." He wants to see more affordable, energy efficient housing.

At Fort Walla Walla Museum, volunteer coordinator Don Locati said, "I believe that 2011 will be a better year than 2010." He encouraged promoting the area as a place to visit, remarking on the plenty of things to see and do that can't all be done in a day.

Paul Franzmann, communications manager at Fort Walla Walla Museum encouraged peaceful, productive interactions between people. "As a community, we need to resume talking with each other instead of at each other. Little gets accomplished without compromise. Better to get some of what you want than nothing; better to get some of what you want and make others happy, too."

Sometimes a bit of good fortune sets the tone for the whole year. "When 2010 started, I never thought I would have the opportunity that was handed to me in February," said Cheryl Gibson, Store Manager at Fort Walla Walla Museum. "Would I set up the Museum Store? I took the job on with the hope I would create an atmosphere suited for Museum guests. I am thankful for the positive reactions and hoping in the coming year I can build on the success of 2010 and make 2011 even better."

"Hopefully, we can continue meeting the needs for the kids of today by expanding our programs," said Karen Wolf, executive director of Camp Fire. "We can expand our Financial Literacy Program, sponsored by Baker Boyer Bank, and expand our extensive bullying program." This program helps children learn how to deal with the causes and effects of bullying. "We have environmental programs, and we want to expand the time the kids spend in the outdoors. Everything I've read says that it helps them be more successful in every aspect of their lives. Nutrition, snack planning. We will be kicking up our building campaign so we will have the opportunity to do more. We want to expand into the areas of the greatest need. We want to continue to expand the swimming program."

According to Wolf, spring may be the start of the new construction to upgrade their building. The new year will bring many new possibilities with it.

"I certainly hope 2011 will be a better year than 2010," said Audrey Renaud, Adult Day Center program manager.

"I'm looking forward to the coming year. I'd like to have a place of my own and a full-time job for my husband. He's a wonderful teacher, he gets the kids to learn. I'm really pretty happy with everything. I'd like to see my musical career take off more and I hope that the Adult Day Center clientele grows."

Lorrie and Cal Toye's thoughts for the new year include, "Peace in our world and peace within our cities, homes and families. Recovery of our nation's economy, too!"

A new year is a time to look at your current situation, deal with what is and go from there. It's a new beginning. Maybe it's time to be more loving and aware of all the wonderful things in the world. All the best in 2011.

Karlene Ponti can be reached by calling 509-526-8324 or by e-mail at

Create the new year you want: Soothing calmness, with inner peace and stability, then mix in some inspiration and excitement.


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