First Saturday study
The First Saturday study on April 2 will be on the Holy Spirit – Who is he according to the Bible and what does he do? We meet at Bethel Baptist Church, 3030 S Poplar at 9 am. This is an interactive study and refreshments are provided. Phone the church office for further information 307-234-8812.
Free clogging class
Dancers needed if you are 60 to 100+ years old. Women (and men who are brave enough to try) can join in at the Central Wyoming Senior Center, 1831- 4th Street, next door to the Casper Rec Center. Dancing helps give longevity and is joyful. If you like Music, come join in the Fun.
Monday mornings ONLY, in the Activity Room
10:30 to 11:45 a.m., Dance Routines.…Strengthen your legs and get the circulation going.
“We DO NOT Jump, Stand on One Foot, or Go Around in Circles. I Keep it Balanced.”
With each song requiring a different routine, it is great exercise for keeping the mind sharp, as stated in the Reader’s Digest in the May 2017 issue.
If you do not want to or are unable to stand, join us and sit and tap to Western, Rock & Roll, Christmas and more MUSIC.
MUSIC & DANCING IS JOYFUL AND UPLIFTING GIVING A HAPPY SPIRIT! Invite your friends. Just walk into the Senior Center or Call Joyce at (307) 237-4908 for more information.
NARFE meeting set
Casper Chapter #358 of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) will have a Business Meeting on Tues., Mar. 22, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. After lunch in the eating area, the meeting will be held in the meeting room at the Casper Senior Center at 1831 East 4th Street, Casper.
Cannabis Initiative needs help carrying petition
Dear reader, do you sometimes feel like your government isn’t always responsive? Do you think Wyoming should legalize marijuana for medical purposes? Do you think Wyoming should reduce criminal sentences for simple marijuana possession?
The Wyoming Cannabis Initiative is circulating petitions around the state now and the organization needs more folks to carry a petition. If you are interested in helping out it is not too late to sign up and participate in the training. for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information you can Email Mary Ann Budenske at email@example.com phone her at 307-215-4732 or Friend and PM her on Facebook
Tax assistance for Natrona County residents
Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program and in partnership with Wyoming Free Tax Service, United Way of Natrona County will offer free income tax preparation to assist residents of Natrona County, earning $65,000 or less in 2021.
IRS trained and certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals beginning Tuesday, Jan. 25 running through Wednesday, April 13. This year services will be provided at: 851 Werner Court, Suite #100, across from Department of Workforce Services.
Natrona County residents will be assisted on a first come first serve basis, no appointments will be scheduled.
A full schedule of hours of operation along with a list of necessary paperwork required can be found at www.unitedwaync.com/VITA or United Way of Natrona County Facebook page. Questions can be directed to 307-333-6031.
Master Gardener trainings begun
Training for gardeners who want to exercise their skills and help others in the community develop theirs is underway.
Classes will be held Monday evenings, this fall and into the spring from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. as well as Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Master Gardeners are local gardeners who have taken classes from the University of Wyoming Extension (UWE) and are willing to volunteer time back to their community, said Donna Hoffman, horticulturist with the Natrona County UWE office.
Interested gardeners can look up some details about the local program at: https://www.natronacounty-wy.gov/mg or contact the Natrona County office, for information by calling 307-235-9400 or stopping by the Agricultural Resource and Learning Center 2011 Fairgrounds Road, to sign up.
Hoffman said “those interested must attend an interview and informational sessions prior to starting the course.”
“Many believe Master Gardeners must be walking gardening encyclopedias, and that puts some level of trepidation in potential trainees who might otherwise be interested in learning best practices for gardening and helping other people with gardening problems,” said Hoffman.
Many are long-time gardeners even before taking the training classes; they worked the soil of a garden for years before the urge to learn more hit them.
“Some Master Gardeners are young gardeners who don’t know where to start and know they need some help when they find their way into a local Extension Office, sometimes for the first time” said Hoffman. “Still others learned to garden in other parts of the country and need to adapt gardening practices to a new climate, new soil conditions or different growing seasons.”
Master Gardeners gain, basic gardening skills and learn how and where to research more difficult gardening problems to find a solution. “The whole idea is to begin a lifelong learning process with an interest in volunteering to help others,” Hoffman noted.
The Natrona County Master Gardener program offers 63 hours of training. Topics from botany to water wise gardening are taught based upon the Sustainable Horticulture for Wyoming, a Master Gardener handbook. Upon completion, trainees are required to volunteer a minimum of 40 hours in their community before receiving the title of Master Gardener.
“Many Extension Offices receive thousands of phone calls a season, and the assistance of many volunteers is needed to meet these horticultural demands,” said Hoffman.
Trainees work with other Master Gardeners answering gardening questions learning as they help others.
“This experience offers an abundance of opportunities for volunteers to help fellow citizens and expand their own gardening knowledge without having to know all the answers to start with,” said Hoffman.
Free food for older adults
Adults aged 60 and over in Natrona, Platte and Laramie counties may be eligible to receive a monthly nutritious food box consisting of nonperishable and shelf-stable foods: protein, milk, juice, cereal, canned or dried fruits and vegetables and refrigerated cheese.
The EverGreen Box™ (also known as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program) is a food box program for eligible community members. This is a USDA income-based program facilitated by Food Bank of Wyoming and is open to any eligible Wyoming resident.
Visit Casper lands big writers’ conference for 2022
Visit Casper is pleased to announce that the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) has chosen Casper as the location for its annual conference in 2022.
The conference, slated for May 19 to 23, 2022, will take place at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center and will bring 200 – 250 world-class writers and communicators together from a broad spectrum of outdoor specialties where they can learn and connect, while also discovering all the outdoor offerings in Casper.
“As a gateway to all number of outdoor activities, Casper is a prime location for OWAA’s annual conference,” said Chez Chesak, Executive Director of OWAA. “We’ll do everything we can to ensure that we get our members out into all the nearby open space, streams and mountains that they can, so that they can experience these adventures firsthand – and file stories about them for their outlets.”
OWAA is open to individuals, groups, agencies and businesses that are involved in outdoor communication and its annual conference offers members the opportunity to improve professional skills through seminars, educational panels, group meetings, networking, field-testing opportunities and outdoor experiences. For more information about OWAA, visit owaa.org. Learn more about Casper at VisitCasper.com.
The Wyoming Counseling Association announces awards
Grace for Two Brothers Foundation was recognized for its efforts in promoting mental health services in Wyoming. The Garth Shanklin Exemplary Practices Award recognizes agencies and programs which best exemplify the mission of WCA. The primary mission of Grace for Two Brothers Foundation is suicide prevention through awareness, education, and support. Formed in 2010 by BJ Ayers, Grace for 2 Brothers Foundation continues its critical work for the community of Cheyenne, WY, and throughout the State of Wyoming.
The foundation provides resource information and assistance to those who know someone in crisis, to those who are currently in crisis, and provides support to caregivers and survivors of suicide loss. Jeremy Bay is the Executive Director.
Chrissy Renfro, LPC, NCC, received the J.R. MacNeel Award, which is given in remembrance of Dr. MacNeel, the first Counselor Education Department Head at University of Wyoming (UW). It recognizes a Wyoming Dept. of Education or UW employee or graduate student. Renfro is a graduate of the UW Counselor Education program and is now the Manager of Career Counseling at UW in Laramie, WY.
She has worked in higher education for over 20 years and has experience presenting at state, regional and national conferences related to counseling and aspects of college student affairs. Past topics include personality and career assessments, relationships with the parents of college students, cross-campus partnerships, suicide prevention, and the use of mindfulness in academic advising.
Chris Clark, LPC, NCC, was recognized with the Outstanding Service Award. He served the Wyoming Counseling Association as President and Past-President, including conference coordination.
He is CEO and co-founder of Wellness Associates, LLC with his wife Kristine Clark in Rock Springs, WY. He has been a counselor in Wyoming since 2009 specializing in working with blue collar workers and their families.
Janet de Vries, LPC, NCC, of Casper, WY, is the recipient of the Teresa Wallace Lifetime Professional Service Award. This award is given in memory of Teresa Wallace, LPC, LMFT (1960-2019) who worked with youth, special populations, and college students for 32 years, retiring as director of counseling at Casper College. She is best known for her work with resilience and positivity.
This award recognizes individuals with more than 20 years of service to the counseling profession and who held significant leadership roles in the profession, local community, and state. De Vries provided career counseling at Casper College for 21 years, earned her Master of Career Counseling (MCC), served the WCA as President, conference coordinator, and at-large board member. She is Director Emeritus of Casper College’s Student Success Services. Kayla Wilkinson, LPC, from Casper, WY, received the Bob Porter Service Award, in memory of Robert Carroll Porter, who was a teacher, coach and secondary school counselor in Wyoming from 1946 to 1982, and for service to Wyoming youth at the junior or senior high school level. Wilkinson is a strong woman dedicated to educating and serving students during the pandemic. It is also her mission to ensure her school counselors and social workers receive quality professional development. She currently serves as a Resource Counselor at Natrona County High School working with a team to develop an “at-risk” process to get social, emotional, and academic support to kids earlier to avoid students falling through the cracks. During COVID-19, she helped young people receive mental health care and beyond. She advocates for social justice across the region and Wyoming by educating on school counselor and mental health practitioners needs.
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