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Ford Institute meeting examines community progress

Ford Institute meeting examines community progress

Previous Ford Institute Leadership Program participants convened for a reunion meeting of sorts on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Lakeview Eagles Lodge.

The purpose of this meeting largely served as an information-gathering update on local efforts since the series of Lakeview meetings held in 2011.

A group also met in the north end of the county at that time, and an update meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 7, in Christmas Valley, at 3 p.m. in the Christmas Valley Community Hall.

Heidi Khokhar, director of operations for the Rural Development Initiatives program, led the meeting.

Two years ago, community priorities established for the south end of the county included improving county-wide communications, leadership, youth involvement and addressing unity and diversity-related issues

A county-wide community web site developed as a proposed project that would address the aforementioned priorities, specifically communications, which stalled following the departure of its primary supporter.

Program participant Jaime Davis noted that additional struggles included funding and how to implement the site, which many still believed held value.

She noted that social media site Facebook has since increased its scope in terms of its online presence and utilization for community-related information sharing.

Joann Dickson noted that diversity issues addressed a general demographic perspective, and did not solely refer to those of an ethnic or cultural nature.

The fund provided $2,000 to the swimming pool renovation project in 2013, along with $1,500 to the meal program in place at Paisley School and $1,000 to the Innovation Learning Center.

The discussion evolved into brainstorming of other ideas of local community improvement. One such idea involved establishing a certified kitchen for locals to prepare home-baked or prepared food items for sale at such events as the Lakeview Saturday Market.

Khokhar said the level of interest and energy has not dissipated in the local community as far as the desire for improvements.

“Our objective was to remind ourselves what we started…,” she said.  “I think (the group) knows more about resources (available).”

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