NIOC Whidbey Island Sailors Spread Holiday Cheer Amidst Island Wide Power Blackout

WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. (NNS) — Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Whidbey Island Sailors participated in the second annual caroling event at multiple in-home living centers in the local island community Dec. 20.

For the second year in a row NIOC Whidbey Island Sailors led by Information Technician 3rd Class Christopher Cubero participated in the annual caroling event, which is well on its way to becoming a tradition amongst NIOC Whidbey Island Sailors and the local community. Over 10 Sailors volunteered their time and voices to spread holiday cheer.

“One of the great things about a smaller younger group like this, is the positive reactions we see in our residents”, said Sheena Taylor, resident care director, Village Concepts Harbor Tower Village. “Getting the chance to see a younger generation dedicated to reaching out gives our residents and staff a sense of hope in people and in the future of our younger generations.”

For the Sailors participating in this event it is a time to appreciate being home for the holidays and connect with those who may not have many visitors during the holiday season. Along with caroling, Sailors spend time getting to know the local senior citizens and hearing their stories. This year the caroling event was able to reach out to over 30 members in the community.

“This is a tradition I had with my family as a child. I consider myself fortunate to lead this group in something I hold close to my heart. I am thankful to have the chance to expand that tradition to the extended family I have found in my shipmates here at NIOC Whidbey Island,” Cubero.

This year’s event will go down in the records for NIOC Whidbey Island, whose Sailors banded together in song to bring light to the community during an island wide power blackout that left thousands without power due to a severe wind storm.

NIOC Whidbey Island executes analysis, certification, planning, and direct support augmentation to naval air and surface forces engaged in operations worldwide as a subordinate to U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet (FCC/C10F).

Since its establishment, FCC/C10F has grown into an operational force composed of more than 14,000 Active and Reserve Sailors and civilians organized into 28 active commands, 40 Cyber Mission Force units, and 26 reserve commands around the globe. FCC serves as the Navy component command to U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Cyber Command, and the Navy’s Service Cryptologic Component commander under the National Security Agency/Central Security Service. C10F, the operational arm of FCC, executes its mission through a task force structure similar to other warfare commanders. In this role, C10F provides support of Navy and joint missions in cyber/networks, cryptologic/signals intelligence and space.

For news and information from Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/FCCC10F/ or follow us on twitter @USFLEETCYBERCOM.

Preschoolers sing Christmas carols to seniors in Issaquah

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Seniors in Issaquah got a special surprise Friday from preschoolers at Evergreen Academy.

The students stopped by to sing carols, read stories and enjoy hot chocolate with residents at the Spiritwood at Pine Lake retirement community.

In hosting this, the school wants to teach kids starting at a young age, the importance of helping people in the community.

It’s about creating connections between generations — and when kids that adorable come walking through the door, it provides plenty of inspiration.

Country Meadow Village donates to Hospice of the Northwest Foundation

Country Meadow Village made a donation of $2,500 to Hospice of the Northwest Foundation. Pictured (from left): Wendy Rohrbacher, Erin Long, Dana Brothers, David Bricka, Kaaren Flint and Sandra Jensen.

Country Meadow Village Executive Director Sandra Jensen and program director David Bricka presented a check for $2,500 to Wendy Rohrbacher, executive director of Hospice of the Northwest Foundation, on behalf of Country Meadow residents and staff at their Christmas party last week, according to a news release.

Kaaren Flint, Erin Long and Dana Brothers, all members of the Hospice team, also attended the party.

The funds were raised from the summer barbecue, holiday bazaar and buffet, and proceeds from Kathy’s Kloset, a consignment shop set up by staffer Kathy Richter for the residents and staff of the local retirement community, the release stated.

“This donation will help so many people live each day to its fullest in comfort and dignity,” Rohrbacher said. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with you all.”

Hospice of the Northwest was recently selected “Best Place to Work in Healthcare” for the nation by Modern Healthcare Magazine, according to the release.

Over the past 10 years, Country Meadow Village has donated more than $20,000 to various nonprofit organizations as part of the greater philanthropy of its parent company, Village Concepts. Some of those groups include the Meals on Wheels program at the Sedro-Woolley Senior Center, Skagit Valley YMCA Capital Campaign and the Oso Community for relief from the mudslide.

Unforgettable Moments- Why I Walk

As the community relations director for an assisted living community, Jennifer Angell’s job is to create unique and enjoyable experiences for the residents living there. She often combines these activities with something purposeful, like raising money for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

For the last few years, Jennifer has been the Team Captain for the Spiritwood Unforgettables. They usually attend the Eastside Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Redmond, but Jennifer wanted to do something a little different this year. “Our organization makes a donation and attends the Walk, but I wanted to expand on that and find a way to get the residents more involved,” says Jennifer.

“The whole process took about four months,” says Jennifer. “I would do just one photo at a time, and when it was ready, I’d present it to the community at lunch time. People passed the photo around and the featured resident would dress up in costume and parade around the lunch room. It was so much fun for everyone.”

Launching each new photo this way encouraged other residents to get involved too.

From the Issaquah Reporter:

“When asked by Jennifer to be a part of the calendar, I didn’t want to be bothered,” said Jack Guptil, 83, who was in the “Blues Brothers” photo shoot. “But when I saw how much fun people were having being someone else, I said that’s me. Elwood from the Blues Bros.”

The plan was to sell the calendar as a way to raise money, but no one anticipated what an amazing success it would be: the first three boxes sold out in just four days. “Resident families just loved it and swooped them right up,” says Jennifer.

The popularity of the project garnered attention from the Issaquah Reporter. “After the article came out, we started receiving checks in the mail and orders from people in the community,” recalls Jennifer. “It just really took off from there.”

They’ve now used the images to create coffee mugs and tote bags, which they sold at a holiday bazaar. In total, they’ve raised over $4,000 for their Walk team — more than they’ve ever raised before. “Our goal was only $1,000, so we’re really happy to be able to donate this much to the Alzheimer’s Association,” says Jennifer. “I’m so thankful to my employer for sponsoring this project. It has been such a source of joy for all involved.”

Her employer, Spiritwood at Pine Lake, offers memory care as part of their community, so that is part of her motivation for leading a project like this. It’s also personally meaningful to her. Jennifer’s aunt was recently diagnosed with dementia and it has been rapidly progressing.

“For me, raising funds for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is really about the research and the hope of finding a cure,” says Jennifer. “It’s also about bettering the lives of people living with dementia and their caregivers. That’s what I try to do every day through my work, and I know the Alzheimer’s Association does that too.”

If you’re interested in ordering one of these items as a gift for the holiday season, you can reach Jennifer directly at: (425) 313-9100 or jennifera@villageconcepts.com.