Letter At Length, July 2

Family thankful for community support

We would both like to thank our community for supporting us in raising our daughter, Kelsey, who graduated from Ashland High School in June.

First, we would like to acknowledge the Ashland School District teaching and support staff who guided Kelsey academically and nurtured her physical, artistic, creative, social and emotional pursuits. Kelsey attended Walker, Lincoln, Ashland Middle School and Ashland High School. We have never taken for granted the talents of the amazing teachers in her life and can't fully express the gratitude we feel for the ways you have inspired Kelsey to pursue her dreams and to accept challenges she has faced. We know you are not merely going to work, but truly love to teach and inspire kids.

Thank you to the Schneider Children's Center — as first time parents we relied on all of you for help and support in raising her. (Teachers: Susan Bray, Rita Generous, Donna Jones and Joanie Keller-Hand. Patty Dawson and Joanie Keller-Hand, Brownie/Girl Scout leaders who challenged her and taught her to give back to her community through service — serving meals at a local soup kitchen, delivering for Meals on Wheels and building a compost bin.

Also, thanks to: Patsy and Don Meeker (and their adult children), who taught Kelsey so much during her years dancing and in a troupe at Medford's SOPAC; Peg Hansen, her first tumbling teacher; summer programs at Southern Oregon University; swim teachers at Daniel Meyer and the YMCA (she is now a lifeguard and swim instructor); Kristina Walker and Tina Clark (dance); violin and piano teachers Lisa Truelove, Dwayne Whitcomb and Ann Bass; the family of Dave Marston — Dave taught Kelsey a love of singing when she participated at age 6 in the Siskiyou Children's Choir; Tyson's Team, our Relay for Life family; and Will Young of Kids Unlimited (senior project).

Thank you to our church (OLM), our friends and family whose presence in Kelsey's life gave her perspectives and ideas beyond what we could do alone. She has grown up to be a wonderful person.

We may have forgotten to mention someone, which would be regretful, and please know that all of you who have made Kelsey's life richer in some way are so very loved and appreciated. Kelsey will take a little bit of each of you with her when she attends the University of Orgon in the fall.

Dave and Nikki Heun


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