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Busy hands have been happy hands the last six months during a time that could have been unproductive for the Knit Wits knitting and crocheting group because they couldn’t gather for their weekly get-togethers due to the Covid-19. That didn’t stop them. They continued knitting and crocheting at home. As of Oct. 7, they have made a total of 27 blankets, 122 scarves, 402 hats, five sweaters and 17 ponchos. The items are sent to Knit for Kids at World Vision in Pennsylvania where they are then distributed to others in need all over the world.

“This year on June 12, we celebrated 14 years of the organization of the Knit Wits,” reported Jo Knowlton who organized the group in 2006 for members fo the Presbyterian Church group and their friends from other faith groups. They have resumed meeting every Wednesday at the Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. until 12 p.m. at 206 East 200 North, Preston. “Newcomers are welcome. You don’t have to know how to crochet or knit, we will teach you how to do it. Our purpose it to serve others by meeting together, learning and looking out for each other,” said Linda Meyers, in charge of the group. “Even though women are still making items from home, we are meeting at church to work together on our items, pick up yarn and turn in our projects to be mailed. Come join us. Masks are optional and we are distancing. We need more yarn so donating of yarn is also very appreciated.”

Elder Luke Smellie, son of Ron and Heather Smellie, of the Preston 3rd Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, received a temporary reassignment to the Anaheim California Mission instead of to the Italy Rome Mission where he was originally called in May. After he finishes the home mission training program on Oct. 20, he will enter the mission field. When he receives a visa, he will go to Italy. Elder Smellie’s farewell was held on Sept. 6.

The Preston 10th Ward girls have a twice a month outside activity with a class game night, and an every-other-week combined with the young men with an ice cream social at the park. They also go to volleyball, soccer and football games to support the players in their ward.

Returning from the Adriatic South-Athens Greece Mission where she served refugees from many countries as the Director of the Friendship Centre in Athens from the fall of 2018 to March 2020, Carolyn Rounds managed the main classes that were taught at the Centre consisting of languages, cooking, music, empowerment, Interfaith and self-reliance classes. Her staff consisted of full-time missionaries who taught several languages (English, Greek, and French) as well as to play musical instruments. Ward and branch members and volunteers assisted in the work at the centre. Carolyn also served in the Young Women’s program, early-morning seminary, worked in the missionary office, arranged for travel, picked up and dropped off missionaries at the airport. “Which was a pure delight for me,” she said. The concept of the centre was inspired by Steve and Anita Canfield while serving as missionaries in Italy as they saw the needs of the refugees there. Created under LDS Charities, there are now five centres throughout the world. Since she has been home, Carolyn stays connected with the refugees through her own company, Global Connect, by remotely teaching four weekly classes for students located in Egypt, Netherlands, Greece, and Africa, etc. The classes are set up to help them practice their language, an emotional class, career mentoring, as well as “Mapping Your Life” where she teaches about family history and culture. She is also involved with a Youth-To-Youth program created by the American Community School of Athens. “I am trying to involve people in our community here in Franklin County to help with these programs. I have made many wonderful friends all over the world,” she said. Refugees come from Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Yehman, Congo, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Iraq and Pakistan, etc. “The refugees are not homeless people. They are highly educated professional people who have been forced to leave their country due to unrest. They are amazing people who are driven to progress and leave their country to have a better life,” she said.

Carolyn has returned to the Preston 4th Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and resumed to her duties as CEO of Rounds Insurance Company in Preston, a company that her husband, Blayne started and that she and their son, Cameron, continue to operate.

Condolences to the family of Carole Janae Boettner who passed away in Preston, Sept. 19. She is buried in the Preston City Cemetery. Funeral services were held in the Preston Elks Lodge on Sept. 30.

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