Love, excitement and a touch of Hollywood were in the air in Coeur d’Alene this past week with the hush hush nuptials of Emmy-winning dancer, singer and actress Julianne Hough and NHL’s Brooks Laich on Saturday. While Julianne didn’t grow up here, she’s spent her life coming home to the lake to see her grandparents, uncles, aunt and cousins.
And family was the centerpiece of her most special of days, as was the lake. When the last firework had burst into the summer air, the celebration wound down and on Sunday guests were heading back home.
But on Monday in the gym of the Hayden Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints, Julianne and Brooks were still spreading the love, in absentia. Thousands of stems of their elegant wedding floral decor were being transformed by volunteers into bedside bouquets for patients and residents of local hospitals, hospice, nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Shawn Chamberlain owns The Flower Bar Company in Riverstone and in that capacity was part of the floral design team for the Hough-Laich wedding. In addition to her business, Shawn founded a volunteer service organization, The Full Bloom, in 2013 with the belief in the power of flowers and love and making a difference.
I met Shawn at the church on Monday with the intention of seeing the process and capturing a few photographs of the magic of The Full Bloom organization. Five hours later I’d spent a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon joining a dozen volunteers creating the sweet bouquets, each of us encouraged by Shawn’s passion for all things floral. When we were done, there were 400 blooming blessings in the form of individual bouquets ready to be delivered throughout Hayden, Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Spokane. I filled my car to the brim to brighten the day for recipients in Post Falls, while other volunteers did the same for their destinations.
Each vase bore a card with the message “Thinking of you with love, Julianne and Brooks Laich.”
Shawn believes in the power of flowers ... and love. Thanks to the generosity of the newlyweds and to Shawn for the day brightener!
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Last week I attended a pre-opening reception for the new Republic Kitchen and Tap House across from Post Falls City Hall. At one point I was sharing a table with a young 20-something couple and their 1-year-old son. We introduced ourselves and continued to visit. Brandon and Katie Burchfield are from North Carolina, having moved to Coeur d’Alene in May. I asked what brought them out here ... family, friends? No, they told me. They knew only two people and in fact bought their house sight unseen after Brandon received a job offer at Lotus Fit by Design where he’s the head coach.
I really liked this couple and their son, Judah, right off the bat. The easy kind of new friends where you feel like you’ve known each other always. The bravery and sense of adventure to move across the country, leaving as Brandon described, all family, friends, support, and security behind resonated. Their life has been one of travel, introspection and outdoor pursuits so North Idaho is definitely a good fit.
We exchanged contact information and I knew we would really stay in contact with each other. The next day a genuine small world story unfolded. I mentioned Katie and Brandon to my sister, Janna Scharf, who along with her husband Rick is a Realtor with Keller Williams in Coeur d’Alene. In a reverse of the Burchfields, as young parents Janna and Rick moved from Coeur d’Alene to North Carolina in the 1980s, leaving all family, friends and support, too.
Well, it turns out that the two people Brandon and Katie “knew” in Coeur d’Alene before moving here in May were my sister and brother-in-law who were their Realtors via long distance.
If you see Brandon and Katie out and about be sure to tell them welcome home!
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Community kudos to the Post Falls branch of STCU for keeping a promise. During the sweltering Post Falls Festival Parade on Saturday the STCU delegation handed out 500 Popsicles to the kids along the route but alas, ran out before the end of the parade. Manager Suzanna Spencer promised that it would be Popsicle Monday at her branch so kids could stop by and get one. She delivered on that promise, and happy kids showed up!
Over the weekend the Highlands neighborhood group held one of its two annual food drives for the Post Falls Food Bank. The tally of the golf cart brigade ... 997 pounds of food and $1,035 in cash donations!
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This week’s highlights: Thursday night "South Pacific," a production of Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre, opens at the Kroc Center and will run through July 27.
Rathdrum Days community celebration Friday through Sunday, street dance Friday night and parade Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on Main Street.
Lake City Playhouse presents "Carousel," the musical, July 13-28.
Saturday, Matt’s Place Foundation ALS Golf Classic at Highlands Golf Course, 11 a.m. and on Sunday Opera Coeur d’Alene’s Opera on the Lake cruise features "H.M.S. Pinafore" at 7 p.m., operacda.com
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Another new member of the Main Street Birthday Club arrived on Sunday, July 9 at Kootenai Health. Maximus Ronaldo Ghirarduzzi, the handsome first child of Anthony and Vanessa Ghirarduzzi, weighed in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces. Young Maximus will be duly spoiled and loved by first-time grandparents Brian and Stephanie Smith and Marc and Cheri Ghirarduzzi.
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Happy birthday today to BeBe Fletcher (93!), Jadd Davis, Cheri Burila, Emily Hodgson and Jim Welborn.
Tomorrow Renee Lusby, Ingrid Yates, Mark Daanen, Julia Koontz, Becky Rider, Kris Mans, Brooke Hayden, Shirley Jarrell, Lisa Goodwin and Karen Applebee will mark their birthdays.
Blowing out the candles on Friday are Bri Gilge, Dee Barnes, Kathleen Esquibel, John Lasher, Jim Lyons, Nancy Seright, Jaime Vanderpool and Dawnelle Garvey.
On Saturday Logan Virgil, Kris Siebers, Katie Mans, Laurel Flerchinger, Loretta Lyon, Angela Olson, Andreas John, Julie Ingram, Marisa Buffaloe, Brian Bunch, Wayne Huckabee and Glen Collins take another trip around the sun.
Sandi Morrison, Yvonne Smith, Marcy Clutter, Loretta Lyon, Angela Olson, Andreas John, Rich Doughty, Cindy Wiedmer, Patrick Ryan and Doug Jaworski celebrate on Sunday. Steve Roberg, Terry Werner, John Malloy, Erik Nelson, Rick Souza, Janet Brock, Belinda Rowe, Amber Flinn, Lori Larkin and Emily Crawford will blow out the candles on 7/17.
Eric Wurmlinger, Jessica Ohlig (40!), Annette Davis, Kathy LaTourrette, Dustin Peacock, Lori Nelson, Sandie Husby, Joanne Anglin and Cody Jones will put on their party hats on Tuesday.
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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.