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Luke’s Settles In To New Location

student spotlight

STORY & PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

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Brenden Finnerty on a trip in India.

COURTESY Photo

Life Around the World BY JONATHAN KANE

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ood River High School senior Brenden Finnerty, carrying a 3.5 grade point average, seems to spend a lot of time overseas. Recently, he returned from a trip to India as part of the Compassionate Young Leaders program. This was the first year of the program and it sent seven students—five from Wood River and two from The Sage School—to Leh, India, to bring help and assistance as well as spreading compassion throughout the world to make it a better place. “The trip completely changed me as a person,� Finnerty said. “It changed my perspective and outlook on life. India was so amazing and the whole trip really opened my eyes to what compassion can do. What it can do is make the world a much better place to live in and it hinders suffering from occurring.� Last year the program accepted everyone, but this year there is an application process to get in. Acceptance is based on your core characteristics as a person. Before traveling to India, the group had to raise the money ($35,000) themselves, as well as logging 100 hours in community service. While in India, each student logged an additional 400 hours of community service over their three-and-a-half-week trip. “We went from June 20 until July 21. The trip was over 20 hours, as we flew from LAX to Delhi. Leh was a small city that was pretty impoverished and rural and the school we worked out of was run by the Dalai Lama Foundation. We stayed at a great bed-and-breakfast with a family and they were some of the best people I have ever met. They always had smiles on their faces and they were really helpful. They didn’t see favors as a burden. At the school, we helped and contributed in a variety of ways. We worked with the kids and built a greenhouse out of water bottles; helped with computer skills; and painted a mural of the bond between Leh and Idaho. I feel really changed and that it made me a much more compassionate person. It really opened my eyes to how lucky we are to

live in the United States and not in a state of poverty like we saw. We also accomplished a lot more than we set out to do, especially building the greenhouse, which was a major project. I’ll never forget the experience.� This wasn’t Finnerty’s only experience overseas, because before he moved to Idaho, he lived in Shanghai, China, for three years. “My mom is from Twin Falls and I had never visited Idaho until right before we moved here. I love it here and all the outdoor activities. Shanghai lacks the air quality and access to the outdoors. The mountains here are equivalent to their buildings. The city is also home to 23 million people, which is larger than Australia. I guess one of the down sides here is that everyone knows each other and basically what you are doing.� Finnerty turned 13 the day he moved to China. “I loved it immediately. It was so different and so new. Now it’s my favorite city in the world, basically because of its diversity and how alive it is all the time and also because the culture is so beautiful. The art, the music and the architecture are overwhelming, mainly because we think nothing can top the West, but nothing could be further from the truth. Finally, you just have a lot more freedom and there are a lot more things to do. You are never bored. People don’t really speak English but you can take a taxi to anywhere you want in the city. Most of the kids hang out at Starbucks, and they also have the largest skatepark in the world, and by the end of my three years there I was completely fluent in Mandarin, so I really didn’t have trouble getting around.� As to the future, Finnerty says, “I think I’ll probably live in a city over a small town. I want to pursue a career in medicine and Seattle seems like a great place to live.� No matter where he ends up, this worldly student is sure to make tws an impact.

Each week, Jonathan Kane will be profiling a local high-school student. If you know someone you’d like to see featured, e-mail leslie@ theweeklysun.com

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uke Snell had to rein in his emotions last Thursday as he cut the ribbon for Luke’s Family Pharmacy in the old North & Co. building at Main and Bullion Street in Hailey. The pharmacy features a state-of-the-art compounding lab, drive-up service and expanded inventory. And it will feature an old-fashioned soda fountain by next year, he said to the cheers of about 60 onlookers. The pharmacy also has a free kids’ vitamin program to show the community “we care about your health,� Snell said. It also has a full line of Chinese herbal products, free delivery to Ketchum and Sun Valley on Thursdays, free delivery in Hailey and Bellevue on Tuesdays and home IV preparation, oxygen, wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds and CPM machines. Hailey historian Rob Lonning noted that the pharmacy is located in a historical building that was used in 1883 as the county’s first courthouse, complete with a jail in the basement. The Bullion block the pharmacy is situated in was destroyed by fire in 1889—a year before Idaho was admitted to statehood. A German merchant promptly rebuilt this building and others and continued to operate it until his death in 1913. The building since has housed Mallory Clothing, Jacobs’ Variety Store, Vancil Grocery, The Sage Shoppe and North & Co. Lonning’s wife, Elizabeth

Luke Snell was joined by his wife Bonnie and their three children—Lily, Adynne and Brooklyn—as they cut the ribbon on Luke’s new pharmacy Thursday.

Jeffrey, noted that Snell worked with remodelers to keep between 50 and 80 percent of the material that was torn out of the build-

ing out of the landfill by sending some of it to second-hand stores and composting the rest. tws

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