Plant-based dining takes root downtown

Story and photos by Allison Oligschlaeger

SALT LAKE CITY — To any unsuspecting omnivore, the new Cinnaholic on 700 East looks like any other bakery. The only hint to the contrary is the two-inch tall, health-department mandated “V” in the corner of the glass serving case, discretely indicating the restaurant’s open secret.

Everything at Cinnaholic, from its custom cinnamon rolls to its coffee offerings, is egg-, dairy- and gluten-free. The franchise’s menu is extensive, boasting 20 flavors of frosting and even more toppings. Each option is entirely vegan.

Not that their marketing strategy reflects that — “the whole franchise, we don’t lead with ‘vegan,’” says Kurtis Nielsen, owner of the recently-opened Salt Lake City location. “The concept plays to everyone.”

Nielsen, a veteran of the health food industry and recent adopter of the plant-based diet, attributes the strategy to the business’s reliance on walk-in customers.

“The vegans are going to come — they have limited options, as we all know,” Nielsen jokes.

Those with little exposure to vegan food may pass it up as less appealing, “substitute” fare, requiring a more tailored marketing approach than the store’s vegan customers.

Cinnaholic’s approach isn’t unique in the fast-growing industry of vegan and vegetarian restaurants. In fact, much of the sector’s recent growth can be attributed to a new focus on acquiring omnivorous customers.

“You don’t have to be vegan to appreciate the food,” says Joslyn Pust, duty manager at Zest Kitchen and Bar. “It’s more than salad, it’s more than fake meats. That’s the biggest thing we try to convey to people.”

Since opening in 2012, Zest has enticed brunchers and barhoppers of all dietary persuasions with upscale vegetarian entrees and a zany cocktail menu. Rather than pushing the meat-free angle, Zest’s marketing strategy focuses on the food’s organic sourcing and health benefits. In fact, Pust estimates only a third of the restaurant’s staff is vegetarian or vegan.

“I think that honestly speaks to how accessible our food is, and our drinks as well,” Pust says.

While Salt Lake City’s vegan establishments of yore — like Sage’s Cafe and Vertical Diner, opened by veteran restaurateur Ian Brandt in 1999 and 2007, respectively — focused on meeting existing demand for plant-based food, their newer counterparts are committed to extending it. The last five years have seen a veritable explosion of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, nearly all of which practice some degree of “omnivore outreach.”


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Buds, a vegan sandwich shop popular with University of Utah students, was founded in 2012 in hopes of rehabilitating the meat-eating public’s opinions on veganism and vegan food.

“They just wanted to show people that you can get good food and it doesn’t have to contain animals or byproducts of animals,” says Buds employee Emma Broadbent. “It doesn’t have to suck, you know? Vegans don’t just eat salad.”

Buds founders Alex and Roxy expanded their cruelty-free restaurant network in September with BoltCutter, a South-American inspired restaurant and bar, and MONKEYWRENCH, an adjacent dairy-free ice cream and espresso shop. MONKEYWRENCH barista Molly Jager, a senior at the U, said the shop is rebounding from a quiet opening as Gallivan Avenue-area professionals discover MONKEYWRENCH’s morning coffee offerings. The store’s variety of dairy-free milk and cream options make it particularly popular with lactose-intolerant customers, Jager said.

Unlike the staff at Zest, the crews at both MONKEYWRENCH and Buds are made up entirely of herbivores. Jager is the only vegetarian employee at MONKEYWRENCH; the rest of her coworkers are vegan.

“It’s interesting and cool being around a group of people who are really passionate about what they work with,” Jager says. “Everyone is very dedicated to it and very vocal about it and it’s cool to see that excitement.”

Additional recent newcomers include dinner restaurants Seasons Plant Based Bistro and Veggie House, both 100% vegan. Seasons positions itself as upscale Italian dining, while Veggie House purports to meld the best of “fast” Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese food.

“We’re proud to watch our city’s taste buds continually expand,” said Nick Como, Director of Communication for the Downtown Alliance. “The opening of several new vegan restaurants downtown proves downtown is truly for everyone and has something for every taste.”

While the recent crush of such establishments may seem sudden, Pust says it’s been a long time coming.

“The community has grown exponentially just since I’ve worked at Zest,” she says. “In the past two years it’s exploded.”

Jager attributes some of the community’s rapid growth to trendiness — “It’s kind of an Instagram thing now,” she says — as well as to an increased cultural focus on physical and environmental health, which she says “goes hand-in-hand” with eating less meat.

Nielsen says the rate at which people are adopting veganism and vegetarianism is perfect for entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on the craze. While flashier food trends like gluten-free and low-carb were quickly adopted by corporate giants, the relative slow burn of plant-based diets allows smaller producers and restaurateurs to dominate the scene, he says.

While Nielsen does believe the mainstreaming of veganism is inevitable, he hopes it’s a while off.

“It’s going to happen, but I hope it happens slow, because it’s fun as a smaller player to be able to get into something like this and be successful,” he says. “For example, if Cinnabon was doing this, I wouldn’t have the opportunity.”

Nielsen is optimistic about Cinnaholic’s future in Salt Lake City.

“I think it’s a great market for it,” he says. “We’re off to a roaring start.”


(Read Allison’s reflection blog about this story here.)

University of Utah students have many mental health options available to them

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Story and photos by KAYLEE ANDERSON

There’s a rising epidemic on college campus and it’s not what you would expect.

Mental health is becoming a problem and it reaches new heights with young adults between the ages of 19-25, the typical demographic of college students. With so many new stresses coming into play, 49.5 percent of adolescents are affected by some kind of mental health disorder, according to

The University of Utah understands these problems and has many resources for students who need help. For example, the Counseling Center is located on the fourth floor of the Student Services Building. Most students aren’t aware of the services that are provided to them.

Steve Lucero is the center’s associate director. He encourages students to come check out the center and everything it has to offer. Lucero says that depression in college is a normal thing that can happen because of major life transitions, and for most students, college is the first big event that occurs in their lives.

“The magnitude of changes and lifestyles can be a difficult adjustment that triggers depression and anxiety,” Lucero says.

Lucero and the rest of the counselors at the center say that process is quite easy to follow. Students can call or come into the center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Once they are there, they take a survey with a series of questions to determine the measure of distress the students are in.

If the students are in crisis, a crisis center is available at all time for them. Being in crisis is when you are in a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger. If they aren’t in crisis mode but still want to get help, they will be assigned a counselor and an appointment time. Group counseling, yoga, workshops, or individual counseling is available. The intake appointment, crisis center and workshops are all free for students. The group counseling is only $5 and the individual sessions are $12. These are very reasonable prices Lucero says.

The counseling center has two advanced practice registered nurses who can prescribe medication, which can be the next step after talk therapy.

Lucero wants more students to be aware of the services provided on campus.

Ashley Nagel is a sophomore at the University of Utah. She says her depression was very much heightened when she first went to college. Nagel says that moving away from her parents in Draper, was very hard and she didn’t realize how big of an impact it was going to have on her mental health and body. Going from a family house setting to a dorm room can be hard for young adults without them even realizing it. Nagel also says that she thought she had to have everything figured out when she first got to college, which heightened her anxiety.

Nagel hasn’t used the services on campus, but she wishes they were a bit more advertised because she feels like many students don’t know they exist. That is what Lucero is trying to accomplish by using social media and presenting to classes and other university groups about the center and all it has to offer.

Nagel says, “My depression is mostly socially related, so when I found a solid group of people that I felt genuinely comfortable with, my depression became a lot less of an issue.”

According to Self Magazine, 30 percent of people who suffer from mental illness never seek treatment.

Devin Johnson, a sophomore at Salt Lake Community College, says drugs and alcohol may have something to do with it. “Everyone just wants to party so they become distant from their real friends and befriend people who just like to use drugs and alcohol because they are so caught up in the having the college experience,” Johnson says.

Salt Lake Community College has a counseling center as well as the University of Utah, but Johnson says he has never been aware of that and doesn’t know where it is located. It is called the Center for Health and Counseling. It provides massage therapy as an option for students, which is very unique, as well and group and individual counseling.

If university counseling centers don’t work out for students there are so many other  psychiatrists around the Salt Lake Valley who are accepting new patients.

Jessica Arbogast is a family nurse practitioner who practices at the Martindale Clinic, which is located in downtown Salt Lake City on 340 E. 200 South, only five minutes from the University of Utah campus. She is willing to take new patients at this time and is very good with adolescents.

The Martindale Clinic is also a part of the Odyssey House, which helps people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. This can be another problem for college students and can increase depression and anxiety.

People who start taking an antidepressant to help with mental illness should avoid drugs and alcohol because it may mess with the medication, Arbogast says. 

She sees a large rise in the number of patients between the ages of 19-25, especially 19-21. “There are so many new stresses that come in play that people in high school did not deal with,” Arbogast says. Some of these newfound stresses include living without a parent, high stress classes, work, lack of sleep and meeting new people.

The Martindale Clinic and the Odyssey House are very affordable options for college students who can’t afford treatment or advising. They also are good options for students who attend other schools, colleges, or just live around the area and want to get help.

Mental illness is a huge problem for students, but there is no more need to hide behind it. So many people are dealing with the disorder and help can be found easily. No battle is too big to overcome.

The time to act is now.

Developing mindful awareness as a proactive approach to ending the stigma on mental illness

Story and gallery by SAVANNAH BERNARDO

As humans, each one of us is unique.

Just as our bones grow, our thoughts grow. Just as our bones develop muscles, our thoughts develop emotions. And just as our bones and muscles have developed the structure that our body is today, our thoughts and emotions have developed the structure that our mind is today.

We all have a different design that makes up how we see ourselves and how other people see us. But this is only half of what makes us unique.

The distinct way that each mind reacts and responds to different circumstances is what makes each human an individual. Each thought and emotion created is a response to a variety of different circumstances that we experience. However, the difference is how each mind will react.

Our perceptions and reactions to other people’s emotions is the reason for the stigma surrounding mental illness. Because we are unique, we all have a different story comprised of thoughts and emotions. But how often are we mindful of the details in this story? Once they come into awareness, we as a society become mindful. And only when we are mindful will we be able to stop reacting — and start being proactive.


Stigma occurs when we are unsure of how to react. Instead of trying to empathize, our lack of understanding causes a shameful judgement. This is stigma. And its mark of disgrace is left on those diagnosed with a mental illness. For many generations, stereotypes and misconceptions have caused stigmatization against people who have been diagnosed. But if we are all humans with these unique minds, why is our first reaction to judge what we don’t understand?

Mayumi Shill, 22, programs coordinator at National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), describes this as a “zoomed out view.” While zoomed out, many people diagnosed with a mental illness are blamed for their disorder. There is a common curiosity as to why someone cannot just choose to be happy. This concern implies that they must be doing something wrong, and that there is a simple fix to the problem.

Just be happy.

If only life were that simple. However, simplicity does not always amount to happiness. Along with finding happiness comes facing adversity.

Andrew Smith, 35, a psychologist at the University of Utah Hospital, said, “Many people will experience some kind of mental difficulty in their life span.” But this is normal. This is what makes us human. “We’re all in this human experience together,” he said, and it’s important that we “help normalize that experience, together.”


That human experience is our story. Shill, with NAMI, said, “Everyone has a story, everyone has a different journey, and just because you don’t struggle with a mental illness, doesn’t mean that the person next to you isn’t.”

So let’s zoom in. If we take a moment to listen to the details, we will be able to hear the real story. And most importantly — accept it.

Samantha Shaw, 20, a junior at the U, said sharing her story was the best decision she ever made. Shaw was diagnosed with depression during her sophomore year of high school, but still had the thought, “This can’t be real. I can just choose to be happy.”

Even her boyfriend at the time advised her to smile more and be grateful she didn’t have something more serious like cancer.

Shaw said she felt like she had become trapped inside of her mental illness. “I felt very defined by it,” she said.

But little did she know, this was just part of her human experience.

After high school, she found her outlet in creativity and consistently wrote down her thoughts and emotions through poetry and short stories.

Her mindful awareness allowed her to accept her emotional state, rather than react to it. She was being proactive. This acceptance led her to talk about her mental illness more openly and no longer be defined by it.


The Counseling Center at the U, supports this proactive approach. Staff are actively educating students through presentations on campus about their services. Lauren Weitzman, director of the University Counseling Center, said their underlying goal is to normalize everybody’s mental health.

It also provides an important service called the Mindfulness Center. Free workshops are held on the third floor of the student services building. Students may drop in for meditation to learn mindfulness strategies to help manage stress and anxiety and check in with their overall mental health. “Everybody can benefit from it, and it can help everyone’s well-being,” Weitzman said.

And while being on campus is convenient for students, the Counseling Center also refers people to a variety of additional resources around the Wasatch Front, including NAMI.

NAMI is a national nonprofit advocacy organization that provides help and hope in relation to mental illness. It has a range of peer taught support, education and school programs that are available to the public.

Along with these programs, it offers everybody the chance to stand together and pledge to be stigma free.

By taking this pledge we are joining together as a society.

We are recognizing that we are all humans with a unique story. But as Andrew Smith, the psychologist at the University Hospital, said, we are in that human experience together. And as we bring awareness and acceptance into our mentality, we are practicing mindfulness. Only when we are mindful, Smith said, will we be able to “do a better job at supporting each other.”

Stigma Against College Students With Mental Illness

Story by Shaelyn Barber

Diagnosed mental illness is on the rise, particularly for college students, according to the American Psychiatric Association. says that 25 percent of college students have a diagnosable mental illness. This means that one in four students have a mental illness that has been previously diagnosed or would be possible to diagnose if they chose to seek professional help.

PsychCentral says that some of the more common mental illnesses include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar, addiction, ADHD, and eating disorders. Each disease varies in severity and different people can be affected in very different ways. Cases where multiple disorders are present add to the complexity of the illnesses.

Mental illness is often overlooked because it is less visible than a physical disorder. It is impossible to tell if someone has a mental illness just by looking at them. Furthermore, there is a negative stigma surrounding mental illness. Because of these factors, many people do not seek professional help even if they are exhibiting symptoms.

As the conversation surrounding mental illness grows, students are becoming more aware of the many different aspects of mental illness. A lot of students feel that mental illness is an epidemic that isn’t taken very seriously.

“I have many friends and some family who suffer from a variety of mental issues,” Briana McLaren, a student at the University of Utah, said. “I know that mental illness is a serious issue that is not taken as seriously as it should within society.”

McLaren is diagnosed with Asperger’s, clinical depression, anxiety, and excoriation disorder (which is a disorder where one compulsively picks their skin). “When I was diagnosed with Asperger’s it seemed to answer a lot of questions I didn’t even know I had,” McLaren commented. After her diagnosis she was able to make connections between Asperger’s and her symptoms, such as difficulty with eye contact and social skills.

Mental illnesses and its symptoms can make everyday tasks very difficult at times. Madison Adams-Young is a student at the U who has OCD, body dysmorphia, and depression.  She described the paradox of living with both OCD and depression. “OCD is like an alarm blaring in my mind of all of the things I need to be doing, both real things such as homework and cleaning and ritualized things like hand washing and checking the locks,” she said. “The depression is the opposite in that it makes it so difficult to get everything done.” Lately it has been hard for her to complete schoolwork. “I usually do very well in school, but as of late it has been hard,” Adams-Young commented. “I don’t feel comfortable telling people, especially professors, as it makes me feel like I’m making excuses. I lie about being sick or having an appointment in order to cover up for a missed class or a late assignment.” Many students have similar experiences, especially when professors downplay mental illness and the impact it can have on a person’s life.

Jake Hanson is a student at the U who is diagnosed with Bipolar 1 with a mild form of psychosis. He started experiencing symptoms when he was sixteen. “I had unexplainable amounts of energy, never sleeping, and doing really risky stuff like running away for 5 days, stealing neighbor’s dogs, jumping out of my bedroom window thinking I could fly,” Hanson said. “Then after a few weeks of all this energy would come my down swing, staying in bed all day long for a whole week maybe two. I’d be so depressed for no reason, not wanting to talk or listen to my parents or good friends, no motivation to do anything.” Hanson recounted that people sometimes treat him differently after learning that he has Bipolar 1. “I don’t really care what people think about it, but I feel it’s safer not to share that part of me.  People act like themselves around me if they don’t know I’m bipolar, which is what I want, so I tend not to tell people.”

Atticus Edwards goes to the U and spoke to me about his experiences with Purely Obsessive OCD and anxiety. He commented that the stigma surrounding OCD is very different from that of mental illnesses with more visibly symptoms, like anxiety attacks. “OCD is kind of joked about a lot,” Edwards said.

Most of the students that I spoke to felt that there was a negative stigma surrounding mental illness and those who have mental illnesses. “I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is a stigma against those who have mental illnesses,” Adams-Young said.

Mental illness can be treated with disdain, disbelief, or even fear. Many do not understand it, and this misunderstanding makes it difficult for people who do not live with mental illness to imagine what it is like to have one. While the family and friends of Adams-Young do not treat her differently, she said “those who don’t experience the same things don’t really understand.”

Some do not believe that mental illnesses are ‘real’ and only exist in a person’s head. “I hear of people talking about mental illness as an “excuse” to slack off or to sleep or stay home,” Adams-Young said.

Hanson said, “people will associate any mental illness with ‘being crazy,’ which is a negative stigma in itself.”

Kris Glad has Bipolar 2, generalized anxiety, and social anxiety. Glad does believe that there is a negative stigma around mental illness, but has a unique way of combating it. “I make a lot of self deprecating jokes about being crazy and unable to function that people are never quite sure if they’re supposed to laugh or not. This might be a little counter-intuitive, but it kind of gives me some measure of control over how people view me, or at least in the sense that I have control over how they find out and when they form opinions of it,” Glad said.

Susan Chamberlain is a licensed psychologist and outreach coordinator for the University of Utah’s Counseling Center. She is hopeful that the thoughts and stigma surrounding mental illness are changing. She commented that in the baby boomer generation, going to a therapist was seen only as something for crazy people. “The stigma is kind of on the flip side as far as what I see, which is my problems aren’t bad enough for me to see a therapist, and so people will wait and wait and wait until they reach a crisis point,” Chamberlain says. She encourages people to speak out about their mental illnesses, as well as to seek help if they are experiencing symptoms or difficulties.

The Counseling Center at the U offers group, individual, and couples therapy sessions. Students can have up to twelve sessions in a calendar year, and each session is only 12 dollars. For more information, visit

Organic Farmer Speaks to University Students

By Colton Stanger

David Bell, a certified organic farmer from Salt Lake City gave a talk at the University of Utah annex building last Tuesday on the process, as well as the challenges and benefits of organic gardening.

Bell Organic Farm, run by Bell and his family is located inside the Salt Lake City limits.  Along with growing many of the typical vegetables that can be found in a grocery store, David grows 35 variations of carrot, tomato, pepper, beats and peppers.

“I cut one open, and I feel like I’m holding a sunrise in one hand and a sunset in the other,” Bell said, referring to one of eight types of heirloom tomatoes he grows on his farm.

Bell grows everything naturally.  That means no pesticides or chemical treatments like nitrogen and growth hormone.  The food is all harvested by hand, and the land, which they lease is maintained to certified organic standards.

To be certified organic requires 50 to 80 hours of paperwork, constant essay writing on the planting, cultivating and harvesting process and personal inspection as mandated by Food and Drug Administration.  The fees required also take up about two percent of Bell’s annual revenue.

“I’m proud to be certified organic,” Bell said, grinning over his folded hands.

The organic process does require more labor, and Bell manages to get all he needs by letting people come out and work, paying them with portions of the food they help to grow.

“It’s amazing how many highly educated people we get who are either tired of being in an office, or don’t want to fill out another unanswered job application who come out and work under the sun, for food,” Bell said.

David sells most of his produce through his website and a system called a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  Basically a customer pays an annual fee, a little over four hundred dollars and during the summer and fall months customers go to a local delivery point and pick up fresh produce.

“We pick in the morning and deliver in the afternoon. I don’t see it getting any fresher than that,” Bell said.

Most of the attendees of the lecture were members of the university’s student organization SPEAK (Students Promoting Eating disorder Awareness Knowledge).  SPEAK is an organization dedicated to a healthier more environmentally friendly way of life and works to spread awareness about things like local farming and organic living.

“It’s amazing that such fresh produce is available at such reasonable prices,” said Allison Steward after the lecture, a grad student in health science and a member of SPEAK.  “With a lot of stuff at the store you can’t know what you’re eating but here you do.  And if you have any doubts you can go there and grow it yourself.”

“I think it’s a cool way to get healthy food and a good sense of community,” said Megan Madsen, a social work major at the university and also a member of SPEAK.

“Farming is hard, but its worth it when you look at a piece of food and say, ‘I made that.’  It makes me feel like I contribute,” Bell said.

Bell Organic delivers from late March, early April all of the way into November.  They have pick up locations in Salt Lake City, Park City and many more between there and South Jordan.  For more information on the farm and its process, or to sign up for the CSA go to

Healthy living starts much sooner than your graduation luncheons

Sunflower Market Weekly Flyer, advertising their consistently low prices on produce.

By Rebekah-Anne Gebler

SALT LAKE CITY—Equipped with energy drinks and sleeves of Hot Pockets©, many of today’s graduates are entering the real world unprepared.

With graduation only a week away, the students at the University of Utah would do well to learn about proper nutrition before tossing their caps.

“Their lifestyle now dictates their lifestyle in the future,” said Dr. Beverly Bradshaw, a registered dietician and a faculty member of the nutrition department at the U. of U.

Learning to eat healthy as a college student will allow you to teach your children good eating habits, said Bradshaw.

“Habits and routines don’t change that much once you leave college,” said Bradshaw.

If students understand how to manage their health, stress, and nutrition in college, they will be more successful when they graduate, said Bradshaw.

Bradshaw explained that every student at the university should take a nutrition class. Even the most basic ones at the U. give students the information they need to make healthy choices.

These classes also help students understand the “why” of choosing healthy foods. A nutrition class also explains how these foods function in one’s body.

“The digestion part of this is key,” said Bradshaw.

Food is the thing that determines if you have good or poor digestion. Digestion will dictate how good or bad you feel during the day.

“Portion control and selection of food is very critical,” said Bradshaw.

Packing lean protein, fruit, vegetables and/or complex carbohydrates helps students from giving in to the temptation of a vending machine.

Exercising regularly will also deliver positive results to students, both now and later in their lives.

Studies have shown that students who enroll in physical activities “have higher GPA’s, graduate at higher rates, and take more credit hours than those who don’t participate,” said Mary Bohlig, the Campus Recreation Services Director.

Ms. Bohlig discussed how scheduling daily exercise “reduces stress, improves sleep, and has a cause-effect on work production.”

Mary Ungricht, a piano performance graduate from the U., is currently enrolled in a Zumba class and has taken gymnastics and spinning in past semesters.

Even with her busy schedule, Ungricht felt the need to stay active as an undergraduate.

“College age is one of the most active and hopefully healthful times in life.  By eating better, you are taking the initiative to be healthy for life, not just for the moment,” said Ungricht.

Ungricht learned about nutrition content and portion control at a young age because she is a type-1 diabetic. Her awareness carried over to her life in college and as such, she is finishing her pre-requisites for the nutrition graduate program at the U.

Though many students may have awareness like Ungricht, they face the problems of preparation time and money issues when choosing to purchase healthy food.

It’s much faster—and falsely—cheaper to go to fast food restaurants or even heat up frozen meals instead of taking the time to prepare food by hand.

As students enter the last week of school, choosing between an apple and apple pie should not be a light decision. Making nutrition and exercise a priority now will not only assist students during college but in the many years to follow.

University program works to educate students on the importance of nutrition

By: Meisha Christensen

SALT LAKE CITY – Nutrition for many college students is a low priority especially during finals week according to the Union Programming Council (UPC).

In an effort to combat this, the UPC is providing students with a healthy breakfast on Wednesday, April 24 in the Union at the event Food for Finals.

The UPC is a program with seven student directors that work with the A. Ray Olpin Union to create a friendly home away from home environment for students.  Together these two boards plan activities and events geared toward helping students feel comfortable in The Union throughout their time at the U of U.

One board within the UPC is the Community Service board which has taken on the task of educating students about healthy nutrition in college.

When the To-Do lists get too long healthy eating can get pushed aside, and breakfast is often the first meal to take a hit.

Skipping breakfast has a negative effect on the body for multiple reasons.  One reason being that when breakfast is skipped the body goes into starvation mode and metabolism slows.  Another reason is that without fuel the brain has a more difficult time functioning and focusing.

The UPC provides Food for Finals at the end of every semester.  Heather McElroy is the UPC Director over Food for Finals and has enjoyed providing a free breakfast for students during finals week.

“Finding time for breakfast in the morning can often be a hassle, and we hope this event can take away that burden,” said McElroy.

Chartwells, a food supplier for schools, prepares the food for the event.  There are also items donated from Coke and Einstein Brothers.  The menu for this year’s event includes eggs, bacon, bagels, breakfast potatoes juice and coffee.  UPC anticipates feeding approximately 450 students this semester at Food for Finals.

In the past, the response to Food for Finals has been phenomenal; students eat it up, literally.

“It is such a neat idea because everyone is living at school during that week anyway so eating breakfast at school is convenient.  Also it makes you feel like the school does cares about you,” said Marie Davies a senior studying elementary education.

Alyx Williams is a member of the UPC Service Committee and is one of the directors working to help with student education on nutrition.  Students are busy and in the midst of everything the average university student is involved in, Williams noted that nutrition often gets pushed aside.

“A lot of students get used to eating poorly because it’s cheap and easy to make.  What students don’t realize is that eating Top Roman everyday is eventually going to have a really big toll on their body. I think it’s important for students to realize that it matters what they take into their body,” said Williams.

There may be many students who want to be healthy but feel that healthy eating habits require money and time.  Often the lack of appropriate knowledge on healthy meals that are available and how to prepare them is what keeps students from better nutrition.

This year the UPC started an innovations board on their website titled, Feed U Corner. Recipes are provided for meals that are simple to make as well as frugal friendly. Each week this board offers a different healthy meal option for students. Williams is the creator of this program and hopes to help students understand that healthy options are available.

“We’re trying to change the perception that it’s impossible to eat healthy unless you’re rich and have a lot of time on your hands,” said Williams.

Feed U Corner also literally feeds students for free once a month by showcasing recipes featured on the innovations board. This was the inaugural year of Feed U Corner and Williams felt that it was a good start but they still have many students to feed and educate.

To learn more about the UPC’s effort to increase awareness of nutrition on the U of U campus visit their website at

Holly, Russell & Veganism


Russell and Holly Nix were married on August 19, 2011, a union exemplified by their passion for and belief in veganism.  A couple fairly new to the vegan lifestyle, the inspiration that influenced their diet change were simply videos and books.  Veganism has changed this couple’s lives, although it took time to implement the strict regimen.  Follow the journey Holly and Russell took as they started the transformation that changed their lives for the better with a culture that is quickly becoming a trend.

Inspiration That Started it All

It all began with a video on YouTube concerning animal cruelty.  Holly said the video was about, “How cruelly animals are treated . . . by taking their meat into your body you are also taking in all of their pain, fear and suffering.”  This visual ignited an impression that really stuck with her and she became a vegetarian the very next day.  More research into factory farming and animal cruelty ensued and two years following the shift into vegetarianism, the transition into veganism began.

It took about one year for Holly to fully convert to eating vegan.  For the beginning of her transition, “I started removing animal products from my diet and replacing them with vegan substitutions,” she said.  “I learned to cook vegan recipes and to be vigilant about checking ingredient lists. I started paying attention to cosmetics and other products I buy that test on animals or contain animal products.”  Since her transition, Holly has been fully vegan for two years.  Her influence inspired her partner, Russell, to begin a similar journey.

Russell had read books in the past such as The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser, but they didn’t have enough of a lasting impression to cause a change in his lifestyle or diet.  Vegetarian friends also positively influenced him, but didn’t force a change.  It wasn’t until Russell met Holly that an alteration began – he read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safron Foer and experienced, “The accumulated knowledge just suddenly hit and I stopped eating meat.”

The transition for Russell into veganism began after watching a video exemplifying the conditions many cows are kept in: Conklin Dairy Farm by Mercy For Animals.  Russell said, “I couldn’t eat cheese without seeing pictures of animal abuse in my head. So in the same way that meat symbolized suffering, dairy did too. I just gave it up cold turkey and I haven’t been tempted to go back.”

For Russell, the transition from vegetarian to vegan took a split second, “I ate cheese before I watched the Conklin Dairy Farm video; I stopped immediately after.”  He attributes the immediate change to his firm belief in his actions.  He truly believes in what he is doing as he has been fully vegan since September of 2011.

Veganism Changed Their Lives

“Since going vegan, I’ve lost about thirty pounds. I feel healthier and more mentally alert,” said Holly.  Russell has also seen physical changes, losing about 40 pounds since giving up meat, 30 of which resulted from the transition to vegan.

Not only has their physical health been drastically affected, their social health has reaped the benefits as well.  Holly said, “I’ve found a wonderful community of vegan friends in Salt Lake and Provo who are strong and interesting and I look up to them a great deal.”  Even those who do not share her vegan lifestyle are kind and supportive of what she believes.  Russell said, “It’s made me feel closer to Holly because we share this important belief system . . . Veganism has helped us connect in a way that we wouldn’t if we were both omnivore.”  Holly agrees, “Veganism is a little bit like religion for Russell and I. It brings us together. Having a vegan partner makes living a vegan lifestyle so much easier.”  As the couple mature and change through their vegan lifestyle, aspects surrounding their diet modification have also been affected.

Holly has been motivated into animal activism, encouraging other types of activism including feminism, fighting racism and politics.  The biggest change Holly has seen has been through family interaction.  Food is the center of most of her family’s gatherings, “I get a lot of jokes directed my way because I’m now the weird girl that brings her own food to Thanksgiving dinner.”

She has also seen a change in her mother, “She makes a concerted effort to cook vegan food when I come over and she is always interested in learning new recipes.”  The change Holly has seen warms her heart as it not only shows the compassion she has for her daughter, but also encourages her to think more about her own diet and health.

For Russell, “Cooking is easily the first thing that changes,” when transitioning into a vegan diet.  He began cooking more than ever when he became vegan.  Russell also immediately noticed how important food is in social gatherings and holidays.  “When I went vegetarian, I separated myself from the culture of omnivores; when I went vegan I stepped even further away,” he said.

Russell relates how he used to play Dungeons and Dragons with a few friends that would rotate who brought dinner every game-night.  After giving up meat, he felt alienated – there always had to be two pizzas, one of which was vegetarian.  Then he turned vegan and he couldn’t participate in dinner-sharing at all, “It was too much of a hassle for everyone involved.”

“When I went vegan, it wasn’t something I was just trying out.  It’s how I will eat forever,” explains Russell.

It Takes Time to Be Vegan

The transition for anyone to vegetarian or vegan takes time and preparation.  “Being vegan just takes time,” said Holly, “time to research foods, recipes, restaurants and to plan and cook meals. I’ve learned to simplify those processes and there are lots of resources to help. I’ve also learned how to deal with parties and gatherings and it all becomes very natural feeling.”  Some of those resources included local bloggers like and who review vegan options regularly throughout Utah’s restaurants.

Forgetting to pack a lunch usually leads to starvation, according to Russell, when there are very few fast food places that serve vegan foods.  Holly said, “It’s easier, faster and cheaper to grab a hamburger from McDonalds or heat up some Top Ramen than it is to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes and devote the time it takes to learn to cook them and make them delicious.” Russell supposes his beliefs are what keep him vegan, also relating that the temptation to cheat and eat a cheeseburger may be too much for someone who doesn’t truly believe in the foundation of their diet. Holly believes those without motivation, a low income or who is limited in food choices from eating restrictions would struggle with a vegan lifestyle.

It isn’t easy either, Russell said, “The biggest problem is giving up all the food routines. Anytime we eat out, we have to ask a bunch of questions. People don’t always know what vegan means, so we have to be very specific or end up getting inedible foods. Servers are often uninformed or just lying.”  The transition to veganism for Russell was easy, a split-second decision; for Holly, it took almost a year to change.  Together, the couple progress with their veganism lifestyle and beliefs.

Everyday Vegan Meals

For Holly breakfast is usually a variation of oatmeal, with blueberries, bananas, peanut butter, raisins or almond milk.  With more time, “I’ll make pancakes, french toast, or tofu omelets with fake sausage,” she said.  Snacking on fruit helps to curb her major sweet tooth before or after meals.  Russell usually begins his day with coffee and cinnamon raisin oatmeal with bananas.

Lunch consists of leftovers or a sandwich with veggies, tofurkey, hummus or peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread.  Snacking on almonds is a regular occurrence for Russell.

There are many recipes for dinner dishes such as chili, pizza, soups, casseroles, pasta, salads, curries, lentils, marinated tofu and roasted vegetables; one of the couples’ favorites is vegan pho.  “I would say about half of our dinners are vegan versions of stuff we’ve been eating our whole lives.  The other half is from vegan cookbooks or blogs.  We use a lot of spices in our cooking because it’s a low-fat way of adding a bunch of flavor,” said Russell.  Holly deems, “I firmly believe I can veganize any recipe and make it delicious.”

Holly and Russell

The reality is the veganism lifestyle Holly and Russell live by has affected their lives in a variety of positive ways.  Holly said, “The things that make veganism great are the food, the vegan community and the friends I’ve made! I have also loved the opportunities I have gotten to work with animals because they are definitely the reason I do this.” Russell’s favorite part is the food.  He loves to cook new foods, try eating new foods and discovering new recipes.  “It’s also a treat to find out what junk food is vegan.  I will eat a thousand Oreos and not feel any regret,” he stated.

Russell and Holly are continually adding to their vegan lifestyle with creative recipes and a growing community.  According to this couple, joining the vegan lifestyle is simple: it just requires a change of heart.

Historian says rock climbing culture has lost social aspect

story by ELLEN LEWIS

“Climbers’ tales cast light on themselves and the central themes of their time, nature, technology, ect,” said an environmental historian during his guest lecture March 5 at the University of Utah Marriot Library.

“Climbing Alone: The Estranging Trend in Outdoor Sports” focused on how climbing, once a social sport, has evolved to be individualized through changes in technology and society’s attitudes toward nature.

“I would have never expected climbing to have such a interesting history,” said Courtney Gaylord. She attended the lecture because of her affiliation with Mountain Hardware and their sponsorship of professional climbers.  “It went from being ‘us’ to ‘me’, it says a lot about climbers, but also about sports in general.”

The problem today is we only focus on the story of heroes said Joseph E. Taylor, a published history professor at Simon Fraser University. Beginning his presentation with a film clip of the 1963 Everest Expedition, Taylor said the sport of climbing has not always been about individuals celebrating risk and pushing boundaries.

Up until the 1960s climbing was a collection of friends out to have fun, environmental clubs with a social focus including dinner parties and often times dating.

“What they did in nature was deeply related to what they did outside,” Taylor said. These “middle class white playgrounds” focused on relationships rather than the individual approach climbing takes today.

Starting in the 1960s, as standards of living were raised and technology increased, the social way of climbing began to die out. Climbers began to separate themselves as heroes Taylor said, and became less collective.

Athletes had their own cars and equipment so the clubs became less necessary. Climbers aimed to separate themselves as heroes. The sport became more of a lifestyle than an activity.

“The ‘us’ had been lost in climbing culture,” Taylor said. Climbers went as far as breaking laws and living in Yosemite Park so they could climb full time.

Taylor’s lecture was based on his most recent book “Pilgrims of the Vertical: Yosemite Rock Climbers and Nature at Risk,” which won the National Outdoor Book Award for History.

Tall and clean cut, Taylor is a climber himself, and the historian in him drew him to find deeper themes within the climbing culture.

“[Utah] is the epicenter of the climbing and industry,” said Taylor. The lecture was hosted by the American West Center and Utah Humanities Council. Matt Bass, director of the American West Center brought Taylor here because of the local interest Utahans have in climbing.



by Andrew S. Jones

SALT LAKE CITY – The majority of American voters share consensus on what the most influential issues regarding their vote will be in the upcoming November elections. The best candidate for the job, however, is still a toss up according to the latest Gallup poll.

The topic of healthcare received the highest ratings of either extremely or very important followed by unemployment and the federal budget.

While putting some voice to the numbers, people on campus show a broad set of opinions, but show no signs of a committed vote.

“I consider myself more moderate, however in [Utah] I just take that to mean I am a democrat,” said campus advisor Charlotte Hansenterry who felt that healthcare and unemployment would be her two biggest factors to consider for the upcoming elections.

Hansenterry made it clear she was worried about the Tea Party’s influence in the GOP and how it seemingly is splitting the party.

“I feel the lesser to two evils would be voting for Obama at this point,” she said, “but my opinion could change at any moment.”

Strategic communications major, Joel McAllister added that he puts a lot of weight behind the candidate’s plan to support research.

“I would like to hear what the debates will bring out from the candidates on that issue as well before I decide. “

McAllister also stated that he is paying attention to track records. When asked who is more convincing, he assured he still wasn’t absolute.

“Obama is always very convincing, but he hasn’t delivered yet. That being said, I’m leaning more towards Mitt Romney and his record at this point.”

Freshmen Wilma Lazaro-Urcinole admits she first needs to get up to speed.

“This is my first election to vote in, but all I know is the a lot of people don’t like Romney.”


by Andrew S. Jones

SALT LAKE CITY – A local organic-certified farmer stressed food quality and color when considering nutrition to a group of students at the University of Utah annex building Tuesday, Feb. 28 in commemoration of Love Your Body week.

David Bell is the co-owner of Bell Organic, a local organic farm that has been situated in Draper, Utah for the last fourteen years. Wearing a light dress hat and exposing his chest through an opened plaid shirt, Bell shared how his lifestyle and food appetites have changed since being a famer and the impact simple things can have on students.

Bell was invited as a keynote speaker in a week’s worth of events called Love Your Body, Love Your Land week, presented by a student committee that collectively identifies themselves as SPEAK. SPEAK is an acronym that stands for Students Promoting Eating Disorder Awareness and Knowledge.

“Guess what, fresh-everything tastes better,” Bell said while passing around a tray of two large Spanish tortillas made only of freshly-grown produce from his farm. He said his rule-of-thumb centers around fresh ingredients and that freshness equates to better nutrition and taste.

While the ambient sounds of crunching and hearty swallows filled the room, Bell spoke openly about his experience becoming a farmer and the impact it has played on his and his family’s lives. What started out as a small 4-by-8 foot all organic garden in the backyard of Bell’s Sugar House area home, turned into a half-acre plot he and his wife Jill purchased when they decided to go into the business of farming together. The plot used to be an old dairy farm in Draper, Utah. These decisions came about while Bell was between jobs and without any prior farming experience.

“I had heard that a half billion people in China were being fed by one-half acre farms,” Bell said, before explaining how he felt Salt Lake County could sustain something similar just fine with the available resources, population, and perceived demand. The venture has since become a success. Now just over 25 acres in size, the farm also hosts a community supported agriculture program (CSA) that feeds more than 150 households every week during the farming season, all while following federal regulations to maintain an all-organic crop.

Bell also shared that there are plenty of side benefits to farming that he enjoys besides just the fresh food. He particularly enjoys being in shape and staying tan throughout the season while admitting that his weight fluctuates by as much as 20 pounds offseason.

“In the offseason I work as a real estate agent,” Bell said, just before jokingly stating “I have both the most overcompensated and undercompensated jobs in America.”

“While SPEAK is focused on body, this year we also wanted to include your land; hence the title and Mr. Bell,” said Brittany Badger, a graduate student studying health promotion and education under Reel. This is Badger’s third year being involved with SPEAK and Love Your Body week. While taking a sigh of relief after the day’s event and presentation, when asked what she thought of the tortilla, there was no hesitation. “It was amazing,” she said, “It may have been the best thing I’ve eaten.”

“This is the tenth anniversary of SPEAK and Love Your Body week,” said SPEAK founder and faculty advisor Justine Reel, Ph.D and assistant professor in the Department of Health at the University of Utah. “It started off with just four students who wanted to get involved,” she said while elaborating on how she feels the endeavor has evolved into a successful medium to reach out to students struggling with eating disorders. Reel also explained that the Love your body, love your land events share the same week as the National Eating Disorders Awareness week and therefore makes the events even more significant and in-line with the group’s mission.

According to the SPEAK homepage, the group is made up of many diverse students who promote self-esteem, self-efficacy, healthy body image, and healthy eating habits. Their mission is to promote awareness of eating disorders and body image issues through educating diverse populations, developing strategies for prevention, providing resources for treatment, and conducting relevant research.

For more information about SPEAK, visit

The NBA Lockouts Impact on Salt Lake City Businesses

By Steven Blomquist

The NBA Lockouts Impact on Salt Lake City Businesses

The labor disagreement between the NBA and its players not only put the NBA season in jeopardy, but also raised concern in many small market areas about potential decline in revenue.
“The NBA lockout is not only affecting the players on the court but Salt Lake City businesses who rely on the Jazz fans for business” said local business and Jazz fan Mark Maybee.
Energy Solutions Arena can hold more than 19,911 fans. With the great influx of people coming downtown, many come early on game night to go to local restaurants, shop at stores and ride TRAX. All of which will see the effects.
Vincent V. Fonua, who has worked for the downtown Crown Burger for 3 years, said, “Crown burger and other restaurants will be for sure be affected by no Jazz season. It’s a usually are busiest part of the year.”
“Around 5 p.m. for about 2 hours we get a major rush,” right before the game starts around the corner from the arena. “It is great business for us. We do very well during Jazz season,” Fonua added.
“I have been a Jazz fan all my life. Going to games is a tradition I have with my brothers. We would always go Crown Burger to eat before the games and since the lockout I haven’t been to there,” said Jazz fan Mike Plant.
It’s not only the restaurants who suffer; it’s all those who rely on people coming downtown for games to make their business go.
Torry Austin, a local cab driver, said, “It’s not just restaurants that are seeing the effects. It’s parking revenue, it’s transportation revenues, it’s taxi cab rides.” Austin who has been a cab driver for over 20 years said, “Jazz season really allows me to make ends meet through the winter.”
Salt Lake is not the only city that has seen the effects of the lockout on the local economy. Fourteen other small market cities such as the Indianapolis, Memphis and Portland have also seen effects.
Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker was one of 14 mayors in October who sent an open letter to league owners and players pleading their case for a season to take place for the sake of the local economies.
“It has created a huge strain,” Becker said. “I’m sure there are people who these part-time jobs at the arena make a difference in their ability to make end’s meet.” He added, “There are going to be economic casualties.”
On Nov. 26, the NBA and its players agreed on terms of a new collective bargain agreement. After missing all the preseason games and first 6 weeks of 2011-2012 play has been slated to start on Dec. 25.
While the NBA players celebrate their new deal they are not the only ones jumping for joy.  Local businesses also celebrate the end of the lockout, with the hope to make up for the lost profits

Mixed Reviews on Safety of New Paths

By Stephanie Graves

Mixed Reviews on Safety of New Paths

With the completion of the HPER bicycle path at the University of Utah, some students and faculty view this as a progressive step towards the future for transportation at the University.  Others believe that the hilly terrain of the University’s campus make these paths a recipe for disaster.

“I have never been hit by bikers, but I have seen a couple of close calls,” said Chris Bond, a business student at the University of Utah.

Bond frequently treks across campus and especially on the new bike path created along the HPER highway.

“I have noticed that the majority of the time when there is a close call, it is often due to lack of communication from the cyclist or reckless driving,” said Bond.

With the implementation of the new bicycle paths, there is an opportunity to reduce the number of cyclist/pedestrians accidents.

The new bike path, which is located along HPER Mall and University Street had been “in the works” for 3 years and was completed early last year.

“The HPER Mall bicycle path was the only path on campus constructed last year. Salt Lake City Transportation reduced University Street to one lane each way and installed bicycle lanes,” said Chad Larsen, University Commuter Services Manager.

The new bike path was constructed to ease campus traffic and create a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists to maneuver around campus. Many students are not observing the signs designating the paths as “bicycles only.”

After witnessing a cyclist skid to the ground on approaching the newly constructed path, architecture student Kaleb Larsen said, “You don’t realize there is a dangerous situation until something like this happens.”

Even though there was a campus-wide release informing students that the cyclist/boarder/scooter speed limit is 10 mph, there is rarely enough numbers among the campus police to constantly monitor these paths and cite offenders.

“Many bicycle incidents and crashes are underreported to the (campus) police department,” said Chad Larsen.

And while it is those involved in the accidents duty to report these incidents, they rarely do.

With the development of this new bike path, Chad Larsen believes that the path will reduce bicycle and pedestrian conflicts and allow the cyclists to ride to their destination more efficiently.

Even though this new bicycle path along the HPER highway is less than a year old, there are already plans to expand the bicycle network across campus.

“Currently the University is completing a Bicycle Master Plan. The bicycle network is organized in short term, medium term and long term projects,” said Chad Larsen.

With the addition of the new path along HPER highway and future plans for more bicycle paths, it is important for all students to be aware of their surroundings and each other.

Chad Larsen said, “Bicyclists and pedestrians need to be aware of their surroundings on shared sidewalks and Trax stations. “

If students and faculties are more aware of their surroundings and each other on and near these paths, these paths will create a huge impact on the efficiency and traffic flow around campus.

Plastic surgery on the rise

Story and slideshow by MIA MICIC

As today’s society becomes more and more concerned with their looks, the amount of people getting plastic surgery is increasing drastically even though many risks come with it.  According to an article posted on the Plastic Surgery Portal, “there were 39% more people who had breast augmentations in 2010 versus 2000.”

Roya Fargam, who works for Dr. Kimball M. Crofts, said, “I definitely think that in these past couple of years plastic surgery has gotten more popular and more people are getting procedures done.”

Crofts owns AESTHETICA medical spa in Lindon, Utah. He graduated from the University of Utah Medical School in 1989 and now works as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon.

“The challenge of taking normal and enhancing it to a super normal state, or to take severely injured or disfigured individuals and restoring that person to near-normal state was conceivably invigorating, I had to be part of that,” Crofts said.

AESTHETICA offers many plastic surgery procedures, including breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction, liposuction, lower body lift, laser skin resurfacing, ear surgery, facelift, eyelid surgery, and much more.

“Breast augmentation is by far the most popular type of surgery that patients want,” Crofts said. This number for this surgery continues to grow more and more every year. An individual who has this procedure done can end up spending more than $10,000 once they are done paying for the surgery, implants, medical fees and prescriptions.

When it comes to plastic surgery there are many risks involved such as scarring, bleeding, infection and nerve damage. Patients go into these procedures knowing the risks, yet they still continue on with the surgery.  Also depending what kind of procedure is done the recovery stage can sometimes take up to a couple of months.

“I don’t think many patients really realize how many risks can come with plastic surgery procedures, but it is a risk they take and will have to deal with any consequences after,” Fargam said.

Crofts added: “Yes, of course there are risks with every procedure, but if it is done right there is nothing to worry about.”

Patient Sadey Hall agreed to share some details about her surgery that she just had done recently. Hall got liposuction done on her legs  because she thought they were a “little too big.”

“I felt insecure about my legs and figured that was my only solution,” Hall said.

“The recovery stage was definitely not fun, and if I could go back in time I would have probably held off on this procedure just because there are other solutions besides plastic surgery,” Hall said.

In the end patients who go through plastic surgery get affected in different ways. According to the American Psychological Association, “people report increased satisfaction with the body part they had surgery on.”

On the other hand other individuals who have had plastic surgery refuse to get more done. “My liposuction was my first and last surgery that I will have, it was not necessary for me to get it,” Hall said.

Another source that has a huge effect on the rise of plastic surgery is the mass media. The media portray what women should supposedly look like and if they don’t look a certain way the media encourage individuals to get plastic surgery.

“Women always bring in pictures of celebrities and say they want their breasts or legs to look like the picture,” Fargam said.

Having plastic surgery is a very big life changing decision, and when something is changed on the body there is no undoing it. Before having any type of surgery individuals need to think it through and decide if that’s what they really want.

“When someone comes for a consultation about a certain procedure, I always make sure and ask them if this is what they really want, because once the surgery is done there is no turning back,” Crofts said.

Anyone who has plastic surgery needs to remember while they are having these procedures done that their life is in the hands of someone else. If plastic surgery is not needed but only “wanted” then the patient should rethink all the complications and decide if it is really worth it in the end.

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Junior League of Salt Lake City: Tradition in the 21st century

Story and multimedia by MEGAN SWEENEY

In 1901 Mary Harriman founded the women’s society called the Junior League. Her selfless efforts were focused on the immigrant children living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. She wanted to improve the health, nutrition and literacy of those who had recently come to America.

Since 1934 the Junior League of Salt Lake City (JLSLC) has been an active chapter. It is currently comprised of 555 members. According to the JLSLC website, the focus of the league has shifted from the arts, social welfare, child welfare and criminal justice system education to the critical environmental issues, women and substance abuse, mentally ill adults, and health care issues.

The name “Junior League” is derived from the 80 original members who were recruited by Harriman.She was just 19 at the time.In the beginning Harriman herself was only 19-years-old at the time but gathered about 80 other “juniors” to aid in her mission.

In 1903, Eleanor Roosevelt became inspired by Harriman and decided to join the League. Her contribution was teaching calisthenics and dancing at the College Settlement House for girls.

Roosevelt is just one of many famous women to join the League over the years. The alumni consist of people such as Barbara and Laura Bush, Betty Ford, Shirley Temple Black, and Katharine Hepburn.

The Junior League became an international society in 1912 when the first Junior League of Canada was founded in Montreal. The organization’s mission was becoming cross-cultural.

With 292 sectors, the needs of the community from London, England, differ from those of Mexico City or Greenwich, Conn.

In Utah there are two separate leagues that focus on the community needs in their respective areas. One league is located in Ogden while the other is in the Salt Lake valley.
Both Utah leagues are focused on nonprofit work and fundraising but in different ways to be more specific to the community needs.

The League creates networks among women who are both members and non-members. The Junior League is also more than events and fundraising for the community. It is a training organization.

There is an education and training committee that focuses on recognizing the members’ skills and setting up workshops to help educate women and children on things such as computers, marketing, public relations, etc.

Lindsay Stahl sorting mass amounts of clothes.

The efforts to help better the community along with the League’s active members is what enticed Lindsay Stahl to start becoming involved.

The initiation process for new members can take a couple months. According to the website, during this process they are called “Provisionals.” New members start with a hands-on introduction and overviews of the fundraising events hosted by the JLSLC. At the end, they will be voted into active membership.

Stahl, who is now special events director at the Junior League of Salt Lake City, first joined the League because she was interested in giving back to the community. She said she “liked how the league was different from the normal Utah society” that she had grown up in.

Before she joined the League Stahl had no idea about its history but soon found out the significant impact the organization has made over the years. After getting to know other members she realized how important the League is and how long members have been involved.

Members such as Wendy Warner has been with the League for eight years. Warner is a Preferred Active. That means she isn’t on a specific committee but rather volunteers her time on various events. Her love of cookbooks was how Warner was initially introduced to the League.

Over the years, she has acquired 11 Junior League cookbooks from all around the United States. Her excitement is focused now on the newest release of SLC’s “Salt and Honey,” which will be released in early 2012.

What Warner has realized about the League is how it balances her life. “There are a lot of people, even here in Salt Lake, that don’t have a fraction of what we have,” she says. “It is also a great way to network.”

Both Stahl and Warner realize there a lot of misconceptions surrounding the League.

Warner says non-members would describe the members and functions of the league using  terms such as hoighty-toighty, party, elitist group of women. In reality, they are focusing on the community and pulling together events for Kids in the Kitchen or Women Helping Women.

Kids in the Kitchen focuses on tackling the increasingly alarming issue of childhood obesity and malnutrition. In Salt Lake City there are over 250 children in grades 3-5 who are taught various aspects of maintaining a healthy diet. There is an emphasis on how important exercise is along with portion control for your overall health.

Women Helping Women is a boutique founded in 1996 at 526 East and 300 South. Since then it has helped professionally clothe more than 12,000 women in the Salt Lake community.

The recipients of the clothing are transitioning into a self-sufficient lifestyle.The initial steps in this process start with first impressions. To a potential employer their appearance is extremely important.

Example of what to find at the boutique.

Jennifer Kelsey, president of the Junior League of Salt lake City, says that her favorite job is working in the Women Helping Women boutique.

Kelsey describes the League as “a nice place to link up and join other women who are likeminded and have something in common.” She knows each woman joins the league for different reasons but the common bond that the women share is the focus on helping women and children in the community.
Since 1901 the Junior League has brought together women from all over the world to help make the community a better place and to encourage a better future for the children. This was the initial dream when Mary Harriman started with just 80 people almost 110 years ago.

Since then the League has grown to more than 155,000 members in 292 countries because of the success and the message that the League shares throughout the world. That message, the outstanding members and what Warner calls “getting the fuzzies” from volunteering is what makes the League timeless.

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Specialized Chair Helps Veterans Go Paragliding

Story by Sean Gustafson

On Sept. 3, 2011 five veterans tested a new type of paraglider over Sun Valley, Idaho. What made this an event noteworthy was that all five of these veterans are suffering from spinal cord injuries (SCI).

The veterans were able to participate in the paragliding by means of a set of specialized chairs called “Phoenix 1.0” and “Phoenix 1.5.”  The “Phoenix” chairs were made from one inch aircraft aluminum tubing allowing for a sturdy 35lb craft.

These chairs were the product of four months of researching and testing from four University of Utah students under the direction of professor Don Bloswick.

Mark Gaskill, of ABLE Pilot, provided the training for the chairs an organization committed to help people with spinal cord injuries, amputations, and neuromuscular diseases into flying-type actives.

To see test runs on the “Phoenix” chairs, go to

ABLE Pilot Program Helps Veterans With SCI Learn to Paraglide

Story by: Laurie Carlson

“ABLE Pilot is an organization committed to getting people with spinal cord injuries, amputations and neuromuscular diseases safely into the air, piloting and flying with the minimum amount of assistance,” said Mark Gaskill, director of the training.

In Sun Valley, Idaho, this weekend, five veterans with spinal cord injuries (SCI) will learn how to paraglide.  They will learn how a paraglider works, functions and how to pilot it.

The veterans will use two flight chairs named Phoenix 1.0 and Phonenix 1.5. The original flight chair Phoenix 1.0 was built under the direction of Don Bloswick, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Utah. The chair was built by four mechanical engineer undergraduates at the University.

Gaskill is the developer of the ABLE pilot program and is the developer of many paragliding-training programs for people with disabilities. Gaskill is the person who initially came to the U of U team with the idea to develop the adaptive flight chairs.

The veterans will train all weekend long Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. During the first day of training they will learn about paragliding. They will also learn how to paraglide 3 feet off the ground. They veterans will then take several tandem flights with ABLE Pilot’s certified instructors. Finally by Monday they will be able to fly solo.

For more information about the ABLE Pilot program visit

Two Utah women tell how they survived domestic violence

Story and slideshow by CHELSEA EBELING

Baffled, afflicted, and despondent, Khloe James sat hugging her knees to her chest with tears streaming down her face in the corner of her room, paralyzed by shock.

“This didn’t just happen … not to me … I’m not that girl … this didn’t just happen,” she repeatedly told herself.

But it did happen, and she was that girl. James, who is using a pseudonym to protect her identity, fell victim to domestic violence that night in 2007 when her on-again, off-again boyfriend of two years raped her while he was high on methamphetamine.

“He was always very possessive, controlling and manipulative, even pulling a gun out once, but he never actually got physical until that night,” James said.

She suffered in silence for the next year, not telling anyone what had happened. “I didn’t think anyone would believe me if I told them because he was my boyfriend,” James said. She even continued dating him until he went to jail for unrelated charges in 2008.

“When he finally went to jail I looked at it as my escape. He wouldn’t be able to stalk me, call me and convince me to get back together with him,” James said.

This story is frighteningly common. One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, and most of those cases are never reported to the police, according to statistics by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Many victims know what is happening is wrong, but for various reasons still stay with the perpetrator. “It’s easy for somebody outside of the situation to say what should be done, but you never know what you’d really do until it happens to you,” said Asha Parekh, the director of the Family Justice Center in Salt Lake City.

For Chelsea Waters, that statement was all too true. Mistreatment was her reality for four years while dating her then-boyfriend. “We had a really quick-paced relationship,” Waters said. “Things got serious one month in.”

Their passion quickly turned from romance to violence. “We got in arguments a lot, even about the littlest things,” Waters said. “He called me every name in the book.”

Those small arguments turned physical after a month of dating when Waters’ boyfriend tackled her to the ground and repeatedly slapped her during a disagreement. After realizing what he had done, Waters’ boyfriend came to her crying and apologized for his actions, and swore he’d never do it again. But within hours she was attacked for a second time.  “After that door was open it was never closed,” Waters said about the abuse.

Subsequently, arguments were no longer disagreements but full-blown attacks. “Things were bad, but I stayed because I loved him and saw the best in him,” Waters said. “He was extremely affectionate, you know, bringing me flowers for no reason … I forgave him quickly.”

But it was that forgiving nature that got her into more trouble. Three years into their relationship, and shortly after their son was born, Waters’ boyfriend asked to borrow her car keys to go somewhere with his friend while they were in the middle of moving. Her refusal led to one of the worst altercations of the relationship.

“I was very calm and told him he could take the car after we were done packing,” Waters said. But her boyfriend didn’t like that answer and told her to come inside with him while they left his friend outside. With his hands behind his back, Waters’ boyfriend asked once again if he could borrow the car. When she told him no for the second time, her boyfriend pulled out a roll of duct tape he had been concealing and told her that he was going to kill her.

He taped her hands together then punched her repeatedly in the face, pushed her, kicked her in the stomach and pounded her head against the floor. “I knew his friend was right outside the door and I kept screaming thinking he would come in and help me, but he never did,” Waters said.

What made things worse is that their son was just a few feet away from where Waters was beaten. “Looking up and seeing my son crying in front of me was my breaking point,” Waters said. She had been beaten before, but not like this. She didn’t want her son to live this way and she certainly didn’t want him to witness her death.

Waters might have been killed that day, had her mother not come over to check on things. Her mom called the police and her boyfriend was arrested shortly after the call was made. Waters was taken to the hospital and treated for a fractured jaw, a serious concussion, a fractured eyebrow and cheekbone, broken ribs, and a broken nose. She was also blinded in one eye for three days after the attack due to an eye contusion.

Despite her injuries, Waters went back to her boyfriend and even spoke on his behalf during the court case in an effort to get the charges of abuse dropped. It wasn’t until a few months later when she met someone new that she finally left him.

“Meeting someone that treated me good was the only thing that got me to finally leave,” Waters said.

The Family Justice Center website notes, “For an abused woman, leaving the relationship is never a single act. It is always a continuous process.” It’s not always a matter of making a decision; often it has to do with safety and finances.

Whatever the reasons for staying may be, the time has to be right and support is crucial. “It takes a lot of time and patience until someone finally is ready to leave,” Parekh said. The best thing to do is to let the victim know that they are loved, supported, that they deserve better and it’s not their fault.

The struggle isn’t over once women decide to get out of the relationship either. Sometimes that’s the hardest and possibly the most dangerous part. “The danger can increase when a victim decides to leave the relationship because the abuser may feel like he is losing control over her. They may take drastic measures to maintain that control,” Parekh said.

In order to minimize danger, it is recommended that abused women contact resources to set up an exit plan. The Family Justice Center has staff members who can help create a safety plan and get victims in touch with counselors, law enforcement, lawyers, career counselors, and other personnel who can help with the transition.

James and Waters are the few lucky ones who were able to get out of an abusive relationship without getting help. Waters says she is finally getting closer to “normal” and can actually talk about what happened. “I have to work on it every day, but … I’m healing,” Waters said.

In hindsight James contributes getting out of that relationship as the start of her happiness and hopes her story might help influence other potential victims to be cautious about who they’re dating. “Leaving that relationship was by far the best decision I’ve ever made,” James said. “I wish I had known there were people out there who could’ve helped me and told me I’m not the only one this has happened to.”

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The first step in fighting back against domestic violence is to know what it actually is. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines it as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another.”

Knowing the signs of an abusive person could potentially save your life or the life of someone you love. The YWCA lists 14 signs of domestic abuse.

Sharing the Olympic dream: The storytellers of US Bobsled and Skeleton


What’s the story of the storyteller? Meet Amanda Bird.

Amanda Bird, marketing and communications manager for USBSF, was a member of the US National Skeleton team.  Photo provided by AMANDA BIRD

Her current title is marketing and communications manager for the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (USBSF). She makes it her career to share those unknown stories of the less than 300 athletes who compete every four years in the Winter Olympic Games.

Bird says her favorite part of the job is relating those elite athletes to the public vs. focusing on the finish times ad medals around their necks. She was a former skeleton athlete for more than 10 years. She would hurtle herself face first down an ice chute, at speeds exceeding 70 mph. However, she discovered there was “more than showing up to train.”

Being an athlete is more than lifting weights, eating right and training hard. It also entails being a stand-up citizen, a semi-professional marketer and a savvy salesperson.

These revelations in place, Bird started to simultaneously compete and blog. After graduating from the University of Albany with a master’s degree in English, she began her career at the Albany Times Union of upstate New York as one of the initial bloggers.
With her skills as a writer and her passion for the sport of skeleton her dream of “marrying her two passions” became a reality.

Sometimes, though, reality can be harsh. Transitioning from the Albany Times Union to the USBSF was difficult. Within her first week with the organization, she had to write a press release about the death of Captain Brian Freeman, her former teammate and a member of the US Army Reserves World Class Athlete Program, who had been killed in Iraq.

She was tested again when 2010 Olympic athletes John Napier and Christopher Fogt decided to take a leave of absence from sliding in order to serve in the Middle East. “It’s difficult and emotional to go on and off the record,” Bird said in a telephone interview.

It isn’t all negative though. Bird has the opportunity to make a difference in athletes’ lives. She gets to share details about two-time Olympian Eric Bernotas of USA Skeleton. Bird wrote about the triumphant comeback of Noelle Pikus-Pace after she was hit by a bobsled in Calgary, Canada, which postponed her Olympic dreams and made her determination grow stronger for the 2010 Games.

Bird also wanted to shed light on the transitional athletes such as Bree Schaaf who started her career as a skeleton athlete and moved on to become a 5th-place finisher in the 2010 Olympic Games for the women’s bobsled team. She yearned to expose the struggles of Olympic gold medalist Steven Holcomb who pilots the No. 1 sled for USA men’s bobsled. Despite being almost legally blind, he challenged the odds by positioning himself as one of the most prominent bobsled drivers in the world.

Bird’s positive movement was enhanced within the federation in the form of negotiating contracts with sponsors such as Under Armour. This provided more athletes with national team clothing.

She was challenged by the prospect of attaining additional sponsors in order to provide the USBSF athletes funding so that they weren’t paying out of pocket to travel and race on the international circuit.

Athletes such as Erin Pac and Elana Meyers are recipients of those sponsorships. They’re also the subjects of Bird’s most memorable and favorite story she ever wrote. It began on Feb. 24, 2010, at the Whistler Sliding Centre in Whistler, Canada.

From the moment the team of two women crossed the finish line and stepped off the ice, Bird accompanied them. The trio made their way through mix zone after press conference after meet-and-greet. Then, finally (two days later), ended up at the medals plaza to receive their bronze medal in the awards ceremony. After all was said and done, Pac and Meyers turned to Bird and thanked her.

“Amanda was awesome during that entire experience!” Meyers wrote in an email. “It was great to have a familiar face with us and someone to share that moment with. She really helped make winning the medal that much more special — and we were super excited to share all our experiences with her.”

Meyers also wrote, “Having Bird definitely changed our relationship. She has shared moments with me that I’ve only shared with Erin. It was a magical experience.”

Bird agreed. “In the end it was so special that I felt I needed to share it with the world. The ride of emotion was almost indescribable,” she said.

From left: Elena Meyers, Amanda Bird and Erin Pac. Photo provided by AMANDA BIRD

While reporting on passion creates a good read, one major issue for Bird in dealing with the media today comes from an athlete’s ability to share through social media.

The USBSF is known for being one of the last sports announcing its Olympic team. Explaining the long, drawn out and complicated process to “outsiders” might be worse than trying to decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.

In a single tweet an athlete can tip off a reporter without even knowing. One tweet or status change that may be as simple as a smiley face followed by “20XX Here We Come!” can trigger an irreparable Google effect.

However negative social media can be, its power can extend into other avenues of Bird’s job and actually help her sponsorships.

The reason athletes look like a walking billboard on a regular basis is due to the support they receive from sponsors. A single tweet or picture of a bobsled or skeleton athlete raving about the upgraded car rental that Budget gave them for vacation goes beyond a plug to their fans.

It can result in athletes receiving Range Rovers to drive around Europe for the entire six-month season.

Another obstacle that can be difficult to overcome are time zones. This is particularly challenging when one is trying to balance both a personal and professional life. Being awake at 2 a.m. to catch results from the first heat of a bobsled race in Cesana, Italy, doesn’t allow for sleep but Bird’s fiancé, Jason Hartman, understands.

He was the former strength and conditioning coach at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center.

Hartman has worked closely with most of the athletes of the USBSF. He has a personal and emotional investment in these athletes as well and this enables him to realize that the stories Bird has to report on are more important than sleep.

At some point, an athlete transitions from competing as a hobby to competing as a career. This makes Bird’s career one of status and prominence. She is responsible for the visibility and livelihood of the athletes who represent the USBSF.

Many look to achieve her portfolio and have the ability to report on such stories as she does. In order to get there she believes that being able to communicate clearly and fully express a thought is more valuable than anything. Bird believes that practice makes perfect and she says no matter what you’re writing about, just write.

Every story Bird reports on she executes like a racer would: with a purpose and a passion.

Sarah Minen’s massage business in Salt Lake City

Story and photos by SHERYL CRONIN

Exterior view of Sarah Minen's office.

Young entrepreneurs often do not do as well as they expected in this economy. But businesswoman Sarah Minen has made her personal career successful with a growing clientele.

She recently moved her business Sarah Minen LMT from her home into an office in downtown Salt Lake City at 24th South and 600 East. Her new office is more spacious and more professional looking for her clients.

One of Minen’s clients, Chris Nizzardini, has been seeing her for three years. He said the massage room in her house was very nice. She was able to transform the room into a professional atmosphere for massage, but he says that the new office is more like an official place of business.

Interior of new office.

Minen says she is more likely now to socialize with her clients before and after the massage because she doesn’t have her roommates there to make things awkward.

Minen, 26, grew up in a small town, Tracy, Calif., and moved to Salt Lake City in her teens. Raised by two professionally successful parents, they instilled their work ethic within her and her siblings.

Minen was always interested in the profession of massage but was discouraged by her parents because they did not feel that it was an adequate career. She ended up getting an associate degree in sociology at Dixie College in southern Utah to try to please her parents, but she still felt that she wanted to do massage.

After obtaining a school loan and a small loan from her sister, Minen was able to enroll in the Utah College of Massage Therapy in 2007. She obtained her massage license while attending school only part time for one year and graduated in 2008. She was able to pay off the loans while still in school by working in restaurants as a server to make ends meet.

While in massage school she said she was taught how to market herself. At first it was really difficult to sell herself to others. She said it has become easier for her and has been beneficial as a self-employed young adult.

In a few of her past massage jobs she has been a manager, which also contributed to the transition into managing her own business.

“I love to help people feel better,” she said. One of her most memorable clients was a woman who was suffering from daily migraines that were so severe she could not work. The woman had come to her for three sessions and the migraines had disappeared.
“I feel that I changed her life,” Minen said.

Most massage therapists have a specialty massage and every year there are conferences around the country where the therapists go to learn about new types of massage. Minen’s specialties are deep tissue and trigger point.

Deep tissue is a type of massage in which therapists use their fist or elbow that work to get to the deeper muscles. With this technique the therapist must massage very slowly to mold the muscle. This method works the muscles that are not normally reached with a regular massage.

Trigger point massage is a method that focuses on particular points on the body that the therapists lean on with their elbow. When leaned on for a long enough time the muscle will release its tension.

Trigger point and deep tissue are both really good techniques to use on athletes. Minen was thankful that those two methods were the first she learned to do because they were the most useful to her athletic clients.

Minen said Utah is a great place for massage because of the number of outdoor athletes. The mountains in the Salt Lake area bring in a lot of clientele. Many of her clients run, ski, bike, snowboard, and there are even some triathletes who see her for sports-related muscle issues.

Some of the physical effects from doing massage can be carpal tunnel and disk degeneration. Minen said that eventually she would like to have her own business with her own employees to avoid the risk of getting carpal tunnel after working with her hands for so long.

One of the greater benefits of not being employed by a salon or chiropractic clinic is the hours. She only has to work about 20 hours a week. She keeps all of the profit instead of having to give a portion of it to a company she works for. This was one of her main goals to accomplish from being self-employed.

Minen’s business looks like it will continue to grow and provide her with a fulfilling career. She’s glad she did not listen to her parents when it came to her career. “I would choose this same career if I could do it all again,” Minen said.

Baseball player helps a breast cancer cause in Salt Lake City

Story and photos by CARLY SZEMEREY

Sam Kaplan wearing "Swing for Life" jersey for the breast cancer awareness game.

Ever since Sam Kaplan can remember, he has been doing two things — playing baseball and helping others.

While growing up in Cottonwood Heights, a suburb of Salt Lake City, Kaplan’s parents, Neil and Kitty, taught him that service is a small meaningful act that goes a long way.

Because of this lesson Kaplan, now 19 and a University of Utah student, has donated his time to many efforts in hopes of bettering other people’s lives. He has raked yards, served food to the homeless and worked at the Utah Food Bank to sort food for the homeless and those in need.

He remembers one specific moment of volunteer work that touched him deeply. While he and his father were delivering food they came upon a Sudanese household. Once they had knocked at the door to deliver the packaged food, they were invited in the home. The family fed Kaplan and his father all of the food they had to offer. “It was really touching and nice of them,” Kaplan said.

When Kaplan was not volunteering his time helping others, he enjoyed playing centerfield for Cottonwood High School’s baseball team. Baseball has been a big part of Kaplan’s life for many years. His parents had enrolled him in T-Ball when he was just 3 years old and he has stuck with it ever since.

Kaplan has placed his focus on being the best player he can be. “I worked hard every single day of my life,” Kaplan said. “I didn’t take a day off ever.”

With this hard work and dedication Kaplan received multiple awards throughout his high school baseball career. Some of these awards included an All-State award his senior year and the All-Region award two years in a row.

“Sam was a great player who is an extremely hard-working kid,” said Jon Hoover, Kaplan’s baseball coach at Cottonwood High School.

Given Kaplan’s commitment to volunteerism and baseball, few were surprised when he brought up the idea of a breast cancer awareness game to raise money for research.

“[The idea of the game] just hit me one day,” Kaplan said. “I just wanted to help out a cause and raise money.”

In early spring 2010 many things happened. Kaplan had suggested to his coach and teammates the idea of a baseball game targeted at raising funds for breast cancer, the game was played to raise funds and  a longtime family friend, Toba Essig, was diagnosed with breast cancer. This diagnosis pushed Kaplan to make sure that this game happened and really became a driving force of the whole plan.

With the knowledge of a Cottonwood vs. Brighton baseball game coming up, Kaplan felt this was the perfect opportunity to implement his plan.

Essig’s son, Brian, played on Brighton’s team so Kaplan contacted Brian and asked if he would be willing to help him out with this cause.

Brian agreed so Kaplan approached his coach about the game.

“When Sam approached me about making our game against Brighton a breast cancer awareness game I thought it was a really good idea,” Hoover said. “Out of everyone I’m not surprised it was Sam to do this.”

"Swing For Life" designed the logo for jerseys to be worn in the game.

After speaking to his coach Kaplan began contacting different breast cancer organizations such as the Huntsman Cancer Institute and “Swing for Life” — a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to raising money in breast cancer research — to see if they would be willing to set up booths at the game.

His focus became more targeted when speaking with Kathy Howa, from “Swing for Life,” and Brighton’s baseball.

“Howa was really helpful,” Kaplan said. She helped plan the event and supplied the teams playing with pink and black jerseys to wear.

After all the planning the breast cancer game was ready to begin. On April 3, 2010, many people attended the game to support a cause.

Parents of the kids from Cottonwood’s baseball team took shifts in the goody shack — the snack shack at Cottonwood’s baseball field. All the proceeds raised during the game at the shack were donated to “Swing for Life.”

In addition, the players’ black jerseys were auctioned off to the highest bidders at the end of the game. This money was also given to the organization.

Kaplan and his supporters were able to raise more than $1,000 to be donated to breast cancer research.

“This game was one of my prouder moments and I’m so glad that I was able to help out,” Kaplan said. “I just hope that I am able to continue both of my passions and hopefully combine them together once again in hopes of making a difference.”

Following Kaplan’s graduation in 2010 he moved to Forest Grove, Ore., to play college baseball for Pacific University. After his freshman year he moved back to Salt Lake to get surgery on his shoulder in August 2011. Now a student at the U he hopes to continue playing baseball again after his shoulder has healed and he has completed the necessary rehabilitation.