Etc. - 11/23/09

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Local activities being planned for Dec. 1, World Aids Day, focus attention toward ongoing issues surrounding HIV/AIDS.

Among those is a candlelight walk from First Avenue and Main Street to First Congregational Church, 73 S. Palouse St. A brief memorial service will be there to honor those who have died from AIDS. Other activities will include building panels to contribute to the AIDS Quilt. Organizers hope for a robust turnout for the evening of remembrance and continuing call to arms.

The AIDS Quilt has more than 91,000 names on its 54-ton, 12,293,300 square feet. Some 18,000,000-plus people have visited it. To view the entire quilt and average one minute per panel would take more than 33 days, according to Blue Mountain Heart to Heart. Countries that have contributed panels include Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, the UK, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Uganda, United States, with all 50 states, Guam and Puerto Rico, and Zambia.

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Walla Walla Noon Rotary members are selling tickets for a raffle boasting a $25,000 cash grand prize. Four more prizes of $1,000 each will also be given away.

Proceeds from the raffle will help fund various Rotary projects, including tree planting. Rotary's efforts were featured in a U-B article. Their goal is to plant 1,500 new trees in Walla Walla over the next three years, which will aid the reforestation project following the devastating windstorm in January 2008 that blew down many mature trees.

Rotary also contributes $30,000 per year in college scholarships to local students.

Previous Rotary projects include construction of the Fort Walla Walla Park picnic shelter; a mural on the water tank east of town; new playground equipment at Tietan Park; and several international projects to help bring clean drinking water to a Nigerian community and a school in Thailand.

The drawing will follow Rotary's regular meeting on Dec. 17 at the Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center. Tickets are $20 each with a maximum of 3,500 to be sold.

Tickets are available through Rotary members, or call Chris Coates at 524-5107 for more details.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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