Etcetera - 12/10/10

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As a little perk, at the first of every school year about 15 Walla Walla-Columbia County Retired School Employees Association members assemble 200 goody bags for fellow members who are still working, said Deanna Aichele.

They announced Mini-Grant Award winners and a couple of state awards were announced at the organization's fall meeting, she said. Five mini grants are given in fall and another five in spring to those members still working in the education field, as reported earlier.

State award winners included Joan Helm, who received the Patrick-Hoban Award for outstanding work in the organization. Ellen Wolf was given the local and state Stan McNaughton Award for outstanding work in the community.

The student teaching scholarships awarded in spring are given in honor of members who have done an outstanding job for the organization during the year. This past year, they were given in honor of Deanna and Patti Grant.

Sharon Ford was presented a framed and matted copy of the Washington state School Retirees Association Journal with her picture on the front at the November meeting.

The program for this meeting was to tour Clay in Motion Pottery before the luncheon. About 20 members rode on a school bus. "This was very fun and informative for all of us," Deanna said.

Members Bob Fox, Shirley Rodenburg, Rick Nebeker, Jerry Cummins and Joan Helm had breakfast with area legislators, Sen. Mike Hewitt and Reps. Maureen Walsh and Terry Neeley.

For logging 500 hours working with an American quarter horse, the American Quarter Horse Association presented Merilee Buroker of Milton-Freewater with an award. Merilee has been involved in AQHA's Horseback Riding program, which recognizes members for time spent in activities such as pleasure driving, trail rides, simply riding and working cattle. Merilee has logged her time to gain recognition. For more details about AQHA, see www.aqha.com.

Joanna Lanning wants community bird lovers to know that beginning in December, Walla Walla city residents can choose to donate to Pioneer Park Aviary by rounding up their City utility bills.

"Residents can round up in any amount and all proceeds will go to support the operation of the Aviary," said Joanna, who is Aviary caretaker.

The city's Parks & Recreation Department funds the aviary out of its budget, which now faces a $130,390 5.6 percent cut to its 2011 budget and a $100,750 4.27 percent cut in 2012.

A Sept. 25 U-B article noted that the aviary's annual budget is under $50,000, but its true cost is closer to $60,000 per year. That doesn't include many needed facility repairs, some caused by the windstorm of 2008.

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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