Foundation gifts $3,500 to Fort Walla Walla Museum 1-17-10


For nine years running, Fort Walla Walla Museum has offered admission-free tours to public, private and home school students, primarily because of corporate sponsors.

    The Museum recently received $3,500 in support from Pacific Power Foundation through local representative Bill Clemens, regional community manager.

    "We think the tough economic times for schools and families make it even more important to connect kids with their heritage. The region’s knack for pulling itself up by its bootstraps is well documented and a wonderful example for our children," said Museum Executive Director James Payne.

    "Eliminating the expense for both schools and students keeps this vital program affordable for tightly strapped school budgets."

    "At Pacific Power, we know children are the future and we are pleased to continue supporting this great program that puts them in touch with our shared past," Bill said. "Kids who are connected with their communities this way can help bring us all a brighter future."

    In recent years, the Museum had more than 4,000 participants annually in the program, from 100-plus schools across Washington and Oregon.
    The Museum sends out informational letters about the program to more than 500 schools across the region.

    Teachers can explore the Web site, before bringing students to visit. Educators are encouraged to download and distribute to students the Teacher’s Guide to the Museum, as well as a timeline of events for the region and a Visitor’s Guide to Fort Walla Walla Museum, all without fees or copyright worries.

    Museum school tours match well with Washington- and Oregon-mandated curriculum requirements. Schools interested in booking tours may call 509-525-7703 or e-mail


    Joe Drazan, referred to as via e-mail, dug into his vast supply of archived local photos in response to a Dec. 27 Etcetera column item.

      I had perused a copy of the U-B from April 7, 1950, and wrote tidbits about items that caught my eye, including an ad about the Cootie CutUps musical group, also called the Cootie Cuties.

      "From my enormous collection of Walla Walla vintage photos it was easy to dredge up a group picture of them from 1948," Joe e-mailed.

      For several years, they were quite popular at events around town, Joe said. He said a 1945 ad he attached gives an idea of the origin of the name. Joe thinks that perhaps a few of our readers may remember this group.

      "I suspect that these earlier photos attached show the beginnings of the "Cooties." Here they are unsponsored, but it seems that they must have picked up a sponsor (the Veterans of Foreign Wars), and a new name, probably around World War II.

      "There could be a few more Cootie stories and photos in the U-B issues of the 1930s and ‘40s," Joe said, but he hasn’t read them all — yet.

      "It would be a needle-in-a-haystack challenge for anyone wanting to write the Cootie history." The curious are encouraged to go to Joe’s online site, .


      Members of Walla Walla High School Class of 2010 are nearing the time when they will present their culminating project/senior presentations. Members of the community are encouraged to become participants in the evaluation panels who hear the presentations.

        Seniors are creating PowerPoint presentations, professional binders, video productions, visual aids, and/or combinations of various modes of presentation, said Mira Gobel, Wa-Hi principal and coordinator of this project.

        Students will relate their inspirational stories by talking about their accomplishments in music, visual arts, academics, athletics, community involvements and/or challenges they had to overcome.

        "We believe that this event is a celebration of our collective efforts and will provide each senior an opportunity to reflect on their past, present, and future," Mira said. Presentations dates are Feb. 22-23 and March 22-23, from 3:30-7:30 each day.

        Those interested in being on a panel may contact her at to receive more details.


        Walla Walla Heat, a local fifth-grade AAU boy’s basketball team, placed first in the 14th annual Hoop it Up Basketball Tournament on a recent weekend in Benton City, said Peggy Needham via e-mail.

        Local elementary schools represented on the team are Prospect Point, Meadowbrook, Assumption and Liberty Christian.

        "These kids (pictured above) have come together to play basketball since the fifth-grade basketball program was eliminated in the Walla Walla Public School system this year," Peggy said.

        "They have worked hard and their efforts were rewarded with a first-place Trophy."

        Four Walla Walla students attending Central Washington University qualified for the fall quarter 2009 honor roll.

        Central undergraduate students, including Trevor Nix, Sara Heimbigner, Valry Hensel and Nicholas Swisher, who earn a 3.5 or better grade point average, on a 4.0 scale, while carrying at least 12 graded credit hours of study are eligible for the honor roll.

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


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