Etcetera - 01/29/10

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Blue Mountain Heart to Heart, the HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C support services and education and prevention provider for the Southeastern Washington region, is seeking a volunteer with skill and experience in various aspects of grant writing, said Parke Thomas, president of the board.

The 25-year-old nonprofit healthcare agency has been "hit with diminished government support and a very understandable reduction in charitable donations over the past year, resulting from the weak economy," Parke said in a release.

Nearly draconian cost-cutting steps and a still-generous local community have allowed BMH2H to maintain most of its services so far, but the Board of Directors fears current funding will not be sufficient to sustain all necessary client services and the full scope of the agency's all-important community education and prevention efforts.

The Board is redoubling its efforts to win grants from supporting organizations such as MAC-

AIDS, the Ryan White Foundation, PRIDE Foundation, the CDC, Schering Plough, Roche and other organizations yet to be identified.

To do this, a skilled volunteer grant writer is needed.

"It is a lot to ask of anyone, we know, as the job will be a big one.

Ours is a small agency doing big things for the community in what are actually two global battles:

HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. The risks from these diseases to our community, especially our youth, are huge," Parke said.

"Kids think 'It can't happen to me, and if it does, there's a pill for it.' Wrong. It can happen, it does happen and the pills, such as they very expensively are, don't cure it.

We now stand before our community asking for help in this critical fundraising area, grant writing." For more details about this post, e-mail info@bluemountainheart.org or call 509-529-4744.

•••

There could be a whole lot of schussing going on when Whitman College students join President George Bridges and wife Dr. Kari Tupper and their family for a weekend of skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho, in February.

Group gatherings include a reception with Walla Walla wines at a Sun Valley alumna's home, a horse-drawn sleigh ride, dinners and a special program by Dr. Kirsten Nicolaysen, assistant professor of geology. $200 per person covers all Whitman activities. Sounds like a blast.

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

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