To borrow some familiar lyrics, a group of stitchers "cut loose, footloose, kicked off their Sunday shoes" and put together a series of brilliantly colored fabric blocks for a fundraiser.
It started when Kay Raddatz, program coordinator for Walla Walla Community College Foundation, wanted to create a "Footloose" quilt to raffle for scholarships.
Initially, she thought there would be a different kind of shoe in each quilt block. "When I shared this idea with my friend, Melanie Plantaric, she said each block should have two shoes and they should be dancing, and the blocks should be different sizes. I knew she was right, but not being ‘artisitic,' I was a bit overwhelmed. How could I find a way to do this?"
One day on YouTube she found the part from the "Footloose" movie of the dancing shoes. She stopped the video at many points to get a variety of shoes in various positions. She culled through 50 different pairs of shoes that she had printed until she came up with the ones now in the quilt.
She chose 8- by 12-inch and 12- by 12-inch blocks for the layout in order to balance the color. Some of the pictures needed to be tweaked (like putting the feet closer together) to make them fit into one of the two sizes.
She traced the basic outline of the legs and shoes and enlarged them to fit the block dimensions.
Kay sought volunteers from among Walla Walla Valley Quilt Guild members and WWCC employees to make one block each.
"In six weeks I had all the amazing blocks." She and Melanie arranged them, Kay sewed them together, Shirley Aycock quilted it and Kay did the binding.
"It was a perfect example of old-fashioned quilting teamwork for a good cause."
The quilt will be displayed at the "Footloose!" booth in Pioneer Park on the Fourth of July and at all the performances. Raffle tickets are $5 each, or five tickets for $20. The drawing will be July 24; it's not necessary to be present to win. All proceeds will be used for scholarships at WWCC.
Footloose quilters include Shirley, Melanie and Kay, along with Teddy Beer, Mary Crowther, Jan Eaton, Jean Fletcher, Terri Hellberg, Pat Jones, Rayni Lambert, Pam Murray, Joanne Stillman, Dilsey Welch and Lynn Wilson.
"I think the most special part of it is that all these ladies just volunteered their time for a good cause, like the image we have of the old-time quilting bees," Kay said. All that assistance "does really help with raising money for scholarships."
For more details, contact Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-524-5161.
The Walla Walla High School Chamber Singers performed at the May 22 Seattle Mariners baseball game at Safeco Field, a recent Walla Walla Public Schools in Review online noted. Choral Director Norb Rossi organized the experience for students.
Sweet! Wilma Blanchard Schmerer baked 60 cakes for a fundraiser that brought in $1,155 for Teamfox.org . Wilma said it will benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research. Donors may go to teamfox.org, and search for the event A Cake for Parkinsons, and from there go to Wilma's name, where those who made donations can see their names and the amount she's raised.
Wilma's not done baking batches of cupcakes. She will continue to bake for anyone who makes a donation of $10 or more.
"Nearly five million people worldwide live with Parkinson's disease - a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder characterized by symptoms that typically progress from mild tremors to complete physical incapacitation," Wilma said via e-mail.
"There are currently no known ways to prevent or accurately predict who will develop Parkinson's disease, but scientists believe that, of all the brain disorders, Parkinson's is the one closest to a cure."
Fox's foundation is dedicated to ensuring the development of a cure for Parkinson's disease within this lifetime through an aggressively funded research agenda.
"Advances in Parkinson's research are likely to significantly contribute to the understanding of other devastating neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, ALS and multiple sclerosis. The opportunity for therapeutic breakthroughs has never been greater, yet research remains severely underfunded," Wilma said.
She's closing in on her goal to raise $2,000. Call 522-5075 for more details.
Walla Wallan Brad Daly and 24 other bike riders began the Big Ride Across America on June 23.
All told, they will cover 3,300 miles through 12 states, from Seattle to Washington, D.C., to raise money to help prevent lung disease and promote clean air.
Ranging in age from 17 to 65, the cyclists each raised at least $6,000 to participate. At the opening ceremony, a check was presented to the American Lung Association for $175,000, representing the total funds raised by the riders and their supporters.
Riders, who come from 15 states, will traverse Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland before reaching Washington, D.C., on Aug. 7. They will ride an average of 83 miles on the 40 "riding" days, and will be on the road for 48 days.
Ride organizers calculate they will travel a combined 80,000-plus miles with more than 1,000,000 pedal rotations. They also will consume more than 2,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and will have burned more than 4,000,000 calories on the trip.
Several riders are planning to post blog accounts of their trip, and links will be available on the American Lung Association-Washington website, www.alaw.org/. For more details, see www.bigride.org.
Having completed two years of a five-year doctoral program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Nathaniel Deshmukh Towery, son of Walla Wallans Stephen and Suzanne Towery, has set his focus on national energy policies. This spring he was selected to participate in the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, which recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in the U.S. and abroad.
As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers.
Fellows share in the prestige and opportunities that become available when they are selected. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $30,000 along with a $10,500 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, and a one-time $1,000 international travel allowance.
With this fellowship, Nathaniel expects to conduct research on offshore wind energy projects in both the United States and Denmark, looking at regulatory processes for offshore wind projects alongside analyses of policy, law, and political culture.
Nathaniel graduated in 1999 from Walla Walla High School.
His wife, Ila Deshmukh Towery, recently started a new position as director of external evaluation at The New Teacher Project. As part of the research and evaluation team, she works to develop reliable approaches to recruiting effective new teachers and managing teacher effectiveness on-the-job for the maximum benefit of poor and minority students.
The New Teacher Project was formed in 1997 to address the growing issues of teacher shortages and teacher quality throughout the country. It has sought to create and implement high-quality alternative routes to certification programs to bring new streams of accomplished individuals into hard-to-staff urban schools, and is most known for its nationwide Teaching Fellows Programs. TNTP has worked with more than 200 school districts and become a nationally recognized authority on new teacher recruitment and hiring.
Education Talent Search recognized 71 Walla Walla High School seniors on June 2 at the WA-Hi commons for their efforts and commitment to continue their education after high school through the TRiO-Education Talent Search program.
ETS encourages and supports academically qualified limited-income, first-generation youths to complete secondary school when neither parent has graduated from a four-year college.
ETS provides academic advising, career, college and financial aid information and increases educational opportunities for these youth.
ETS counselor and advisor Max Weber said, "This is one of the most outstanding TRiO-ETS classes in recent history. I would like to thank all of the wonderful support of the administrators, teachers, and staff at the schools where TRiO-ETS is housed (Wa-Hi, Garrison, Pioneer, Lincoln). The program could not continue to be this successful and continue to meet the federal grants guidelines without your support."
Altogether, there were 71 graduating seniors enrolled in the TRiO-ETS program and 69 plan to attend college this fall, 23 to four-year colleges and 46 to Walla Walla Community College or another junior college.
Three plan to enter the military. Not counting grants or loans, $195,000-plus was earned in scholarship money, including 29 Blue Mountain Scholarship recipients.
Students with post high school plans include:
Azusa Pacific: Alejandro "Alex" Garcia and Oswaldo "Junior" Garcia. Boise State University: Sara Brookshire. Brigham Young University-Idaho: Kim Johnson. Central Washington University: Nichole Slack. Eastern Washington University: Sonia Carias-Howland, Carmen Gomez-Villapando and Diana Ortiz. Lake Region State College: Aron Castro. Military: Elliot Holt, Morgan Maddess and Daniel Santos Torres. Studio Beauty Academy: Joshua Gilbert.University of Idaho: Nylah Holt and Gary Winston. University of Portland: Gilberto Ambriz. University of Washington: Yuridia Cobian, Alejandra Olivos, Jenny Salgado, Chrystal Sosa and Andy Swinnerton. Walla Walla University: Rubio Jimenez. Washington State University: Jazmin Ayala, Krystal Bautista, Azucena Duran, Adanna Escobar, Luis Jaimez, Sergio Orozco and Nick Zollman. Whitman College: Chantell Lopez. WWCC: Estefania Alonso, Olivia Arevalo, Gregorio Bahena, Alicia Baker, Thalia Bocanegra, Martin Chavez, Ashley Chavira, Viridiana Colin, Dillon Cornelius, Jorge Cruz, Gene "JD" Dawes, Rebeca Dighero, Teddilynn Dyer, Crystal Garanzuay, Yahira Garcia, Mike Garduno, McKenzie Huxoll, Maddie Johnson, Kevin Kminek, Ashley Lintner, Jessica Lozano, Sandra Marin, Jesse Michel, Araceli Negrete-Aispuro, Samantha Nelson, Monica Nunez, Araceli Orozco, Emily Petri, Bethani Riggs, Juan Rojero, Karen Ruiz, Marcos Saldaa, Rene Saldaa, Aldeir Sotelo, Karina Torres, Maria Cristina Torres, Jeremy Trotter, Rita Trujilla, Lorena Valladares, Eridani Villagomez and Terrika Zapata.
Former Walla Wallan John David Burgess graduated on May 16 from Willamette University Law School in Salem with a doctor of jurisprudence degree. While at Willamette he made the dean's list and received an academic scholarship.
The son of Katy and Aaron Burgess of Walla Walla, John was president of the student bar association, editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Law & Dispute Resolution and associate editor of the Law Review.
While in law school, he attended classes in Johannesburg, South Africa, at The University of Witwatersrand.
The course he attended there, the Global Justice Advocacy, is designed for African and American legal students.
He worked in summer 2009 as an extern with Federal Magistrate Judge Sullivan in Pendleton and this last school year with Oregon Supreme Court Judge Martha Walters in Salem.
He plans to take the Oregon State Bar in July and hopes to find a position in a law firm in Portland or Salem.
He graduated in 2001 from Walla Walla High School and in 2005 from Evergreen State College where he majored in philosophy.
John's brother Jesse Burgess also attends Willamette Law school and will graduate in 2011, Katy said. John and Jesse are the grandsons of Bob and Phyllis Pulfer of Walla Walla and former longtime Walla Walla resident David Burgess of Clarkston, Wash., and the late Esje Burgess.
Washington State University's spring 2010 president's honor roll lists a number of area students:
Lloann L. Ball, Marcus Daniel Fazzari, Kaori Lynn Graybeal, Rachel Elizabeth Hicks, Jeffrey Nicholas Irland, Brenden Lee Koch, Ruben Armando Rodriguez and Paul V. Slusar, all of College Place; Kendra Marie Demaris, Sarah Marie Gibbons, Zachary Andrew Kiefer, Lacy May McCuistion, Chelsea Ann Miller, James Wayne Pettett, Alyssa Mackay Warner, Garrett E. Warren, Kelsey Kay Warren and Annie Catherine Wynkoop, all of Dayton; Laura Lynn Berg, Dixie; Maria C. Lara, John Brinker Lee and Rebeckah Burns Turner, all of Milton-Freewater; Sarah Marie Bates, Lory Ann Cochran, Gregory Richard Feider, Jake R. Fischer, Todd Curtis Keatts, Tye Frederick Knebel, Leslie E. Williams and Scott Lewis Williams, all of Pomeroy; Shiloh Gay Akari, Touchet; Matt Richard Leid, Mindy Sue Nance and Colton James Townsend, all of Waitsburg; and Peter Leslie Anderson, Brittany Amanda Bachtold, Alexis Marie Bailey, Joseph A. Ballinger, Lynsey Brooke Bennington, Samuel Robert Boettcher, Sarah Christine Bridges, Bramwell Jacob Brizendine, Lee Sung Cyr, Jane V. Froese, Paul S. Froese, Bruce Richard Hallowell, Weiyan Huang, Jared Daniel Johnson, Matthew David Johnson, Brett Louis Kittle, Jay Kirk Klicker, Jordan Dane Kofler, Jeffrey A. Ladderud, Malorie Marguerite Mahan, Fred McFarland III, Paul Elliot McKinley, Alexandra Laurel Melling, David Merfeld, Sheri Marie Miller, Anabel Muro, Keith E. Nerdin, Olivia Rose Newhouse, Elizabeth A. Notturno, John Scott Notturno, Sandra Rene Opbroek, Sean Joseph Reilly, Michelle Lee Retton, Rea Colleen Rude, Nicole Sawatzki, Kaylynn Pauline Smith, Andrew Jordan Snider, Angella Darlene Summers, James A. Sutliff, Ashlee Kae Wall, Darci Renee White, Teresa H. Wong and Sarah Anne Zaro, all of Walla Walla.
To qualify, undergraduate students must earn a grade point average of 3.75 in at least nine graded hours in a single term at WSU or a GPA of 3.50 based on at least 15 cumulative hours of graded work.
Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at email@example.com or afternoons at 526-8313.