ETCETERA - Group seeks funds for new school baseball backstop

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A Pony League baseball backstop originally installed at Garrison Middle School by members of Rotary Club of Walla Walla in 1958 eroded considerably in the ensuing years. Peggy Needham said the condition of the backstop poses a safety hazard with its rusty poles, wires and holes.

"This backstop is in desperate need of replacement," she said in the Oct. 29 online Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review.

"Not only is the Garrison field utilized by the middle school, it is utilized by summer ball as well. It would be wonderful to have an additional field to use for summer and fall baseball programs."

As fundraising chairwoman for the Walla Walla Valley Select Baseball program, Peggy is taking donations to replace Garrison's aging baseball backstop.

The WWVSB program needs $8,500 to purchase materials for the project.

Walla Walla Public Schools agreed to pay for the cost of the installation.

The new backstop will also be moved forward to enhance competitive play, allow for additional fan seating and improve safety by increasing the overhang to lessen the chance of cars and spectators being hit by foul balls.

Peggy said in addition to the backstop, her group wants to raise money to install shelters over the dugouts to keep players protected.

She said a sign to be provided by Key Technology and installed on the backstop will recognize financial contributions of $500 or more.

A Garrison Backstop Project account has been set up at Banner Bank and donations may be made at any branch. Donations are tax deductible. Funds may also be mailed to: Walla Walla Valley Select Baseball, 129 E. Alder St., Suite 201, Walla Walla, 99362. FED ID 27-0387105

WWVSB originally started in 1998 as the Cub's traveling baseball team, part of the Babe Ruth program at the time.

They added the Blues, originally called the Royals, who were coached by Ryan Carter, a younger team coached by J.C. Biagi and Luke Hamada to cover a younger age group (13-14).

Both teams have been active based on the number of kids wanting to play year-to-year.

This year they held a fall baseball program for youths aged 13-16 at Murr Field.

"We had 23 kids participate and would have had more, but lack of time to advertise hurt the program," Peggy said. "We had kids coming into the complex halfway through the season wanting to play."

WWVSB manager is Mike Needham. Coaches are Kevin McNeil, Zach Armijo and Thayne Stone. 2010 WWVSB Board members are George Flippo, president; Wes Hibner, vice president; Thayne Stone, accounting; Carla Haen, secretary; and Peggy, fundraising.

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Farm Credit Services in Walla Walla donated $1,000 to help nine members of Boy Scout Troop 305 here attend the Boy Scouts of America's National Scout Jamboree July 26-Aug. 4 in Fort Hill, Va.

The week-long celebration of the 100-year anniversary of Boy Scouts was attended by 43,434 scouts worldwide. An estimated 300,000 members of the general public visit the event also, according to Wikipedia.

In appreciation for FCS' support, Life Scouts Joel McClure and Greggory Heller presented the FCS staff with an award, a framed picture of the boys, said Joel's mom, Sarah McClure. Several of the boys sent handwritten thank you notes to FCS and gave a PowerPoint presentation to the local FCS advisory board at its meeting last spring. In it, they explained the scouting program, the jamboree and what they expected to gain and why they wanted to attend, Sarah said.

Scouts Joel and Nathan McClure, Greg Heller, Sam Wright, Zac Pinney, Trevor Duprey, Bradley Duprey, Daniel Taggart and Nick Poolman participated in the jamboree. They stayed with scouts from Sweden and Mexico so they could get to know participants from other countries, she said.

Wikipedia noted that "the 2010 National Scout Jamboree was the largest overall since 1973, and the largest at a single location since 1964." The event's theme was "Celebrating the Adventure, continuing the journey."

Among the many activities in which scouts could get involved were an obstacle course, air-rifle shooting, archery, 19th century frontiersman events, a bikathlon, skeet shooting, climbing, BMX motorcross, mountain boarding, rappeling, trapshooting, canoe slaloming, fishing, kayaking, racing shell fun and snorkeling.

There were two arena shows with entertainment and Wikipedia reported that the "fireworks display (was) larger than any ever performed on a military base or at a national Scout jamboree."

The Jamboree for the first time added social networking so scouts could use the cell phone coverage and Wi-Fi network to keep in touch with friends and family.

The 2011 international scout jamboree will be in Sweden in summer.

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Forty-plus descendants of immigrants John David and Elizabeth Frank will convene for a family reunion over the Thanksgiving holiday, said their daughters Freda Wilhem and Katherine Benzel. The celebration, which coincides with their brother David Frank's 95th birthday, will be at The Marc restaurant in the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center.

John and Elizabeth were Volga Germans from Kautz, Russia. Because of intolerable conditions there, in 1913 the couple left family members behind and sailed to Boston with young daughters Elizabeth and Molly, both now deceased. They traveled by train directly to Walla Walla where John had two brothers and a sister, George and Conrad Frank and Eva Frank Schneidmiller. Their parents, John Conrad and Eva Schreiner Frank, and younger brother William Frank joined the family within a year.

Freda said her dad owned Frank's Grocery at South Fourth Avenue by Garrison Creek and their home next door on Malcolm Street.

The couple raised their five sons and four daughters in Walla Walla. Because of job opportunities for their children or their spouses, eight of them moved to other areas, Freda said.

All nine promised not to lose their close-knit ties after their parents died and they have held several reunions in Walla Walla and one in Goleta, Calif. This is the first gathering to take place at Thanksgiving, Freda said. Many of their offspring are expected for the event. Siblings who plan to attend include Carl and Harold Frank of Goleta, David Frank of Fayetteville, N.C., and Sol Frank, Katherine and Freda, all of Walla Walla, and members of their families. Their brother, the Rev. John Frank of Garden Grove, Calif., unfortunately has a prior commitment and cannot attend.

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With so many friends and family wanting to wish her happy returns on her 90th birthday, Maybelle Leinbach was feted at three celebrations on a recent Friday, Saturday and Sunday, said daughter Dianne Wales. Maybelle's husband, Ronald Leinbach will celebrate his 95th birthday is coming up in May, Dianne said. The couple just observed their 72nd year of marriage in July. They have two children, four grandchildren and numerous great- and great-great-grandchildren. Among those who came to fete Maybelle was a granddaughter who traveled here from distant Pennsylvania.

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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