Etcetera - 11/23/10

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Travis Wolford, a student at Walla Walla Community College, wants to assist the elderly and disabled by raking leaves and shoveling snow for free.

Travis and other volunteers in this endeavor are active in the STAR project, which stands for Successful Transition and Re-entry. As December is the giving month, Travis said they want to give back to the community.

Glenna R. Awbrey is program director for the STAR, which is based at Pioneer United Methodist Church, 209 E. Birch St.

Appointments for this assistance may be made through STAR at 525-3612 or Travis at 509-520-5437 or 509-876-4407.

"We have a truck to haul all the debris away. All they have to do is sit in the window and smile," Travis said.

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Junior Club of Walla Walla's third annual Festival of Mini-Trees will be displayed in the Marcus Whitman Hotel amp; Conference Center Dec. 1-14. Visitors can bid on their favorites among the trees in a silent auction setting or provide a donation. All proceeds will be used for the club's core projects and scholarships.

Approximately 35 trees will be decorated by local artists, decorators and area merchants.

Junior Club serves the needs of local non-profit groups, such as Blue Mountain Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, Friends of Children of Walla Walla, YWCA, Walla Walla Community Hospice and Herring House, as well as scholarship funds for deserving local women.

Colby Burke, first vice president, said the club raised close to $2,000 for core projects and scholarships in 2009.

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Prospect Point Elementary students teamed up to provide more than 1,000 pounds of pet food and basic pet supplies to Blue Mountain Humane Society. The pet food drive was coordinated by the school's fifth-grade Peer and Leadership Support or PALS program under the direction of teacher Kate Van Cleve, according to the online Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review. Students Alice Gibson and Campbell Schulke were key student leaders during the two-week campaign.

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Five members of the Walla Walla/Columbia County School Retirees Association received $100 Mini-Grants:

Polla Laib, second grade, Dayton Elementary School, who will purchase sets of books for advanced readers; Dallas Dickinson, secretary, Dayton Elementary, who will purchase a 15-inch digital picture frame to display activities of the children from Dayton Elementary; Nichole Hansen, kindergarten teacher, Davis School, College Place, who will purchase admission to the Children's Museum of Walla Walla for her class.; and Veronica Esparza and Kathy Gifford, Walla Walla School District administrative staff, who will purchase a 15-inch digital picture frame for the front office to show photos of students, teachers and activities from throughout the District, and also to provide treats for the many guests to the front office.

Grant money is focused mainly on projects that directly serve children and staff in schools throughout the region, said Linnea Keatts, mini-grant chairwoman.

There are currently 200 active members who work and support WWCCSRA's work at the local, district and state levels. There are also more than 300 retired school employees who are members of the Association, Linnea said.

This fall, applications went to all active members to apply for a $100 Mini-Grant. A drawing was held in October for the five winners. In the spring, another application and drawing will be held for five more winners.

Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or 526-8313.

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