The numbers added up when Green Park Elementary PTA exceeded its expectations by raising a record-breaking $13,914.29 during the fourth annual Math-a-thon. The goal was $11,500.
Altogether, 233 students participated, a 50 percent improvement from the previous year, according to the online Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review.
Students brought in an average $60. The 35 students who raised more than $150 each earned lunch with Principal Mike Lambert at Big Cheese Pizza.
"Coordinators Troi and Mark Coram and Karene and Joe Gonzalez did an excellent job rounding up volunteers to pass out packets, grade tests and collect money," said Cyndy Knight, Green Park PTA president.
Wes Sanders' second graders rated top class for bringing in $2,294.87. These students enjoyed a pizza party in their classroom.
Anne Shelley's first-grade class had the highest participation rate and earned an extra recess.
Top individual winners are: Mary Kennedy, who won $200 cash and first place; Emily Snider, a $100 gift certificate to Inland Octopus, second; Jacob Coram, a $75 gift certificate to Inland Octopus, third; and Charlie Gonzalez, a $50 gift certificate to Inland Octopus, fourth.
Green Park PTA uses these donations to help fund classroom supplies for teachers, an ice cream social and open house, Reflections Art Show, AR Reading tests, Science Fair, Book fairs, Missoula Children's Theater, Math Team, books for the library, Safety Patrol Team, Teacher Appreciation Week, the Green Park Carnival and more.
Cyndy expressed gratitude for the support of the school's Panther kids, parents, relatives, Green Park teachers and staff as well as the generosity of the Walla Walla community.
A cool local book landed on my desk the other day, still smoking-hot off the press, courtesy of the folks at Fort Walla Walla Museum.
The site, which features a pioneer settlement, military exhibits and horse-era agriculture is quite the draw for visitors throughout the year.
"An Illustrated History of Fort Walla Walla, Including Capt. F.H. Pope's 1908 History of the Fort" came about because of numerous requests by guests.
Musem Director James Payne and Laura Schulz teamed to assemble the photos and copy that outline Fort Walla Walla's early history. Warren Rood did the book design for this attractive collection of vintage photos, paintings and drawings, contemporary displays and numerous artifacts that date from the early to mid-1800s.
You'll find out that Hudson's Bay Company used the name between 1821-1855 for three different structures and the U.S. military used the name for three different forts beginning in 1856. The latter housed dragoons, the infantry, cavalry and artillery units. Although closed in 1910, it reopened during World War I.
Books can be ordered from the museum store, 755 Myra Road, call 525-7703 or online, see www.fortwallawallamuseum.org.
Four Walla Walla County 4-H teens brought home top honors from the Washington State Fair, said Mary Eagon, an assistant at the WSU Extension office in Walla Walla.
The Walla Walla County 4-H program sent 18 Walla Walla Fair blue ribbon winners to the state 4-H fair in Puyallup in September to compete in various categories.
Wa-Hi junior Megan Evans garnered Grand Champion in the Fashion Revue Senior Division.
Wa-Hi sophomore Danny Butler, also in Fashion Revue, was Reserve Grand Champion Senior Division.
Wa-Hi freshman Emily Leinweber won Grand Champion Fashion Revue Intermediate Division and second place in the Food Judging Intermediate Division.
Jacob Leinweber took home the prize for Top Oral Reasoning Senior Division and third place in the Food Judging Contest Senior Division.
Other Walla Walla County 4-H youths who qualified in the county contests and attended the state fair were Bailee Butler, Michaela Hedge, Darnelle Larish, Erika Leinweber, Jackson Leinweber, Katie Leinweber, Kayla Leinweber, Monica Miller, Alicia Newcomb, Cecilia Rodriquez, Bethany Voss, Madeline Weaver, Naddile Widner and Samantha Zuger.
Walla Walla School District received several boxes of hats, gloves and sweaters for students from Loretta Cole with Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.
The hats and sweaters were hand knit by RSVP volunteers using funds from a Pacific Power grant to purchase materials.
Loretta said it's a year-long project for volunteers. She said they enjoy helping area children and want to find ways to support the community, according to the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review.
Sunshine Club is halfway through its fall fund drive and has tallied donations of more than $7,500, said Eleanor Kane, president.
The 107-year-old organization of Walla Walla women dedicated to helping people in the community, has made its first distribution of funds for fall 2011 to the YWCA, Walla Walla County Oral Health Program, Helpline, Christian Aid Society Coats for Kids, Salvation Army Thanksgiving baskets, Milton-Stateline Adventist School and the Lincoln Alternative High School Medical program. Further distributions will be announced at the end of the year.
"Sunshine Club is very grateful that the staff of the Herring Funeral Home has volunteered to maintain the club's supply of orthopedic equipment (walkers, wheel chairs, etc.) after the club becomes inactive in January 2012," Eleanor said.
The Sunshine equipment will be available for loan to those needing it at no cost.
Walla Wallan Shontina Gianotti-Coers was fourth runner up in the Mrs. Washington 2012 title competition in November at Moses Lake High School Theater.
Shontina competed as Mrs. Walla Walla Valley on Nov. 18-19 in the contest, a preliminary to the Mrs. America and Mrs. World competitions.
The pageant will be televised throughout Washington state this month, Shontina said.
"The televised pageant isn't just about winning a crown and sash. It showcases the contestants' accomplishments, and making a difference in the lives of others," she said.
Shontina received sponsorships from a number of area businesses. She is director of marketing & communications for the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance.
Jaime Garcia is on a mission to promote bicycle safety. Jaime, who's with the Oregon Child Development Coalition and a local resident since 1989, spoke recently to the membership of Milton-Freewater Rotary Club about this topic.
He aims to ensure bicycle riders of all ages understand the importance of wearing proper helmets while cycling. In Oregon, it's the law for those under age 16. He recently shared his message for a class of 27 families, he told the Rotarians.
He negotiated with several groups and reported that Good Shepherd Medical Center Hospital provided a supply of helmets for distribution to young riders. Helmets can be obtained locally at a variety of stores for $20-30, but he pointed out proper fit is key and for the best protection, helmets should comply with the U.S. CPSC Safety Standard.
He's also working with the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles to promote a Bicycle Rodeo Safety program for the entire community.
Walla Walla's Gary Southern tucked 50 miles under his belt when he completed the USA Track & Field-sanctioned Le Grizz Ultramarathon in 8 hours, 59 minutes, 49 seconds. Not bad for a 56-year-old guy who blew past his original plan to finish his first ultramarathon in 10 hours.
The first Walla Wallan to enter the contest, his was a second-place finish in the men's seniors division. The Oct. 13 event was the 31st edition of the foot race that threads along a rolling forest road by Hungry Horse Reservoir, east of Kalispell, Mont.
Gary originally aimed to run 50 miles in one stretch without stopping, reported Joan French in her article about him in the Oct. 25 issue of Vital Signs, Providence St. Mary Medical Center's newsletter to employees.
Post-race, the director of supply chain management at Providence St. Mary told Joan he was in shock about running that far. He trained for 34 weeks to get himself in the kind of condition an ultra-marathon runner needs to be to run the distance.
"The morning of the race I was really kind of freaking out," he said. "I thought 50 miles is like almost a double marathon. But I just kind of put it in the back of my head and trusted the training program to get me there."
Thirty-nine of the 76 runners who started the race were first-time ultra runners like Gary. The youngest runner was 19, the oldest, 85. And only two people dropped out.
As support crew, wife Michelle drove their van ahead 5-6 miles, and offered him food and liquid as needed. He estimates he burned about 6,617 calories on race day, but replenishing a mere 2,000 of those calories by eating peanut butter sandwiches, granola bars, jell packs (a liquid, sugary substance), animal crackers, bananas and oranges. And he drank 5 gallons of half Gatorade/half water.
A Garmin watch with GPS told him where he was. "When I got to mile 47, I looked at my watch and thought, man, if I can run these last three miles in 10 minutes each, I'll finish in less than nine hours."
His best mile-stretch was running mile 47 in 7 minutes, 30 seconds.
"My feet were feeling a bit numb, to be honest with you," he told Joan in her article. "I got up to the top of this hill and was a little disoriented. I was yelling, ‘Where do I go, where do I go?' Somebody pointed, ‘That way!' and so I took off and ran as fast as I could."
Crossing the finish line, he looked back to see the clock at 8:59:49. "Wow, I did it!" he thought. Rather than tackle another ultra, Gary's eyeing mini triathlons instead.
Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8313.