Donations sought to assist family

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Businesses and residents have been banding together to help a family displaced by fire this week.

The Home Loan Center has been established as a dropoff point for donations for Vanessa Ferraro, her 5-year-old daughter Ciara, and Antonio Campolio, who lost everything in a Tuesday morning fire at their rental home on Figueroa Street.

Campolio and Ferraro were awakened by their dogs when the fire broke out shortly before 7:20 a.m., fire officials reported. Ciara was not in the home at the time. The two escaped with their dogs through a bedroom window. Ciara's room was gutted in the blaze, which officials believe may have been started by paper near a gas fireplace.

Donations of any type are being accepted at Home Loan Center, Second Avenue and Main Street. They've already reportedly been coming in for Ciara, whose Christmas presents were burned.

For those who wish to donate clothing, Ferraro is a size 4 in pants; wears small in tops; and 71/2 or 8 in shoes. Ciara wears children's 7-8 clothing and 13 in shoes. Campolio is an XXL on top; his pants are 42 in the waist and 34 in length; and he wears 13 or 14 in shoes.

Home Loan Center officials say several residents and firms have already donated items and cash.

In addition to those donations, Locati Cellars, 6 W. Rose St., has committed to donate a portion of its sales through New Year's to the family.

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The general manager of Walla Walla Farmers Co-op was a honored by his company for his years of service to strengthening and growing the producer-owned cooperative.

Mike Potter was recognized for contributing more than 25 years or service during CHS Inc.'s annual meeting in Minneapolis earlier this month.

Potter has been a part of the cooperative system for 31 years, according to an announcement from CHS, the Fortune 100 company described as the nation's leading cooperative. The local co-op, at Ninth Avenue and Rose Street, is a division of CHS.

Potter's was credited during the ceremony as being part of the success achieved by the local and regional cooperative system over his more than three decades of service.

"The dedication of leaders like Mike and employees throughout the cooperative system truly are our point of difference," said CHS President and Chief Executive Officer Carl Casale, in a prepared statement.

"Over the past 31 years, Mike has focused on serving customers and helping them succeed."

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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