The results of a recent fundraiser demonstrate that kids are a priority to Valley residents who opened their hearts and wallets to benefit programs for children.
The Feb. 16 Children's Home Society of Washington-sponsored SweetHearts for Kids luncheon raised $63,000 to provide help and hope for youngsters and their families here, according to Kate Bray, marketing communications manager with the Seattle CHSW office.
Dave Aerni, a CHSW consumer, said, "I have had many titles in my life - security guard, tool man, pizza dude, community corrections officer, grunt and unfortunately - felon, but the one title I am proud of is 'dad.'" He and his children received Early Head Start and Family Support services that positively impacted their lives, the release noted.
The event at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center included the luncheon, a silent auction and program.
Lawson Knight, director of Blue Mountain Community Foundation, gave the keynote address. And Dave delivered a moving speech on the impact the agency had on his life.
"This year's record-breaking success for Children's Home Society's SweetHearts for Kids luncheon demonstrates the true caring and commitment of our community - at a time when kids and families need it most," said Scott Peters, chairman of the event and master of ceremonies.
Event sponsors included Coffey Communications, Kibble & Prentice, Land Title of Walla Walla County, Providence St. Mary Medical Center, Banner Bank, Columbia Rural Electric Association, Davis Apartments, Doyle Electric and many other community sponsors.
The HomeTeam Parent Aide Program, a partnership with Exchange Club of Walla Walla, builds healthy families by mentoring parents who are experiencing stress through life challenges and parenting. Services focus on child safety, problem solving, parenting skills, and social support. A volunteer session will be offered on March 15 where participants can learn more about how they can help build a supportive community one family at a time. A meal will be provided. The event will be from noon to 1 p.m. or 6-7 p.m. at Children's Home Society of Washington, 1612 Penny Lane. RSVP to Stephanie Biegel, 509-529-2130.
Five singers from Walla Walla High School participated in the Northwest Music Educators National Conference All-Northwest Honor Choir in Bellevue, Wash., recently, the Feb. 25 online Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review reported. Seniors Natalie Ingersoll-Allen, Kolton Kolbaba, Courtney Bruner, Kiersten Jenkins and Mallory Livingston were selected from a pool of students in the six Northwest states: Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. They sang in the final concert at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.
Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or afternoons at 526-8313.