Etcetera - 03/13/11

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Gayle Sanders has seen a lot of action in 25 years of service on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Chapter 13's banquet committee. The chapter is observing its 25th annual banquet and Gayle is the only committee member in Walla Walla to serve on it all 25 years, said Betty Wilson, Chapter 13 chairwoman.

The group welcomes new committee members who can join in to help ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat, Betty said.

Betty said it is possible members of the Walla Walla Fair and Frontiers Days Royalty Court will attend the fundraiser and help out.

The Walla Walla Chapter will host it on March 26 at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds, 363 Orchard St. Doors open at 4 p.m. There will be drawings, raffles, games, drinks and a silent auction. Chef Marty Bray will cater the 6 p.m. dinner. A live auction will follow along with the results of the silent auction, games and raffles.

Proceeds from the event support RMEF's vital conservation efforts. Since 1984, the foundation has permanently protected more than 1,486 square miles of critical elk habitat; opened more than 590,000 acres to the public to hunt, fish and roam; improved habitat across 4.9 million acres of elk country; and funded 7,000-plus projects to promote conservation education and North America's hunting heritage.

Contributions at RMEF chapter events raise the lion's share of the funding for Elk Foundation conservation work.

In 2010, the Elk Foundation approved 21 new Washington conservation projects that will make a critical difference in conserving and enhancing habitat for elk and other wildlife in one the nation's premier elk states, according to a release.

This year's grants will benefit Asotin, Chelan, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Jefferson, King, Kittitas, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pacific, Pierce, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Spokane, Stevens, Whitman and Yakima counties.

RMEF funding also supports a conservation education/hunting heritage program that draws participants statewide. Since 1985, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 450 conservation projects in Washington with a value of more than $101 million.

One of the group's upcoming volunteer projects is the eighth annual Asotin Work Party May 14-15. Every year the RMEF works on various jobs at the property, such as building exclosures, repairing or removing fencing, installing guzzlers, fixing springs, replacing water tanks and identifying noxious weeds for removal.

A potluck dinner will be served May 14. For more details and directions RSVP to Leonard Shotwell, RMEF Eastern Washington state chairman, at 509-545-4095, cell 509-521-1963 or e-mail len76kizzy@wildblue.net . RMEF was founded in 1984.

Four of Aaron Duff's agriculture students at McLoughlin High School won their divisions at FFA district competition.

Nicole Sloan won Chapter Scrap Book, Becky Carter won Digital Scrap Book, Lawrence Timmons won for Sheep Proficiency and Brandon Kralman won Forage Production Proficiency.

"FFA is unique in that it is part of every class that is taught in the agriculture department," Aaron said. "The agriculture department is a combination of classroom, FFA and supervised experiences like proficiencies that make a student ready for life after high school."

The students competed against nine other schools in their district, according to a release from Milton-Freewater Unified School District 7.

At state competition, they will face students from 12 other districts. If they win at stat e level, they will qualify to compete at regionals, one step before competing nationally.

Each of the contests takes months, even years of work and experience to get to the level of competency required.

Brandon has helped his family with their farming operation all of his life. This experience is the basis for the information needed to be recorded and analyzed in the Forage Production Proficiency.

Lawrence owns and runs a sheep production business. Nicole and Becky have worked for an entire year gathering photos and perfecting their presentations, along with their other projects in FFA.

"FFA teaches us everyday things that we will use our whole life, like record keeping," said Brandon. Becky said, "It also really helps with things required for college scholarships. In FFA, we are involved with community service, public speaking, and a lot of different competitions."

The students have a variety of plans for their future - pre-nursing, engineering and medical school.

Carolyn Henderson, whose column "Middle Aged Plague" appears in The Walla Walla Valley Weekly, published on Tuesdays in the U-B, said AreaVoices has accepted the column.

AreaVoices is a newspaper blogging platform for Forum Communications Co., which owns 34 newspapers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas.

She also signed on as the Tuesday feature columnist for FineArtViews, an online art marketing and informational newsletter of Fine Art Studio Online with a readership of just under 14,000 artists, art collectors, and art aficionados.

Epoch Times picked up and printed a recent Tuesday column for FineArtNews, "Why the World Needs Artists." Epoch Times is an online and print newspaper in New York City.

Carolyn also is involved with Steve Henderson Fine Art, her husband's art business that is based in Dayton.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Contact Annie Charnley Eveland can at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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