Charity drive to benefit United Way, Milton-Freewater assistance program

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A charity drive will pair local donations with matching funds from Community Bank to be used in the communities the bank serves, and the region that raises the most will benefit from an added chunk of change chipped in by the bank.

Walla Walla's branches will collect money for United Way of Walla Walla during the Change for Charity Drive, and Milton-Freewater's charity of choice is the City Light and Power Assistance Program, according to a news release.

The bank will match donations at 50 cents on the dollar up to $5,000, and will add $1,000 for the region with the most donations through Dec. 15.

In the 2010 campaign, the drive netted $11,800 in donations and matches. All branches will have donation jars available through Dec. 15, and coins and bills are accepted.

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A Dayton utility has added a new member to its Board of Directors, according to a news release.

Columbia REA recently appointed Eric Johnson of Dayton to fill a vacancy due to the departure of DJ Frame for District 2, which encompasses the Touchet River Valley from Waitsburg to just south of Dayton and the foothills of the Blue Mountains east of Dayton including the Tucannon River Valley south of Marengo.

Johnson, a graduate of Washington State University in agricultural economics, has worked in banking and community finance for more than 30 years and has a hand in numerous civic groups in the area.

Johnson will fill the remainder of Frame's term, which ends at the annual meeting to be held in April 2013.

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The coming winter means a shift in hours for Children's Museum of Walla Walla.

The museum will be open Thursday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. for the winter, but will be closed Thanksgiving weekend, according to a news release.

The museum has an ongoing campaign to help award free yearlong memberships to families in need. For more information, call the museum at 509-526-7529.

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You'll be seeing my face in this space for a short time, but expect regular Strictly Business writer Vicki Hillhouse back soon. In the meantime, if you've got news to share, give me a call or email me at the address below.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Alasdair Stewart can be reached at alasdairstewart@wwub.com or 526-8311.

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