ETCETERA - National magazine publishes Walla Walla child's art

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Trace Floch enjoys playing video games, playing in his sandbox, riding bikes and drawing.

A picture of trucks the 7-year-old Prospect Point Elementary School first-grader drew gives him the distinction of saying he's a published artist.

His artwork was submitted in the spring to Highlights for Children magazine, according to his mom, Shelly Floch. Trace had to exercise patience as each ensuing issue that arrived did not yield his work, Shelly said.

The family was most delighted then, when his drawing finally appeared in the November issue's "Your Own Pages" section.

"Every time he got the magazine he was mad because his picture wasn't in there," Shelly recalled. She told Trace that the magazine only publishes about six reader-submitted pictures each month and it receives about 35,000 annually.

"Chances are rather slim that they'll pick yours," Shelly told her son. However, they're all pleased that Trace's trucks made the grade.

The magazine selects work by boys and girls of all ages and from many different places in the world, according to a release. By showcasing a representative sample of all the work, Highlights hopes to foster children's creativity.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Highlights is devoted to "Fun with a Purpose." Its flagship publication, Highlights magazine, claims to be the most recognizable and widely-read children's magazine in the nation. It printed its one-billionth copy in June 2006.

Shelly and Trace live with his dad, Daryl Floch, in Walla Walla. When he grows up, Trace wants to be a singer.

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DeSales Catholic High School students could be seen during the third week in October canvassing neighborhoods for the Realtor's Association Food Drive. They've participated in this activity for more than seven years now. Freshmen and sophomores left orange grocery bags at homes and juniors and seniors picked up donated non-perishable goods, said Nancy Metro, Walla Walla Catholic Schools director of admissions and community relations.

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Members of McLoughlin High School Varsity Club sponsored the school's annual Think Pink Day Wednesday on campus. They dressed in shades of the rosey hue, sold goodies at break and lunch in the main hall, painted faces and sprayed hair in support of breast cancer awareness. Proceeds from the bake sale will benefit Providence St. Mary Regional Cancer Center. Susie Ellis, athletics secretary at Mac-Hi, took several photos of the students. The staff and alumni also played in a pink soccer game at Shockman Field that evening.

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Walla Walla native Drew Bledsoe, a former quarterback for the Patriots, was put to the test recently during the 2011 New York Wine Experience.

Marvin R. Shanken, Wine Spectator magazine publisher, queried Drew and three other celebrity sports stars onstage at the event, according to an article posted on winespectator.com this week.

"What the hell are you doing in the wine business?" Marvin kidded them.

Drew and golfers Greg Norman and Ernie Els, and Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver each have their own wine brands.

"We all come from great wine growing regions of the world," said Greg, who's from Australia.

After defending himself from Marvin's complaints about his wins against the New York Giants, Bledsoe said his hometown had emerged as a premier wine region during his NFL career.

His neighbors happened to be Leonetti Cellars, so since the NFL "puts you out to pasture" after a certain age, Drew hired winemaker Chris Figgins to help him start his Doubleback Cabernet label.

"It was like getting Tom Brady or Peyton Manning for quarterback," he quipped.

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

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