Etcetera - 11/09/11

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Walla Walla High School's Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps Blue Devil cadet battalion and ASB members will honor area veterans during a special, free ceremony open to the community on Thursday.

The assembly will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Wa-Hi gymnasium, 800 Abbott Road. Veterans and their significant others are asked to arrive about 8 a.m. to be greeted and sign in, according to a release.

Organizers say veterans are those who were honorably discharged from or retired from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard during any era, from World War II to the present. Family members may attend and participate in the stead of deceased veterans.

The event will include a featured speaker, brief video program, slideshow of Wa-Hi graduates who are veterans, a saber arch and personal introduction and short veteran bio for all the veterans n attendance.

Organizers say significant others are "especially welcome. They also served while their veteran was away from home."

There will be reserved parking designated for attending veterans. For more details, call the Wa-Hi JROTC program office at 509-527-3035 or email wwhs_rotc@wwps.org.

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Mary-Louise "Missy" Orrick Peterson, an Art Regier Volunteer of the Year recipient, was remembered by the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review for Oct. 28.

While living in the Walla Walla Valley for nearly 30 years, "Missy devoted much of her time serving the community, the public schools in particular."

She served on the Edison and Berney Elementary PTAs, on the boards of the Explorers Program, Walla Walla Symphony and Great Explorations, and volunteered countless hours in classrooms throughout the district.

She and Kay Barga teamed in 2005 to start Books for Babes, a community service program through Edison that provides books to every newborn in Walla Walla. The program encourages parents to read to their babies, fostering literacy and providing the basis for a lifelong love of learning.

Earlier this year, the Walla Walla Public Schools honored Books for Babes as a Partner in Learning, an accomplishment that made Missy particularly proud.

She died at 62, on Sept. 14, 2011, of pancreatic cancer.

The School District recognized her individual commitment with a Community Leadership Award.

"From all of us at Walla Walla Public Schools, we thank Missy Peterson for her dedication and love for Walla Walla staff and children."

A memorial service and reception were Oct. 29 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

Contact Annie Charnley Eveland at annieeveland@wwub.com or 526-8313.

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