CROP Walk brings home plight of homeless

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Sherry Norman had an epiphany after completing a recent CROP Hunger Walk here with her pastor, the Rev. Linda Weistaner.

The weather was great while the pair tackled the 5-K distance. "Such a wonderful time of enjoying God's beauty, a nice visit and getting some good exercise - all at the same time," Sherry emailed.

"Tired, feeling the blood throbbing in my now swollen fingers, and feeling the flush as well as the pulsing in my face, I felt a sense of accomplishment - ahhhh, I did it."

But she was physically betrayed upon returning home. "Pain and stiffness had moved into my body while I was sitting there feeling so good about myself." She discovered more evidence that she was not in as good shape as she hoped.

"My lower back pain caused me to walk at an odd angle. My groin muscles pulled. I had rubbed a sore spot on my leg and found a huge blister along the outside of my left heel," she recalled.

Reflecting on the purpose of CROP walks, which strive to end hunger one step at a time, Sherry said "I realized that while what I had done was a fun thing, there are millions who walk that far and much farther every day just to get food to feed their families. And then they have to walk back."

"We walked in fine weather - others walk in searing heat without water; walk in blinding rain - with no cover. They walk carrying children whose ribs are showing, their bellies bloated from hunger and lack of nutrition. Sometimes they have to stop and bury those children because they die before they reach their destination.

They feel more pain than I have ever felt in one moment of my life, and yet they walk - just to survive one more day." "All of a sudden I loved every ache and pain I had. I thank God for my now not-so-big aches and pains, as each one reminds me of those who are dying every day because they don't have the luxury of driving to the grocery store - an act I take for granted."

For more details about CROP Hunger walks, see bit.ly/trLREG

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At least 23 Walla Walla University students descended on Pioneer Park Aviary Oct. 12 to volunteer their time, said Joanna Lanning, Aviary caretaker.

They spread sand in the pheasant pens, pruned the upper pond enclosure, weeded, sweept and raked.

Students helped out in other areas of the park, too. "They contributed approximately 90 hours of hard work with willing attitudes. We are so fortunate to be on the receiving end of this positive venture. We appreciate their community service very much," Joanna said.

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Joe Drazan, who has been amassing collections of thousands of archived photos and advertisements, many from old local newspapers, found the photo at right in a September 1948 Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.

Eleanor Fletcher is one of several people so inspired by our town and its environs that she wrote music and lyrics with which to serenade listeners. Eleanor's song, "Walla Walla is My Home Town," was unveiled publicly at the Southeastern Washington Fair that fall.

The photo shows W.R. Winn, president of the Chamber of Commerce, left, and Eleanor flanking Mayor Raymond V. Borleske, of stadium fame.

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State awards for academic achievement went to Walla Walla High School student athletes participating in fall sports. During the fall, 15 of 16 Wa-Hi athletics teams received Washington Interscholastic Activities Association academic awards.

Each season WIAA recognizes teams from across the state for academic performance. Two awards are offered: "Outstanding Team Award" for teams with an accumulative GPA of 3.5 or better and "Distinguished Team Award" for teams with a GPA of 3.0 to 3.499. Awards are based on the last semester GPA, the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review online noted.

District Athletic Director Don Wilkins credits coaches, teachers and parents for their support and guidance of student-athletes and the athletes for their dedication and commitment to athletics and academics.

2011 Fall WIAA Academic Awards Outstanding Team Awards include:

Girls Varsity Cross Country: 3.935, Mike Locati; Boys Varsity Cross Country: 3.816, Mike Locati; JV Volleyball: 3.754, Gina Eggers; JV Girls Swimming: 3.655, Katharine Curles; JV Girls Cross Country: 3.654, Mike Locati; Varsity Girls Swimming: 3.602, Katharine Curles; Frosh B Volleyball: 3.564, Kate Keyes; "C" Volleyball: 3.563, Mikayla McFetridge; Varsity Volleyball: 3.525, Audra Cummings; Boys JV Cross Country: 3.508, Mike Locati.

"Distinguished Team Award" Varsity Girls Soccer: 3.498, Jesse Cruz; Frosh A Volleyball: 3.450, Kim Armentrout; JV Girls Soccer: 3.175, Kimberly Gradwohl; Frosh Football: 3.114, Jeremy Hubbard; Varsity Football: 3.022, Eric Hisaw.

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Cadet Pvt. 1st Class Patrick Kilpatrick is October Walla Walla High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Blue Devils Cadet Battalion Cadet of the Month. He was rewarded with an immediate promotion.

The 16-year-old junior won the top spot with a total score of 70 points. First runner up was Cadet Pvt. Allison Shrouf, a 16-year-old sophomore, with 69 points; and second runner up was Cadet Pvt. Timothy Howard, a 15-year-old sophomore who placed third.

Patrick joined JROTC because he wants to become a Wa-Hi JROTC Cadets compete with drill, marksmanship and physical training teams as well as attend the class. They compete in drill meets at 16 other schools in the Cascade Division that include Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy Cadet programs, the online Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review reported.

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Through Whitman College's Mr. Whitman pageant and various other fundraising efforts students gave Blue Mountain Heart to Heart more than $24,000 to benefit its programs.

The Mr. Whitman fundraiser was Oct. 28 at Cordiner Hall, organized by Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. The non-traditional pageant's eight senior "gladiators" compete to raise awareness and funds for a selected non-profit each year.

"This event is the culmination of months of fundraising efforts put on by the contestants and the women of KKG, and supported by the campus community," said Jill Dickey, executive director of BMH2H. Most of the proceeds will go toward preventing new HIV and hepatitis C infections.

"The pageant had a real entertainment value - contestants recited poetry, performed with hula hoops and glow sticks and thrilled the audience with their swimwear selections," Jill said. "The staff, board and especially the clients of Blue Mountain Heart to Heart are incredibly grateful that our local organization was chosen this year, and wish to thank all who contributed to this fantastic event."

BMH2H is at 2316 Eastgate St., Suite 105. For more information, call 509-529-4744 or online see bluemountainheart.org .

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

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