ETCETERA - Artist's cheery donation box attracts visitors at park aviary

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Walla Walla artist Arlene Dryden gave the donation box at Pioneer Park Aviary a sunny yellow facelift.

The formerly Plain Jane receptacle features a painting of a mother robin feeding her young on the front panel. The "Feed the Birds" box is also festooned with colorful flowers and is located in a central area of the aviary where the pheasants reside, said caretaker Joanna Lanning.

"The eye-catching container will hopefully draw visitors close to admire the artwork and donate funds to help support the aviary," she said. "Everyone involved with the aviary is extremely grateful for all the support we've received. It has deeply touched my heart that so many people care about the birds that reside here." Friends of Pioneer Park Aviary are continuing to raise funds, the most recent a yard sale that was Saturday and Sunday on the aviary's front lawn. For more information, call 527-4403.

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In addition to homeowners who hosted visitors, 54 other volunteers teamed to make the 10th annual Walla Walla Community Hospice Pond & Garden Tour a success on Sept. 10, said Laurie Klicker, marketing coordinator with Hospice.

Altogether, $10,000-plus was netted for use in providing care for patients at the end of life and for support of their families, Laurie said. They sold 429 tickets at $20 per person. Garden hosts were Norm and Ellen Saager, Earl and Sandi Blackaby, Jim and Rhonda Abajian, Bill and Sandi Conley, Scott and Natalie Tibbling, Roger and Karen Kinder, Jose and Rebecca Cardell, Kathy McConnell (whose husband is the late Gary McConnell), Keith and Kathy Krebs and Dave and Cecile Rhodes. The most visited garden attracted 420 guests.

Each garden had a theme: Come Sail Away; The View from Over Here; Home Next to the Range; Pond, Pond, Pool & Garden; Spring Grove; My Last Garden Project; Fools Folly Farm; Spring Grove, Gary's Garden; Under the Spreading Trees; and Transformed.

A new feature this year, the Hospice Garden Shop offered a creative selection of new and gently used indoor and outdoor garden d?©cor items. Sales from this enterprise raised more than $700, Laurie said.

The 11th annual tour is slated for Sept. 8, 2012. More photos may be viewed online at www.wwhospice.org

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Jesus Alejandro "Alex" Ceron, a Walla Walla High School Class of 2011 graduate, received the Chandler Scholarship from the trustees of Ingle Chapel Church in Milton-Freewater. The fund was created in memory of Helen Slater Chandler, according to a release.

The award has provided Alex with a new computer and accessories to use in his continuing education at Walla Walla Community College where he's a fulltime student. He wants to complete WWCC's fire science program and EMT classes to become a paramedic firefighter.

He's currently also enrolled in a fire academy hosted by the District 4 fire station. Through that course, he's learning how to correctly wear and use all the gear and tie and use ropes depending on need and more. "We have yet to cover ladder work stuff and real-live fire situations," Alex said via email.

As a senior, Alex was ASB president and vice-president of the Greater Boys' Society club at Wa-Hi and a 12-season athlete. During 12th grade, Alex took anatomy and physiology and sports medicine classes to prepare for college.

Alex is a member of College Place Presbyterian Church "and is a fine example to the middle school youth group he volunteers to mentor," Ingle trustees said. Alex is furthering his education to be able one day to support his mother and grandmother and his future family.

"We commend Alex for his character, his focus and his self control in delaying immediate gratification in favor of future success. Ingle Chapel applauds Alex Ceron and wishes him the very best in his future."

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Three hundred Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members made a difference in Weston, Dave Walk said in a release.

The crew improved a mile of stream bed, the homes of two widows, the middle school, public library, city water supply, town park and playground.

"This is an absolutely fantastic project," said Weston mayor Duane Thul. "Make a Difference Day is aptly named. It fits because it does make a big difference in little towns that kind of let themselves go. We can instill a sense of pride in people again if they see a few projects going on."

Kelly Brown, president of the Walla Walla Stake of the LDS Church, added that "Make a Difference Day is an opportunity for community members in the area to help each other. We are grateful for the response of the city of Weston this year. They have been tremendous. There has been a lot of excitement in the city for this event. We've had a great turnout not only from the Church ... but also from the community." Brian Chambers, project director of Make a Difference Day from Pendleton, said. The LDS Church provides all the volunteers and professional services. Materials are paid for by the city or donated from businesses. Humbert's donated the dumpsters; Sherwin Williams donated brushes and some paint. Duane said the city of Weston paid for paint, and materials for some roofing and benches. LDS members have contributed to the improvement of their communities with Make a Difference Days since 2004, when 350 people did renovation work at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds.Other projects have taken place in Dayton, Pendleton, Milton-Freewater and Adams. Dave said. People serve their neighbors for a variety of reasons, he said.

Etcetera 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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