ETCETERA - Hometown Harvest sharing project sprouts in WW

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Backyard Harvest in Moscow, Idaho, planted a seed of sharing with Lindsey and Matt Williams, who nurtured the concept when they moved back to Walla Walla in December 2010 from Pullman.

A woman with the Moscow program encouraged Lindsey to start one here and that's how the nonprofit Hometown Harvest took root.

"Part of what happens often in the Pullman area is older people who are no longer able to harvest their own fruit trees are forced to let the fruit go to waste. This is simply an extension of the idea that we can help older people in the community, while also helping families in need," Lindsey said.

To get their idea implemented, they sought help from friends Margie Reece and Annie Mahoney, who helped spread the word, work on a logo and come up with a name." What sets Hometown Harvest apart from other gleaning programs is that it doesn't require membership or fees or the need to donate time.

"It seems like a less structured approach might be an incentive for people to donate," Lindsey said. Participants will come to collect surplus produce, and for those unable to harvest their garden or fruit trees HomeTown Harvest can help for a donated portion of the harvest.

Those interested can tailor their involvement.

"This is what we feel sets us apart from other groups like us in the area – we are very noncommittal," she said. "We only want to make it handy for people to support our local food banks."

Lindsey said they hope to have Hometown's nonprofit status in order by next summer, and anyone who donates can claim it on their taxes.

They are personally funded and their only real expense is fuel cost to pick up donations.

Donations will mostly likely go to Pantry Shelf, because of its donation hours, and it can distribute the produce as it sees fit, Lindsey said.

They also will take produce to any food bank in town if the donation hours work out, as deliveries need to be timely.

"This really takes the hassle out of donating to local food banks, as well as increases the amount of fresh produce getting to those in our community who may have fallen on hard times," Lindsey said.

Check them out at www.facebook.com/hometownharvest where Lindsey posts gardening tips. Email can be sent to hometownharvestww@gmail.com.

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Eleven Walla Walla High School students spent five days on the Walla Walla University campus in College Place Aug. 1-5 during the Hispanic Youth Exploring Engineering and Sciences Camp.

WWU's Edward F. Cross School of Engineering and Exploring Post 311 presents and operates the event in cooperation with Bonneville Power Administration.

Participants were Ana Andrade, Cristina Sosa, Selene Reyes, Salvador Diaz, Maira Ambriz, Mitzy Rodriguez, Felipe Salazar, Suleyma Salazar. Brenda L0pez, Jazmin Duran and Teresa Olivos.

"HYEES exposes participants to the higher education environment and to the career possibilities in engineering, science, resource management, and environmental science," according to Bill Erickson with BPA.

The camp is specifically for high school-age Latino youths interested in math- and science-based careers. The group was accompanied by Bill and wife Diana Erickson, bilingual coordinator of the Walla Walla School District, and Andrew Hellie, Walla Walla BPA summer intern student.

Students are exposed to various disciplines of higher education and what is needed to study science and engineering, Bill said in a release. The camp staff and guest speakers aimed to show students why pursuing a bachelor's and higher education is so important to their future.

The students attended the camp as part of Exploring Post 311's program to promote career awareness to high school students in the Walla Walla community. Exploring is sponsored by the Learning for Life program which is a subsidiary of Boy Scouts of America.

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Although the Delishus Bake Shoppe stopped being a going concern when it closed in 1969, folks still remember stopping by for maple bars and other confections.

The late Gene Frank, a 29-year educator, had worked in younger years at the bake shop on the corner of Second Avenue and Chestnut Street that was owned and operated by his parents, Alex and Velma Frank.

Once he'd completed college, Gene left professional baking to teach here, then served as principal at Washington, Sharpstein and Berney Elementary schools.

His desire to work around a hot oven didn't flag, however. You can take the bakery out of the town, but you can't take the desire to bake out of the baker. For many years Gene's therapy was in whipping up special treats for others, said his wife, Jean Frank.

Longtime family friend and former Walla Wallan Timothy Towner now owns and operates The Dessert Works specialty bakery on Phinney Way in Seattle, Jean said. Tim occasionally checked in with Gene to refine his recipes and doughs and one day in fall 2009 they baked butter horns, cinnamon rolls and coffee cakes in the Frank kitchen so Tim could get them just so. The ties between the Towner and Frank families extends to Tim's parents, Mary and Joe "Red" Towner, of Walla Walla. Gene and Red refereed basketball games for years, Gene for nearly 30 years, including in the Big Sky Conference, when their kids were in school.

Gene proudly made many birthday and wedding cakes over the years. He especially wanted to make the cake for first-born grandchild Kimberly Mullen when she wed. In fall 2009, Kim, a teacher, met Nathan Arnette, a volunteer firefighter aspiring to become a professional firefighter, and the fella who would become her husband.

While baking with Tim, Gene expressed the hope that he could make Kim and Nathan's wedding cake. But if he didn't live long enough, he asked Tim to follow through

"Not only did Tim share this lovely story with the bride and groom, he most generously provided Grandpa Frank's wish," Jean said, since Gene had died in February 2010.

Kim's mom, Karen Kelly of Spokane, made and decorated sheet cakes that bordered Timothy's wedding cake "so a piece of Grandpa Frank would be with us on this special day," the young couple noted in the program for their Aug. 6, 2011, ceremony.

Tim made the cake in Seattle. It was transported to Spokane where its tiers were assembled and flowers placed for the wedding -- "not an easy task, but it worked very well."

"Needless to say, it was a beautiful wedding, a beautiful cake and an emotional time," Jean concluded.

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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