ETCETERA - Color me green: Mr. Yuk poster contest open to kids

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Most children recognize the Mr. Yuk symbol. You know, that round, lime-green face with the eyes squinched tightly shut and the protruding tongue.

The Washington Poison Center theme for the 2012 Mr. Yuk poster contest, "Everyone Needs Mr. Yuk!" is a reminder that everyone needs to be vigilant about poisons, according to a release. The winning poster, which could be produced by a young artist right here in the Valley, will be part of the 2012 Poison Prevention Week campaign to be celebrated statewide in March.

The Poison Center is looking for artists who are 6 to 12 years old in the state to create poison safety awareness through eye-catching posters displaying suggestions on how Mr. Yuk helps them avoid being poisoned.

My recommendation is to break out the lime green and a rainbow of other colors. The top prize will garner a $500 check card, a visit from Mr. Yuk and the winning design featured as the poster for Poison Prevention Week in Washington state.

If funding permits, the poster will also be featured on billboards. Four runners-up will receive check cards of $100 each. And all contest participants will receive a small gift from Mr. Yuk in the mail.

WAPC will accept poster entries postmarked between now and Jan. 6, 2012.

"The best time to begin poison education is with children, and our poster contests help increase awareness of poison safety and the Poison Center toll-free hotline number, 1-800-222-1222," said Jim Williams, executive director of the WAPC. "After all, the Poison Center is the best place for people to call for questions and emergencies regarding medications, bites and stings, household products or anything that can cause poisoning, and 'Everyone Needs Mr. Yuk!' expresses how important it is to reach all the residents in the state of Washington." Mr. Yuk has sported his iconic expression for poison safety in Washington state since 1973.

For more information on the poster contest, including the required contest entry form, visit www.wapc.org.

The national poison hotline, 1-800-222-1222, is available 24/7 to connect callers to specially-trained pharmacists, nurses, and poison specialists. Calls to the Poison Center are free and confidential (a $45 credit card fee will apply to calls regarding animals). Services are available for non-English speakers and for the deaf and hearing impaired. For more, see www.wapc.org.

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DeSales High School's new gymnasium will be blessed by the Most Reverend Blase Cupich, Bishop of Spokane, who will celebrate Mass there tonight at 8:30 p.m. He is visiting all Catholic high schools in Eastern Washington, according to a release.

Because of the current Catholic Schools Momentum Capital Campaign, a lead gift from the Walla Walla Catholic Schools Association of Alumni and Friends, a generous contribution from the Elia family in honor of Bernice and Fritz Elia, a $100,000 grant from the Sherwood Trust and contributions from numerous other donors, the DeSales gym was completely renovated. It sports a new floor, lights, bleachers and padding. The Mass is open to the public in the DeSales gymnasium, 919 E. Sumach St.

For additional details, call the Rev. Jeff Core at 525-3030.

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The Walla Walla High School Latino Club won the Walla Walla County Fair and Frontier Days Parade Best Community Sweepstakes Award on Sept. 3. It's the third time in six years the club has won the award. The Fair is a big event for the club. "This year we spent several days and evenings with over 25 students helping out in preparation for the fair," said Diana Erickson, Walla Walla School District bilingual coordinator. Club members swept and mopped the pavilion floors and cleaned glass cabinets. Several members also helped set up display areas. This is the sixth year the Latino Club has worked at the fairgrounds. Club members also assisted with St. Mary Regional Cancer Center efforts to raise money for the Life Saver Fund during the first night of the rodeo. And they volunteered at the Explorer Post 311 booth, which provides treats during the concert, demolition derby and rodeo.

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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