Helpline bowled over by aid from WW Sweets Roller Girls

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YES Exchange students from left, Simge Sergumec, Muzdalifa Kombo, Catherine Chevalier, Francesco Nobili, Soukaina Kherdioui and Tierno N'Diaye, with Pearl Kwakye.

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Members of the Walla Walla Sweets Roller Girls decorate bowls for Helpline's annual SoupPort benefit luncheon.

SClBWalla Walla Sweets Roller Girls lent a hand for Helpline's upcoming SoupPort fundraiser by painting soup bowls at the Pottery Painting Studio in Carnegie Art Center.

Doffing their skates for the task, more than 25 Roller Girls and family members convened to paint and decorate 32 bowls for the April 18 event, according to Debi Evans.

The community service raised $800 with 32 bowls for Helpline's annual fundraiser. Walla Walla Sweets Roller Girls tally with 28 skaters. Their season started Feb. 1 and they'll face challengers through their final bout Oct. 6, Debi said.

They will play the Rodeo City Rollergirls at home on April 28. The $8 presold tickets for this bout at the YMCA will be available at Book & Game, the YMCA and Brownpapertickets.com, or $10 at the door. Children 4 and younger will be admitted free. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the bout begins at 6:30.

The minimum age to participate is 18 and currently thier oldest skater is 47. They practice three times per week and crosstrain and otherwise work out outside of practice times.

They practice in the YMCA's main gym Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Sundays from 2:30-4 p.m., but that schedule is subject to change based on other activities and programs at the Y, Debi said.

Scott Crewse and Kimi Schroeder founded the group in fall 2009.

For folks unfamiliar with Helpline's annual SoupPort luncheon, it raises funds for the non-profit social service agency.

It will be from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. April 18, at Blanchet Hall beside St. Patrick Catholic Church, on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Poplar Street

Walla Walla Community College culinary arts students will prepare a variety of savory soups, which in the past have included chicken noodle, cream of broccoli, seafood chowder, split pea and ham, vegetable and cream of tomato with basil.

Along with soup and bread, each person attending can choose an individually decorated ceramic bowl, handpainted by the Rollergirls and other groups and individuals in the Valley just for SoupPort.

Mark Brown and Dr. Sam Kirtley will play piano during the event.

Tickets are $25 for one, $50 for two, $75 for three and $100 for four and are being sold at Earthlight Books and Helpline

In 2011, Helpline served 22,035 people in need, including 2,579 households in Walla Walla, College Place, Waitsburg, Touchet and Lowden. They reach out to all ages, from infants to those 70 and older, veterans, the disabled and non-English speaking.

One person who benefitted from the agency's services said, "Helpline is the blessing I needed ... it was there at the right time when I needed help to get out of homelessness and get my state identification card when it was stolen. The help is what I would call 'synchronicity.' " For more details, see www.helplineww.org.

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A dedicated oenophile, Eastern Washington native Kyle MacLachlan established a partnership with Walla Walla vintner Eric Dunham to produce a cabernet-merlot-syrah blend under the label Pursued By Bear and made here by Dunham Cellars.

Actor-director-producer Fred Savage suggested the unusual name, derived from a stage direction in Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale, which states, "Exit, pursued by a bear."

The 1977 alum of Eisenhower High School in Yakima graduated in 1982 from the University of Washington and headed south to an acting career in Hollywood. He's been in movies and TV productions, notably, "Dune" and "Twin Peaks," and currently guest stars at the mayor of Portland in "Portlandia."

Based on his website, his wine can be ordered online at pursuedbybearwine.com/ .

An article at foxnews.com features Kyle along with several other celebrity winemakers, including Dan Aykroyd, AC/DC, Bob Dylan, Drew Bledsoe, Antonio Banderas, Dave Matthews, Madonna and Francis Ford Coppola.

This story said Kyle "bought a boutique winery in his hometown of Walla Walla, Wash." But the writer's a bit off geographically, as Kyle was born and raised in Yakima.

Regarding his business venture, Kyle told reporter Shira Levine with Fox News in a March 13 story online, "My intention was never to put my name on the bottle. I want it to stand on its own. I got into wine because I want to make something interesting for people to enjoy, and spend more time back home with my family."

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The Walla Walla High School Dance Team garnered a second-place finish in the dance division during 4A state competition March 23 in the Yakima Sundome.

It earned this spot out of the 15 teams that made it to state, said their coach, Kelsey Quann.

There are 15 members on the team, students who attend Wa-Hi and DeSales High School.

Senior captains Emma Eskil and Merrit Filan led the group and accepted the trophy on the team's behalf, Kelsey said.

The team performed to a remix of "I Wanna Dance," by the late singer Whitney Houston and choreographed by Carsen Rowe, "a very talented choreographer who grew up in Richland," Kelsey said.

"As a coach I am so extremely proud at the hard work and dedication they put into this season. The girls did a fantastic job, performed their hearts out and left everything out on the dance floor on Friday. It's nice to know Walla Walla is still known for having some of the most elite high school dancers in the state."

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The Walla Walla Valley AFS chapter hosted a reception at Wheatland Village March 15 for Pearl Kwakye, Youth Exchange and Study partner representative from Ghana.

YES exchange students come from countries with significant Muslim populations, said Darcy Dauble in a release. Currently, four YES students are being hosted in Walla Walla and Waitsburg: Simge Sergumec from Turkey; Muzdalifa Kombo from Tanzania; Thierno N'Diaye from Mali; and Soukaina Kherdioui from Morroco.

Pearl spoke to students about her path from exchange student to working for an international agency. "She also identified exciting possibilities for them to continue their interest in intercultural learning and friendships," Darcy said.

See www.yesprograms.org or contact Linnea Keatts at lkeatt@msn.com to learn more about the YES program and opportunities for you and your family to participate.

In Walla Walla to visit grandparents Linda and Jerry McBride, U.S. Army Spec. 4th Class Zachary Dallas Harvey also dropped in on Judy Peaseley's fifth-graders at Edison Elementary School on March 22.

He and the students share a special bond as the youngsters are sponsoring Zachary while he is serving in Afghanistan, Linda said.

A member of the Military Police, he's been stateside for a two-week Ramp;R then will return for another four months active duty. The son of the McBrides' daughter Kimberly Domine of Selah, Wash., and Don Harvey of Yakima, Zachary graduated from Selah High School and just turned 21 in February.

"The class sends him letters, cards and packages since he went over there," Linda said. "They were very excited to meet him and had lots of questions. They really wanted to know what he would enjoy most in his future packages. He is a little shy so he could only think of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups -- go figure!"

Zachary showed them photos taken in Afghanistan.

Once he's finished with his military commitment, he plans to go attend college, then join the Border Patrol.

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Zonta International clubs annually observe Rose Day on March 8. It commemorates International Women's Day and recognizes efforts that advance the status of women in every culture and in all endeavors.

For this occasion, Zonta Club of Walla Walla members honored Roseann Groom, a Waitsburg High School English teacher, for exemplary efforts to promote education and lifelong learning in the Walla Walla Valley.

Zonta became aware of Roseann's work because every year over the last several years the club has received a number of well-crafted applications for Zonta scholarships that have been prepared by her students, Zonta member Betty Jane Selde said in a release.

Roseann "has invested considerable time and energy into encouraging her students to aspire to a university education and has guided them through the planning process, including details such as preparing their resumes, writing their essays and filling in scholarship applications.

"The Zonta Club salutes Mrs. Groom and all educators, parents and community members who support youth in their efforts to attain a higher level of education and improve their own lives and society as a whole."

Zonta International was founded in 1919. Walla Walla Zonta chapter was founded on Nov. 9, 1953, and works to promote the status of girls and women in this region.

For more information about Zonta International, visit www.zonta.org/, and for more information about the local club, contact BJ at vselde@charter.net.

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The dust is finally settling on this year's Evening of Elegance, the Walla Walla Community Hospice benefit held Feb. 11 at the Marcus Whitman Hotel Conference Center.

Attendance was up this year with 239 guests, marketing coordinator Laurie Klicker said in a release.

Seventy-three people volunteered their time in some capacity, and 118 businesses and individuals donated to the auction. Guest speaker was Randy Grant, director of the YMCA, who talked about his family's experience with hospice services.

The $55,147 that remains after expenses will be used for hospice services.

"That is the most we've ever raised from this event," Laurie said. "We continue to be humbled by the support of the community for this organization and the work we do."

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

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