Volunteers, skaters to go from Feast to breast this weekend

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More than 30 people will travel across the Cascades next weekend to help with Feast Walla Walla.

The "Valley Girls & Guys" will come from the Seattle area and sport their signature pink cowboy hats as a sign of their commitment to The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure walk as they volunteer at Feast.

So what's the connection between the two events?

The work at Feast is a thank-you to all the winery and hospitality donors, sponsors and friends in the Walla Walla Valley who have supported the efforts to fight cancer by helping raise more than $320,000 last year -- the most of any other single team in the nation.

Following Saturday's Feast event downtown, the group will be joined by the Walla Walla Sweets Roller Girls and Wild Scallions Junior Derby team in a training walk/skate through town at 10 a.m. Sunday.

The walk will start at First Avenue and Main Street, meander through historic neighborhoods to Pioneer and Wildwood parks, through the Whitman campus and back at the starting point.

The hope is to raise awareness of the need for early cancer detection and annual screening.

With support materials from Providence St. Mary Regional Cancer Center, the skaters and walkers will be armed with breast cancer handouts for anyone who happens to be out cheering them on. The community is invited to lace up and participate, as well.

Last year the Valley Girls & Guys had 152 walkers -- seven cancer survivors -- on the 3-Day for the Cure 60-mile awareness walk.

Walla Walla community organizations that have helped support the cause include: Banner Bank, Basel Cellars, Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, Dunham Cellars, Fat Duck Inn and Guest Homes, Green Gables Inn, L'Ecole No 41, SuLei Cellars, Three Rivers Winery, Waterbrook Winery, Walla Walla Sweets Roller Girls, Tourism Walla Walla, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman, Wine Country Inn and the Wine Valley Golf Club.

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Walla Walla cookbook author Shannon Smith-McKeown will sign copies of her latest serving, "Eat Eat Walla Walla," this weekend.

Smith-McKeown will be at My Grandmother's Garden, 2946 S. Third Ave., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Her book includes about 300 hand-picked recipes from her collection, as well as from local contributors.

Some names, she explained, may be fictional, but the recipes are real. The book is $15 and can be purchased at wallawallacookbook.com or found on Facebook at "Eat Eat Walla Walla Cookbook."

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Inn at Blackberry Creek is a bed-and-breakfast worth making a trek for, according to a recent announcement from TripAdvisor.

The world's largest travel website has ranked the Walla Walla inn on its list of Top 25 BBs and Inns for 2012. Inn at Blackberry Creek, 1126 Pleasant St., was 14th on the list, designated as part of TripAdvisor's annual Travelers' Choice Awards.

The awards recognize the world's best hotels based on feedback from real travelers, the announcement explained.

Millions of reviews and opinions from travelers around the world are scoured to find the best of the best.

"With the help of millions of travelers around the globe, TripAdvisor is thrilled to recognize the world's most outstanding hotels with the Travelers' Choice Awards," said Christine Petersen, president of TripAdvisor for Business.

"Recognizing the best of the best based on traveler feedback and reviews, value and quality are the hallmarks of our Travelers' Choice winners," Petersen said.

Inn at Blackberry Creek is operated by Barbara Knudson. To see the 2012 Travelers' Choice list, visit tripadvisor.com.

More reviews for the local inn are available through the site, too.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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