Wa-Hi singers serenade WW Noon Rotary with holiday tunes

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Norb Rossi, Walla Walla High School director of music education, brought his award-winning singers to the Dec. 13 meeting of the Walla Walla Noon Rotary Club.

Wa-Hi Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers were featured guests and earned enthusiastic applause for their talented holiday-inspired concert collection, said Rotarian Linda Hardy.

Each year Wa-Hi singers perform for Rotary during the holidays.

Rotary members praised Norb and his singers for the tremendous way they represent the Walla Walla Valley and provided a $250 donation to the music education program at Wa-Hi.

In addition, Noon Rotary elected Todd Brandenburg as a new board member on Dec. 13. He joined Rotary here in February 2008 and serves as PocketiNet’s president and CEO.

This year he has co-chaired Rotary’s Fair Gates community service project, wherein Rotarians greet visitors to the Walla Walla County Fair & Frontier Days, take tickets, stamp hands and help fair organizers count patrons entering the grounds.

Noon Rotary contributes to the area’s communities by planting trees, supporting youth activities and sponsoring and erecting community-based equipment, such as the Fort Walla Walla Park picnic shelter and Howard Tietan Park play equipment, and providing thousands of dollars in scholarships to local area students for higher education.

Noon Rotary is the third largest Rotary club in Washington with 190 members, Linda said. For information about membership, contact Casey Goodwin at 527-3636.

‘Our mission to address homelessness through rental assistance has literally exploded in terms of the number of income-qualified households needing assistance with eviction prevention, noted Dan Willms, executive director at Helpline.

The non-profit social service agency went from aiding fewer than 300 households to almost 500 in one year.

“The need is great after nearly five years of declining personal income,” he emphasized in a release.

Donating to the cause can have a significant impact.

For example, give $30 per month, which could help three families with rental assistance.

“For the cost of a daily coffee, you can ensure that a family will not be evicted,” he said.

An annual gift or a pledge can help with this effort. For more details, call 529-3377.

For those who like to plan ahead, the annual Walla Walla Community Hospice Evening of Elegance will be Feb. 9.

The hors d’oeuvres, wine, dinner and silent and live auctions will be at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, 6 W. Rose St. For reservations, call the hospice office at 509-525-5561.

Proceeds will benefit Hospice programs. Through health professionals and volunteers, the non-profit provides quality end-of-life care to adults and children facing a limited life expectancy. They give medical, psychological and spiritual support. No patient is denied hospice services for financial reasons. WWCH relies on the support of the community through donations and fundraisers to defray expenses.

Helpline is also planning for one of its major fundraisers, SoupPort, which will be April 17.

The Link to Helpline newsletter said the Pottery Painting Studio at Carnegie is open to paint bowls for the event. Call 527-4526 for details on the schedule.

Students at Assumption School collected six boxes filled with personal hygiene products in the fall. The price of admission to the students’ annual Halloween party was to donate a personal hygiene product.

A number of people will be warmer because the community donated several hundred blankets during Helpline’s annual drive.

New and gently used blankets came from churches, groups and individuals who provided a selection for those in need.

On Helpline’s needs list are peanut butter, plastic grocery bags, bar soap, clean winter coats in good repair, shampoo and diapers in sizes 3-5.

For more information, contact Helpline or Executive Director Dan Willms at 529-3377. Donations may be maidel to P.O. Box 776, Walla Walla 99362.

A community Winter Wonderland dinner and live and silent auctions are on the calendar Jan. 26 to benefit host Veterans of Foreign Wars Grant Farmer Post 992. Commander Larry Diederich said they are gathering new or nearly new items for the auction. Proceeds will benefit local homeless and needy veterans. Donations of items and monetary funds are welcome, Larry said.

Cash donations would help defer the cost of the dinner. Reservations are encouraged now by calling 525-1310, 301-0751 or 386-8422.

The cost is $15 per person, including wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres, dinner and dancing or $10 per person for wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and dancing.

The December-January Post & Auxiliary News noted that many veterans “are homeless or in dire straights right here in our community. Please come and help support those that have sacrificed their lives to give us freedom.”

The Ladies Auxiliary would like to replace the stove in the post kitchen with a new one and are raising funds through Bingo Kitchen, said Lisa Bigelow, senior vice president.

Post and auxiliary members are looking ahead to the VFW mid-winter Conference Jan. 18-19 in Yakima.

The post’s newsletter notes that Christmas cards can be sent to troops overseas, free of charge, at www.thanks.com.

The post sends care packages on a continuing basis to troops. The boxes are filled with such items as jerky, instant coffee, hot chocolate, tea bags, calling cards, hard candy, trail mix, granola bars, nuts, ChapStick, mouthwash, raisins, dried fruit, snack packs, foot powder, creams but nothing in metal or glass containers. It costs $13 to mail each box, so donations to this fund are also appreciated. Post 992 is at 102 N. Colville St.

Pioneer Middle School National Junior Honor Society members organized a dance to benefit Toys for Tots, according to a release.

Held at the YMCA, the school dance brought in $534 for the cause.

The students are also collecting funds from other sources to support the charity. On a recent Sunday they spent more than $1,400 while shopping for Toys for Tots.

Christie Druffel at the YMCA helped the students; Home Depot donated Christmas lights to decorate the dance; Plaza Safeway donated roses to sell at the dance; and Walmart for donated $100 said NJHS adviser Alba Biagi. “The Toys for Tots program was our community service project for the year and like our assistant principal says, ‘Go Big or Go Home!’”

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

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