Etcetera - 02/02/12

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How sweet it is. Oranges, grapefruit and tangelos will be sold by Walla Walla Public Schools band, orchestra and choir students as part of the third annual Music Boosters Citrus Sale.

Fruit is packed in 20- or 40-pound boxes for $20 or $35, respectively. It is Music Boosters' only fundraiser and helps provide the extras that make the music program a success, Eddie Walker emailed.

The sale will run from Feb. 6-21. For more information find Walla Walla Public Schools Music Program on Facebook or call 526-1916.

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Milton-Freewater Chamber of Commerce's Awards Banquet is fast approaching. Organizers are still in need of items for the silent auction during the event Feb. 16. "This is a great way to advertise your business and help the Chamber raise needed funds, which are used to help our business members with Chamber programs," according to a release. To help with the event contact Merri Anne Huber at merrianneh@charter.net, the Chamber office, 157 S. Columbia St., 541-938-5563 or mfmdfrog@mfchamber.com.

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Some significant messages came through for 18 high school students who attended a Peer Mentor Training to support special needs students offered by Cyndy Knight.

One student said, "to really help people with disabilities you must understand what they are going through and how it feels" and the importance of putting the individuals before their disability.

The six-hour "With A Little Help From My Friends" presentation on Jan. 7 dovered the process of becoming Parent-to-Parent Peer Mentors. Cyndy used a PowerPoint presentation, video, hands-on and group activities, augmented with a pizza lunch.

Participants, in groups of five, put together a poster board about a specific disability and presented it in front of the group.

Angela Potts, recreation coordinator with Walla Walla Parks and Recreation, talked about the importance and responsibility of the roles mentors have as recreation volunteers.

Participants learned how to act around kids with disabilities and what to say to them. They added that, "I understand why some kids are more quiet and alone " and "I learned about many things that people with disabilities encounter daily," according to the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review online.

The students experienced temporary disabilities, such as being blindfolded, tied to chairs, or muted to understand conditions such as autism, Down syndrome, visual and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy and learning disabilities. They learned about inaccessible places maneuvering challenges by going on a wheelchair scavenger hunt.

Those interested in becoming a Peer Mentor who are middle or high school age may email Cyndy at cknight@co.walla-walla.wa.us.

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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