Etcetera - 02/29/12

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Veterans of Foreign Wars Grant Farmer Post 992 and Ladies Auxiliary stand grateful for the many local businesses and community members who donated auction items, cash and time for the post's dinner and auction fundraiser.

The Jan. 28 event raised $5,700 to benefit displaced and homeless veterans in the Walla Walla Valley.

"It was a huge success," said Larry Diederich, senior VFW vice commander, who commended the community's generosity and the hard work of many VFW and Ladies Auxiliary members.

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Nicolette Harral, director of the Rising Sun Clubhouse, pronounced the pancake feed at Applebee's a resounding success.

"Our 20 volunteers served breakfast to 131 people from our community. Applebee's staff helped us coordinate the event and did all the cooking. After expenses for ingredients they raised $1,541.71, all of which will be used in general operations expenses," Nicolette said.

"We are extremely appreciative of Applebee's for partnering with us on this fundraiser. The staff were extremely helpful in working with us throughout the planning process.

"They were also very patient while they taught us how to greet customers at the door, serve the meal and bus tables.

"We cannot express enough gratitude to Applebee's for giving us the opportunity to put on this fundraiser.

"It is wonderful to see a local business like Applebee's be so willing to spend the time and money to support a small nonprofit organization like the Rising Sun Clubhouse."

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A stirring poem "Defence of Fort McHenry," written in 1814 by 30-something-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key evolved into "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Key was inspired after witnessing the bombardment of the fort by British Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812.

Since his ode was officially adopted as the national anthem 81 years ago on March 3, Park Plaza independent retirement community plans to celebrate at 1400 Dalles Military Road by hosting free Star-Spangled Weekend events for seniors.

A wine social will be at 3 p.m. Friday, prize bingo at 1:45 p.m. Saturday and a complimentary barbecue lunch featuring ribs at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. To RSVP, or learn more, call Park Plaza at 509-525-6513.

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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