Etcetera - 01/05/12

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They served us well while bringing cheer, added light and heavenly evergreen scents into our homes. But now it's time to kick those Christmas trees to the curb -- and for a good cause.

Song and game birds and small mammals at Bennington Lake will benefit when, as in years past, Boy Scouts of Walla Walla collect the trees to construct wildlife habitat there.

The scouts will systematically work streets in Walla Walla, some outlying neighborhoods and in College Place picking up the trees from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

City residents received flyers with information in their December utility bill to contact the scouts via email at treepickup@troop305.net to make their confirmed pickup list. The only contact method is through email as the Boy Scout office won't be staffed on a regular basis until February.

Trees need to be placed near the curb or street's edge, as scouts may not go into houses or yards to remove them. Flocked trees are now acceptable as most are made with a water based material that will biodegrade. However, heavily tinseled trees will have to be disposed of by their owners, as the material is unacceptable in wildlife areas, said Al Sutlick, Troop 305 tree pickup coordinator, in a release.

While collection is free, donations are welcome and are pooled between all the scouts working the detail. They will check with individual households as they pick up trees and leave a note with an envelope if no one is home. Donations may also be attached to the tree, or you may note where it can be found in your email to the scouts. The funds are used only for summer camp, scouting equipment and uniforms. As a result, Scouts working both days last year were enabled to pay for about 80 percent of their summer camp fees derived from donations.

Scouts have provided this service to the Walla Walla area for more than 25 years, Al said.

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A special night in Feburary will garner funds for Walla Walla Community Hospice, which provides a variety of programs for area residents.

Wine, hors d'oeuvres, elegant dining and live and silent auctions will be featured during the Evening of Elegance at 6 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Marcus Whitman Hotel amp; Conference Center, 6 W. Rose St. The full auction catalog will be available for preview online at www.wwhospice.org beginning Feb. 8. Tickets are $95 per person. Contact the Hospice office at 525-5561 or email laurie@wwhospice.org for more information or to make reservations, which must be confirmed with payment by Feb. 7.

Non-profit WWCH provides quality hospice care to adults and children facing a limited life expectancy. Patients are never denied hospice services for financial reasons, Laurie Klicker said in a release.

WWCH relies on community support through donations and fundraisers to defray expenses.

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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