ETCETERA - It's all clover for Waitsburg Relay for Life Shamrock Bingo benefit

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Even though it vied with numerous other March 10 events, the Waitsburg Relay for Life Shamrock Bingo evening brought in $1,026, said organizer Pam Conover.

Its success is attributed to the folks who attended and business donors who supported it, Pam said, including Big Cheese, Betty's Diner, Applebee's, Coppei Coffee, Wal-Mart, Laht Neppur, The Tuxedo, Etcetras, McGregor Co. and Wilbur Ellis.

Businesses gave gift certificates for their businesses (mainly the restaurants), gift items and monies to use for game prizes.

The local Relay for Life will be Sept. 15-16 at the Dayton High School track.

American Cancer Society Relay For Life helps communities worldwide celebrate those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones who died, and fight against the disease.

The ACS Relay For Life got its start in Washington state. Tacoma colorectal surgeon Dr. Gordy Klatt wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office in the mid-1980s and show support for his patients who battled cancer.

He personally raised funds for the fight by running marathons. In May 1985, he spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track for more than 83 miles at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.

Close to 300 of his friends, family and patients watched as he ran and walked the course that first year. Throughout the night, friends donated $25 to run or walk with him for 30 minutes, which raised $27,000 to fight cancer.

As he ran, he envisioned a 24-hour team relay event that could raise more money to fight cancer. He and a small committee developed the first relay event, the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.

The Relay for Life website notes that "in 1986, with the help of Pat Flynn - now known as the ‘Mother of Relay' - 19 teams took part in the first team Relay event on the track at the historic Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000. An indescribable spirit prevailed at the track and in the tents that dotted the infield."

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For the next decade Walla Walla Kiwanis Club can claim nonagenarian status. That's because it will enter its 90th year when it celebrates that anniversary on April 25.

The group was chartered on that date in 1922, the same year that saw insulin first used to treat diabetes; the Irish Free State form with Michael Collins as its first premier; the first slalom ski race run in Murren, Switzerland; Iowan Christian K. Nelson patent the Eskimo Pie; and Reader's Digest publish its first magazine

Originally, Kiwanis centered on business networking when it was founded in 1915 in Detroit. By 1919, the international organization shifted to service, according to a history at kiwanis.org.

As such, activities of the Walla Walla club generally focus on youth and community service projects, such as involvement in youth baseball teams and scholarships, Special Olympics and Walla Walla Frontier Days. The club's first large-scale effort was involvement in the development of the Whitman Monument grounds during the 1920s, according to the club's historical data.

Since 1925, an important project has been maintaining and running Camp Kiwanis. The Reynolds family donated the camp property, which is sponsored by Camp Kiwanis Foundation through Kiwanis Club of Walla Walla. The camp is primarily used for young people, but also as a retreat, recreational location and meeting place for other organizations.

In 1966, Camp Kiwanis was incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization.

Walla Walla Kiwanis Club's one major annual fundraiser is operating a food booth during the Walla Walla Fair. Proceeds support multiple youth organizations in the area. The club awards three annual college scholarships, provides financial assistance to several school music programs, YMCA, Camp Fire, EDITH House fire prevention, Walla Walla County Traffic Safety and DUI Task Force, Salvation Army, Walla Walla Valley Little League, Safe Kids, Law Enforcement Camp and Key Club.

Key Club is the high school organization that helps Kiwanis carry out its mission to serve the world's children. Walla Walla High School Key Club performs acts of service in the community, such as making cards for patients at local skilled care facilities, the Trunk-or-Treat Halloween activity for kids and organizing food drives. They also learn leadership skills by running meetings, planning projects and holding elected leadership positions at the club, district and international levels. Shelly Mann, Jay Gerbino and Daylan Gibbard from Walla Walla Kiwanis serve as support staff for Key clubbers, Chris said.

Kiwanis meets at noon every Tuesday in the boardroom at Wheatland Village, 1500 Catherine St. Those who desire to serve their community are encouraged to look into membership. "Interested people can just show up have lunch and check us out," Chris said.

Kiwanis has several members with 10-year-plus memberships. The longest-standing members are Ray Davidson, who joined in 1957, and Charles Clizer, who joined in 1958.

Bill Vollendorff serves as president, along with Rob Christy, president elect, and Patty Courson, immediate past president. Club membership includes a wide range of people, from judges, attorneys, teachers, nurses, firefighters and businesspeople from all walks of life, all who have a common goal to focus on children's needs and growing tomorrow's leaders.

Walla Wallans Betty M. Dunham and Larry J. Sharie wed during a family ceremony at their home Dec. 20, 2011. The Rev. Dave Jones of Grace Christian Center officiated. They honeymooned in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Betty said.

She is a longtime member of the farm community and her husband is the Walla Walla Watershed attendant. They will reside primarily at the watershed until Larry's retirement.

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Every time I hear tell of a teddy bear event, it evokes the lyrics from "The Teddy Bear's Picnic."

We danced to it in grade school PE: "If you go out in the woods today/You're sure of a big surprise. If you go out in the woods today/You'd better go in disguise. For every bear that ever there was/Will gather there for certain, because/Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Members of the Walla Walla Columbia Retired School Employees Association hosted their sixth annual Teddy Bear Tea and Doll Show recently, reported member Dee Aichele.

"In spite of a cold windy day, more than 235 people braved the weather to enjoy it," she said. It was fitting that famous Winnie the Pooh would be the featured 2012 teddy bear in a theme carried out in a display, in the stories offered at the story corner and in various coloring and craft activities.

This year's net funds were $2,400.53. Proceeds will go toward two $1,000 scholarships for prospective teachers and /or prospective special services interns.

Gently used bears were sold at The Bear Emporium. Attendees could also shop among such handmade items as purses, vests, aprons, towels and a quilts made by WWCRSEA members.

Jackie Helm and Phyllis Tarver won the raffle for two bears, handmade by two association members.

Carl and Eileen Depping exhibited their huge handmade bear with hand-carved claws. Wheatland Alpacas Farm displayed super-soft alpaca teddy bears and a silent auction offered unique themed items, Dee said. Keepsake photos were made on site as mementos by Goldvein Photographers.

"The high point of the event for many is the tea, featuring five courses. The first course starting with tea and a plate of fresh fruit followed by plates of tiny specialty sandwiches, a cookie and finishing up with yummy chocolates."

"Every teddy bear, that's been good/Is sure of a treat today. There's lots of wonderful things to eat/And wonderful games to play. Beneath the trees, where nobody sees/They'll hide and seek as long as they please. Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic."

•••

As members of the All-Washington, All-star Academic Team, Walla Walla Community College students Christopher Neal and Janene Hartford earned lunch on Thursday in Olympia with Gov. Christine Gregoire.

They joined all-stars from around the state for the event. Christopher is son of Michael and Terri Neal and Janene is daughter of Jim and Sherri Hartford.

From Bellingham to Vancouver and Spokane to Walla Walla, the All-Washington Academic Team program recognizes and honors the state's finest higher education students.

"Students who make up the All-Washington Team reflect the diversity of the state, maintain high standards of excellence and contribute positively to the community.

Their stories are often inspiring, sometimes surprising, and always reflective of the larger story of the state's community and technical college students."

The program has become the showcase for Washington's community and technical colleges because it honors academic high achievers who have demonstrated a commitment to success in the classroom and in the communities in which they live.

Nominations for the 2012 team were submitted to Phi Theta Kappa on Dec. 1. Students appropriately nominated to the All-USA Academic Team are automatically named to All-Washington Academic Team.

A student's ranking on the state team is determined by the student's score in the national competition.

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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