Author credits DeSales for success as entrepreneur

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Former Walla Wallan Dwayne Clark is featured in a Spokesman Review story.

The CEO of Aegis Living senior living communities credits his life’s work in part to formative years spent in Walla Walla.

A high school sophomore, he came here alone at 16 because he was getting in trouble at school in Lewiston and needed to regain his footing. His mother arranged through the church for Dwayne to live with a family and attend DeSales Catholic High School.

Six months later, she found work as a cook at the Walla Walla Elks Lodge and joined him here.

“Because the family had so little money, and once had to live on two potatoes for an entire week, the idea for the Potato Soup Foundation was born,” he said.

Once a juvenile delinquent, Dwayne became a leader at school. He was on the football, track, baseball and debate teams and a senior class representative.

He left for college and returned with a wife and young children. For six years he worked at the Washington State Penitentiary, serving on the tactical squad. “Remember, as a kid, I could have been in prison during a turbulent time when there were a lot of prison riots,” he said.

In 1981, he moved on with his career and left Walla Walla. But it’s the foundational experiences he had here that he credits with opening doors to everything else. He founded Aegis Living, created the Potato Soup Foundation, and was an involved entrepreneur and community leader.

His focus is assisted living, gearing senior communities to the needs of residents, helping seniors and their family members, particularly grandchildren make the transition to assisted living communities, and more. His website is www.aegisliving.com/.

Dwayne and Aegis Living are discussed in more depth at www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/aug/05/red-carpet-treatment/).

He also authored “My Mother, My Son,” a memoir honoring his mother, an Alzheimer’s patient. See www.mymothermyson.com.


RBS Citizens Financial Group in Boston awarded Walla Wallan Lindsey Hoyt a second prize $1,000 TruFit Good Citizen Scholarship from for making a difference in her community.

Lindsey has donated more than 60 hours in the past two years by assisting in blood drives, visiting patients at nursing homes and working in the community garden.

This past year, she served as associate student body chaplain at her school, gave inspirational talks at weekly assemblies and helped plan school activities.

She will attend Walla Walla University and use the funds to supplement the cost of fall semester tuition.

Started in 2011, RBSCFG created the scholarship program as a way to recognize and reward students whose volunteer efforts have made a lasting impact in their communities.

Winners are chosen based on the responsibility and leadership skills they demonstrate through community service.

More than 5,000 high school seniors and college students applied for the scholarships. In addition to the $1,000 second prize scholarship awarded to Lindsey, one winner received the grand prize $5,000 scholarship, four winners each received $2,500 and 34 other winners each received $1,000.

“We want to congratulate Lindsey, who is using her talent and passion for volunteerism to help those in her community who need it most,” said Brendan Coughlin, president of Education Finance, RBS Citizens Financial Group.

“Community service is a part of our own culture, so we are excited to be able to celebrate the contributions of Lindsey and all the TruFit Scholarship winners, and to be able to help them cover some of their college expenses. As a private student lender committed to helping students finance their education, we are pleased to reward these students for supporting their communities.”

She and 39 other winners are featured in more detail on the Charter One Facebook page www.facebook.com/charterone.


Following their honeymoon in Cozumel, Mexico, newlyweds Kimberly Marie Armentrout McDaniels and Joshua David McDaniels have settled into domestic life in Walla Walla.

Kimberly is a financial advisor with Krivoshein Financial and Joshua is winemaker for Sweet Valley Wines, both in Walla Walla.

The couple wed June 2, 2012, at JK McDaniels Estate Vineyard. The Rev. Jim Snyder officiated. A reception followed at the vineyard.

The daughter of Scott and Kathy Armentrout of Walla Walla, Kimberly graduated in 2007 from Walla Walla High School and in 2010 from Washington State University, Pullman.

The groom is the son of David and Karen McDaniels of Walla Walla. He graduated in 2007 from Wa-Hi and in 2009 from Walla Walla Community College.


Jonathan Pestes, a student at Walla Walla University, will receive a Washington State Employees Credit Union scholarship.

WSECU handed out 28 awards worth more than $49,000 to members who are pursuing a degree at a two- or four-year higher-education institution.

Jonathan and other recipients were chosen based on academic record, financial need, community involvement and a written essay. They received $2,000 awards.

Applications for 2013-2014 WSECU college scholarships will be available in January.

Washington State Employees Credit Union is the second largest credit union in the state with more than $1.7 billion in assets, over 160,000 members and 18 branches statewide. Additional information is online at www.wsecu.org.


Conservation and habitat group Pheasants Forever gathered recently for a Washington state chapter meeting in Moses Lake, said Blue Mountain Chapter President Jim Sonne of Walla Walla.

Only four out of the state’s eight chapters made the event, hosted by Inland Empire chapter.

Ryan Storm, a PF representative from Boise who covers all the western states reported that PF is lobbying in Washington, D.C., and working with Congress to get bill passed that would help with habitat projects and secure more open areas for all types of hunting and youth programs.

“A lot of CRP land has been lost to hunting in the last few years because of increased farming,” Jim said. “If PF and other organizations like us do not keep up with these programs by new bills and lobbying it will only get worse. In the last year few years PF has had very good success on keeping CRP land open for hunting.”

Spokane wetland farm bill biologist Erik Lewis, a PF new employee in Spokane, is one of 99 PF biologists located in 18 states.

He plans and opens new habitat areas for ducks and upland game birds with landowners., Jim said. “Since this program started in 2003 with four positions, we now have made over 70,000 landowner contracts impacting 2.2 million acres.”

Funding sources and the salaries are diverse and the biologists would not be possible without the financial support from State Fish and Wildlife Agencies, USDA-NRCS, USFWS, FSA, local PF/QF chapters and various other state and local partners.

Kellie Bartholomew, an expert in sage grouse, which is on the endangered list, spoke about the Sage Grouse Initiative. It’s funded by different agencies and PF entered into an agreement to host positions and provide administrative/financial assistance for all SGI positions in 11 states. PF also assists with the Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative in the Southern Great Plains.

“In the future we are will be looking into a habitat project working with Erik and Ducks Unlimited to start a project with a pond and pheasant habitat in our area,” Jim said.

Jim talked about the success of the local chapter’s fundraising banquet. “We have had the largest banquet of any chapter in the westerns states. What stands out is the support of our members, donors and volunteers.”

Joe McCanna is with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and in charge of upland game for Eastern Washington.

Last year he hired Dawn Davis, located in Walla Walla and in charge of Walla Walla and Columbia counties to work with landowners and supervise the pheasant release program.

Dawn works with landowners to update existing contracts and establish new ones for “feel-free-to-hunt” areas.

So far she has six new contracts and several pending. A few areas have been lost in the last couple of years to things like more land used to farm, trash left on these areas and deer hunters shooting stray bullets.

“We would all like to see some of these areas restricted to shotgun or bow-only but let the deer hunters use slugs. When you are out hunting pick up empty shell cases and any trash you find and maybe we can keep most of the feel-free-to-hunt areas open.”

Jim keeps a supply of maps for the two counties that are marked with feel feel-free-to-hunt areas. Contact him at 509-525-5330 for details.

Some may not be aware that feel-free-to-hunt sites are private property and under contract and paid from $3 to $10 per acre by the WDFW, Jim said.

Release sites are property owned by the government that hunters are allowed to use.

There are only three release sites in Washington and one of them is at Bennington Lake, which falls under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Those release sites don’t allow lead shot.

“If you are caught with lead shot the fines can be heavy. You can’t use lead shot on any of the release sites, but you can use lead shot on any feel-free-to-hunt areas. Lead shot is toxic to all birds and they will die if it is ingested.”

“PF recommends steel shot only. A number of states have banned all lead shot and I am sure Washington will follow in the future.”

Pheasants Forever’s local youth hunt for those 10-15 years old will be Sept. 22-23 and 150 birds are set for release for the hunt. Call Gene Weinmaster for information or to volunteer at 509-529-4692.

In addition, for those 65 and older there is a special hunt from Sept. 24-28. “We are planning to hunt on the areas where we release birds for the youth hunt and there should be plenty of birds available. Call Jim for more details.

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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