Supplies forthcoming for local woman’s sewing project

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A recent Etcetera item about Jane Samples’ involvement in the Little Dresses for Africa project generated several responses.

One friend emailed Jane that the news item and her work were “... very impressive, and to think I knew you before you were famous. What do you need to complete your project, or to put it another way how can we help?”

And Jan Kruper with Wheatland Alpacas farm told Jane her late mom, Ruth Ellen Krout, was also an avid sewer/crafter who kept myriad supplies on hand.

Jan said her mother would have also participated in such a program. “Alas, (mom) died (at 88 on Dec. 16, 2012) and I am left with many boxes of fabric, thread, seam tape, buttons and the like for which I would like to find good homes,” she emailed Jane.

“Are you in need of any type of sewing items for your projects? If so, I would be happy to donate whatever I have that you can use.”

Jane said she accepted Jan’s offer. “She will organize the fabric, buttons, rick-rack, appliqués, etc., and then we’ll get together. I can have any or all of it! I am so excited!” Jane said.

Ruth Ellen and husband Ken Krout moved to Wheatland Alpacas farm 10 years ago, Jan said.

“She sewed all her life. She made her dresses when she was in school, and prom dresses and wedding gowns for her daughters. We were very proud to say ‘my mom made this dress,’” Jan recalled.

News of Jane’s project is timely for Jan who has been looking for good homes for Ruth Ellen’s things.

“She has all these buttons, lace and fabric and I’ve been waiting to find places to give them to.”

Reading the Etcetera item, Jan said “I thought it was lovely, so cool. I could picture the way Jane was contributing to culture and society and immediately emailed her.”

Jan and family are busy on their farm with a herd of 17 alpacas, plus 17 chickens, seven pygmy goats, four llamas and three dogs.

The animal fiber they produce is sent to a co-op and comes back as such products as sweaters, coats, gloves, hats, scarves, rugs, blankets and yarn.

“You wouldn’t want me making any of it,” Jan laughed. That particular creative gene her mom had in abundance seemed to have skipped over Jan.

And now the medium that brought Ruth Ellen great pleasure and was a creative outlet will continue in the hands of another kindred spirit.


While on the subject of reader responses, I heard from Jean Ann Mitchell, after I wrote about her daughter Ruby. She is collecting cameras for her Peace Corps assignment in Jordan and the photography workshop she’s planning.

“People have mentioned (the column item) to me and four cameras have come to me so far,” Jean Ann said.

She added that a map used with the column item will help readers be more aware “of the surrounding (scary) countries — which will remind the people that know Ruby to keep her in their prayers for that region.”

Contact Jean Ann at jjmitchell@centurylink.net.

She’s sending cameras to her daughter on April 15.


With Gary Thomas as bingo caller, Waitsburg Team Relay’s third annual Shamrock Bingo fundraiser in March raised $1,486 for the American Cancer Society.

“We had a fun time. All ages were present and some prize-swapping took place,” said team member Pam Conover. “The teenage girl beside me was more than happy to exchange my winning prize of a night at the movies — with lots of candy included — for her bucket of car-washing supplies. However, the winner of the Whoopem Up gift certificate didn’t seem to want to exchange — go figure.”

Donations came from Amber Lambert, a Miche Bag; Applebee’s; Blue Palm Yogurt; Jimgermanbar; L&B Kitchens; Laht Neppur; Marge Benson; Pat Patrick; Pepsi; The Tuxedo Tavern; McGregor’s; Ty & Josh Martin; Whoopemup Hollow Cafe; and Wilbur-Ellis.

To honor cancer survivors and in memory of those who have battled cancer, the team will continue to accept donations for luminaries to be used during the September Relay for Life event in Dayton.

Contact Pam at 509-337-8876 or zorro@columbiaenergyllc.com for more details.


A fellow singing/music friend of mine heard from a former Walla Walla University choral teacher who hooked him up with a little tune that has Walla Walla at its heart.

Singer-songwriter Bryant Oden wrote this little ditty, “Paula the Koala,” which can be viewed at bit.ly/YWbnXj.

Paula the Koala by Bryant Oden on Songdrops.com

Paula the Koala, she moved to Guatemala

Cuz she heard the trees there were a little taller.

Turned out they were smaller/so she moved to Lake Eufaula/Then to Walla Walla Washington.

So if you live in Walla Walla and you see a koala/You an bet your bottom dollar that koala’s name is Paula

Paula the koala/who lives in Walla Walla/Walla Walla Washington

She’s Cute/She’s kind/She’s the coolest/marsupial that you could ever find

She’s sweet/She’s smart

She’s a smalla koala/with a great/big heart

— Repeat three times, faster each go-around

As a kid growing up in Oklahoma, Bryant wrote songs while summering in the Colorado Mountains.

He produced funny ones and heartfelt ones.

“None of them were very good. But that process of being in a creative mood and writing a funny song, and also of walking in the woods and having a real heart song come to me, that has never really gone away,” he said.

He began putting his songs on Youtube in January 2009 and his channel now has more than 15 million video views.

For more details, contact bryant@Songdrops.com or see www.songdrops.com/about-bryant-oden .


Students from Japan participated in a 10-day home-stay program through the Walla Walla-Sasayama Sister City Home Stay program, said local committee chairman Robert Keatts.

The 19 students and two adult chaperones arrived March 24 and returned to Sasayama on April 3. City Manager Niebel Shawa presented a city proclamation for Sister City Week to the group.

Among those who participated were Noriyuki Ashida, ESL teacher from Homei High School, Miki Iwamoto, Chizuru Ogami, Yume Maeda, Haruka Inoue, Yuka Saito, Mana Fujita, Aoi Manaka, Aya Muruyama, Miho Katagi, Juri Ojima, Aki Ogino, Yuumi Sugai, Yuuhi Nasu, Yukiya Nishiyama, Yoshihiro Hiwada, Akiko Nakamura, Ayane Nishida, Yumiko Shinke, Yukiko Tsuda and Mizuki Fukuyama.

For more about the program, call Robert at 525-0049.


‘Shake those dice and let them go. Get three of a kind and it’s a bunco,” Junior Club of Walla Walla member Karrie Bruce said in a release.

“The appeal of the game lies in the social time it provides for people — it’s a lot of fun and easy to learn, and by the end you’ve mingled with almost everyone in the room,” she said.

Junior Club’s annual bunco fundraiser will begin at 7 p.m. April 26 at Assumption Parish Hall, 2098 E. Alder St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Prizes for the event will come from sponsors including Graze, Stella & Dot jewelry, Lostine Cattle Co., Salumiere Cesario and Reynvaan Family Vineyards. Raffle drawings will also be held and attendees can enjoy a selection of food and treats.

Admission is $20 per person and include desserts, cheeses and one glass of wine (for ages 21 and older) or other beverage. Tickets can be purchased from any Junior Club member or at Salumiere Cesario, 20 N. Second Ave., or call Sara Wutzke at 503-830-0088.

Junior Club of Walla Walla contributes to several local non-profit organizations such as Books for Babes, Habitat for Humanity, Camp Fire, Walla Walla Community Hospice and Herring House and offers scholarships to deserving local women.

Contact Annie Charnley Eveland at annieeveland@wwub.com.

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