Baby weight Walla Wallan Lisa Eng gained during her second pregnancy — all 50 pounds of it — remained stubbornly present for years after her daughters left babyhood.
However, when her girls were 18 and 10, Lisa finally decided to lose weight and improve her health by changing her eating habits, becoming physically active and lowering her blood pressure.
Back in October, Lisa jumped into a 12-Week transformation challenge through proprietor-trainer Laura Angulo at Worth Fit Studio.
Lisa’s now close to 25 pounds lighter, 25 inches smaller and $550 richer for winning the challenge, according to a release from Ruth Wardwell. A celebration for all 22 challenge participants was Jan. 20 at Laura’s gym on Main Street.
Lisa, 38, credits her success to nutritionally sound eating habits and the kick boxing and weight training she undertakes at the gym.
Her motivation came in part as she “was just so tired of being heavy and wanted to get healthy. The first three weeks were the hardest, but my family encouraged me, so I just kept at it. My husband has lost 10 pounds, too. He saw how I was eating and I didn’t want to make multiple meals.”
A program manager at Community Options, Lisa said last fall she sought out a program to set her on a course to a healthy lifestyle.
Inspiration came when she saw Laura and studio members demonstrating kickboxing from a float during the Walla Walla Fair parade.
“I was motivated and determined, and I still am. WorthFit was the best choice I ever made,” she said.
The National Boy Scouts of America office honored Diana Erickson of Walla Walla with a major award during the BSA Blue Mountain Council annual meeting Jan. 19 in Kennewick, according to Ben Case in a release.
The Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award recognizes Diana’s outstanding contributions to scouting, through her committed involvement in the development and implementation of scouting opportunities for youths from rural or low-income urban backgrounds — in fulfillment of Young’s dream of justice and equality for all.
For the past 35 years, Diana has been an active leader through her profession and volunteer efforts in the Walla Walla Valley. An English as a second language teacher and administrator, she has made a significant impact on children in the migrant and Latino population here, according to a release.
Starting in the early 1980s through her efforts as a teacher, administrator and community member, she’s encouraged many Spanish-speaking immigrant children coming into the area to become successful community members and leaders today, Ben said.
She was cited for knowing the success of her immigrant students was not just dependent on classroom instruction alone; “there was a need to provide a steady level of advocacy for her students and the creation of activities that would engage them and their families.”
Through years-long persistent student advocacy she created an educational pathway and cultural bridge for students.
She has overcome barriers to provide educational and culturally appropriate extracurricular activities for her students including through involvement in Exploring Post 311. It currently provides a safe haven and support for more than 100 college-bound Spanish-speaking students on the Walla Walla High School campus.
The Post encourages its members to move beyond high school into higher education, either in a college environment or trade school. Working with local high school, community college administrators and university staff, solutions are found that close the achievement gap that exists for most minority and low-income students, Ben said.
A program presented to Milton-Freewater Rotary Club by Dr. Clive Kaiser, Oregon State University Umatilla County Extension agent, may engage the local group in a joint venture with the Rotary Club in Dundee, South Africa, according to Rotary reporter Robby Robbins.
Through family ties to the Dundee area, Clive’s late uncle was Rotary District governor there in recent years.
The town of about 8,000 residents was established in 1882, with coal mining as a primary source of employment.
The area’s history dates to the establishment of the first Stock Exchanges in South Africa.
The first battle of the Boer War was fought at Talana Hill on the edge of Dundee and the subject of a chapter in the book “The Great Boer War” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. That history has resulted in an extremely active tourism industry with many bed and breakfast locations, golf courses and interesting scenery, Clive told the group.
Overpopulation and a decline in the mining industry has caused the region’s unemployment rate to shoot to 55 percent. Dundee and Rotary teamed to develop small businesses to support the tourist industry, he said.
Local developmental entrepreneurs were provided with small shops to produce ceramics, pottery, vases, blown glass figurines, beadwork, fabric, baskets and bowls made from the colored wires in recycled telephone cables. The products reflect traditional designs by the native population. An opportunity exists to develop this market and expand it to represent the Walla Walla Valley.
At Clive’s request, the 60 members of the Rotary Club of Dundee expressed an interest in developing a partnership with an American Rotary Club to expand the markets.
“As our club has indicated an interest in developing a joint project with an international Rotary club, the potential for a joint venture is a good fit,” Robby noted. The club could help fund the venture, which would be matched by the Rotary District and those funds could be matched again by application to Rotary Foundation.
Walla Walla High School Class of 2009 alumni Thomas “Tom” Callister won a Churchill Scholarship to earn his master of philosophy degree at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University, United Kingdom. He plans to focus on gravitational wave astronomy.
A senior at Carleton College, Northfield, Minn., Tom was named one of the 14 Churchill Scholarship winners nationwide and is the second recipient in a row from Carleton to garner the honor. Now of Sagle, Idaho, he is the first Idahoan to get the award.
Depending on the international exchange rate the full scholarship is valued between $50,000-60,000. It covers all academic fees, a living allowance and travel.
For nearly half a century, scholarship recipients have become leaders in various fields, from finance to pharmaceuticals, working in university laboratories and industry, according to a release.
After Tom graduates in spring from Carleton he will be Cambridge-bound in fall. Then he plans to earn his Ph.D. in astrophysics somewhere in the states, according to his parents, Shannon and Thomas “Tom” A. Callister of Sagle.
Tom A. believes Wa-Hi math teacher Chris Ferenz was a real inspiration. Tom the younger also took calculus his senior year of high school from another great help in his later academics, Bob Fontenot at Whitman College.
“As parents, we’re obviously extremely proud of him for being awarded this honor. I think Tom’s early years at The Kids’ Place and his elementary years at Green Park deserve particular credit for giving him a very strong academic foundation and intellectual curiosity,” Tom A. added.
In summer 2012, Tom held a National Science Foundation undergraduate research position in the University of California, Los Angeles’ department of physics and astronomy where he developed and ran software to study the elliptic flow of quark-gluon plasma created in uranium-uranium collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.
He also held a research position at Carleton under Joel Weisberg, the Herman and Gertrude Mosier Stark Professor of Physics and Astronomy and the Natural Sciences. This research project included a stint at the Australia Telescope National Facility, observing pulsars with the Parkes Radio Telescope.
Tom also earned a Goldwater Scholarship in 2012, the sixth Carleton student to do so.
Outside of his science work, he has performed with Carleton’s symphony band, orchestra and smaller student-led chamber ensembles. He’s also a member of Carleton’s competitive ballroom dancing club.
He used his expertise in technology to help found Carleton’s Assistive Technology (AzTech) program within the college’s information technology services department, according to the release. The group works to increase availability of and support for assistive technologies across campus, including text-to-speech and speech-to-text software. The program is nearly 100 percent student-directed.
Tom hopes to eventually work at a leading research university studying gravitation and cosmology. Depending on future advances in the field, he envisions using gravitational waves to investigate objects such as black holes and cosmic strings.
Peggie Vandenberg of Touchet extended a save-the-date invitation to the 10th annual Sean Vandenberg Memorial Ride/Cruise BBQ.
Starting and ending in Touchet, the event is slated for June 30 and boy are organizers excited about bringing in Locust Street Taxi, an Olympia-area band that’s performed numerous times here, including at the Balloon Stampede Night Glow, Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival, street concerts, Sapolil Cellars and other places.
“They played the first two years of our event and have since gone on to be very successful and popular with the Walla Walla area,” Peggie said. “They believe in our cause of raising money for Children’s Wishes and Dreams and for local scholarships in Sean’s memory.”
The family friendly event welcomes bikes and cars for the 75- to 100-mile poker run and everyone to the barbecue lunch.
Through donations from the annual ride, Peggie and husband Tom Vandenberg give back to the community that supported their son during his illness and to charities that grant terminally ill children a wish.
Born in 1974, Sean was diagnosed at 11 with cancer and fought it until his death in 2001 at 27.
“He lived his life to the fullest when not under treatment and even then he did as much as his body would allow him to do.
“But in the end, healthy or not, he felt most at peace when working on his 1971 VW bug and felt absolutely free while riding his 1994 Honda Shadow (received through a wish-granting organization),” information on his Facebook page notes.
Children’s Dreams and Wishes is poised to grant one as soon as a request is submitted, Peggie said. Those between 3 and 21 years old with a life-threatening illness or life-altering injury are eligible.
According to the CDW website, in Walla Walla Peggie serves as president, Travis Newton is vice president and Tom is secretary-treasurer.
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