BMH2H ramps up for Mary Hanna Memorial walk/run benefit


Hints of sunshine in the midst of sheet ice coating the Valley is a good harbinger of spring and nicer weather. What better way to prepare for it than warm up for a walk-run?

In its winter edition of Heartbeat, Blue Mountain Heart to Heart introduced the Mary Hanna Memorial AIDS 5K Walk/Run slated for the first weekend in May.

When Mary died on March 3, 2010, after a brief illness, she left a large gift from her estate for BMH2H. “In the midst of our grief and gratitude, the Board of Directors and staff decided to hold a 5K walk/run at Bennington Lake in her honor, kicking off what will be an annual tradition,” the newsletter notes.

Details for the event are being finalized. And “because Dr. Hanna never went anywhere without a certain kind of footwear, we will start the festivities with a high heels race.”

In addition, BMH2H will launch the Dining with a Heart fundraiser on Feb. 26. Local participating restaurants will donate 15 percent of their profits to the agency on that date. At the time the newsletter came out, Bacon & Eggs, Green Spoon, T. Maccarone’s, Graze and Olive expected to participate and more partners will be announced. Salumiere Cesario will have a Heart to Heart charcuterie (selection of meats) plate available that day as part of the benefit.

BMH2H will publish a full list of participating businesses and restaurants in the U-B and post on Facebook, too.

The regional Pride Foundation office awarded BMH2H a $3,500 grant, which will be used for the continuing prevention education efforts at local sites, including S.O.S. Clinic, Whitman College, Walla Walla Community College, the Health Center at Lincoln High School and Serenity Point Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center. Pride Foundation’s ongoing support assists BMH2H in giving the LGBT community outreach, testing and prevention information.

March 5 will see three staffers, an intern and practicum student and four clients in Olympia where they will join other stakeholders from HIV/AIDS organizations to speak to state legislators about prioritizing issues and advocate for those infected and affected by HIV.

Heart to Heart aims to talk to delegates and state senators about keeping funding streams open, agitating their federal partners to reauthorize the Ryan White Care Act, providing more resources for health care to Eastern Washington and other topics clients want to broach.

“This is a great opportunity to learn vital political skills for our clients and staff, to network with our political partners and to meet other people from similar agencies.

Funding from Washington HIV/AIDS Community Advocacy Network is covering their transportation costs.

Want to volunteer? Contact 509-529-4744, go to 1520 Kelly Place, Suite 120, Walla Walla, or write P.O. Box 40, Walla Walla, WA 99362.

Finals knocked the Walla Walla High School Speech and Debate Team down to almost half its normal numbers when teammates competed in Moses Lake Jan. 19, said their coach, Jean Tobin.

“Because of our small size, I did not anticipate doing well as a team, however Walla Walla High School still earned second place overall!”

Teams also came from Chiawana, Pasco, Eisenhower, Othello, Ephrata, Cascade, Moses Lake, Southridge, University High School, Wenatchee, Liberty Bell and Eastmont.

Jean said every Wa-Hi Public Forum team made the final pairings, competing for first- through third places, including the teams of seniors Bryan Preston and Sean Hamilton and Kendall Dunovant, junior, and Marisol Beck, senior, who only prepared to compete in Public Forum this week because they had all competed in other forms of debate the previous week at the UPS tournament. Bryan and Sean and seniors Kera Parsons and Julia Cosma completed the tournament with 3-1 records. Sophomores Malcolm Gabbard and Emily Prull placed second overall in Open Public Forum, losing to University, a non-district team from Spokane, in the finals.

In Open Lincoln-Douglas debate, Jean had urged senior Calvin Brigham to enter. He’s competed this year in Public Forum but went to state twice in Lincoln-Douglas debate. “He very kindly agreed to compete in L-D, although he had only a week to prepare — and study for finals. He then proceeded to take second place,” she said.

In Junior Congress, Jordyn Englander and Simone Tiulaepa, freshman, got into the team spirit. Jordyn was elected presiding officer and they both made it to Super Congress.

In individual events Anna Apostolidis-Morefield, sophomore, placed first in open humorous interpretation and third in expository. “We thought she should have been higher in expository — one of her judges said her speech was the best expository he’d heard in 10 years and gave it a perfect score.”

First-place awards went to Gerrod Peck, sophomore, in novice humorous interpretation; Calvin in open editorial commentary; and Emily in impromptu and extemporaneous.

The team will next compete in the Thomas S. Foley Invitational tournament Feb. 8-10 in Spokane.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or afternoons at 526-8313.


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