Artful preschoolers raise funds for Save the Children - Etcetera - 9/17/13

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Teacher Heather Wimer’s young charges at Rascal Ranch day care and preschool outside College Place wanted to help others.

They gained inspiration from a magazine article that encouraged children to do this, Heather said.

Ryan, 5, and Jude, 7, formulated an idea. “The boys were jumping up and down with excitement as they told me their plan. They decided to make artwork and sell it to friends and family, then donate the money to help children around the world who are less fortunate than they are. I was so proud of them for their plan and enthusiasm and wanted to help them get started right away,” she said.

That afternoon she ordered matting supplies for their artwork and found a few charities that did the kind of work to which the children wanted to donate.

The youngsters opted for their proceeds to benefit Save the Children, which promotes children’s rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries.

Jude, Ryan and 2-year-olds Aleah and Larissa spent a month creating paintings and drawings and selling them to anyone they could think of, Heather said.

At their annual preschool party and show on Aug. 25 the children reported raising $556 altogether for the charity.

“It is so much fun to see young children getting so excited about helping others and working so hard to make that happen,” Heather said.

To view works still available for sale by the children, go to facebook.com/rascalranchpreschool.


With a vast gulf of 2,229.62 miles between them, Michele Kaup and son Tyson Kaup set before themselves a new adventure, something neither of them had ever done before.

Entering the Oregon Coast Newport 2013 Marathon meant training, which they started about three months before the event.

Tyson, 32, lives and worked out in Manhattan, N.Y., while Walla Wallan Michele, 53, conditioned on trails around Bennington Lake.

They converged at temporary digs in the Shilo Inn at Newport, Ore., a block from the starting line at Yaquina Bay State Park, joined on the trip by Michele’s other son, Brandon Kaup, 21.

“There were hundreds of people from all over the Northwest,” Michele said. They left the line together at 7 a.m. June 1, but separated eventually once they hit their respective gaits.

“It was pretty easy going for both of us until the 18th mile. Then we could really feel the fatigue set in,” Michele said.

Gummy bears served as a source of energy throughout the run, she said, and they rehydrated at aid stations with water and Gatorade.

The USATF-certified course takes runners from a historic “haunted” lighthouse inland along Yaquina Bay. Runners are “treated to a splendid variety of views and scenery, wildlife and shipping, fishermen and crabbers.

“It is flat, very fast and beautiful. (It) is and has proven to be a very good first marathon as well as an excellent qualifier for the Boston Marathon,” Michele said.

“We both experienced what is called ‘hitting the wall,’ but somehow kept moving to finish the 26.2-mile marathon.

“Crossing the finish line and having everyone cheering as they place a gold (commemorative finisher’s) medal around your neck and announce your time and where you’re from is a very euphoric feeling,” she said.

Tyson’s time was 4:46 and Michele clocked in at 5:10. “We had a beautiful time together at the beach and for me and my two incredible sons the bond we share got even stronger with that experience,” she said.

“All three of us are going to make it an annual event. I say never stop doing special things with your children, each moment with them is a blessing.”


Walla Walla Community College Agriculture Center Director Bill Griffith spoke to members of Sunrise Rotary at a recent meeting.

Changes have been made at the Veterans Memorial Golf Course after its operator declared bankruptcy and the subsequent takeover of operations by the Walla Walla Parks & Recreation Department. The city asked Bill to oversee its restoration.

From 1987-1996, he was superintendent at the course. He then headed the WWCC Turf Management Program until his recent appointment.

The transition included cooperation from City Parks & Recreation, WWCC and the State Department of Corrections. He said the Walla Walla City Council recognized what an asset the course is to the community, and Jim Dumont, director of Parks & Recreation, supported the effort wholeheartedly with funding, equipment and personnel.

“The consensus in May when the city got the course back from the contractor was that it was in the worst shape it had been dating back to 1948. Bill said that due to declining income, the lessee had let maintenance lag and as the course deteriorated, golf use declined. However, Bill feels five months later it may now be in the best shape ever. He said what the course needs now is more golfers to support its upkeep,” Rotarian John McKern reported in a release.

The transition resulted from city-provided personnel and equipment, the hiring of 15 part-time students from the WWCC turf management program and help one day each week from 10 minimum-security inmates from the Washington State Penitentiary.

“For the cost of a guard for the day, the 10 inmates worked hard at their assigned tasks to help restore the course.”

The city retained ownership of much of the equipment at the course, and negotiated the purchase of some of the former lessee’s equipment. With added equipment rented from WWCC, the course was restored.

The city has a new lessee and superintendent who will take over in January 2014. Bill “knows them, has met with them, and they are anxious to continue the partnership with WWCC in using turf management students to help fill their personnel needs.

“Through a little innovative scheduling, students will get hands-on experience while earning money to continue their education.”

The course is currently being operated by city personnel with regular rates of $15 for 9 holes, $30 for 15 holes, reduced rates after 2 p.m. and electric cart rentals. The pro shop opens at 6 a.m. every day. Call 522-7059 or go to www.ci.walla-walla.wa.us/depts/parksrecreation/golf.

Local Rotarians have the opportunity to attend Rotary District 5080’s fall assembly Sept. 13 at the Red Lion Hotel in Pasco.

Walla Walla Sunrise Rotary meets at 6:45 a.m. Wednesdays for breakfast and community-interest programs at the St. Francis Catholic Church Community Center, 722 W. Alder St.

For more details, contact President Jason Wicklund at 525-7153.

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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