Gorge Earth Center benefit Saturday at Saloon

The Columbia Gorge Earth Center will feature local music, art, and creativity in a fall benefit at the River City Saloon on Saturday. The benefit raises funds for the group’s annual Earth Day in Hood River and other new projects.

Local bands the Cult Evaders and Blue Trick will provide live music starting at 8 p.m. The event will also include an auction for prizes donated by community members. An art contest will feature art pieces crafted from recycled materials that will be judged by local artists and community members. The contest pieces will be included in the auction.

The Columbia Gorge Earth Center (CGEC) seeks to advance public awareness of the link between the ecology, economy, and community in the Columbia Gorge. The group is focused on activities that raise awareness of these issues, such as Hood River’s Earth Day. The CGEC has hosted an Earth Day in Hood River since 2000 using community volunteers without corporate or government sponsorship.

“Our 2003 Earth Day is going to be bigger and better than ever,” says Peter Cornelison, CGEC board member. “We need the community to come out for this benefit to learn about our group and help us to plan, work, and celebrate our beautiful home place.”

Another goal of the CGEC is to start a Columbia Gorge rebuilding center. Inspired by Portland’s successful rebuilding center, such an effort would recycle used building materials and sell them cheaply to promote reuse. “We need to keep these items out of dumpsters and promote reuse,” says Cornelison.

To focus awareness on the rebuilding center, a “recycled art” contest will be conducted at the auction. The CGEC encourages all interested members of the community to tap their creativity and build an art piece from reused or recycled materials. Pieces should be brought to the benefit for display and donation. Entries will be judged by local artists with the winner declared at the benefit. All pieces will be auctioned that evening. The auction will also feature new prizes and art donated by interested citizens.

A $5 donation will be collected at the door for the event. All proceeds from the donations, contest, and auction will benefit the CGEC.

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