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Editorial: Celebrating five examples of sustaining community

October 1, 2011

Old meets new in a varied assortment of agricultural and other community partnerships that deserve credit for contributing to the health and nutrition of the community:

School Aid: Over the past decade, a mid-valley farmer has donated proceeds of his fruit sales at Rosauers, as well as fruit that Gorge students bag up and sell themselves, to help the music and art programs in local schools. This year, School Aid has pledged $4,000 to the HRVHS music program, largely to help the musical "Avalon," opening next month.

The School Aid total is up to $60,000 - a remarkable record of feeding the community with more than the pears and apples themselves.

Cemetery Tales: The third-year program (featured in Kaleidoscope, Sept. 28) is truly grounded with one foot in the past and one foot in today.

The event is a key fundraiser for The History Museum of Hood River County but raised $528 for the Meals on Wheels program at the Adult Center. The center as well as Idlewilde Cemetery are active partners in Cemetery Tales.

These groups have developed a winning formula for supporting the community's sense of its past, present and its future.

Harvest Festival pie-making:

Who says baking pies is old-fashioned? Young and old get involved in the pie-making session that takes over the Adult Center Oct. 12-13.

The pies, whole and in slices, are sold during Harvest Festival as a key fundraiser for the Senior Nutrition Program. Call the Adult Center at 541-386-2060 if you would like to help. Be prepared to work hard and have fun.

School nutrition: Local businesses and agencies, including Gorge Grown Food Network and Oregon State University Extension, are teaming with local schools to create improved school nutrition in Hood River County School District. (See Mind, Body, Spirit, page A11.)

Meanwhile, through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, May Street, Mid Valley and Parkdale elementary schools have been awarded for the ways they connect nutrition with the physical education curriculum.

Growers and buyers: Executive Director Sarah Hackney left the Gorge Grown Food Network this month after first getting involved four years ago as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Hackney leaves for a job back east in sustainable farming advocacy. One thing she said she appreciates about Gorge Grown is the way it connects "the old Hood River and the new Hood River." (The market meets Thursdays at Hood River Middle School; on Oct. 13, it moves inside.)

At Gorge Grown, newcomers to Hood River have direct farmer-consumer contact with well-established farm families. Everyone benefits by creating new markets and giving all residents increased options for healthful food.

As one grower involved in supporting the community noted, "We live in a great neighborhood, and it's cause for celebration."

Flags Lowered

Master Sergeant Danial R. Adams

Gov. John Kitzhaber has ordered all flags at public institutions to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, Sept. 30, in honor of Army Master Sergeant Danial Adams.

"Master Sergeant Adams was a dedicated soldier and a loving father, husband and son," said Kitzhaber. "His commitment to his fellow soldiers and his personal courage are inspiring, yet his death is a tragic loss. He will be missed by many, but his legacy will not be forgotten."

MSG Adams, 35, of Hillsboro, died Sept. 13 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit.

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