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Neighbors: Gratitude on a variety of fronts

Community Education Director John Rust reports that a happy ending happened in Hood River outdoor movie-land recently:

“Two weeks ago I was out of town visiting family when I received a call at 8:30 p.m. that the movie projector was not working. I called Cindy Williams from our office and she was able to retrieve a backup bulb and small backup projector. I’m happy she was enjoying a weekend at home. The movie was shown on a small projector and the main one never got working … the evening was spared!

“This week revealed that a new projector was needed and we spent $3,000 for a new model. The last one had served our organization and many other groups who have borrowed it for presentations for well over 12 years. I wish we had the time to apply for a grant, but it is simply not an option due to immediate need.

“We are really excited as the new one also has 3-D capability and hope to show a 3-D movie next year.

“I want to thank all the sponsors that make these movies possible and say we are fully invested for the future (new speakers in 2010 and 2011) and a new projector this year.

“We are hoping to acquire a small trailer to haul all the valuable equipment in for the season. If you know of anyone willing to loan one out for eight weeks — let us know!

“Participation at the movies so far this year has been in record numbers. Let your friends and families know to attend our next movie on Aug. 11. More than ever — thanks for your support of these great events.”

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Judie Hanel of the Columbia Gorge Cat Rescue board of directors writes:

“Columbia Gorge Cat Rescue had another successful fundraiser on July 22. Our success was dependent on our generous donors: our sponsor Tofurky, Sara Patterson and Mary Gmm at White Buffalo, our wonderful volunteers and our musicians, Willy and Nelson.

“CGCR is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and placing the community’s abandoned, neglected and injured cats and kittens into loving, lifetime homes.

“CGCR provides adoption services, low- or no-cost spay/neuter programs for stray and feral cats and foster care homes to homeless cats in need. Thanks again to this loving community that reaches out for so many causes.”

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Robert Camillucci of Mosier writes, “I think it is important for the Columbia Gorge community to be aware of the efforts of Lt. Paul Henke and the Hood River Fire Department to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s summer camp program.

“Each year Paul spearheads a community effort to raise money to send kids with neuromuscular disease to a one-week summer camp. It takes approximately $800-$1,000 to sponsor one camper, so it requires a dedicated effort to reach out to the public to solicit their support. Donations collected through late July during two major fundraising campaigns, October’s Haunted House and the year-round ‘Fill the Boot’ put the tally about $3,000 shy of the $16,000 target.

“I urge the community to rally to help reach this goal. I must admit that I sometimes find the tactics of the ‘Fill the Boot’ campaign trying my patience as firefighters man strategic street intersections accepting drive-by donations. Traffic tends to come to an even slower crawl as the summer surge of vehicles makes its way through downtown.

“But this past week, I attended ‘Firefighter’s Day’ at MDA’s summer camp at Camp Arrah Wanna in Welches. I saw firsthand the significant benefits of MDA’s summer camp program.

There were more than 50 campers of different ages and in different stages of their neuromuscular disease. All were smiling, laughing and enjoying an afternoon of summer activities. On ‘Firefighter’s Day’ the campers and camp counselors shared a traditional barbecue hosted by a large contingent local fire fighters. They got to climb aboard a variety of fire engines and apparatus. Some were emboldened enough to scamper up the extended ladder of HRFD’s Truck 1. Campers cheered on as teams of firefighters and counselors battled in a friendly contest of ‘waterball,’ where opposing fire hose streams pushed a heavy metallic ball along the length an overhead cable.

“The mayhem of dueling water streams quickly turned the waterball pitch to a messy muddy quagmire much to the delight to the young campers, many who are already confined to wheelchairs as a result of their affliction.

“So for others out there who may become a bit impatient as you pass a ‘Fill the Boot’ collection point, please read this piece and know that this small inconvenience pays huge dividends for a generous community effort to bring a week of summertime happiness that means so much to kids with muscular dystrophy.

“Please know that your contribution brings the smiles, laughter and joy of a summer camp experience to those so deserving. Please thank Lt. Henke and other firefighters for donating their off-duty time to make a difference.”

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“A sincere thanks to head-coach Larry Williams and assistant coaches Doug Ward and Freddy Enriquez for all of your efforts on behalf of the Hood River Boys 14U Junior Baseball Team,” writes Kevin Donald. “Throughout the spring and summer your 13-year-old team played in nearly 80 games against U.S. Triple A-J.B.O. and Babe Ruth teams culminating in a play-off berth in the play-in round of the state championships. Thanks for the great opportunity for these boys to play high-level baseball at home and on the road.

“Larry, in addition to your head coaching duties, your ceaseless work as groundskeeper at the field lead to Collins Field being unanimously considered the “best field in the league” and is why Hood River was chosen to host this year’s tri-county district tournament. All season long we were treated to visiting players, parents and coaches commentting on the wonderful condition of the baseball diamond. I know I speak for all of the players and parents of the Hood River 14U baseball team, when I offer you a tip of my hat…”

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Caroline Mansfield adds:

“I am writing on behalf of the Hood River 13U Junior Baseball Organization. A few weeks ago the concession stand at Collins field was broken in to and candy and other items were stolen. But thanks to Rosauers and Manager Steve Morgan we were able to restock for the tri-county JBO tournament last weekend, which we hosted at Collins. Our Hood River boys played great and took second place!

“We are so lucky to have the support of businesses around town that helped to make this season a success; some of those include Chuck Johnisee from Your Rental Center, whose generosity helped get Collins field looking fantastic! DeHart Excavation, Columbia Tree Service, Bob Thayer Construction, Arens and Associates, CenterPointe Community Bank, Pacific Gifts, Columbia Pain Management, Electronic Assemblers, Gorge Linens, Heights Shell, Hood River Vacation Rentals, Infinite Graphix, Les Schwab, Mid Columbia Mobile Propane & Smokehouse.

“Thank you to all of our sponsors from all the boys who worked so hard to make it a great season!”

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Nominations are being accepted for the Oregon GOSH Awards, which will honor organizations and individuals who make extraordinary contributions to workplace safety and health. Past winners include Kraft Foods, Reese Electric, Snyder Roofing, Union Pacific Railroad/Hinkle Locomotive, Dallas Retirement Village, and Comcast.

Another past winner, Duckwall-Pooley Fruit Company in Odell, experienced a boost in company morale after taking home an award in 2011.

“It really validated the effort of employees who keep Duckwall-Pooley a safe place to work,” said Kathy Nishimoto, vice president of the fruit packing company. “The recognition allowed employees to see safety as a core value. They are proud and we still have the award banner up. It’s a great reminder for our suppliers and visitors.”

The awards will be presented March 6 as part of the Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health Conference, scheduled for March 4-7. The conference, the largest of its kind in the Northwest, will be held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. With the theme “Safety: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint,” the conference will feature more than 150 workshops and sessions.

Nominees will compete with like-sized organizations in the following categories:

n Employer safety program

n Association

n Safety committee

n Safety and health advocate (individual or team)

n Labor representative

n Safety and health professional (industry specific)

Applications are available at www.oregongo-sh.com/awards and are due Sept. 28.

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