New Orleans-riverboat trip to seed local scholarship fund

Imagine walking in a crisp fall evening with a beautiful bayou vista just ahead, or enjoying the strains of some spicy New Orleans jazz while you savor some succulent crawdads. Now imagine that all that fun will also lead to support for a local charity sponsoring education scholarships for health care students.

That is what awaits some adventurous travelers who accompany Hood River tour organizer Kay Lincoln on an eight-day tour of New Orleans, Memphis and sites in between just after Thanksgiving.

“This is the fifth tour that I am organizing, with a portion of proceeds going to support the Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship Program,” said Lincoln, an 11-year hospital volunteer at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital. The travel program has provided donations for $6,000 in scholarships to date.

Lincoln will give a presentation on this and other upcoming tours Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 11 a.m. at the Charburger restaurant in Hood River, in the meeting room. Attendees will be able to see slides and meet tour organizers.

Lincoln has been combining her love of travel with her dedicated service to the hospital in a unique fundraising concept. As a hospital auxiliary volunteer, Lincoln gives her time to support patient care throughout the hospital, but she also believes in the power of education to train up the next generation of health care providers. As a result, she has worked for the last four years to raise funds that are given out each year as scholarships to nursing students, health aides and others working in the health care field.

“The volunteer association or Auxiliary has been giving out scholarships since 1996. They have given out a total of 133 scholarships over the years. The money Kay raised granted six scholarships,” said Brandi Sheppard, volunteer coordinator for PRHMH and Lincoln’s supervisor.

The upcoming tour, led by Lincoln through Collette Travel Nov. 29-Dec. 6, will take a small group via riverboat and coach to visit exotic and famous southern destinations including New Orleans’ French quarter, Elvis’ Graceland mansion and Natchez, a picturesque Mississippi river town.

Additional tours are planned for sunny Portugal in May 2014 and a hot air ballooning adventure in Albuquerque in October 2014 .

For more on the hospital auxiliary scholarship program, contact Julie Raefield-Gobbo at 541-387-6950 or For more on the upcoming tours, contact Lincoln at or 503-490-3177. Registration information is available at

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