Announcements, accomplishments, acknowledgements

Shanna McGowan of Hood River was among 30 students who on Aug. 20 graduated during the annual White Coat Ceremony from Rocky Mountain College in the Masters of Physician Assistant Studies program.

The program’s mission is to provide quality medical services to underserved and rural populations.

The MPAS graduation ceremony is named for when the graduates don their white coats, signifying they are officially physician assistants.

The RMC program is dedicated to the education and training of physician assistants who will provide health care that is safe, current, evidence-based and specifically targeted to primary care in rural areas, said Heather Heggem, director of the RMC’s MPAS program.

The RMC program, established in 1998, has graduated more than 225 physician assistants. The two-year master’s program averages 25-30 graduates each year.

The MPAS is a 26-month program that trains highly skilled medical professionals. The RMC program holds active accreditation from the ARC-PA (Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant).


“Wow! When the morning of our country fair fundraiser (Aug. 19) brought us rain showers for three hours, I was well on my way to enacting out Plan B for Fair Day,” writes Kelly Emerson, community relations director, Hawks Ridge Assisted Living Facility.

“Luckily, by 10 a.m., the clouds parted and the sun broke through to make way for the rest of the day. Our grounds quickly filled with the laughter of neighborhood children, great live music, and lively conversations. The smell of barbecue and popcorn filled the air and a variety of great food kept us satisfied all day. Handmade carnival games and locally sponsored activity booths made everyone feel right at home, bringing good times for all.

“The western photo booth pictures were amazing, and the handmade frames for spin art were a huge hit. There was a line all day the NYCSS Mustache beanbag toss and Disc Golf Hole in One.

“We are truly grateful for everyone’s contribution and would not have had such a successful event without the participation and dedication of all of our volunteers and supporters. We raised over $1,500 and the funds raised from the fair will be used to grant one of our seniors a special wish this September.

“The Country Fair was a perfect example of a community coming together for a day full of fun to get behind a really great cause. When I first began pounding the pavement looking for sponsors, volunteers and contributors, I was blown away by the willingness of business owners and community members to give so freely to support the senior community.

“Thank you to all of the contributors, sponsors and volunteers who donated time, money, products and support to make the Senior Wish Program a reality. We really cannot say thank you enough to those who made the fair so much fun for everyone who attended.”


New Parent Services & Families First, programs of The Next Door, have received a two-year, $21,000 grant from the Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon for their parenting programs. During the next two years, Families First and New Parent Services will present 11 parenting education series in both English and Spanish. They will also facilitate playgroups and kindergarten readiness workshops for parents.

According to Parenting Education Coordinator Nancy Paul, parents can find out more about parenting classes and playgroups at by clicking on Parenting Education.

As Oregon’s only statewide organization focused exclusively on child abuse prevention, the Children’s Trust Fund invests in effective child abuse prevention programs, public awareness campaigns, research and sound public policy to create lasting change for Oregon’s children. Learn more at

The Next Door is a local nonprofit with more than two dozen programs whose mission is opening doors to new possibilities by strengthening children and families and improving communities. Staff members work with thousands of people in the Columbia Gorge who are struggling; to grow up strong, to stay out of trouble, to be good parents, and even to learn sustainable ways to have enough food.


Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum lists the following sponsors for the Traffic Jam car show in August:

DelCarpine Automotive, Hood River; Kelley and Robin Lively of Hood River; Killer Burger of Bingen; NW Graphic Works Hood River; Wilson’s NAPA, Hood River; Double Mountain, Hood River; Apple City, Hood River; Ring Kings of Hood River; Les Schwab of Hood River; Hagerty Classic Car Insurance, The Dalles; Rotary of The Dalles; Hinkle’s’ Home Improvement of Hood River; Hood River Towing; Schuepbach Builders and Custom Concrete of Hood River; A-1 Auto Detail of Hood River; Participants Choice Award by WAAAM; People’s Choice Award by WAAAM.


“Try this one,” writes Scott Haanstad of Hood River:

“Do you like great Mexican food? Like fajitas, large tacos, shrimp burritos, and a fully loaded Caldo de 7 Mares seafood soup? If yes, then treat yourself to this great restaurant in Hood River.

El Puerto de Angeles III is the red building on the corner of 12th and B streets in the Heights. This local, family owned restaurant is dishing up fabulous burritos like the Burrito Acapulco which is the best shrimp burrito I have ever had. It is filled with plenty of good sized shrimp, veggies, and topped with a rich and wonderful cream sauce. Bring your friends and other guests to enjoy their Margaritas in regular or large sizes.

Eric Lopez is the owner/operator. He is fully involved in serving you these great meals. Do you want to find a new Happy Hour location? Put this one in your SmartPhone appointment calendar and label it as Eric does, “Find your Beach”. I am confident that you will be impressed and satisfied every time as I have been with their excellent food and a great value for your money.”


Big Winds’ Stand up Paddling clinic provided plenty of learning fun for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge.

Matches from Wasco, Hood River and Klickitat Counties participated in the second annual SUP clinic Saturday, Aug. 3.

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