Kainalu Bailey and Austyn Polzel were chosen as Hood River Elks November Students of the Month during a recent Lodge meeting. They are both seniors at Hood River Valley High School and each received a check for $100.
Kainalu Bailey has been maintaining a 3.90 grade point average and is very active in sports, playing softball, basketball, volleyball and cross country. She has received runner of the week and was awarded the most improved player in softball and basketball during her JV year.
For two years she was on student government, planning and putting together many school activities along with making decisions to benefit the school and the student body. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the History Wizard Club and she received the Academic Excellence Award for AP History.
Since 2010 Kainalu has volunteered more than 480 hours to the Hood River Valley Christian Church: caroling to the elderly in the winter, painting houses in the summer, serving fundraiser dinners, working the thrift shop and helping with Sunday school and vacation Bible school; she participated in a mission trip to Los Angeles for two weeks with her youth group helping to rebuild and refurbish a church in a rundown area and then volunteered at the community center while there.
Kainalu has been a camp counselor for youth basketball during the summer since 2010, then again in 2012 during Thanksgiving and winter break setting up drills, stretches and warm-up activities for younger kids. She worked on the Hood River County Christmas Project and for FISH food bank collecting, storing and boxing cans and food items for needy families in the area.
With the softball program, Kainalu helped paint the Hood River Little League dugouts and hitting cages, ran the concession stand through the games, help put on a coaches baseball clinic and held a “Kids’ Night Out” fundraiser, planning games and activities for kids while their parents had a night.
Kainalu is the daughter of Erik and Jennifer Bailey. She would like to attend University of Oregon Honors, Western Washington or Santa Clara majoring in biology or pre-med.
Austyn Polzel maintains a 3.65 GPA. He has been very active in FFA for five years. In 2011 and 2012 Austyn was Sentinel for the Hood River Valley FFA and in 2013 he acted as President.
He has participated in several FFA activities including Touch and See Day, in which elementary school students are introduced to different agricultural stations to learn FFA activities. He volunteered at the Farmers Breakfast, the Steak and Feed Silent Auction, which raised more than $10,000; Pass the Pig, which raised money from donations from local businesses; and performed in the poultry showmanship contest at the fair.
In 2013, Austyn was awarded the Oregon Star in Agribusiness at the FFA State Convention, and later attended the FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky., where he took numerous workshops on leadership.
Locally, he has also participated in events that promote agricultural business. He competed in the FFA Ag Sales Proficiency, placing second in 2012 and first in 2013.
Austyn has also been involved in Leos since 2009. He has been the treasurer for the past two years and received the Spirit of Service Award in 2011. With Leos, he bowled in a benefit for Big Brothers, Big Sisters; collected cans for food drives that benefited the local food bank; managed money for the Hood River Valley Adult Center’s weekly bingo fundraiser to support Meals on Wheels; and for the past four years has volunteered in the Secret Santa program, buying presents for those in need.
Austyn is the son of Tana Stanphill and is currently working as a waiter and cook at The Ranch Drive-In. He plans to attend Oregon State University majoring in agricultural business management and hopes one day to run his own business.
— Submitted by Linda Sanders and Dave Aiken, Hood River Elks scholarship committee