Neighbors: Peace, generosity, and joy of a bright green wig

The Columbia River Fellowship for Peace thank those who made the Peace Scholarship fundraiser a huge success Saturday at the Bingen Theater, write Linda Short of Hood River and Susan Gabay of Mosier.

“Thanks go out to Rod Krehbiel and Theresa North for making the Bingen Theater available for the event. And to the rockin’-hot bands, Samba Hood River, Two-Dollar Jazz Band and the Funkship Columbia who kept the dance floor full of feather and bead clad dancers raving in Mardi Gras style.

“No event can be successful without the volunteers behind the scenes and we had a great crew who helped. Thank you volunteers!

“The Columbia River Fellowship for Peace gives a scholarship award every year, named for Susanna B. Gabay, who was an avid Peace advocate, and the first awardee, who sadly left this life too soon. Students wishing to apply for this award at the local high schools should contact their Counseling Office for an application.”

The 2017 Tongue Twister Tournament champion is Morgan Graves, a Hood River Valley High School senior. Graves’ near-flawless recitation of four challenging tongue twisters, topped off with a cartwheel in the final round, earned her the distinction of first repeat champion in the seventh-annual event. Graves also won in 2015.

Tongue Twister Tournament is a fundraiser for Hood River County Start Making A Reader Today, this year hosted by Hood River Elks Lodge. The Feb. 24 event cracked the $10,000 mark for the first time. Key sponsors were Kidz Zone Dental, Umpqua Bank, and Walmart. In SMART, students grades K-3 (and in pre-school at Head Start) read once a week with volunteers, and take home two books to keep each month. For more information on helping the non-profit, independent literacy program, call Kirby Neumann-Rea at the Hood River News, 541-386-1234, or visit

Graves just edged Bailey McManus, a Columbia Gorge Community College student and Toastmasters chapter president, in the final round. Also competing were 2016 champion Brooke Johnston, 2012 champion Kim Vogel, David Dye of The Next Door, Inc., Samuel Bertrand of HRVHS speech and debate, and Humberto Calderon of Radio Tierra. Esteemed judges were Mike Hendricks and Lynda Dallman of Hood River, and SMART Communications Director Jessica Bowersox.

Next year’s event will be on Feb. 23: the Final Friday of February.

Brian Barrett, RN, writes: “I would like to publicly thank Charlie Crocker of Doug’s Sports and Chip Dickinson of Slopeswell Cider Co. for their time, assistance, and generosity in helping a mother and her 10-year-old son from Mosier get out for a beautiful evening of skiing together. Although they could justify the Rotary’s special $15 (thanks Rotary!) lift tickets, the cost of buying or renting ski gear was far from justifiable for them. And so they greatly appreciated this generosity. These times sometimes seem very dour. To me, this was a reminder that helping others is often a reliable way to pick ourselves up.”

“Major kudos to the Wy’East Fire Dept for another fantastic crab and oyster feed fundraiser!” writes Hood River’s Betty Osborne. “This acknowledgement may be a couple weeks late, but the thanks is sincere and the applause is LOUD!

“To a person, every volunteer gives their all — organizing the event, selling tickets, setting up, cooking, serving, tearing down, cleaning up ... and throughout dinner, someone’s always at your elbow, ready to fill your plate again. You wait for NOTHING! These folks know how to ‘serve’ in every way! They’re as dedicated to each dinner guest as they are to every resident they faithfully serve and support as firemen and EMTs.

“It’s great to sit back and watch friends and neighbors talking, laughing, sharing crab crackers and oyster picks and meeting new people.

“Almost didn’t recognize Dwight Moe and Greg Borton sporting a full black wig with a mullet ... and Mike Goe in flaming green clown hair! It’s obvious every volunteer is committed to making sure everyone is welcomed, well fed and (yes!) entertained!

“The Wy’East Fire Dept is an essential, indispensable partner in our rural communities. They serve with distinction and honor, as do all fire departments in the Valley. We offer our sincere thanks to every member of the crab and oyster feed crew for another tasty, memorable fundraiser. Hope you made a bundle!”

The Hood River Soil and Water Conservation District has begun taking orders for its annual native plant sale. “We’ve got a great selection of native plant species at fantastic prices,” announced District Manager Jordan Kim.

The district offers a variety of native conifers, deciduous trees and shrubs. These are 1-2 years old bare-root seedlings and will be ready to go in the ground soon after pick-up. The orders will be filled in the order in which they were received, so get requests in soon to ensure availability.

Notes Kim: “Native plants are adapted to the unique climate and soils of the Hood River Valley. They require less water, fertilizer and other inputs to maintain. So with less effort and money your garden can thrive! Not to mention the benefits of enhanced wildlife habitat, soil stabilization and water conservation.”

Check out the website at to download an order form and gather information on plant descriptions and site suitability.

For more information or guidance, call 541-386-4588 or stop by our office at 3007 Experiment Station Rd. in Hood River. Purchases will be available for pick up on Friday and Saturday, April 7-8.

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