Three women honored for civic service

The annual Soroptimist Women of Distinction awards were held Nov. 16 at the Gorge Room at the Hood River Inn. Shirley Ekker, Leila Crapper and Aileen Gaddy were honored for their service to the community in one of several categories.

Ekker was chosen for the award for her work in economic and social development. Nancy Moller, who introduced Ekker, spoke of her "long list of accomplishments" ranging from politics to agriculture.

Ekker, who was the first woman to serve as a Hood River County commissioner, was praised in an impromptu speech by Rodger Schock for her vision in the development of the Hood River Valley.

Crapper was honored with the award for a lifetime of work in economic and social development. She was introduced by Jean Harmon, who described her as "up to the elbows in work this lady always is." Harmon described a litany of work Crapper has accomplished with the American Legion, Special Olympics and Soroptimists -- itself a service organization.

Upon accepting the award, Crapper said, "Volunteering is a way of life. You can make it a burden or you can make it fun."

The third award was given to Gaddy for her work in the field of health. Gaddy, who was librarian at the Hood River County Library from the late 1960s until the 1980s, was appropriately introduced by current librarian June Knudson (although she was standing in for Barbara Young who was unable to be there). Knudson read remarks Young had prepared which described Gaddy's many years as a volunteer at the hospital as well as with Hospice of the Gorge.

"She is a consumate mother," Knudson said. "This mother never quits."

The Soroptimist Women of Distinction awards have been given annually since 1988. Prior to that, a similar award honoring local women for their service to community -- the Women Helping Women awards -- were given beginning in 1974.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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