Lions Follies presents "The Laff Inn"

The 26th annual Lions Follies hits the stage at the Hood River Middle School auditorium Friday for a five-night run. This year's show is called "The Laff Inn," and promises to bring guffaws as well as some silly sentimentality as it harkens back to the variety shows of the 1960s and '70s.

The Follies runs April 5 and 6 and continues April 11, 12 and 13. Tickets are $7.50 at the door; $5.50 for seniors and children under 12. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m.

"The Laff Inn" is a series of a half-dozen vignettes featuring characters from many of the popular variety shows of yore -- like Carol Burnett, Dean Martin, the Smothers Brothers, and Sonny and Cher.

"The idea is that these characters come to the inn and they can't separate their stage personas from real life," said Bev Bridgewater, executive producer.

This year's theme initially arose from several cast members who wanted to do a Carol Burnett take-off.

"The comedy on her show relied on an ensemble cast -- that's what made it great," Bridgewater said. After settling on a couple of Burnett numbers, the cast branched out into other variety shows from that era. "It just took off from there," she said.

"The Laff Inn" has about 35 cast members. Along with the vignettes, there are about 18 songs sung by various cast members throughout the show.

"We've got numbers by Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis and Judy Garland, which were really more from the early '60s," Bridgewater said. "But they just seemed to fit."

The laughs abound in "The Laff Inn," but it's all for a serious cause. The annual Lions Follies raises money for the Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation. Over the past quarter century, the Hood River Lions Follies has raised more than $190,000 for the organization.

Tickets for the Lions Follies are available at the door and in advance. Tickets purchased in advance are 50 cents cheaper and are available at Waucoma Bookstore, Columbia River Bank, U.S. Bank, Down Manor, Studio 10, Windmaster Market, Mid-Valley Market, McIsaac's Store and Jim's Market. They can also be purchased from any Lion or Lioness or by calling 386-3580 or 386-6888.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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