Teams, volunteers needed for Relay For Life

Summer may officially still be a few weeks away, but that hasn’t stopped area volunteers from making plans for this year’s American Cancer Society Columbia Gorge Relay For Life.

The annual event is slated for July 19 and 20 at Hood River Valley High School. The event will run from 9 a.m. on Saturday to 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Teams are still forming for Relay For Life. Join people from all walks of life for an overnight team event to celebrate survivorship and raise money and awareness in the fight against cancer. Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s national signature event where participants walk, run, stroll or roll around a track during the community event. Participants are encouraged to camp out around the track and take part in family fun activities when they aren’t taking their turn on the track.

Participants, including cancer survivors, individuals, families, and teams from companies and other organizations collect donations and can win prizes for their efforts.

For more information on volunteering to serve on a Relay committee, volunteer as a corporate sponsor, or to register a team to participate, contact coordinator Marilynn Shaw at 541-980-4444 or at the Sprint answer line, 541-387-5882. For cancer information 24 hours a day, call 800-ACS-2345 or go to

To make the event happen, a host of volunteers are needed to staff the various committees. While most of the committee posts are already filled, Shaw notes there are still a few that need chairs and volunteers.

“Anyone interested in chairing a committee, or simply volunteering to help with the Relay, is invited to give me a call,” Shaw said. “It won’t take up a lot of time, but the efforts of the volunteers will help us fund the battle to find a cure for cancer.”

Shaw also notes that a drive is on to secure additional teams to participate in the event. Teams are traditionally made up of 8-20 individuals, and usually represent companies, small businesses and community organizations.

Many companies drawing up teams also participate as corporate sponsors of the event.

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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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