Roots’ gala finds deep pockets

November 9, 2005

The Fruit Foundation Historical Society’s gala auction on Friday night raised an estimated $35,000 toward the establishment of a museum dedicated to the fruit industry of the Hood River Valley and Mid-Columbia.

The gala, held at the site of the future museum in the former Diamond Fruit cold storage facility in Pine Grove (now owned by The Fruit Company, which has donated space for the museum), drew about 175 people for an evening of food, entertainment and bidding in both a silent and live auction.

Rod Hill, the weatherman for KATU Channel 2 News in Portland, served as emcee for the evening. Wearing a tuxedo, Hill broadcast Friday’s 6:30 p.m. weather from the gala site, talking briefly about the event and the future museum.

“I’m really excited about the outcome of the event,” said Connie Nice, executive director of The Fruit Foundation. “Not only did we raise funds that are needed for the project, but from my standpoint as museum coordinator (for the Hood River County Historical Museum, which will own all artifacts in the future fruit heritage museum) and executive director of the foundation, I feel like we raised people’s awareness of the purpose and mission of heritage and how it relates to our community.”

Auction items ranged from small art pieces to a cruise in the Sea of Cortes. Renowned auctioneer Steve Talbot served as auctioneer for the live auction.

“I’d like to thank all the people who came as well as the individual donors and businesses who donated items for the auction,” Nice said. “This first year we were novices and the community was gracious.”

The Fruit Foundation has already set up an exhibit in the Pine Grove building that is open to the public. It includes an authentic picker’s cabin, a vintage tractor and sprayer, and several other notable items ranging from historic packing house equipment to orchard ladders. Text panels and historic photos from around the Hood River Valley give a brief history of the fruit industry. The exhibit, which will eventually be incorporated into the future museum, is designed to give visitors a taste of what the fruit heritage museum will be like.

“We’re already kicking around ideas,” she said. “The foundation will be meeting in January to look at short term and long term goals, then we’ll determine when to do the next 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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