Gala success brings art center near to reality

May 28, 2005

A gala to benefit the Columbia Center for the Arts last weekend was termed by organizers as a rousing success — netting $115,000.

Art enthusiasts bid on 27 creations during the “Art and Soul 2005” live auction and more than 100 items in the silent auction. Proceeds from the second annual event will be used to pay for renovation of the building at 215 Cascade Avenue.

“In every aspect, people have stepped forward to make this happen. It just speaks to what a wonderful community we live in,” said Judie Hanel, executive director for the center.

She credited co-chairs Jean Harmon and Marbe Cook for bringing the “Growing the Arts” theme to life with select works in varied mediums.

Please see photo on page A3.

The event showcased six Gorge painters and sculptors: John Mayo, “Skate Form II”; Ellen Dittebrandt, “Still”; Mary Rollins, “Indian Paintbrush and Penstemon”; Peggy Ohlson, “Maupin North”; Judith Cunningham, “The Wildness”; and, Karen Watson, “Don’t Fence Me In.”

The silent auction included vintage wine bottled by prestigious area vineyards, dinner for eight cooked by the executive chef of Mt. Hood Railroad, a week in Ireland, and much more. Since the center — the former home of the American Legion — has been gutted for a total remodel, the benefit was held at the Expo Center. Hanel said Bill Sturman, facilities chair, transformed the cavernous room into an intimate setting, even though it held 225 people. He was aided by Donahue Construction, which donated a scissors-lift to the decorating effort.

“It is truly amazing how much volunteer labor and money has been donated to this project,” she said.

The work on the center is almost ready to begin, with a recent $175,000 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust of Vancouver added to about $500,000 banked from previous donations since 2003. Hanel said if the center scores an additional $150,000 from the Meyer Memorial Trust in Portland by early June then all of the necessary funding will be in place. If not, she said it will be back to the drawing board to find the last remaining dollars.

“We’re just thinking very positively that we’ll get it and making plans,” she said.

She anticipates the architectural designs for the 10,000 square foot structure will be put into play by late summer. The blueprints features art gallery, theater, studio, and storage.

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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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