Springfest Boxing a hit

May 25

Boxers bounced, shadowed, and paced inside the White Salmon Elks Lodge as it filled to capacity Saturday evening for the second annual Springfest Invitational Boxing exhibition. The crowd settled quickly, lights dimmed around the ropes, and the first of 18 US Amateur Boxing Federation sanctioned bouts began promptly at 6 p.m.

Three hours and 14 bouts later, Hood River's lone representative, Frank Velasquez (18, 157 pounds) entered the ring for what would prove to be one of most intense bouts of the night. Hood River fans cheered loud and exploded for Velasquez as he exchanged punches with Shamrock boxer Brenton Gilker (20, 155 pounds). The battle was fierce, neither gave way, and after the third and final round both boxers had blood smeared across their exhausted faces.

Centered in the ring and gasping for air, the two congratulated each other as they awaited the judgment: "The winner, by unanimous decision …" said the announcer, "Frank Velasquez." And the crowd goes wild…

"I wasn't prepared for that," Velasquez said after his victory. "I didn't know for sure until today that I would have a bout. It was fun and I feel like I did great. I have to thank all my friends and family for being here because their cheering was the best feeling of the night. This was actually my first bout … I'm hooked now."

Velasquez trains with the Bent Nail Boxing in Bingen. Bent Nail is currently the only registered boxing gym in the Columbia Gorge between Tri-Cities and Portland. Founder and coach Ricky Marx sponsored and organized Springfest and is working hard to promote boxing in the area. Along with Velasquez, boxers Ronnie Roth and Cody Brady represented Bent Nail Boxing in the event.

"Boxing is getting bigger here," Marx said. "We already need to find a bigger venue for the next event … Saturday went great. Every bout was good, and all the boxers did a great job. It takes a lot of time and effort to put these things together so I have to thank all the clubs, officials, and boxers that made it possible. Everyone did an excellent job."

Up next for local boxing is the Huck Fest in Bingen this September. Marx will organize another US amateur invitational for the festival. Anyone interested in joining Bent Nail Boxing is encouraged to call Coach Marx personally for information: (541) 490- 0561. "Bring it on," said Marx.

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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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