‘Mom’ ranks first in new exhibit

First Friday exhibit features high schoolers’ ‘Our Heroes’ art project

August 31, 2005

When it came to choosing a hero, the Inspiration Circle at Hood River Valley High School focused largely on family members.

And “Mom” ranked first among the 25 girls — and their mentors — for the “Our Heroes” art project.

“I picked my mom because she’s really supportive and strong. She survived a serious car accident and worked her way through college with no help. Plus, she’s really loving,” said Tia Wymore, 17.

The Soroptimist Club is hosting the group’s exhibit during First Friday outside The Next Door, Inc. along Second Street. The art will then be displayed for two additional weeks at the Soul Cafe in the Oak Street Mall. During First Friday, citizens will be provided with writing space on the exhibit board to pen a recollection of their own hero.

“A lot of our work will be bilingual because we’re a multi-cultural community and we want people to celebrate that,” said Toby Kuykendall, prevention services coordinator from The Next Door, Inc.

Kuykendall, who oversees the Inspiration Circle, said the artwork is the cumulation of this summer’s focus on cultural diversity. The design work follows a June trip by the group to the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, Calif. The girls raised $8,000 for that learning opportunity, including a $1,000 donation from the Soroptimists and two smaller grants from the Lions Club and Booster Club.

“This was a powerful experience for the girls and they are sharing that experience with the community by developing their own exhibit,” said Kuykendall.

Following their visit to the museum, the Inspiration Circle was encouraged to select a special person to feature in their creations. An ideal individual was described as someone who had struggled to overcome odds in their life to reach a goal.

Rosa Trejo, 18, decided to honor her entire family, including her parents, two sisters and a brother.

“Everyone has helped me so much, they’ve all been a role model to me and have done things that I admire,” she said.

But the selection of a family member for a hero didn’t just extend to students. Joella Dethman, a chaperon for the California trip, also decided to craft an heirloom piece that honored her mother.

She spent hours selecting items for the project that would aptly represent the life of Naomi Frisbie, 84. Her choices included newspaper clippings that featured her parent, samples of the crossword puzzles she loves and buttons from varied sewing projects. A window in the center of the collage was draped with fur from an otter that had been trapped decades ago by her grandfather for his daughter’s stoll. Dethman views her artwork as a keepsake that can give her mother joy for years to come.

“If you knew my mother you’d know why I picked her, she’s really quite spectacular,” said Dethman, the director of the Hood River County Commission on Children and Families.

The Inspiration Circle was founded nine years ago as a young woman’s organization at the high school. Membership has increased every year since the first 12 girls began meeting. Today, Kuykendall said there are 60 members who have committed to learning positive life and leadership skills that can be shared with the community through outreach projects.

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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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