Klahre House kids put on a show, speak from the heart

August 20, 2011

An aluminum-can-festooned party dress, natty tuxedo and colorful combinations of scarves, shirts and even a cape, added flair to the Klahre House/Good Karma Fashion Show Thursday at the Gorge Room at Best Western Hood River Inn.

The evening kicked off an ongoing fundraiser by the teens who study at Klahre House, a program of The Next Door Inc. that works with at-risk foster youth who are working to improve themselves and the community.

"Who knew recycling could be so fashionable," said one student, Cece.

Besides showing off fashions donated by Good Karma Thrift Shop, the students were recognized for their contributions on Klahre House Council, gardening, journalism and other efforts, and scholastic and service learning projects including watershed restoration.

One student, Julian, said the event was the kickoff for Vox Juvenis Foundation.

"We set this fundraiser a couple of months ago to support education, field trips, service learning projects; to help us with our education and also to help the community at large," Julian said.

Vox Juventis (Voice of Youth in Latin) is also the name of the Klahre House newspaper. Most of the funding for projects has to come from grants or donations. Because grants are limited this year, the students wanted to take the initiative to raise the money themselves.

Students gave shout-outs to all the staff members and foster families who were in attendance, and to Good Karma's Cherie and Brent Anderson, and Victoria Row.

"We were really glad to be involved," Brent said.

"We just love the kids' energy," Cherie said, after witnessing the runway-style exhibition of clothing from their store.

The students designed styles using materials such as pop cans, paint brushes, garbage bags, shower curtains and window curtains. The students also wanted to promote a positive message of sustainability; so they fashioned all of the outfits out of reused clothing and recyclable materials.

"Recycle and use. It's fun to get active," said one student.

In addition, the students contacted local business owners to work with them to put together a silent auction for the evening.

Teacher Sarah Collington served as emcee, and the students presented her with flowers and best wishes as a mother-to-be.

"This is an awesome and sad day for us," Collington said, noting that Chris has graduated from the program at the highest achievement level possible.

"I've had my struggles, and I've learned to ask for help," Chris said. "Sometimes I tried to avoid asking for help, but (Klahre House) helped me grow strong, and have healthy relationships with my family - and my mom and dad are here."

"It was gratifying to hear the number of times the kids said 'This is a place where I've changed,'" said Heidi Venture, The Next Door Inc.'s development director. "This is what we are trying to accomplish; to help them grow and learn to contribute to their community."

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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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