Another voice: Big Brotherly note of gratitude

November 23, 2011

With Thanksgiving upon us, the advisory board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge thinks it befitting to recognize the blessings of our Columbia Gorge community.

Our community is rich with individuals and organizations with bountiful compassion and generosity for those less fortunate. So as we gather with loved ones this holiday, we give special thanks to the following persons for their kind support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge:

The Hood River Leos! This group of fantastic kids (approximately 75, in grades 8-12) donated their time this past summer selling candy and popcorn at "Movies in the Park" to raise $1,087 for Big Brother Big Sisters. With an additional $600 anonymous matching contribution, they contributed $1,687 to assist at-risk youth in our community.

Beneventi's Pizza and Canyon Market in Klickitat County! The family, friends and employees of Beneventi's Pizza of Bingen raised $3,600 through their recent garage sale. Since 2006, this annual charitable endeavor has raised nearly $13,000. The Beneventis will raise additional funds in February with their lasagna feed.

Team MiataCage! In December, these local motorsport enthusiasts will race the 25 Hours of Thunderhill Raceway in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters. To date they have raised nearly $2,000. Good luck to their team as they build and enter two cars this year to defend their 2010 victory.

There are so many more benevolent persons in the Columbia Gorge community who support the program; we apologize we are unable to mention them all in this brief piece. But they are just as dear to our hearts.

We would like to remind the community that January is National Mentoring Month, an opportunity to appreciate and recognize the importance of mentors and the need for each child to have caring adults in her or his life. We ask that you consider becoming a mentor. It not only enriches the life of a young one, but enriches your life, as well.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

Bob Camillucci, of Mosier, is an advisory board member with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge.

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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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