Schools get wide variety of donations

October 19, 2011

The Hood River County School Board of Directors accepted a wide array of donations at the Sept. 28 and Oct. 12 meetings.

"The board has a long history of acknowledging and accepting gifts at meetings, dating back to at least the 1970s," said board secretary Terri Martz. "The board sends letters of thanks to donors after accepting their gifts."

But it's a process that begins with school principals.

"Any time someone donates to a school, the principal writes a letter of thanks to the donor and copies it to the school board," said Terri Vann, director of curriculum and instruction. "The donor has to set a value on the donation, which is acknowledged in the letter. It is then recognized in the board meetings."

Kelly and Dave Dittmar, along with Pat and Eckard Toy, Debra and Mark Bozanich, Dr. Yoshinari and Tina Nakayama, and Mr. and Mrs. Jacobsen organized, donated and helped put on a neighborhood garage sale that resulted in the purchase of iPods for Parkdale Elementary. "These iPods will enable our students to access technology in a new way and encourage creative thinking and problem solving," said Principal Kim Vogel. The donations totaled $590.

Parkdale Elementary also received a variety of school supply donations. Sandra Hull donated office supplies, children's puzzles and games valued at $50, and Mark and Debra Bozanich donated office and school supplies valued at $7.50.

Asbury United Methodist donated school supplies totaling $125.

"Everything was exactly what our students in grade five need," Vogel said.

Frank Rose filled two backpacks with school supplies valued at $40. "The two children who received them were thrilled," said Vogel.

An anonymous donation of $5,500 was given to the school's "Aunt Connie Fund" and will be distributed to teachers for school supplies, the library for new books and materials, and to the TOPS reading program. Any extra monies will be directed towards additional classroom needs.

And the Dittmar family donated $1309.22 in school supplies, clothing, miscellaneous office supplies and technology toys, which Vogel will share with Cascade Locks.

Kelly Dittmar also donated an additional $250 in supplies, puzzles and an iPod sound system.

Cascade Locks School received two donations. Linnea Masters gave books valued at $200 to the school's Birthday Book Giveaway - children will receive books on their birthdays to promote reading and to honor their special day. Cascade Locks also received $240 in school supplies for students in need from Molly and Curtis Davis.

"Our school is indeed fortunate to have wonderful neighbors who believe in the education of our children and the support of those loving teachers who provide it," Vogel said These donations "make a tremendous difference in all of their lives."

Hood River Middle School received $150 worth of climbing holds from John Fine.

Hood River Christian Church gave $100 in school supplies, and Susie Harris donated a futon, valued at $100, to Jennifer Wilson's classroom.

The school also received $250 from Mr. and Mrs. Johnston for the music program and $500 from Terry and Melanie Finstad for the purchase of new instruments.

Seeds valued at $100 were from Julie Parmentier for the school's summer garden program, and Juanita's Fine Foods donated tortilla chips valued at $46.50.

"We both need and appreciate the support of our community," said Principal Brent Emmons. "Caring donations go a long way in these difficult financial times."

Pageworks Design Inc. donated $132 of publicity information for the Gear Swap for the Hood River Valley High Ski Team.

And the school's engineering program got a $20 boost from Dr. Dennis Shasha and six T43 IBM ThinkPad Laptop computers from Insitu, valued at $1,800.

"It is through generous donations from community partners that make possible some of the innovative and exciting programs happening in our school," said Vice Principal Richard Polkinghorn.

The Mid Valley Community Resource Center received a donation of $50,000 from Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital.

Community Education received toys and dress-up clothing from Jennifer Wilson for the Mid Valley Preschool, valued at $300.

Fiesta E Botanero Mexican Restaurant donated $350 to the youth football program.

The Jeffrey H. and Elisabeth D. Knapp Endowment Fund donated $3,000 to the Hood River County School District Community Tennis Court Project.

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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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