Flashback: May 5 Firefighters Ball promises roaring good times

The 2012 Hood River Firefighters Ball will be at Columbia Gorge Hotel on May 5 at 6 p.m.

“This is a fundraiser for the volunteer association,” said Firefighter EMT volunteer and event organizer Suzanne Lusk. All proceeds support the community in the form of scholarships or building projects, such as a handrail for an elderly couple.

The Hood River Firefighters Ball has a long history.

In 1904, a local business burned down, and the owner refused to rebuild in the City of Hood River unless a fire hall was built. The first ball was held, $126 was raised, and a tradition was born.

“For years, it was the big social event,” said Lusk.

Ball-goers this year will find themselves at a 1950s Sock Hop. Everyone is encouraged to dress up, as there will be prizes given for the best costume. Wolfman Jack, a radio personality from that era — or, at least, someone who sounds like him — will DJ the dance.

Couples can get their pictures taken by Paul Henke’s souped-up 1955 Ford pickup for $5, or chose a plain backdrop.

Lusk said that local businesses have donated items totaling $1,500 and will be raffled off during the evening. A framed print by Mosier artist (and firefighter) Ellen Dittebrandt, valued around $2,000, will be raffled separately.

Beer and wine have been donated by local breweries and wineries such as Double Mountain, Full Sail and White Buffalo. Individuals have also donated wine from area wineries to use at the event.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Lusk.

There is also a “Hotel Special” for two, which can be purchased at the Columbia Gorge Hotel, 4000 Westcliff Drive. The special includes a hotel room, ball tickets, dinner and dancing, two drinks per person and a discounted brunch.

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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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