Editorial: Important community project needs help

March 3, 2012

The event happens every year with the same name, serving the same people, carried out by the same group.

We refer to Project Graduation, which benefits the senior class, and happens thanks to parents and community supporters.

Parents, former parents, and community members with no current connection to the school give of their time and money every year for all kinds of programs serving the youth of the community. They coach, they flip pancakes, or tutor math or reading, sort bottles, or do any number other academic, athletic and extracurricular activities, because they care about kids.

And every year the community steps up for Project Graduation - the all-night safe party for the Class of 2012 on the night of graduation.

Believe it or not, it is again time to help this program. Parents have been holding events (see above) to raise money all year, and now the leg work is happening for the actual event in June. Spring break is near, and by April the event goes into planning mode.

Which means donations of goods, services and cash are needed and gladly accepted by the Project Graduation Committee on behalf of the Class of 2012.

The place is taken care of: this year, as usual, Elks Club donates use of the facilities. While each graduate pays a small fee to attend the party, it takes substantial community support to fund the entertainment, prizes and food each year.

The March 7 Hood River News will carry more details on how to get involved and what is needed, including information on a March 21 organizational meeting.

June 8 might be less than imminent but what is around the corner is this: the committee wants to get a firm handle on its resources and what it can provide in terms of prizes, food, games and amenities to make the graduation night party an attractive option for the graduates - and a memorable night to boot.

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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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