Teen wins $500 prize in Schaefer memorial contest

With a nod to Ernest Hemingway, 17-year-old HRVHS junior Elizabeth Gobbo penned a short story that earned her first place in the Laura Douglass Schaefer Memorial Writing Contest.

The annual contest was created to honor Schaefer and to foster creative writing in her home community. Schaefer, a Hood River Valley High School graduate and dedicated writer, passed away in 2007 at the age of 21.

According to the Gorge Community Foundation, which administers the contest funds, Gobbo competed against nine other teen writers. In addition to securing first-place honors, Gobbo received a $500 prize.

When pressed, Gobbo said she would probably “be boring and put the money in the bank.” After a slight hesitation, she added that she might use part of the money to buy a language program to help her learn Russian.

The spark for Gobbo’s story came during last winter’s ice storm, as the teen author watched three young children playing with a rooster at a local gas station. Gobbo transformed this seemingly unremarkable event into a story of friendship and redemption entitled Primary.

To read Gobbo’s winning story in its entirety, visit the Gorge Community Foundation website at www.gorgecf.org, under the “Grants” section, sub-category “Laura Douglass Schaefer Memorial Writing Contest.”

GCF’s Mission is to enhance the quality of life in the Columbia River Gorge by building permanent charitable endowments to help fund the long-term needs and opportunities in local communities.

GCF assets total more than $2,500,000 and represent more than 50 charitable funds established by local families, individuals and organizations.

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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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