Rainy runs raise funds

It’s just one little fun run, but it helps students throughout the school year.

This year’s “Trick or Trot” event at Wy’east Middle School and Harvest Hustle at Mid Valley Elementary raise funds that enable the kids to have special programs that the district otherwise couldn’t afford.

The Trick or Trot raises funds for Wy’east’s PE program, says Adam Howell, who teaches PE at Wy’east with co-teacher Ashlie Keimig.

“Our windsurfing gets paid for out of this; we’re taking our kids for swimming lessons at the aquatic center,” Howell said. “We’re trying to coordinate with the mountain (Mt. Hood Meadows) to take them skiing this year; we do archery here in our PE classes and we’re the only school in the district that has it.”

Howell said that the event, which had been done as a “jog-a-thon” in years past, was on hiatus when he first came on board at the school four years ago. When Keimig started a year later, the two were asked whether they’d be interested in bringing it back.

“We said, ‘Absolutely!’” Howell said. “We brought it back for the first time last year, in June, and called it ‘Run into Summer,’ — and it was pouring rain!” he said. “We decided that since things were so crazy and hectic at the end of the year, we’d look at doing it in the fall this year, so things just kind of fell into place that Halloween was wide open.”

Letters were sent home with the kids in early October followed by the pledge envelopes a couple of weeks later, and the kids collect pledges up until the event, and for a couple of weeks after that. The more pledges the kids collect, the more raffle tickets they earn to have a better chance at some donated prizes.

On the day of the event, each grade, starting with eighth-graders in first period, first met in the gym for instructions and then proceeded to the track, where they were instructed to take as many laps as they could, earning a drinking straw with each half lap.

“We’d done some individual goal planning for them, so it was a move-at-your-own-pace thing; we didn’t have a strict requirement as to number of straws to collect,” Howell said. “It was, ‘Do the best you can.’”

It was a rainy day, but the rain did nothing to dampen the kids’ spirits. Since it was Halloween, many of them ran in costume. Afterwards, they returned to the gym to report their total laps and enjoy snacks and socializing.

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Rain also fell the day of Mid Valley’s Harvest Hustle, Saturday, Nov. 3, but there was a respectable turnout nonetheless for the kids’ fun run and 5K/10K runs, which this year welcomed bicycles for the first time.

This was the fifth annual Harvest Hustle, which has a springtime counterpart at the school, the Blossom Boogie. Both events, which offer T-shirts to early registrants, raise funds for the Mid Valley PTO.

The schools aren’t the only ones with fitness events and programs — Parkdale Elementary’s recent fun run on Oct. 27, May Street and Hood River Middle School’s “bike and walk to school” events and the Mighty Milers program are just a few that come to mind — but they both have the dual benefits of increasing fitness and raising needed funds.

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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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