Mueller honored with named scholarship

Long recognized for her dedication to children, Laneta “Lennie” Mueller helped found one of Oregon’s largest childcare organizations based in Parkdale — the Oregon Child Development Coalition.

Honoring the memory of Mueller’s lifelong work, OCDC held an appreciation dinner March 20 and announced the creation of a new scholarship named after Mueller, who passed away Feb. 6.

The scholarship fund was established through Columbia Gorge Community College. Starting this fall, the college will be awarding the scholarship to a deserving student pursing a degree in early childhood education.

In 1966 Mueller was concerned about young children being in the fields as their parents worked and was moved by the death of a migrant child while in the field.

According to Donalda Dodson, executive director of OCDC, Mueller realized “someone should do something about this” and with the help of her friends, she founded the center.

Mueller helped establish the precursor to OCDC as a volunteer child care center at Parkdale Primary School. She worked as a teacher in the program. Over the next decade and beyond she held various positions acting as director of the earlier named Upper Valley Development Center.

Mueller developed the services to meet the multiple needs of migrant and seasonal farm worker children and grew the program into a comprehensive Head Start service.

“The seed Lennie planted in Parkdale in 1966 has grown into Oregon Child Development Coalition, one of the largest early childhood care and education nonprofit organizations in Oregon,” said Dodson. “Lennie’s service to her faith, family, and community took a new beginning with her passing on Feb. 6, 2013.”

Noted for her warmth, Mueller’s care touched the lives of many. She went on to receive the Jim Klahre Award for Distinguished Service to Children and the Soroptimist International Women of Distinction award.

The new Lennie Mueller Early Childhood Care and Education Scholarship has been established to encourage others to follow in her footsteps.

At the recent appreciation dinner, Mueller’s contributions were noted and the scholarship in her honor was announced. In addition, her husband, Richard, son Jeff and daughter Ann received an inscribed plaque in her honor.

“Lennie planted a childcare and education seed that sprouted and grew,” said Dodson. “OCDC acknowledges Lennie’s founding leadership and tireless commitment. Her legacy will live on through the children and families of OCDC.”

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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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