Friendly wager turns into fundraiser

Caleb Trumbull lost a bet, and in doing so raised $100 for a class project titled Operation Make a Difference. The money, along with contributions from classmates in Tracy Norton’s home room class, will go to sponsor a family in need for Christmas.

The friendly wager originated when dinner table trash-talking led to a push-up contest between Trumbull, Hood River Middle School sixth-grader, and family friend Joe Guenther, 29-year-old financial advisor for EdwardJones. Trumbull won the contest, with an asterisk noting that the Trumbull dog accosted Guenther during his attempt — a controversial call that was waived by referee (and Caleb’s father) Jack Trumbull.

Like any self-respecting man defeated by a child would do, Guenther settled the bet with another bet.

This time it would be a one-mile race — four laps around the Hood River Valley High School track, no dogs allowed — double or nothing for bragging rights for at least the rest of the year. The wager came in timing with a school project that asked each student in Tracy Norton’s sixth-grade home room to raise at least $20, to be pooled together and used to buy Christmas gifts for a less-fortunate local family.

Trumbull used the rivalry as his fundraising activity, inviting a few others to join in and pad the pot. With the soundtrack to Rocky playing through a portable speaker, Trumbull, Guenther and four others braved last week’s sub-freezing temperatures to settle the bet.

After a quick round of trash-talking, the race was off. Determined to even the score, Guenther took pulled ahead halfway through the first lap and didn’t look back. By the end of the fourth he had a comfortable lead and crossed the finish line in a time of 6:20. Trumbull finished in a respectable 6:42, followed by friend and classmate Cole Talmage, Jack Trumbull, Pat Graham and Lyndee Talmage.

The finish gave Trumbull $80 for his fundraiser, which was upped to $100 after Guenther donated his winnings to the cause.

n Operation Make a Difference is a class project designed to teach students the importance of community service and giving back, as well as practical lessons like budgeting, cost analysis and financial planning. Each student in Norton’s home room was asked to raise at least $20 through some kind of service project or activity. Meanwhile, the class is creating a list of items to be purchased for a local family in need over the holidays. Once the money is compiled, the class will make shopping lists, create a budget and purchase items together. Students will then wrap and deliver the items in time for Christmas.

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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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