Project Graduation: You don’t need to be a parent to help

Yes, it’s not even Groundhog Day, but this is a good time to start thinking about graduation day.

Plenty of parents and other supporters are doing so. It’s time to get onboard with Project Graduation.

For those unfamiliar with it, the project is the planning and execution of the safe all-night party for the graduating class at Hood River Valley High School.

This June 7, seniors will have a safe, sober place for sharing a great night of fun. The all-night party is held each year at the Hood River Elks Lodge, which donates the space.

Parents in the valley have always stepped up to make the party a success. This year will be no different. New input is always welcome.

Last year more than 130 local businesses contributed cash or products to help make the evening a success. (Students themselves are also asked to contribute $35 toward the evening, which includes games, a DJ, raffle prizes, food, a photo booth and memory wall and dancing.)

The event aims to host the entire graduating class, but it is their option. The more the merrier, it can be said, not only in maximizing the number of youth who attend but also in making it sufficiently attractive that they will want to do so.

A small organizing team is already hard at work identifying parent tasks that include goals in fundraising, volunteer coordination, registration, decorating, security, music and entertainment, food, memory wall displays, raffle prizes and more.

The 2013 party started with a little over $2,000 from the prior year’s event, and the goal is to create the same carryover for 2014. If you can’t help at the event or attend planning meetings, there are still ways to get involved.

It is a community project that takes extensive planning. Whether you are a parent, or a business or organization called upon to assist, consider whatever donation you can make to one of Hood River’s best annual traditions.

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Planning meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. in the HRVHS Commons on Feb. 13, March 13 and April 10.

To learn more, contact Kathy McLean at 541-387-3569 or visit the Project Graduation 2013 Facebook page for updates.

Donations may be made out to Project Graduation 2013, and mailed to 1767 12th St., Ste. 178, Hood River, OR 97031.

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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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