Elks Lodge honors students of the month Rawson, Kerr

Claire Rawson and Brendan Kerr have been selected as December’s Students of the Month by the Hood River Elks Lodge. Each was presented a check for $100 at a recent Lodge meeting. They are both seniors at Hood River Valley High School.


Claire is a very driven young lady who finds time to be very involved at school, performing on a stage and in her community. She is a member of the Earth Club, president of the National Honor Society, a two-year member of the executive council in student government and a member of the varsity tennis team.

Claire is heavily involved with the Columbia Gorge Dance Academy and the company dance team and has spent many hours taking ballet, pointe, jazz, modern and repertoire classes. She has performed in the community at many different events and this past December she and the entire company performed at the Holiday Bowl halftime show.

She has learned classical ballet and participated in performances benefiting the community. One recent ballet performance was “Scenes from The Nutcracker,” with the profits going to the local FISH food bank. She has also participated in some high school musicals as a singer.

Claire really stands out when it comes to volunteering, having logged more than 1,000 hours helping others. She has worked for five years at Camp St. Mary’s, where she has supervised younger children, and this past year where she served as co-director of the camp. She has volunteered at St. Francis House helping with art projects and playing soccer and other games with the kids.

Claire is heavily involved with the Leos Club, part of the Lions organization, and this year is the president. She has spent time working with the Relay for Life and other various projects with the Leos.

Claire is the daughter of Pat and Becki Rawson and has three older siblings, Danny, Sean and Katie. This coming fall she will attend Seattle University and would like to study law and become an immigration lawyer. She enjoys dance, tennis, music and hiking in her spare time.


Brendan Kerr is very much an outdoor type of guy. In the summer season he enjoys being on the water, involved with wind sports such as kite boarding and windsurfing. In the winter months he likes to ski and in his sophomore season he was the varsity freestyle champion; in his junior year he came in second in the same discipline. He has played lacrosse for the past three years and also played soccer his freshman and sophomore years.

He is a member of the National Honor Society and has taken many honors and advanced placement classes at school.

Brendan’s volunteer work includes three years of the high school’s Community Work Day fundraiser, where he volunteers his time and effort to a company and then donates his pay toward a specific project. He has done work at the downtown Rail Jam and helped with sales for the local Ski Team Swap meet.

His biggest piece of work has come with the Friends of Pimpollo, where he spent a week helping build schools in areas of low education and high unemployment in the district of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Brendan is the son of Kraig and Leslie Kerr and has an older sister, McKenzie, a sophomore at Loyola-Marymount College in California. This fall Brendan will attend Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo and study industrial engineering. In his spare time he enjoys all outdoor activities and filming and editing video.

— Contributed by George Johnson, Elks Club member.

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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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