Father-daughter dance supports healthy fun

Dads, uncles, grandfathers and male mentors of young women — now is the time to start a new tradition of fun and festivities with the girls in your life.

The first-ever Columbia Gorge Young Life Father-Daughter Dance is coming to town Feb. 23, 6-8 p.m., and it is open to all Gorge area residents.

Young Life, a nationwide nonprofit organization, is hosting the evening as “a way to reach out and encourage, good healthy relationship between fathers and daughters, or girls and their male role models,” said Jeanine Jacobson, CGYL community board member.

“We think it is important to support fathers, and other men with young women in their lives, to build a special relationship,” said Jacobson.

The evening will offer more than just dancing, though. The DJ-hosted music will be accompanied by a photo booth, snacks, dessert, games, free dance lessons and arts and crafts.

While Young Life serves middle school through college age youth with its Christian-based outreach programs, the dance event will give special attention to girls aged 2-11 and their father figures.

“There is never a shortage of great fun at Young Life events. We are all about crazy games,” said Jacobson.

Young Life is a Christian ministry that reaches out to middle school, high school and college-aged kids in all 50 of the United States as well as more than 70 countries around the world.

“It is an ecumenical program with people serving on the community committees from many different churches,” said Jacobsen. According to the organization’s website, both Protestant and Catholic churches and members participate in the program.

According to Jacobson, any profits from the evening will go to send local kids to Young Life summer camp in June. Last year 130 middle school students attended the camp, held in Antelope on the Washington Family Ranch. Funds will help kids who couldn’t normally afford to go to a summer camp or who have never experienced camping.

For $20, one adult male and one female youth may attend the dance. For dads with additional daughters, each will add just $5 more per entry. The Hood River Elks Lodge is hosting the event.

Tickets may be purchased at Shortt Supply in downtown Hood River prior to the event.

Although the dance is being offered to all ages of girls and their special male guides, local Young Life meetings are available for middle school and high school youth of both genders.

“Young Life is primarily about building relationships with young people through groups and one-on-one relationships — It is about walking alongside them,” said Jacobson.

Local groups meet in leaders’ homes. For high school- aged youth, Melissa Ing coordinates those meetings on Monday and Wednesday nights, 6-8 p.m. Ron Harder leads a group for Wy’east Middle School. Regular activities are also scheduled for Hood River Middle School youth. The local organization is lead by Jeff Strong. All of the leaders may be reached through the Young Life office message phone at 541-386-5433.

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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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