Major gift boosts local food bank’s building

Food Bank building partners stand at corner stake for the FISH building at Our Redeemer Lutheran. From left are treasurer Becky Bugge, Lutheran Pastor Andrew Wendle, Debbie Chenowith and Marianne Durkan.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
Food Bank building partners stand at corner stake for the FISH building at Our Redeemer Lutheran. From left are treasurer Becky Bugge, Lutheran Pastor Andrew Wendle, Debbie Chenowith and Marianne Durkan.

FISH food bank organization has moved one giant step closer to realizing its goal of a building project on Tucker Road in Hood River.

Odell Lions announced that Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) will give a $75,000 matching grant to FISH for the building project, which FISH hopes to start in 2014.

“We’ve been waiting for this point and it’s going to enable us for our dream for a designated food warehouse to become a reality,” said Marianne Durkan, FISH board chair.

Kassondra Byrd, spokesperson for the LCIF, informed Odell Lions Club that they are the successful recipients of the $75,000 matching grant to assist in the construction of the new food bank warehouse and distribution center. Odell Lions made the application in January.

“It’s a reflection that this is a broadly-supported local community project,” said Lions president Chuck Bugge, who also serves as the building campaign manager.

Currently local contributions are at $473,197, according to Bugge, putting the project nearly to the halfway point of its $950,000 overall budget.

Bugge and others noted that major grantors expect FISH to raise roughly half the total budget locally, and the Lions funds put the local organization in the position to demonstrate that level of support and move ahead with major grant applications.

“We will be asked, ‘does your community support this project?’ and we can say pretty resoundingly, ‘yes’,” Bugge said.

The goal is to raise all the funds by the end of 2013, according to Durkan, who said grantors will look for “the spirit of showing widespread local support.

“We’ll continue to do our local fundraisers,” Durkan said. “It is pretty impressive to us that we’ve been able to raise nearly a half million locally from individuals and business. It shows what we’ve always known — that people in this community do care about the hungry and they realize this is a worthwhile venture for our community.”

Bugge said, “the local matching funds included donations from all four local Lions clubs, as well as individual members from every club. Each club formally endorsed the application which was submitted earlier this year.”

Lions Club International Foundation is made up of elected trustees from throughout the world who meet twice yearly to review grants request addressing important humanitarian needs.

Durkan said the board reiterates its thanks to Our Redeemer Lutheran for its extensive partnership, which includes donation of the land.

For details on the project or to sponsor a fundraising event, contact Paul Lindberg at 541-490-2340 or Chuck Bugge at 541-490-1470.

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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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