CROP Walk is Sept. 21

25th-annual event raises funds, awareness in fight against hunger

Gorge Ecumenical Ministries will host its 25th CROP Walk for Hunger Sept. 21, beginning and ending at Hood River Valley Christian Church, 975 Indian Creek Road. Maps are available for participants outlining one-mile, 5K and 10K routes. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., and the walk at 10 a.m.

“In the 24 years, we have never walked in the rain,” says Hood River contact Leslie Hidle. “We are hoping to make it 25.”

To celebrate the 25th anniversary, the walk will begin with balloons and a group picture, and end with a hot dog barbecue. Walkers are welcome to bring fruit or cookies to share, or canned food to be donated to food banks.

Brian and June Baynes, of Carson, Wash., who have been leading the CROP Walk Volunteer Committee since 1996, will also be honored as part of the festivities.

“Brian grew up participating in CROP Hunger Walks in Michigan,” says Hidle. “They have been wonderful inspirational leaders and our walk this year is in honor of those many inspirational years.”

CROP is an acronym for Christian Rural Overseas Program, and its aim is to raise funds and awareness in the fight against hunger both locally and worldwide “one step at a time.” The Hood River walk is just one of 2,000 such events that take place around the country each year.

Church groups from Hood River, Odell, Parkdale, Bingen, White Salmon, Stevenson and Lyle are expected to take part, as are members from Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, FISH Food Bank and local businesses. Individuals who make a donation and walk are also common. Usually 100 to 150 walkers participate.

Of the funds raised, 25 percent goes to local food banks — namely, FISH Food Bank in Oregon and the Washington Gorge Action Program Food Bank in Washington. The remaining 75 percent goes to Church World Services, whose mission is “to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged and shelter the homeless,” says Hidle. The people of Haiti have benefited from such funds as they rebuild after the earthquake, as have those in the U.S. in areas suffering floods and tornadoes.

Back again this year the Golden Sneaker Award — a pair of spray-painted golden tennis shoes on a board — to be awarded to the group who brings the most walkers. The group who brings in the most money will be awarded commemorative CROP Walk pins, and any individual who turns in at least $125 — the amount was chosen in honor of the 25th anniversary — may choose a T-shirt, hat, tote bag or commemorative pin as a thank you.

Since its beginning in 1989, the Hood River event has raised more than $168,000. The first year, it took in $1,698. Last year, that number was $11,888.72. And for 2013, organizers are hoping to reach $15,000.

For more information about the CROP Walk, contact Hidle at 541-386-3205.

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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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