Generosity is ‘in the bag’

“Thank you for running our request for free yarn for the Parkhurst House Community Hat Project, writes Terri Hanson.

“Our original goal was to make 100 hats by Christmas last year and with your help and the generous donations from your kind-hearted readers, we were able to create 318 hats that we donated to those in need.

Our distribution included hats to:

n The West Side Fire Department “Chaplain’s Bag Project.” The project consisted of “Chaplain Bags” to every Hood River County Fire Department and Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue in The Dalles. The bags contained comfort items for families in need and our created hats.

n The school children of Stacy Duffield’s class at Mid-Columbia Adventist Christian School

n The special education class at Columbia High School in White Salmon, Wash.

n Helping Hands Against Violence of Hood River County

n The newborn babies of Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital

Throughout the program, we have had other agencies inquire about receiving hats so we would like to set a goal of 500 hats this year! So, please keep the yarn donations coming. We know that we can do it! We would like to invite individuals, churches, clubs and organizations to join in our efforts to provide warm hats to those in need within our communities.”


For more information, contact Parkhurst House at 541-387-4600.

Hood River Chamber of Commerce membership coordinator Avery Pickard reported that the organization welcomed 53 new members in 2014, saw improved member retention, and the average rate of new members joining monthly was up by 50.

Pickard gave these “shout-outs” to the following businesses:

n Bealls for being a great addition to clothing retail options

n Solstice Wood Fire Café as an exciting addition to growing waterfront biz community

n Waterfront Endodontics, also new to Waterfront and a new member

n Sheppard’s, for winning OSU’s Excellence in Family Business Award

n Hearts of Gold Caregivers for adding jobs and receiving Oregon Best Workplace acknowledgement

n Northwest Graphics for community involvement and unfailing support for the chamber

n Gorge Grown Food Network for expanding resources for food businesses

n The Tofurky Company for its LEED-compliant waterfront facility

n Full Sail Brewing Company for its own facility expansion

n Cooper Spur for its assistance with and participation in chamber events and marketing campaigns

n Eric, Trisha and Abby Walker for continued support of events

n Craig and Randee Bowder for many hours of grunt work at events

She also credited board members, Ambassadors, event sponsors, countless volunteers, and more than 450 member business and organizations.


Connie Nice, coordinator of The History Museum of Hood River County, writes:

“Every institution or organization goes through transitions at some point in time. The History Museum has had many chapters of transition in the story of its journey starting in 1907 with the Pioneer Society to the current operations in 2014.

Now the page is turning to the next chapter. I want to introduce you to the Hood River County Heritage Council. This newly formed 501(c)(3) nonprofit has taken on the challenge of financially supporting the mission of The History Museum of Hood River County.

Day-to-day operations such as utilities and facility needs will still be overseen by Hood River County under the Public Works Department director, Mikel Diwan. All planning, facilitation and costs associated with education, community programs, exhibits, and archive collections will be managed and coordinated by members of the Heritage Council in cooperation with County staff.”

Who are the members of the Heritage Council?

“They are community members who had previously served on the Hood River County Museum Board as well as other residents who have a heart and passion for seeing our community’s heritage preserved and shared; now and into the future. Members include Dottie Gilbertson (chair), Roberta Schweller (secretary), Ralph Staley (treasurer) and Mary Ellen Barilotti, Scott Johnson, Tina Weekly, Jean Harmon, Debby Chenoweth and Bobi Jones. Contact the Hood River County Heritage Council at 541-386-6772 or


Mentor For Success is having its winter training session for new mentors on Feb. 15, and invites adults in the Gorge area to learn more and consider volunteering to mentor an area teen.

MFS is a program of The Next Door, and pairs adult volunteers with struggling area teens. Mentor and mentee are matched on the basis of interests (also gender and location), and get together a couple of times a month to do activities in the community that they choose together.

Mentors receive training and ongoing support from MFS staff, and become an important source of encouragement, listening, and guidance for the teen.

It’s a fun and rewarding way to make a big difference in the life of a young person who really needs mentoring. Who mentored you?


For more information, visit or contact Bonnie New, program manager, at 541-490-9919.

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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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