Quick action saves prom event

The HRVHS commons and cafeteria areas were transformed into a magical dance and dining area by Prom Committee members with the help of a number of parents, staff members, and businesses, who donated everything from lights and fog machines to tables and chairs — at a moment’s notice.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
The HRVHS commons and cafeteria areas were transformed into a magical dance and dining area by Prom Committee members with the help of a number of parents, staff members, and businesses, who donated everything from lights and fog machines to tables and chairs — at a moment’s notice.

Hood River Valley High School students made the best of a bad weather situation on Saturday when prom was moved from Timberline Lodge to the school’s cafeteria and commons areas.

It was not an easy decision, but a necessary one made by HRVHS Principal Rich Polkinghorn and the parents assembled at Timberline that day.

Polkinghorn visited Timberline Lodge the morning of prom to assess travel conditions, and found the roads to be “too much of a mess even with the weather forecast looking better in the afternoon,” he said. Though there were tears and frustration from students, Polkinghorn and the group of parents felt that safety trumped all other concerns.

“We had to separate the emotion from the practicality and make that decision,” he said.

Once the decision was made, the staff at Timberline Lodge jumped into action to help get the event moved to the school. Polkinghorn, students and parents were set up in an office to work out the logistics of getting the word out while Lodge employees packed up not only the food purchased by the high school for the event, but serving trays, cups and linens as well.

“We owe them a really big thanks. They were so gracious and helpful,” he said.

Meanwhile, the school put out updates on the prom’s change of location on its Twitter feed, homepage and various Facebook pages, as well as an announcement that aired on KIHR radio. Word of mouth helped spread the word, too.

“(The kids) got the word out fast, before I even got off the phone with my boss,” Polkinghorn said.

Back at the school, the Prom Committee took over, completely transforming the cafeteria and commons for the dance. They were aided by a number of parents, staff members, and businesses, who donated everything from lights and fog machines to tables and chairs.

“For us, it turned out to be quite a night for the kids,” he said. “Every kid I talk to had a great time.” He also received positive feedback from parents who applauded the decision to err on the side of caution.

In all, all but 10 of the 440 students who registered attended prom, with another 20-25 chaperones.

“This is another example of how great the community is, to step up when needed,” Polkinghorn said. “People rallied around the kids to put on an event in every way completely spectacular.”

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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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