Etcetera - 11/22/10

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Why drag the kids shopping at oh-dawn-thirty when ballerinas will pirouette in to care for the children while the parents bargain shop the day after Thanksgiving.

Babysitting for the Black Friday extravaganza will be from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday at The Dance Center, 129 E. Alder St., Suite B, said dance instructor Idalee Hutson Fish.

"Now you won't be the only one having fun. Your kids will get to dance, watch movies with their friends, play games and eat yummy snacks," Idalee said.

The cost is $10 an hour and all proceeds will benefit to the dancers' tour of Italy this summer.

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Walla Walla High School Key Club members' annual Trunk-or-Treat drew hundreds of area children to the event at Wa-Hi.

Organizers collected more than 1,000 pounds of food, which was donated to Christian Aid Center, the Oct. 29 online Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review. Shelley Mann, Key Club advisor and teacher, helped organize the activity.

Kiwanis Club also supported the event with volunteers and supplied pizza for students who worked the event.

National Honor Society members garnered first place in the decorating contest for their "Pirates of the Caribbean" display, where the children could "walk the plank" to the treasure chest to get their treat.

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Volunteers, board and staff members were honored during Blue Mountain Action Council's recent annual meeting.

The gathering also marked the nonprofit agency's 44 years of service to Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield counties.

Representative volunteers from four programs were recognized for their service, which is key to the programs' success.

The Summer Youth Employment job-training program honored supervisors/employers John Paulson and Lisa Whited of the Washington Odd Fellows' Home; Mariela Rosas, Children's Home Society of Washington; and Larry Werst, Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center; and youth participants Tyler Engstrand and Arrianne Maldonado.

Mark Evensen was honored for volunteer work in the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.

For assistance with the Washington Park Gathering Place project, the Commitment to Community Program thanked Jim Dumont and the city of Walla Walla Parks and Recreation Department.

Bruce Wildfang, energy educator, was honored for five years of service at BMAC.

New BMAC Board of Directors officers for 2010-11 include Clint Gabbard, chairman; Adolfo de Le??n, vice chairman; Trevor Dorland, treasurer; and Susan B. Smith, Ph.D., secretary. Jessie Ilaoa was elected to a first term on the board, and Jason Wicklund to a second term. Marci Perkins and Barbara Clark, whose terms ended this year, were honored for many years' service to the agency.

CEO Steven M. Moss highlighted BMAC's many accomplishments during 2009-10 year.

Among those was helping 260 adults and youths gain jobs and vocational training; providing transitional housing for 23 homeless families and more than 2,400 bed nights of emergency housing; providing energy billing assistance and discounts to over 1,200 households; hosting 32 AmeriCorps team members who gave 47,300-plus service hours; and completing 338 civil legal cases with help from volunteer attorneys.

Rep. Terry Nealey, R-16th District, was guest speaker.

BMAC is a private, nonprofit community action partnership serving low-income people in Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield counties.

It offers diverse programs to help people achieve their highest levels of self-sufficiency, including job training and placement, transitional housing and support programs for the homeless, emergency food supplies, adult literacy, low-income and special-needs housing, civil legal assistance and lawyer referral, and more.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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