ETCETERA - 4-Hers pitch in for the birds at Pioneer Park Aviary

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Local 4-H groups contribute to the area through a variety of community service projects and in this regard Ranch and Home 4-H Club is no different. Its members, who range from ages 8 to 13, chose to help the Pioneer Park Aviary, said Donna Chapin, mother of three members.

Her son, Ryan Chapin, 10, reports that "As most people know, the Aviary could be closed in the near future. Our club loves the Aviary and thinks it is a special part of our city. We don't want it to disappear."

Based on that concern, members contacted Joanna Lanning at the aviary to see what they could contribute. "They have many needs, so we chose one item that we felt could benefit the Aviary while we worked together as a club," Ryan said in an email.

They donated time on March 5. Together with their parents and leader Kellie Donovan-Casebier, they raked debris in the pens and cleaned out and refilled nesting boxes with new material.

"It didn't take us very long and the experience of helping out was very rewarding. The Aviary is still in need of everyone's help to keep it alive. Whether you are one person or an entire group, you can make a difference by donating your time, money or materials," Ryan said.

Joanna added that the Aviary has not reached its funding goal. "Please spread the word about our new Adopt-A-Bird program. Details can be found on friendsofpioneerparkaviary.com."

In addition, a tool-savvy person is also being sought to repair and build nest boxes, she said.

Jim Dumont with the Walla Walla Parks and Recreation Department said $41,000 has been raised so far and another $55,000 is still needed. "All of the money that is raised will go to the birds."

Ryan and his club are challenging other 4-H clubs in the community to help save the birds.

Ranch and Home 4-H Club members are Maddie Fenton, president; Erin Chapin, vice president; Abby Grudzinski, secretary; Makenzie Frost, treasurer; Ryan Chapin, reporter; Leah Chapin, Saige Kinnaman, Jessica Dodd and Colton Dodd. All members except the Dodd children were able to participate in the work project. Silas Kinnaman, a former member, also pitched in. Kellie and Donna were joined by other adults, including Cindy Frost, Stephanie Kinnaman, Nancy Grudzinski, Crystal and Tom Fenton.

Ranch and Home 4-H Club is involved in goat projects and photography.

The 4-H philosophy is to raise well-rounded, responsible children who are service oriented, Donna said. The Washington State University Extension Office houses the 4-H department and additional information is available through that office in Walla Walla.

Tovah Fazzari of College Place received a bachelor's degree in nursing magna cum laude from Whitworth University, Spokane. The private liberal arts university is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). It has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students and offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

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The Walla Walla High School Debate Team competed in the March 12 State Individual Events and March 18-19 State Debate tournaments, both on the University of Puget Sound campus in Tacoma.

Teammates experienced continued success, said their coach, Jean Tobin. One student broke into a finals round and four others placed in the Top 10 in their events. This tops last year, when no Walla Walla students made it that far, she said.

In Expository speaking, sophomore Hope Grant Herriot was fifth in the state and made the finals round. She gave a memorized eight-minute humorous and informative speech on the history of facial hair.

Marisol Beck, sophomore, tied for eighth in the state and was one point away from breaking into the finals with her speech on the historical connections between women and rabbits.

In Interpretive Reading, sophomore Kera Parsons and Hope tied for eighth place and were one point away from breaking into the finals. Both chose a variety of prose and poetry selections around the theme of the power of imagination, read their selections and explained the connections between the pieces.

Freshman Kendall Dunovant tied for 10th place in Impromptu speaking, giving three speeches in front of six judges. In each speech she had one moment to choose from among three topics and prepare an interesting and organized five-minute speech.

Calvin Brigham, sophomore, Carrie Moore, sophomore, Marisol and Kimberly McLaughlin, junior, also competed in the state debate tournament on March 18-19. Hope had earned a spot but was unable to attend because of a conflict. None of the students made it into the final rounds at this tournament.

"Unfortunately the state has yet to release results so we do not yet know how each of the competitors did," Jean said.

Calvin Brigham and Carrie Moore competed in Lincoln-Douglas debate. It was Calvin's second year to earn a spot at the state tournament. Only three students in the 5/6 region earned did so and two of the three were from Wa-Hi, Jean said. Their topic was "Resolved: the United States is justified in using private military firms to pursue its military objectives." Twelve students advanced to the final rounds. No student from the east side of the state made it into the final rounds in this form of debate.

Jean said "There are different styles of debate that are encouraged in different regions of the state. Next year we will focus on attending more tournaments on the west side so that we gain familiarity with the type of debate that consistently wins on that side of the state. We also have a very young team and many of the top debaters in the state were upperclassmen."

In Congressional Debate, Marisol and Kimberly McLaughlin prepared speeches for a variety of topics. Fifteen students advanced to the Finals Round in this form of debate and five of students were from the state's east side.

"I am anxious to see the state results as Marisol has consistently received high marks for her speeches this year and we would like to know how her speeches were ranked compared to some of the top debaters in the state," Jean added.

The debate season is now concluded for the school year but the Wa-Hi team is still planning activities. Marisol, Hope, Konor Clark and Rosa Tobin raising funds to attend debate camps around the nation.

The Debate Team will also host a summer camp for the 5/6 District in August and a camp for new Wa-Hi competitors.

"We are so appreciative of all the support that the community and school district has shown to our team this year," Jean said. Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or 526-8313.

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