Helpline’s SoupPort benefit makes a big splash

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Helpline’s annual SoupPort luncheon fundraiser featured soups prepared by the students in Walla Walla Community College’s Wine Country Culinary Institute, said Kelsey Beckmeyer in a release.

Overall, SoupPort 2013 is the most successful one to date, she said. “The community showed tremendous support and helped raised almost $20,000. “Helpline is extremely grateful for the excellent turnout and continued encouragement from the Walla Walla community.”

The more than 250 people attending could choose from garden vegetable, tomato basil, seafood chowder and other soups on April 17 at Blanchet Hall, St. Patrick Catholic Church Parish. Tickets were $25.

Each person took away a unique, hand-painted bowl decorated at the Carnegie Center, by such groups as the Walla Walla Sweets Roller Girls, who donated their talent and time.

New this was a silent auction featuring wine from Dunham Cellars and Leonetti Cellar, Graze gift certificates, Alaskan salmon and a variety of art pieces, Kelsey said. The auction helped raise an additional $1,000 and will be featured in next year’s event.


Among the 15 educators first-year Eastern Oregon University honor students nominated for Inspirational Teacher Awards are Stacie Pickler and Shawn White, both teachers in Oregon. Other teachers tapped for the honor came from Idaho, Pennsylvania and Alaska.

Micaela Epifanio, a 2012 McLoughlin High School graduate and daughter of Cindy and Roberto Epifanio, nominated Stacie.

Karlyn Graves, who nominated Shawn, graduated in 2012 from Weston McEwen High School and is daughter of Rachelle and Tony Graves.

EOU students who maintained dean’s list standing during fall term were given the opportunity to nominate a teacher who influenced them on their road to higher education and academic excellence.

The university in La Grande presents these awards annually in recognition of outstanding teachers who encourage and represent the importance of higher education to their students.


More than a handful of area students made the Washington State University president’s honor roll for 2012 fall semester. The list recognizes students who stand above the rest with excellent academic performance. From within the U-B’s circulation are:

College Place: Flabetich, Allison Ettja; Gilvey, Jonathan Joseph; Kuznetsov, Ruvim V; McShane, Nicholas Daniel; Moore, Sheldon Scott; Sanchez, Ana Maria Ayala.

Dayton: Gibbons, Sarah Marie; Gritman, Courtney Lynn; Leonard, John Thomas; Montgomery, Otis Michael; Payne, Molly Myra; Warner, Robert Nathan; Warren, Kelsey.

Pomeroy: Fischer, Jake R; Knebel, Tory Glen Jerome; Koller, HayLee Layne.

Waitsburg: Carpenter, Nicholas Thomas; Hamann, Valerie Kay; Leid, Matt.

Walla Walla: Anderson, Peter Leslie; Brueggeman, Nikki Rochelle; Buettner, Patrick Francis; Castoldi, Samantha Rae; Chappell, Kyla Eileen; Chong, Stacey Anne; Debroeck, Dan Alan; Douglas, Trevor Mason; Farrow, Clayton Jeffrey; Gillentine, Jennifer Anne; Greenwood, Kendra Ann; Jepsen, Drew; Kelly, Jesse Ross; Klicker, Natalie Lorraine; Krutsinger, Mary J; Ladderud, Jeffrey A; Leier, Kevin Michael; Leier, Kristine Michelle; Leinweber, Kayla Ann; Mayfield, Madison Shea; Merfeld, David; Moberg, Megan Sierra; Moeller, Elizabeth Marie; Moniz, Joy Ann; Neavor, Mackenzie Daniel; Newhouse, Olivia Rose; Nicoara, Daniel; Patzer, Jazz R; Rand, Morgan Lynn; Rothstrom, Matthew; Rushing, Aiden Teague; Smith, Kaylynn Pauline.

For eligibility, undergraduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of nine graded hours in a single term at WSU and earn a 3.75 GPA or a 3.50 cumulative GPA based on 15 cumulative hours of graded work.


A retirement celebration for Kids’ Place founding director Kathy Hiatt McConnell will be from 3-6 p.m. May 4 at the facility, 209 Marcus St., with a presentation at 5:30.

Kathy started the center in 1985, using $140 donated by American Association of University Women.

“It grew from that humble beginning to become a well-known and well-loved childcare center in the community,” said Kathy’s sister, Judith Light via email.

Kathy plans to travel for a couple of years, then return to Walla Walla and volunteer. All families whose children attended are most welcome, Judy said. Many of the staff from previous years are expected.

Bring photos, comments and news to enter into a scrapbook.


College Place residents Tracie Dietz Wilkins and Joseph Wilkins are settling into married life. The couple wed Feb. 2, 2013, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The Rev. Birch Rambo officiated.

The daughter of Christine and Alex Dietz of Walla Walla, Tracie graduated in 2002 from DeSales Catholic High School and in 2006 from Central Washington University, Ellensburg. She is employed by Baker Boyer Bank.

The son of Jane and Don Wilkins of Walla Walla, Joseph graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1999 and attended Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. He is employed at Mannina Cellars in Walla Walla.


Former longtime area resident John A. Hansen is an active member of the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham. Now of Ferndale, Wash., John will visit his boyhood stomping grounds with 27 fellow museum members who will travel east of the mountains for a comprehensive tour of places of note, many in the Walla Walla Valley.

John graduated in 1971 from Walla Walla High School and is the son of Jim and Geraine Hansen of Waitsburg.

He’s looking forward to the trip as they’ll take in the Mighty Tieton, an incubator for artisan businesses 15 miles west of Yakima. It houses a letterpress shop, book bindery and fine press, a sound space, sculptor and a fine arts printing studio.

They’ll visit with Leo Adam, whose home is on the Yakama Indian Reservation. He changes found objects into art pieces and paints in his studio. They will walk along a groomed path by the Yakima River and dine at Gasperetti’s Restaurant.

It sounds like serious tourist business once they get to Walla Walla, according to the museum’s not-carved-in-stone itinerary.

On the agenda are tours of Dunham Cellars, in which the Blair family of Bellingham has a principal interest in the winery. Another part of the attraction there are the wine labels designed by artist and senior winemaker Eric Dunham.

Folks on the tour will stay at and explore the historic Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, tour Walla Walla Vintners and its vineyards with winemaker Bill Von Metzger, and do some wine tasting.

They’ll be dining in area restaurants and five among those recommended to them as “standouts,” Saffron, Brasserie Four, Whitehouse-Crawford, T. Maccarone and The Marc.

They will cruise on down the highway to Waitsburg and Dayton, for a look-see in Dingle’s and at the restored oldest working courthouse in the state, opened in 1887 and built in the Italianate style.

Dayton also sports the state’s oldest surviving train depot. The Eastlake-Stick style-building has been restored, too.

The tour group may elicit some stories from John about his hometown of Waitsburg, the itinerary notes, as well as stop to sample the cheese and see the 40 each goats and sheep at Monteillet Fromagerie.

Off Frenchtown Road they’ll stop at Long Shadows Cellars where a collection of glass artist Dale Chihuly’s pieces are displayed.

Another stop will be the Walla Walla Foundry tour and dinner in the gallery there, surrounded by sculptures in the garden.

Finally, they’ll get a guided tour of the Whitman College campus from Linda Smeins, art history professor emeritus from Western Washington University, whose specialty is architecture.

And as they leave town on May 10 it could be to a backdrop of ascending hot air balloons what with Balloon Stampede weekend under way.


Yakima Valley Interscholastic Activities Association, District 5 of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association honored Karen Hermeston with a Meritorious Service Award.

A Wa-Hi athletic department secretary, Karen received a special plaque and YVIAA lifetime pass.

Her selection was based on professionalism and many years of dedicated service to Wa-Hi student-athletes, the Big Nine, Mid-Columbia Conference, YVIAA and the WIAA, according to the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review online newsletter .

“It is very distinguished and well deserved award,” said District Athletic Director Don Wilkins. “She received many letters of support from district coaches, athletic directors and coaches for other regional school districts.”

Karen, who became the athletic secretary in 1994, said she loves working with the student-athletes and coaches.

“It is an honor to receive this award. It was extra special to read the letters our coaches submitted for the award on my behalf.”


For three hours on April 13, Walla Walla High School FFA hosted its annual Farm Day.

“Family and friends are encouraged to attend and learn about the daily lives of bees, farm animals, how to handle animals and more,” reported the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review online newsletter

They accepted donations for Blue Mountain Humane Society at the gates, according to Wa-Hi agriculture teacher Lindsey Butcher.

Wa-Hi students also hosted district elementary students at the school’s farm recently. Lindsey said it is a great opportunity for high school students to showcase the program and mentor younger students.


From April 8-14 The Health Center matched gifts of $5 or more through its new Stakeholders’ Challenge Fund.

It was created by The Health Center’s directors and executives to express the passion they feel about helping children become well enough to learn.

It is intended as an incentive for friends and neighbors to join the Health Center family by doubling the good done with donations.


Gonzaga University students are wrapping practical, real-world experiences into their education, according to a release from the university.

The challenging economy and highly competitive job market make students wonder if a college diploma will be enough.

Walla Wallan Kyndra Teal, a GU senior, was among the 16 students chosen by the GU School of Business Administration to participate in a class to design an integrated marketing campaign to the 2013 Honda Civic Sedan as part of a national competition called the Honda Civic Marketing Challenge.

The 2009 Walla Walla High School graduate and her teammates formed ad agency Swerve Promotions. She and three other four students worked in the public relations department.

Her team’s overarching objective was to raise student awareness about the 2013 Honda Civic Sedan as students prepare to buy their next cars.

On April 5 Swerve Promotions’ efforts culminated on campus when its members presented the campaign and results to Honda’s ad agency, competing for the top three spots against 20 other colleges around the country.

After graduation in May, Kyndra will head to a summer internship with a small art and culture magazine called White Wall in New York City.

She wants to acquire a job in publishing, preferably working on layout and design for magazines. “Working on the promotions project on the 2013 Honda Civic Sedan has given me that extra boost of experience that I needed.

“Participating in a program such as this has been amazing and given me a great sense of what work outside of the classroom is going to be like. I can’t thank Honda enough for this is a once in a lifetime opportunity” Kyndra said.

Her parents are Spike and Debbie Teal.


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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