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Gold Star Families Memorial gets $2,500 boost from fair, Wrangler

Jan 5 2020
Annie Charnley Eveland |Union Bulletin

The local Gold Star Families Memorial project recently received a check for $2,500 from the Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days in conjunction with the Wrangler National Patriot program.

On Dec. 20 Fair Board Director and President Travis Locke, Frontier Days Foundation Director Terry Atchison and Fair Manager Bill Ogg joined Gold Star Family Memorial board members Gil Alden, Gold Star spouse Nancy Boudreaux, Gold Star mother Susan Fazzari, DVM, Board Chair Penelope Linterman, GSFM, and Dixie Ferguson to hand deliver the proceeds.

At the PRCA Rodeo performance, Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days celebrated Wrangler Patriots Night with a special tribute to all military branches.

This year, a special project was selected by the fair board to donate a portion of tickets sales from Patriots Night performance. This amount is matched by the Wrangler National Patriot program, according to Bill.

Wrangler contributes to match individual PRCA Rodeo donations to charities from the sale of Wrangler National Patriot brand clothing.

“It is an honor to pay tribute to the families who sacrificed a loved one for our freedom,” Bill said.

The proposed site location for the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument is at Fort Walla Walla Park at the corner of Dalles Military and Myra roads.

Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days will celebrate its 154th fair on Sept. 2-6.

School-related scholarships available

Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees Association is offering two $2,000 scholarships to prospective teachers or candidates in other school-related fields that will student teach or do an internship experience in an educational setting.

Scholarship chairwoman Mardel Bierwagen said applications are due by March 1 and available to applicants who will student teach or have an internship between September and June 2021 and who have graduated from high school in Walla Walla or Columbia counties.

Online applications are available at Blue Mountain Community Foundation,

Washington State School Retirees Association is offering a scholarship for students graduating from any Washington state high school preparing to do student teaching/internship during the 2020-2021 school year. For details on this, go to under the tabs for more information.

Cops and Kids a fun day

“We had a great Cops and Kids holiday shopping event at Walmart Dec.14,” said Vicki Ruley, crime prevention coordinator with the Walla Walla Police Department.

The day started with an early morning breakfast hosted by Applebee’s. Manager Benjamin Garza and employee Travis Bird handled flapjack griddle duties and employee Jamie Smith coordinated servers who included Crime Watch volunteers Marianne Barr, Jeanie Fulton, Ellie Jacobs, Crime Watch treasurer Melinda Porter and Vicki.

“The Applebee’s breakfast turned out to be a great ice breaker for the kids and officers to get to know each other,” Vicki said.

At the restaurant each family received gift-wrapped box(es) of needs such as toilet paper, dish and hand soap, shampoo and conditioner, baby wipes, baby shampoo, warm clothes, coats, shoes, blankets, all depending on the specific needs of each family and a $100 gift card from Grocery Outlet.

Cops and Kids coordinator Amy Harris cited a number of people for their assistance in making the event a success. Vicki and Nikki Raver contributed help leading up to and throughout the event. Chalese Rabidue, Brooke Martin and Cami Galler helped shop for the needs boxes.

Nancy Walters, Jenny Filan, Brian Barr, Shelly Penland and Shawna Corbett took pictures and printed cards for the kids. Jim Romine played Santa.

Amy also cited “our amazing wrappers for smiling, sweating, and doing a fabulous job making those presents look good".

Ava Calhoon, Jett Corbett, Signe Erickson, Owen Hood and Ian Calhoon helped with Santa presents and pictures.

Forty officers came and shopped or helped with the kids, Amy said. “I saw lots of smiles and happy kiddoes. Without all of you none of this would be possible. This was the most officers I have had participate in years, and it truly was an amazing morning for our families.

“Every year we get more and more applications for this event. The need is definitely there. We have great support from our community in helping us pay for this event. This was truly a magical time with all we were able to do for our families.”

Participating law enforcement officers were from the Walla Walla and College Place Police departments, Walla Walla Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol and officers from the Veterans Administration.

By the numbers, there were 16 gift wrappers, three who ran Santa presents to gift wrap Santa and two elves and Toni Alvarado-Jackson and two people snapping photos.

Crime Watch provided coffee, cocoa and donuts, staffed by Wanda Galland and Sgt. Eric Knudson.

Of the $11,000-plus proceeds that made the gift-giving and needs boxes possible, $2,500 came from a Walmart contribution and the rest was donated by members of the community.