Gesa Credit Union Partners with the Arbor Day Foundation to Launch New “Forevergreen” Affinity Card in Honor of National Arbor Day
Gesa, a community-focused credit union, today announced a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation to launch a new “Forevergreen” affinity card that will raise funds for the Foundation’s reforestation efforts in the Pacific Northwest. Each time the Co-Branded Affinity Debit Card is used, Gesa will make a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation to support its mission of planting, nurturing, and celebrating trees.
“This partnership provides an inspiring boost towards ongoing recovery efforts on critical Pacific Northwest forestland that was devastated during the 2021 wildfire season,” said Dan Lambe, Chief Executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Through this initiative, Gesa has not only shown their commitment to environmental stewardship, but they have also demonstrated the importance of inviting a community to participate and engage towards those efforts in a meaningful way.”
The “Forevergreen” Affinity Card is the sixth card Gesa has launched that supports Local Heroes, generating an even greater impact on our communities. The other groups honored in Gesa’s suite of Local Heroes Affinity Cards include firefighters, law enforcement, healthcare workers, teachers, and veterans.
“At Gesa, we firmly believe in the importance of supporting causes that create a positive impact on the communities we serve, which is why we are excited to introduce our new ‘Forevergreen’ affinity card,” said Richard Waddle, Executive Vice President of Gesa Credit Union. “Through this partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, we hope to inspire others to join us in supporting reforestation efforts in the Pacific Northwest that will allow our beautiful region to continue thriving.”
Gesa’s Co-Branded Affinity Debit Card Program supports Local Heroes by earning money for eligible organizations supporting these heroes each time a card is used. Co-Branded Affinity Debit Cards are available exclusively at Gesa Credit Union and are free to Gesa members with a checking account. There is no fee for members to switch their card to any of the Local Heroes designs.
For more information about Gesa Credit Union and its Affinity Debit Card Program visit www.gesa.com. For more information about the Arbor Day Foundation, visit arborday.org.
2023 Women of Distinction Award Winners, (left to right): Legacy Award: Rebekah Woods, president, Columbia Basin College; Faculty Award: Yimo Liu, WSU Tri-Cities associate professor, School of Biological Sciences; Staff Award: Evelyn Martinez-Ostrom, WSU Tri-Cities Office of Student Engagement and Leadership, director; Student Award: Haydee Guzman, WSU Tri-Cities psychology student; Community Member Award: Christine Lindgren, director, The Responding to Autism Center, Kennewick
Washington State University Tri-Cities recognized five female leaders as Women of Distinction for their contributions to the campus and Tri-Cities community as part of an April 20 inductee ceremony.
The women honored exhibit exceptional leadership in their discipline or area of expertise, serve as role models and mentors to other women, advocate for positive social change and demonstrate a commitment to WSU Tri-Cities’ mission.
“We are fortunate to live in a community that values education and the contributions that women make,” said Sandra Haynes, chancellor at WSU Tri-Cities. “The Women of Distinction awards are our way of recognizing some of the incredible women whose work has impacted the campus and its students, empowered other women, and strengthened our community.”
This is the sixth year of the award program and during that time more than 150 submissions have been received. Nominations are open to the campus and the Tri-Cities community.
The 2023 Women of Distinction Award Winners:
Woman of Distinction Legacy Award, 2023
President of Columbia Basin College
Woman of Distinction Community Member Award, 2023
Director, The Responding to Autism Center, Kennewick
Woman of Distinction Faculty Award, 2023
WSU Tri-Cities associate professor, School of Biological Sciences
Woman of Distinction Student Award, 2023
WSU Tri-Cities psychology student
Woman of Distinction Staff Member Award, 2023
WSU Tri-Cities Office of Student Engagement and Leadership, director
Washington State University Tri-Cities will honor more than 315 graduating students this year. The honorees include graduates from the fall 2022 and spring 2023 terms.
WSU President, Kirk Schulz will give opening remarks and the keynote speaker is General Jim Mattis.
The two-hour WSU Tri-Cities Commencement Ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. May 6 at the Toyota Center, 7016 W Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick, WA 99336. No tickets are required. Parking is free. Doors to the venue open at noon. The Toyota Center has entry requirements including a clear bag policy.
BACKGROUND ON THE GRADUATES
The 2023 graduates include 20 doctoral candidates in the areas of biological and agricultural engineering, education, food science, individual interdisciplinary, language, literacy and technology, nursing practice and teaching and learning.
The 24 master’s candidates will receive degrees in biological and agricultural engineering, biology, education, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, environmental science, horticulture, mechanical engineering, nursing and teaching.
The bachelor’s candidates will receive degrees in biology, business administration, civil engineering, computer science, digital technology and culture, earth and environmental science, education, electrical engineering, English, history, hospitality business management, humanities, integrated plant sciences, mechanical engineering, psychology, nursing, science, social sciences and viticulture and enology.
General Jim Mattis served as the 26th Secretary of Defense Jan. 2017 – Jan. 2019, working to strengthen America’s alliances and reorient the defense budget to address challenges posed by emerging threats.
During his 43 years in the Marine Corps, General Mattis served as an infantry officer and commanded at various levels. Eventually he served simultaneously as the Commander of US Joint Forces Command and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation where he oversaw the transformation of capabilities for the US military and allied forces respectively. In his final tour as the Commander of U.S. Central Command he led 250,000 American and allied forces in fighting across the Middle East.
He is currently the Davies Family Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the author of the book, “Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead”. General Mattis is a member of the Tri-Cities Food Bank Board of Directors.
Prosser Memorial Health is excited to welcome Dr. David Barber as our new Director of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Barber will also be taking on a provider role in the Prosser Memorial Hospital Emergency Department. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at Michigan State. He is also certified with the American Board of Emergency Medicine.
For the last eight years, Dr. Barber worked in Lourdes and Kadlec’s emergency department, as well as being part of the Clinical faculty at Pacific NW University, and as an assistant professor at WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. As an ED provider, he is aware that, for most people, a trip to the ER is usually not a good experience. So, he likes to treat his patients with compassionate care and kindness, trying his best to make his patients feel at ease. And being bilingual in English and Spanish allows him the ability to make all his patients feel heard.
Dr. Barber is a Tri-Cities native, who grew up in Pasco and is now bringing up his family in the comfort of the valley. When he’s not busy in the ER, Dr. Barber can often be found on the golf course, indulging in his love of the sport. Though it was by pure chance that he came across the open position at Prosser Memorial Health, he is happy to be able to contribute to our growing team, work with kind and approachable colleagues, and enjoy the “family feel” that Prosser has to offer.
We are happy to have Dr. Barber join the PMH team! To learn more about Dr. Barber and Prosser Memorial’s Emergency Department, visit prossermemorial.org or give us a call at 509.786.2222.
This weekend, Chukar Cherries’ Organic Rainier Cherries earned a coveted Good Food Award in the Snacks category from the prestigious Good Food Foundation. The foundation hosted the 2023 Good Food Awards on Friday at Revolution Hall in Portland, OR—the very first time the awards have been held in the Pacific Northwest. Appropriate for the Northwest debut, Chukar’s founder, Pam Montgomery spoke at the award ceremony—describing how Chukar went from humble beginnings on an Inland Northwest family orchard to becoming an iconic Northwest cherry & chocolate gifting brand.
2023 marks the 13th year of the Good Food Awards hosted by the Good Food Foundation. Each year, judges evaluate over 2000 entries via blind tasting. Fifteen winners are chosen in each specialty food category—showcasing the best sustainably-produced foods available in the USA. Organically grown by Inland Northwest farmers and dried on-site in Prosser—Chukar’s Organic Rainiers excel on both accounts.
Organic Rainier Cherries have been a top seller since Chukar launched their Certified Organic product line in 2013. Located in the heart of Washington cherry country—Chukar sources their cherries locally and dries them without added sugar, preservatives, or sulfites using a natural process the company pioneered in the 1980’s on the family cherry orchard. To make Chukar’s Rainier cherries even more exceptional, the Rainier cherry was first cultivated just 5 miles from Chukar’s headquarters at the Washington State University Irrigated Agriculture Research & Extension Center. Chukar’s Organic Rainier Cherries are USDA Certified Organic and contain only one ingredient—Washington cherries.
According to Karley Lange, Marketing Specialist at Northwest Cherries, Rainier Cherries are unique among cherry varietals: “Northwest Rainier Cherries quickly rose to international prominence for their exceptionally large size, vibrant yellow color and pink blush skin, and delicately sweet flavor. It is no surprise to us that Chukar’s Organic Rainier Cherries—dried within days of harvest in the center of Washington’s fruit lands—are recognized as an exceptionally rewarding snack.”
Chukar Cherries is also a regional leader in sustainability initiatives including local fruit sourcing, plant-based packaging, composting cherry pits, and waste reduction. For example, Chukar’s catalogs are printed on Forest Stewardship Council Certified Paper, much of their packaging is plant-based or recyclable, retail bags are made from OceanPoly® (which contains a minimum of 25% plastic recovered from coastal pollution areas), and the company’s UPS packages ship Certified Carbon Neutral.
Chukar’s Organic Rainier Cherries can be purchased at their flagship store and factory headquarters in Prosser, at their store in the center of Seattle’s Pike Place Market, or at chukar.com.
This year’s 4th of July Celebration is better than ever, as musicians from around the area will turn out for a day full of music, fun, and fireworks as they compete for more than $1,500 in cash and prizes along with spots performing at this year’s Central Washington State Fair.
This is the 6th year Yakima AppleJam has brought local performers together for the big show.
Starting April 24th, musicians can upload a demo video for free at YakimaAppleJam.com to compete in either the solo or the bands contest. The deadline for entry is May 30th.
On June 1st, all the entries will be made available on YakimaAppleJam.com for public voting – with the performers who get the most votes winning a slot in the Yakima AppleJam Battle of the Bands 5 lineup.
“The first part of the selection process will depend on bands motivating their friends, family and fans to get out and vote,” said organizer Paul Crawford, Marketing Manager of Yakima Federal Savings and Loan, sponsor of this year’s 4th of July Festival.
The top vote-getters in the first round will be invited to perform live at Yakima’s 4th of July Celebration at State Fair Park. They’ll try and wow a panel of VIP judges in hopes of winning the top prize: $500 for the best band performance, $500 for the best solo performance and an additional $500 for best overall performance.
The contests are open to all ages and all musical types, and there are no entry fees to compete. “We have a lot of talent here in the Yakima Valley,” said Crawford, “AppleJam celebrates these amazing artists with a fun family-friendly concert in front of a great big crowd.”
YAKIMA APPLEJAM 5 is a free event and is produced by Yakima Federal Savings and Loan, State Fair Park and Stephens Media Group stations KXDD, Cherry-FM, 105.7 The Hawk, Hot 99.7, Big 106.1 and KRUZN 106.9 FM.
This year’s 4th of July Celebration is scheduled from Noon to 11:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 4th, at State Fair Park, 1301 South Fair Avenue, Yakima.
Gesa, a community-focused credit union, recently announced a partnership with Heritage University to launch a fundraising program benefitting the University through a new co-branded debit card. Each time the Co-Branded Affinity Debit Card is used, Gesa will make a donation to Heritage University that will be used to fund programs and activities that support the success of the University’s students.
“We are excited about our partnership with Gesa Credit Union and their affinity card program,” said David Wise, Vice President for Marketing and Advancement at Heritage University. “Not only does this program give our friends, alumni and supporters a way to show their Eagle pride, they are able to help provide much-needed scholarship support to current and future students by doing something they are already doing everyday—using their debit card to purchase things like groceries, gas and household goods.”
Heritage University is the fifth college in Washington state to join Gesa’s Co-Branded Affinity Debit Card Program. Launched in 2015, to date the program has raised more than $1 million for local partner school districts and universities, awarding more than $300,000 in 2022 alone.
“This exciting collaboration not only allows us to support a great institution that empowers its students but also provides our members with a unique opportunity to showcase their support to the school with every transaction,” said Richard Waddle, Executive Vice President of Gesa Credit Union. “Heritage University is doing really impactful work and we’re honored to come alongside them to help raise money to benefit their programs.”
Gesa’s Co-Branded Affinity Debit Card Program supports local schools by earning money for partner districts each time a card is used. Co-Branded Affinity Debit Cards are available exclusively at Gesa Credit Union and are free to Gesa members with a checking account. There is no fee for members to switch their card to any of the school designs. Anyone who lives, works, or worships in Washington is eligible to become a member and support their local schools.
For more information about Gesa Credit Union and its Affinity Debit Card Program visit www.gesa.com.
Mid‐Columbia Libraries’ Pasco branch invites the community to Día del niño y los libros, a celebration of children and books day, on April 29 from 11 am to 1 pm at Memorial Park in Pasco.
Library staff and community partners will provide crafts, activities, and snacks for all ages. There will be character appearances, performances, and book giveaways for children.
Día is a celebration of children, families, and reading that culminates yearly in the spring; it was founded by the author Pat Mora and developed with assistance from members of REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish‐Speaking. The event emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. As celebrated by libraries and librarians, Día is an enhancement of Children’s Day, a tradition which takes place annually on April 30 in Mexico.
More details can be found at midcolumbialibraries.org and on Facebook. More information about the history of Día can be found at http://www.ala.org/alsc/initiatives/dia.
Lourdes and Trios Health are pleased to be partnering to host a sports physical clinic on Saturday, May 20, 2023, for all local middle and high school students.
The sports physical clinic will be held at Lourdes West Pasco Family Medicine Clinic, located at 7425 Wrigley Drive in Pasco from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Students can receive their physical for $10, without the need for insurance. All fees collected will be donated back to the students’ respective schools.
“We are grateful to partner with Lourdes Health in hosting this event. Trios Health started this clinic more than 21 years ago and has been able to give back thousands of dollars to our local schools for the purchase of athletic safety equipment,” said Emilia Keener, Market Senior Director of Physician Services. “The sports physical clinic offers a great opportunity for our community to get to know our providers at Trios and Lourdes and have this service be accessible and affordable for our community.”
The physicals will be completed by Lourdes Physician Clinics and Trios Medical Group providers, as well as Trios Health resident physicians. They will be donating their time to provide this service. Volunteers from Lourdes and Trios will also be helping out at various stations prior to the physical exam with a provider, including registration, a height and weight check, blood pressure station, and eye exam check.
“This is a great community event with the dual purpose of being able to provide local students with a low-cost option for their required sports physical and give back to our local schools in a meaningful way,” said Jeff Bourgeois, Interim Market CEO at Lourdes Health and Trios Health. “Lourdes Health and Trios Health are excited to be co-hosting this event and serving our community.”
Students who wear glasses or contacts should bring them to their visit for the eye exam portion.
Cash or check will be accepted, and checks should be written out to Lourdes Health. Sports physical forms for the Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland school districts are available at TriosHealth.org/Sports-Physicals and YourLourdes.com/Sports-Physicals and should be filled out prior to the event and ready to go when registering. A limited amount of forms will be available at the time of the event.
Local students who wish to apply for Yakima Federal Savings and Loan’s annual scholarship program have a few extra days to complete their applications. The local bank’s deadline for its Awards for Academic Excellence has been extended to April 27th. The program is funded with $200,000 for scholarships for area graduating seniors. The individual awards are $2,500 each.
Applicants must reside in Yakima, Kittitas, Benton or Franklin counties, graduate in the top 10% of their class and have demonstrated high moral character, industriousness, and ambition during their high school career. Also required with the application is a one-page letter of motivation outlining future plans, school and life experiences, including any challenges faced and overcome and the impact of receiving an award. Students can review requirements and apply online now at
YakimaFed.com/scholarship. The new deadline for application is April 27th, 2023.
The selection committee will award up to two applicants from each area school. Home schooled students are also eligible. Awards are funded upon student enrollment for the fall semester following graduation. Award checks are issued payable to the school in which the student is enrolled. Recipients will be notified by June 1, 2023.
Yakima Federal has provided over $2,750,000 in college scholarships to local graduating high school seniors through its Award for Academic Excellence program over the past 46 years.
Email your press release and a photo to Austin Regimbal, Marketing & Communications Director. Press releases are posted in their entirety. This is a free benefit for members of the Tri-City Regional Chamber.