The annual Tri-Cities Wine Festival, a Pacific Northwest event for more than 40 years, has been permanently discontinued, according to Ted Davis, president, Tri-Cities Wine Society, which hosted the event for more than 30 of its 40-year run. Davis made the announcement recently at the society’s annual membership meeting. The festival has annually attracted more than 1,000 attendees, including wineries and their representatives from Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana, and years ago, also from British Columbia. What would have been the 42nd festival had to be cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings.
“Closing this chapter of the wine society’s history was a difficult decision for its board of directors,” Davis explained, “but we do so with a sense of pride and feelings of accomplish-ment as we reflect on the growth of the Northwest wine industry over the past 40-plus years and the part the festival has played by showcasing Northwest wineries and their wines. The Tri-Cities Wine Society is looking forward to continuing to do so with other events.” In reflecting on the wine industry, Davis shared that early in the festival’s history, it was the only way many attendees could sample Northwest wines as there were few tasting rooms or wine events. Much has changed over the years.
The festival was the longest, continuously judged wine festival in the Northwest. It was started in 1979 by Coke Roth, a Tri-Cities attorney and past president, Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau – now Visit Tri-Cities – and his friend, Maury Balcom, as a fundraiser for a copier for the bureau, and as a way to promote Northwest wines and the Tri-Cities as a tourist destina-tion . After 10 years and wanting to move in a different direction, the bureau offered the Tri-Cities Wine Society the opportunity to host the event. While the festival has been in different locations and at different times of the year, for many years it was a November event at the Pasco Red Lion, and then, for more than 10 years, at the Three Rivers Convention Center and in partnership with VenuWorks.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all the wineries and businesses that have supported the festival, including our silent auction, over its long history,” Davis went on to say. “For several years, proceeds from the auction have been targeted for scholarships to students focusing on viticulture and enology in area schools,” Davis added.
“I also want to extend a sincere thank you to the hundreds of volunteers over the years who worked to ensure the festival’s success,” Davis added. Regarding the volunteers, he said, “As the wine industry grew, so did the festival. It became a year-round effort for a small core of volunteers to ensure its success.”
Lourdes Health is pleased to announce that Lourdes Health Crisis Services has moved to Lourdes Counseling Center, located at 1175 Carondelet Drive in Richland.
“We have given careful consideration to this move, and we believe this consolidation of services at one location will be of benefit to the community and populations we serve,” said Gordon Cable, Director, Behavioral Health Outpatient, Crisis and Related Services. “We feel that we can best and better serve the needs of our community by having all of our services in one convenient location.”
Lourdes Health Crisis Services provides behavioral health crisis services 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Crisis staff are trained to recognize a wide range of behavioral health concerns for both mental health as well as substance abuse.
“Our team is well versed in local and regional resources with the goal of assisting in the resolutions for an individual’s immediate crisis, as well as referrals to meet the ongoing unique needs of the individual,” Cable said.
Services include crisis and commitment services, behavioral health therapy, co-occurring treatment, psychiatric medication management, transitions (crisis triage facility), inpatient psychiatric unit, phone crisis services, face-to-face evaluations to assist in resolution of the immediate crisis, crisis follow up to ensure the crisis is resolved and the individual has appropriate services and support available, consultation and training for community partners regarding crisis services and behavioral health conditions, Involuntary Treatment Act Investigations to determine if a person requires involuntary treatment due a mental health or substance use disorder.
Lourdes Crisis Services can be reached at 509.783.0500 or toll-free at 800.783.0544.
Visit Tri-Cities, in partnership with TBEX Events, announced TBEX North America is postponed until April 18-21, 2022, due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 delta variant.
“Though we are disappointed that this event is being postponed until spring of 2022, the health and safety of TBEX attendees, sponsors and residents of the Tri-Cities is paramount,” said Michael Novakovich, President & CEO of Visit Tri-Cities.
TBEX North America will still be held at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick for the rescheduled dates, and sponsors are committed to support the event in 2022. Many of the planned activities, including Pre-Bex tours of local attractions and receptions at popular points of interest, will continue to be a part of the TBEX program.
“We look forward to hosting TBEX and the hundreds of expected travel content creators for an amazing experience that only the Tri-Cities can offer,” Novakovich said. “Spring is a beautiful time of year in our community with arguably some of our best weather. In fact, we now can highlight even more of the Tri-Cities tourism assets and attractions, and we will be able to do so safely. The media coverage from TBEX will amplify our efforts in economic recovery by creating additional interest and future visitation to our destination.”
TBEX North America is the largest conference and networking event for influential travel content creators from throughout North America and beyond. TBEX is expected to attract approximately 350-400 travel bloggers, online journalists, content creators and industry professionals with an online reach of more than 300 million.
The conference program features three days of educational and networking opportunities as well as familiarization tours throughout the Tri-Cities highlighting the region’s exciting and unique attractions, from STEM activities and outdoor recreation to wineries and farm-to-table. The Tri-Cities can look forward to immediate and exponential exposure as attendees share their Tri-Cities experience via social channels.
To learn more about TBEX, visit https://tbexcon.com/.
Local community bank and trust company Community First Bank & HFG Trust is pleased to announce a new scholarship opportunity for students who are pursuing higher education.
Beginning in 2022, the Richard C. Emery Business and Finance Scholarship Fund will award scholarships in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 per year to students on track to receive a four-year degree in the areas of business, accounting, finance, economics, or a related field.
This scholarship fund was formed to honor the legacy of the late Richard C. Emery, former President and CEO of Community First Bank. Under Emery’s leadership, Community First Bank established and strengthened relationships with local businesses, poising itself for future growth that would eventually lead to the opening of three new branches: Connell (2004), Richland (2006), and Pasco (2008).
“Rich is a legend in Washington State community banking. He had a tremendous impact on a number of financial institutions and is directly responsible for setting the foundation on which Community First Bank & HFG Trust has been built. Perhaps Rich’s most lasting impact is the one he had on those who worked with him. He mentored countless young bankers in his efforts to build a team that would go on to serve future generations—that is why this scholarship is so appropriate. This scholarship will allow for Rich’s legacy to continue to impact the careers and lives of young businesspersons for generations to come,” said Eric Pearson, CEO, Community First Bank.
Higher education has the power to transform lives, and with this new scholarship fund, the Emery family and Community First Bank & HFG Trust aim to reduce financial barriers and open opportunities to students working toward a post-graduation career in the financial services industry.
“The Emery family is honored that Community First Bank and HFG Trust is creating this scholarship in memory of Richard Emery. Rich would be so grateful to know that this scholarship will help future students achieve their collegiate goals,” said Kathy Emery, Richard’s wife. “As a family, we are incredibly thankful to have him remembered this way.”
In its inaugural year, Community First Bank & HFG Trust will be endowing the fund with a minimum of $5,000—a contribution that will evolve and continue annually as the fund grows. Along with Community First Bank & HFG Trust, the Emery family welcomes all those who wish to make a contribution in Richard’s memory, and, together with the 3 Rivers Community Foundation, have made online contributions available through their Make a Donation link at www.3cf.org.
To be eligible, students must be residents of Benton or Franklin County and currently enrolled as a full-time high school senior or returning college student. Official scholarship rules to be released January 2022.
Prosser Memorial Health COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Scheduled for August 24, 25, & 26 at Prosser Clinic on Chardonnay Avenue
Prosser Memorial Health will host a Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic August 24, 25, and 26th from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm each evening, at the Prosser Clinic on Chardonnay Avenue. Appointments are required. The Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine is approved for those ages 12 & older.
Schedule your vaccine appointment online at prosserhealth.org. Prosser Memorial Health staff will be onsite for check-in, administering vaccine, and post-vaccination observation. Prosser Memorial Health’s Prosser Clinic is located at 336 Chardonnay Avenue, Suite A. Those receiving the vaccine will be asked to wait onsite 15 minutes for observation. Appointments are required.
To schedule by phone, call 509.786.6601. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org Additional COVID-19 resources can be found on our website at prosserhealth.org.
After a year off, Yakima’s 60th annual Sunfair Parade is back and better than ever! The much-loved parade is scheduled to return Saturday, September 25th with Yakima Federal Savings and Loan signing on as the presenting sponsor.
This year’s parade will begin at 10 a.m. and follow the same route as previous years, starting at the corner of 16th and Yakima Ave and winding its way down Yakima Ave to Naches Ave. Judging will take place in the parade staging area from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Area businesses, schools or organizations wishing to participate may pick up an application at any Yakima Federal Savings and Loan, Ron’s Coins & Collectables, the Yakima Chamber of Commerce or on the parade’s Facebook page facebook.com/Yakimasunfairparade.
“This year’s marshal is being kept a secret, but we think the whole community will be on board when they are unveiled,” said Paul Crawford of the Sunfair Parade committee. “It’s a special year. They are a special guest”.
Deadline for entry is midnight on Friday, September 17, 2021. Those with questions about the parade may e-mail them to: email@example.com
The first Sunfair Parade was held in 1961 in mid-summer, part of a Sunfair, sponsored by the Yakima Sundusters, a promotional group of the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce. In 1972, the parade was moved to September to coincide with the opening of the Central Washington State Fair.
Yakima Federal Savings and Loan is headquartered in Yakima, WA. and has been in business since 1905. With 2 billion dollars in assets, the association is the 10th largest Washington-based FDIC insured financial institution.
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new North Franklin Visitor’s Center will be held on August 23rd at 12:00 PM in Connell. Officials from the City of Connell, Connell Chamber, and Port of Pasco will be on hand to officially open the Visitor’s Center. The public is invited to attend to tour the new facility. Light refreshments will be served.
The City of Connell, the Greater Connell Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Port of Pasco worked together to create the Visitor Center located at 661 S. Columbia Avenue.
Mayor Lee Barrow is credited with the vision for the facility. “The Visitors Center is a great way to welcome people into town. It provides a rest break for travelers on Highway 395 and gives them the opportunity to learn about our city’s history, community events , local businesses and the other things that our city and surrounding areas have to offer.”
The building, previously a physician’s office, is owned by the City and was refurbished by the Port to accommodate this new use. It includes a lobby area, a small conference room which can hold up to 20 people, public restrooms, a small office for the Chamber and an outdoor deck.
Lauren Smith, Manager for the Chamber of Commerce stated “The Chamber of Commerce is excited to have a space to serve our businesses and community. We very much appreciate both the Port of Pasco and the City of Connell for considering the needs of the Chamber when designing the building plan. This will give us the ability for growth in years to come.”
Randy Hayden, Executive Director of the Port of Pasco explained the Port’s goal for the project, “The new center provides a way for visitors to discover the wonderful activities and businesses in this part of our Port district.”
The Port of Pasco will also be holding their bi-monthly Commissioners meeting in the Visitor’s Center conference room on the same day beginning at 10:30 AM. They encourage interested citizens to attend to hear about other developments in the Port district.
Lourdes and Trios Health are pleased to host a community job fair for Nurses, MA’s, CNA’s and more, on Saturday, Aug. 21. The event will be held at Columbia Center Mall from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The fair will be held near the food court.
Individuals who are interested in learning more about exciting full-time opportunities for registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, and medical assistants, among others, are encouraged to attend.
“We are excited to be hosting this event and are very interested in meeting with individuals seeking careers in healthcare,” said Linda Miller, Market Director of Human Resources at Lourdes Health and Trios Health. “We have a number of exciting opportunities that are open to individuals at any stage in their career.”
The community job fair will include opportunities for open interviews. Interested individuals should plan to bring a copy of their resume and plan approximately 30 minutes for an interview.
“We have positions available at both of our hospitals and throughout our medical facilities,” Miller said. “As we interview candidates, we will strive to find opportunities that will be the best fit for individuals, whether that be at Lourdes or Trios. We are looking forward to meeting quality candidates and being able to grow our organizations as we help people to grow their healthcare experience and careers.”
For more information about this event or to view current job openings, please visit yourlourdes.com and trioshealth.org.
Gesa Credit Union Announces High School Co-Branded Affinity Debit Card Earnings to Local School Districts; More than $266,000 Awarded
Gesa Credit Union, a community-chartered credit union, announced the total 2020-2021 school year earnings of their Affinity Debit Card Program exceeded $266,000 for partner school districts across Washington state. The program supports local schools by earning funds for partner districts to use toward academic programs, technology needs, extracurricular programs, and athletics.
Since the program began in 2015, Gesa has raised more than $750,000 for the 17 school districts they partner with. The top earning district, Pasco School District, earned more than $57,700 through the program. Other top earning districts include Richland School District, which earned more than $57,500, and Kennewick School District, that earned more than $56,800.
“Supporting education is a core value at Gesa and we are passionate about supporting local school districts and the incredible educators in our community,” said Don Miller, President and CEO of Gesa Credit Union. “Through the support of our members, we’re proudly awarding these impactful funds to schools across the state. We’re thankful to our members who have embraced this program and have joined us in giving back to the community.”
With every swipe of a Co-Branded Affinity Debit Card, Gesa makes a donation to that particular school district. 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.
For more information about Gesa Credit Union and the Affinity Debit Card Program, visit www.gesa.com.
Trios Health is pleased to announce that its $10 sports physical offering is being extended through Aug. 31 at the Trios Urgent Care, located at 7201 W. Grandridge Blvd. in Kennewick. The physicals have been offered at the Urgent Care this summer since June 11.
The sports physicals being conducted at the Urgent Care are in place of Trios’ traditional one-day Sports Physical Clinic, which will not be happening this year. All of the proceeds from the sports physicals will be donated back to students’ respective school sports programs. So far, more than 175 students have been able to take advantage of the $10 sports physical offering.
“We are grateful to be able to offer this every year for our community and be able to have the opportunity to give back to our local schools through this program,” said Lorie Orozco, Director of Trios Medical Group Operations. “While it is not feasible for us to conduct a larger one-day clinic due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to us to be able to provide this opportunity still and make this service accessible and affordable for our community.”
The physicals, for all middle and high school students, are being completed by Trios medical providers, and students may bring their completed physical form to the clinic or access a generic sports physical form online at trioshealth.org/Sports-Physicals. Walk-ins are accepted at the Urgent Care Clinic Monday-Sunday from 8 a.m.-7:45 p.m. Visits for sports physicals can also be scheduled by calling 509.221.6900.
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.