The Children's Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia Raises Over $100,000 for Children's Literacy Through Virtual Auction
The Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia (CRFMC) raised over $100,000 on Friday September 11th 2020 at their fundraiser Books and Vines, held as a virtual live auction.
The Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia’s 13th annual fundraiser, Books and Vines, was held virtually this year due to COVID restrictions. With over 300 people participating from across the country through Facebook Live, $107,580 was raised Friday night. All proceeds from this event will go to fund and support the mission of the foundation by providing books, tools, and resources to our most vulnerable children and families across Benton and Franklin Counties. “With schools and libraries closed, our mission is more important now than it has ever been.” Said Elizabeth Barnes, Executive Director. The Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia has distributed thousands of books into the community since the onset of COVID through partnerships with local community groups and schools.
CRFMC would like to thank all of their sponsors and donors who helped raise these funds. Especially our event sponsors that include Numerica Credit Union, Bechtel, Amentum, Gesa Credit Union, Sun Pacific Energy, Focal Point Marketing, Copiers Northwest, and Bookwalter Winery. “This event is only made possible through the commitment and dedication that our sponsors and donors have to our mission” said Leanne Purcell, committee chair and board member.
CRFMC has already set the date for the 14th annual fundraiser Books and Vines for September 10th, 2021 to be held at Bookwalter winery. To become a sponsor for next year’s event contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of an overall strategy plan to both meet social distancing requirements during the covid-19 pandemic and to improve overall traffic flow around the lodge area for years to come, two new structures are being built at Bluewood Ski Resort.
The largest of the two is a 1,956-square-foot Sprung building, which is being constructed at the upper corner of the parking lot and to the left of the lodge. Engineered to withstand extreme weather and shed heavy snow loads, “The Hub” will house both the Rentals and SnowSports departments.
“The Hub will give guests a designated spot with more space to pick up rental gear and sign up for lessons, while also eliminating long waiting lines in the lower level of the lodge,” says Kim Clark, general manager of Bluewood.
The second structure underway is a 450-square-foot yurt, which will be located at the base area near where the ski racks have typically stood. Similar in design to the yurt at the summit, the new structure will be where guests go to pick up reserved and prepurchased tickets, and will help alleviate long lines at the lodge ticket windows.
With Rentals, SnowSports and ticket pickup areas moving to the new outbuildings, the vacated space leaves roughly 1,200 square feet available in the lodge. That space, near the Pub, is being converted to another dining area, with tables, chairs and a snack station where the SnowSports desk has been.
Gesa Credit Union Joins Forces with American Red Cross to aid in Washington Wildfire Relief Matching Contributions up to $10,000
Gesa Credit Union has partnered with the American Red Cross to accept donations now through the end of October at all Gesa branches. All donations collected benefit the Red Cross Washington Wildfire fund, to aid those in need. Gesa will match all donations up to $10,000.
The Red Cross Washington Wildfire fund is helping residents prepare for, respond to, and helps those affected recover from these disasters. Gesa Credit Union members and non-members can visit any Gesa branch to make a donation. “Our thoughts are with those impacted by and helping to fight these devastating wildfires,” said Don Miller, President and CEO of Gesa Credit Union. “Gesa will continue to support the American Red Cross in their efforts to aid our communities during this time. We encourage you to stand with us and donate to the American Red Cross to support volunteers and the services they are providing to those in need.”
Beginning with the Evans Canyon fire outside of Naches and extending to dozens of fires across the state in just a few weeks, the American Red Cross has mobilized volunteers to respond to the immediate disaster-caused needs of communities by providing emergency shelter, food, replacement of medical items, and mental health support. American Red Cross disaster assistance is provided at no cost, and as a nonprofit, the organization relies on the generosity of our communities to make this assistance possible. For more information about the American Red Cross and Wildfire relief efforts, visit redcross.org.
Gesa members who have been impacted by the Northwest Wildfires are encouraged to visit a local Gesa branch or call 888.946.4372 to inquire about specific programs designated to help. To learn more about Gesa Credit Union’s commitment to the community, visit www.gesa.com/community.
Lourdes Health today announced that CEO Rob Monical will step down from his role, effective September 22, 2020. Monical, who has been with Lourdes Health since April 2019, will be relocating with his family for another career opportunity.
“The decision to leave my role at Lourdes Health was a very difficult one, but the right one for me and my family,” Monical said. “I am honored to have been a part of Lourdes Health and the Tri-Cities area. We have a wonderful team of dedicated employees, physicians and volunteers with a genuine commitment to advancing the health of their communities. I am proud to have been able to call myself one of them and confident that they will continue to flourish and thrive long after my departure.”
Rob’s time at Lourdes Health has been marked by many great successes.
“Rob’s departure is a bittersweet one,” said Sandy Podley, Western Division President for LifePoint Health, of which Lourdes Health is a part. “He invested time and energy into people with a strong focus on employee culture and engagement. During his tenure, Lourdes Health has continued to be recognized as a top orthopedics hospital in the state of Washington. And with the support of the entire staff, he saw Lourdes through the initial months of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic – a crisis the team continues to navigate tirelessly to meet the needs of the community.”
To ensure a seamless transition, Chad Pew has been selected as interim CEO. Pew joins Lourdes Health from Trios Health, where he has served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) since March 2019.
“Chad is an experienced hospital executive with a strong understanding of the Tri-Cities healthcare landscape,” Podley said. “I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Chad’s ability to lead, and the Lourdes Health team will continue to provide great service to the community under his leadership.”
Before joining LifePoint, Pew served as Sr. Vice President and COO at Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, WY, and Chief Operating Officer at Lovelace Medical Center in Albuquerque, NM. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Chadron State College and a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Kennewick Parks and Recreation and Skyhawks are collaborating to offer a Fall Day Camp during school hours for kids 5-12 years old with working parents. We are working with local health and school officials to provide a safe and exciting day camp. Our professionally trained staff will provide the support each child needs to navigate the virtual school day with success. Supervised homework center, breakfast, lunch, and activities will keep participants engaged throughout the day.
The camp will follow the Kennewick School District schedule as close as possible. Day Camp participants will stay in pods of no more than seven and will social distance throughout the day. Masks will be required when indoors and strict sanitizing protocols have been put in place for the safety of staff and participants. The program will be held at the Numerica Pavilion/Southridge Sports and Events Complex and the Kennewick Activity Center/Keewaydin Community Center.
Register online at KennewickRecreation.com. For camp specific questions, call (509) 585-4293.
Financial assistance is available for qualified City of Kennewick residents and the fee is 15% of the total cost of each session.
The year-long construction at Wildhorse Resort & Casino that adds a bowling center, food court and arcade is nearly done and will open to the public by month’s end. However, due to pandemic restrictions, the highly anticipated grand opening will not be the usual flashy ceremony for which Wildhorse is known. Regardless, fun seekers have many reasons to celebrate this addition.
At the heart of the Wildhorse expansion is Quaking Aspens Lanes, a 24-lane, state-of-the-art bowling center that provides lively activity for families, friends, novice and serious bowlers. In the future, competitive bowlers may see leagues and tournaments in the lineup.
Owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), the bowling center’s name is inspired by Tribal history. “Nixyáawii” was what the Cayuse named the area where the Tribe’s winter encampment was located. Translated, the word refers to the groves of quaking aspen trees that grew around the springs. Equivalent to a large town, the encampment was the base for celebrations, games, root digging and horse racing.
The upscale bowling center is divided by a concourse with 16 lanes on one side and 8 boutique lanes on the other. The larger area is targeted for open and league play while the boutique lanes can be reserved for private parties and events.
Adjacent to the boutique lanes are two party rooms available to rent for family and business events or simply a friends’ night out. The two rooms can be can be opened up to a single, larger space for bigger groups, when needed. Event planners can opt for party packages or full catering service, depending on their preferences.
Service and convenience are a big part of the experience at Quaking Aspens Lanes. Bowlers can choose from an all-inclusive food court menu and place their order with a lane server who will deliver their snacks, meals and beverages. Menus can be viewed online or at the lane terminals.
A full bar located in the bowling center provides beverages and seating. Meals and snacks can be ordered at the bar or carried from the food court allowing guests to dine while watching the competition in the lanes.
The food court at Wildhorse will feature two independent vendors and two Wildhorse operations. Three restaurants will offer full menus and one will specialize in ice cream and sweet treats. A 3000 square foot dining room will seat up to 110 people in a warm, comfortable setting.
The new vendors bringing even more culinary options to Wildhorse are Moe Phở and Brigham Fish ‘n Chips. Owners of both restaurants have roots in Pendleton.
Wildhorse will be the second location for Moe Phở, the first being in downtown Pendleton. Owned by Whitney Minthorn and Moe Soeum, their focus is on popular cuisine from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Many ingredients are sourced from Thailand and the eatery provides gluten-free and vegan/vegetarian options. In business since February 2018, Moe Phở Noodles & Cafe prepares their food fresh to order with high quality ingredients and authentic recipes.
Also opening a second location is Brigham Fish Market. The Brigham family is well known for harvesting and selling fresh, wild-caught fish along the Columbia River. In 2014, Kim Brigham-Campbell opened a full service restaurant in Cascade Locks selling both fresh fish and prepared meals including fish and chips, po’boy sandwiches and chowders. The Wildhorse shop will be called Brigham Fish ‘n Chips and features a selection of favorites from the Market’s menu.
Minthorn and Brigham-Campbell are both members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR).
The Wildhorse-run restaurant serves family favorites like pizza, burgers, salads and appetizers. The ice cream and pastry shop is right next door and features quality Tillamook ice cream along with an assortment of treats to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Between the food court and bowling center, visitors will find the new Wildhorse arcade which is significantly larger than the old arcade with almost 2500 square feet of play space. Young gamers can choose from over 30 high-tech games and experiences in a single room, a luxury you don’t often find in rural resorts.
Arcade guests use their “fun card” as currency at arcade machines. The card can be loaded with any amount desired and is rechargeable. It keeps track of points racked up by players which they can then take to the redemption center for prizes.
Owners of Wildhorse Resort & Casino, the CTUIR, have eagerly anticipated the opening of the Family FunPlex. Board of Trustees Chairman Kat Brigham expressed the tribes’ passion for this significant project.
“The Tribe is very pleased to see our planning for the FunPlex move forward. We are very pleased to offer bowling as a sporting activity for the entire community,” stated Brigham. “So many families love this sport and we all look forward to seeing everyone enjoy this entertainment venue.”
The Family FunPlex is expected to open to the public before the end of September. Updates and information can be found at https://www.wildhorseresort.com/family-funplex/ or call 800-654-9453.
The Children's Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia Announces Books and Vines Virtual Live and Silent Auction Fundraiser
The Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia is pleased to announce Books and Vines – a virtual live and silent auction fundraiser. Books and Vines will be held virtually at www.BnV2020.Givesmart.com on September 11 from 6:30 to-7:30 PM.
The Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia’s 13th annual fundraiser, Books and Vines, will be held virtually this year due to COVID restrictions. This event raises funds to support the mission of the foundation by providing books, tools, and resources to our most vulnerable children and families across Benton and Franklin Counties. This year’s goal is to raise $100,000. “With schools and libraries closed, our mission is more important now then it has ever been.” Said Elizabeth Barnes, Executive Director. The Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia has distributed thousands of books into the community since the onset of COVID through partnerships with local community groups and schools.
Participation in the auction is free and all are encouraged to participate in the event. The silent auction opens September 5 at 8 AM and will close September 12 at 8 PM. Live auction will be held September 11 6:30-7:30 PM via Facebook live. To register for the event or to donate visit www.BnV2020.Givesmart.com
7th Annual Ag World Golf Classic raised over $91,000 to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities Inland Northwest – Goal to reach $100,000
Despite a challenging season of COVID-19, the Ag World Golf Classic was able to continue its tradition of giving to the Ronald McDonald House. This year, amidst masks and extra hand sanitizer, area agriculture producers, processors and industry businesses gathered to raise over $91,000 to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities Inland Northwest (RMHC) and to honor the legacy of the Ag World Golf Classic founder Warren Henninger who passed away earlier this year. The Golf Classic’s goal is to reach $100,000 this year for the House and to honor Warren. It’s not too late to help reach this goal by donating whatever you are able to contribute at AgWorldGolf.com.
The charity golf tournament took place on August 13th at the Links at Moses Pointe in Moses Lake. Originally scheduled to be held in June with two locations – one in Kennewick in its seventh year and one in Moses Lake in its first year. they both had to be rescheduled to August with the Kennewick course ultimately cancelling due to COVID. “We knew if we could hold the event we wanted to find a way to do it safely and still be able to raise funds for the House and honor Dad’s (Warren) legacy.”, said Melanie Finch (Warren’s daughter and Ag World Senior Manager). This first year in Moses Lake was a great success! Through the generosity of the 75 Sponsors/Donors and 145 golfers it was another incredible year of giving to the House.
Not only did the Golf Classic generously raise funds, it was also a special year in honoring the Founder of the Ag World Golf Classic and Ag World Support Systems, Warren Henninger, who passed away in May. “Dad (Warren) cast a big shadow and impacted many people during his life. We are blessed to carry on his legacy through the Ag World Golf Classic. Dad’s definitely smiling down from heaven.”, said Bryan Henninger (Warren’s oldest son and President of Ag World). Many wonderful memories were shared of Warren as golfers had a chance to remember him together with the Ag World team and the Henninger family. The Ag World Golf Classic was born out of a vision Warren had to support families whose children are experiencing a medical crisis and need a place to stay while their child receives care.
The Ag World Golf Classic has donated more than $425,000 over the past six years to the RMHC. This tournament is part of Ag World Support System’s campaign to make a difference in the community by supporting the Ronald McDonald House's mission to strengthen local families and promote children’s health.
The tournament format changed this year due to COVID – instead of a shotgun start, there were rolling tee times throughout the day to ensure the health and safety of everyone. It was the same as in years past with an 18-hole scramble which included pre-packaged snacks, drinks, and giveaways along the course, as well as a box lunch, all generously provided by hole hosts: Capital Press, Meritech, Ronald McDonald House Charities Inland Northwest, and Suberizer.
To help encourage golfers to give, the Ag World Golf Classic had an online auction again this year. It was a great success with prizes ranging from a night at the Couer d’Alene Resort with rounds of golf to StorOx 2.0 potato sprout inhibitor for growers - with donations by The Couer d’Alene Resort, The Grand Hotel, Bud Clary Ford/Honda of Moses Lake, and Agri-Stor Northwest.
Mike Forness, Executive Director of the RMHC in Spokane, Washington said, “Throughout the past 30 years Ag World Golf Classic is the most significant community fund raiser we have ever seen. On behalf of the families and children that stay at the Ronald McDonald House we say ‘Thank you Ag World’! We see your families’ values, work values and church values as major reasons this fundraiser is so successful.”
The excitement of the tournament’s success still lingers in the minds of those who worked tirelessly to see this event happen. Judy Henninger - Warren’s wife, Ag World Administrative Executive, and co-founder of the Ag World Golf Classic said, “God blessed the tournament again this year with amazing weather, attendance and generous participation! We are thankful for our hosts, sponsors, donors, many golfers and supporters who made this event such a huge success. Ag World is honored to support this worthy cause!”
Next year’s events are set for June 8, 2021 at Canyon Lakes Golf Course, in Kennewick, WA and June 10, 2021 at the Links at Moses Pointe, in Moses Lake, WA. Mark your calendars and join us at one or both locations! AgWorldGolf.com.
Junior Achievement of Washington Partners with the WA State Department of Social and Health Services for Special Workplace Readiness Programming
JA of Washington has launched a new and innovative partnership with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to provide workplace readiness training and work-based learning programs for students with special needs, aged 14-21. Working specifically with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), JA will be engaging with a sector of the student population not previously reached, and at a critical time when these students will need more assistance with preparing for and succeeding in a volatile job marketplace.
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is a statewide resource assisting people with disabilities to prepare for, maintain, advance in, or regain employment. JA programs will be taught during regular school hours either in class, virtually, at partner company locations, or JA Education Centers.
“We are so excited for the opportunity to serve this student population across Washington State through our partnership with DSHS DVR,” said Leah Katzer, Statewide Program Director for Junior Achievement of Washington. “JA will be able to bring life-changing financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship lessons and skills to students as they work on the big transitions through high school and into the rest of their lives. Through this partnership, JA will be able to expand our reach and deepen our impact on students in the most need of these critical life skills.”
“Washington DVR is excited to be partnering with the nation’s largest organization dedicated to giving younger people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic successes, plan for their futures, and make sound employment choices,” said Tammie Doyl, DSHS DVR Transition Manager. “This collaboration will expand access and opportunities to students with disabilities across the state.”
La Casa Hogar executive named Heritage University’s Violet Lumley Rau Alumna of the Year
Heritage University alumna Magaly Solis, currently the citizenship program manager at La Casa Hogar in Yakima, Wash., is this year’s recipient of the Violet Lumley Rau Alumna of the Year award. Heritage president Andrew Sund, Ph.D., presented the award to Solis during a ceremony held virtually due to Covid-19 safety protocols, with Solis receiving a trophy and certificate at the La Casa Hogar office on August 27, 2020.
La Casa Hogar is a non-profit organization that partners with Yakima Valley immigrant families which offers culturally and linguistically responsive early learning, adult education, civic engagement, and citizenship services. In her role as citizenship program manager, Solis connects people to their dreams of U.S. citizenship and all the opportunities it brings to them. “Magaly exemplifies the ideals and values of Heritage University—excellence, inclusion, perseverance, leadership and service,” said David Wise, vice president of Advancement. “She demonstrates her commitment to helping others and building communities every day in her personal and professional life. We are so proud of her and proud to call her an Eagle.”
“Heritage University offered me a pathway to achieve my educational goals. Dedicated instructors offered support and encouragement throughout my journey. The education I received at Heritage has allowed me to positively impact many lives in our community,” said Solis. “I am honored to receive the Violet Lumley Rau 2020 Alumna of the Year. This award is a celebration to many years of dedication and service to immigrant families in the Yakima Valley. I am proud to partner with students, volunteers, allies and La Casa Hogar’s resilient and powerful team to transform lives and our Yakima Valley.”
Magaly Solis graduated from Heritage in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Education. Ms. Solis is the first in her family to obtain a college degree. As a teenager she immigrated from the state of Guerrero, Mexico to Mabton. After earning her diploma, she worked as a substitute teacher for the Toppenish School District, and worked as a medical interpreter helping injured farmworkers, communicate with their medical providers. This work led her to La Casa Hogar, where she volunteered teaching citizenship classes. Solis says the experience was so rewarding that she joined the team as a part-time employee and later took on the program’s full-time coordinator position.
In her role, Ms. Solis earned a legal credential through the Department of Justice to successfully support immigrants to complete the long and arduous process of becoming United States citizens, which takes months or even years from start to finish. To apply for citizenship an applicant must first be a lawful permanent resident (a status that, by law, many immigrants cannot access) for a minimum of five years, and be in compliance with numerous requirements. During the interview, individuals must also pass English, U.S. history and civics tests.
“Immigration law is very complex and intimidating. Our goal is to build our students’ confidence to navigate the naturalization process and achieve their goal of becoming U.S. citizens. We teach the rights, responsibilities, and the importance of civic engagement as citizens. We work with each person, meet them where they are, and support them from the initial eligibility screening through their oath ceremonies,” said Solis.
Under Ms. Solis’s leadership, the program has grown from her one originally part-time position to an office of four full-time staff members and 50 volunteers. She used her Heritage education to write the program’s first comprehensive citizenship curriculum in 2016, complete with clear learning objectives, evaluation processes and methods to share students’ progress. Moreover, the number of people who completed the program and are now citizens rose from a few hundred to now over 1,200-- single-handedly representing 10% of the entire eligible population in Yakima County.
Outside of her work commitments, Ms. Solis was just appointed in July of 2020 as a Board member of the Yakima YWCA and a member of the City of Yakima’s Community Integration Committee. She also volunteers with the Yakima Yoga Collective and devoted 200 hours this year as a participant in the Collective’s first cohort of bilingual yoga instructors. Ms. Solis is an avid outdoors-woman and has summited several of the region's volcanic mountains, serving as a role model among Latina women exploring the outdoors and in mountaineering. In 2019, Ms. Solis received the 39 under 39 recognition from the Yakima Herald-Republic.
To set up an interview with Magaly Solis, please contact Davidson Mance, Heritage University media relations coordinator, at (509) 969-6084 or email@example.com.
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.