Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


Karen Bertroch

Frieda Footh and Sonja Kruse cut Rhodney Dunhams' 84th birthday cake at the Senior Lunch Club.

Fundraising Report for Doug Sandell: I just had a call from Buddy Strange to let us all know the total raised last weekend to help Doug Sandell's health expenses was over $27,000! He expressed appreciation for the big turnout at the Fire Hall Sale in Naselle and for the donations that have come in from the Peninsula area, as well as Oregon. Doug has been a Naselle firefighter for 35 years. My hope is that all who have not yet given to help Doug with his expenses, will join me to help him in honor of all the firefighters in our own districts. I am sending Doug $100 for Father's Day in memory of my dear friend, Howard Nelson, a Grays River volunteer firefighter for many years. Serving meant a lot to him and I know he would be pleased to be remembered in this way. Who do you remember or know, who is or was a firefighter? Can you join me in sending a check to honor their service? You can send your check directly to Doug Sandell at 52 Upper Naselle Road, Naselle 98638. Let's see if we can get well over $30,000. Doug has expenses mounting every day and if we can help, let's do it. Our thoughts and prayers are with Doug and his family.

New EMT's: It's a good time to also honor our six new firefighter emergency medical technicians. We have three from Grays River: Mike Whalen, Nicole Burkhalter, and Austin Burkhalter. From Naselle, we have three as well: Marie Green, Cindy Pierce and Buddy Strange. I will have more on all six of them in next week's Dispatch. How about a donation for Doug in honor of these folks who spent four months of Saturday classes learning to be an EMT, then passing the practicals, then taking national exams to qualify? We are very proud and thankful for their commitment and dedication to helping their neighbors. We need them all!

Summer Events: Now that we are getting into summer and we can be with others, it seems a good time to list some events in June. We are a small county, but there's plenty to do, so here's some choices.

Saturday, June 12: The Appelo Archives Center will host their Finnish Midsummer Tea at the Archives Center in Naselle at noon. Reservations can be made by calling (360) 484-7103. Naselle / Grays River High School graduation is also on Saturday, June 12th at 4 pm in the gym. This year it is by invitation only due to covid restrictions, so it will be a small group.

On Wednesday the 16th, the Senior Lunch Club will host a potluck luncheon at Rosburg Hall at noon. Remember these luncheons are the first and third Wednesday of every month. Donations are appreciated, as well as the donated food. And of course, June 20 is Fathers Day, so plan for that.

On June 22, the Grays River Grange meets at 6:30 in the Grange Hall. The Grange meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month.

Saturday, June 26: Vista Park's annual Kite Festival. For more info, call: (360) 795-8605.

CAP (Community Action Program) Senior Lunches for June are as follows: June 17: Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli Normandy, Sliced Peaches. June 24: Southwest Turkey Bake, Cheesy Potato Hash, Spring Blend. Box lunches can be picked up at noon at the Rosburg Hall. Contact Diane Hollenbeck for more info at (360) 465-2991.

Farmers' Markets: I wanted to list these for myself as well as for all of you who love Farmers' Markets. They seem to be cropping up all over the area. Local: Naselle Community Center's Monthly Market will open on June 26 at the Naselle Community Center for the morning. Elochoman Marina in Cathlamet is hosting a Farmers' Market and Trunk Sale every Friday from 3-6 p.m. through Sept. 10. Market at the Fairgrounds: Every Tuesday there is a Farmers' Market in Skamokawa at the Fairgrounds in the cow barn area at 4 p.m. The Long Beach Farmers' Market operates in downtown Long Beach June through October on Friday afternoons / early evenings, 4 p.m to 7 p.m. Produce raised on Grays River's Zimmerman Farm will be at that Market and their strawberries are worth the trip to the Peninsula.

Sounds Good for Finns: National Nordic Museum in Seattle is hosting an exhibit called "Among Forests and Lakes: Landscape Masterpieces from the Finnish National Gallery" from May 6-October 17. Fifty art works will be on display showing how Finnish artists have depicted the landscape of their native country in 19th – 21st centuries. For more info, call (206) 789-5707 or check their website at http://www.nordic Address is 2655 NW Market St in Seattle north of Ballard.

Photo of the Week: Last Wednesday, I attended the Senior Lunch Club Luncheon. It made me so happy that I could not stop thinking about it for a couple days. I hadn't realized until then how long it had been since I had seen faces without masks, people smiling and chatting together in a large group of friends, and heard the laughter as they talked and updated each other on their grandchildren and told their fishing stories. What a great idea this lunch club was as it started and as it continues. Pat Potter and Ila Mae Larson are well remembered for their role as founders. Like many families do, Dick Hepp-ner gave the blessing. The lunches are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month. Donations are given each time for the fund that pays for the food and rental of Rosburg Hall. Around 30 to 35 attend each time, and attendance is said to be higher at the monthly potlucks. The folks there told me how wonderful the food is at all the luncheons, but I've heard it's the potlucks that are really good. Cooks include Frieda Footh, Sonja Kruse, and others. Many folks take home leftovers and several take food to shut in seniors after the hall is cleaned.

This last week, as I remember, it was Frieda and John Footh who took Rhodney Dunham to see Kevin "Buckshot" Wirkkala at the care facility where he is living just now. Rhodney and Buckshot were roommates when Rhodney had to be at the same facility when he was recovering from a health incident awhile back. The companionship and joy at the gathering I attended made me smile and laugh myself. I hope more seniors will come and join. The next gathering will be on June 16 at noon.

If you don't have anything to bring for the potluck, don't worry. There will be plenty, I am sure. And invite a neighbor to come along, especially if they are new. It is a great opportunity to meet new folks! I was happy to sit with Rick Laney's sister, Linda. I've known Rick a long time so it was fun to meet his sister and chat about him, The men sat at one end and talked about fishing and the ladies sat at the other end and just talked! So fun.

Word for the Week: Community


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