Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


Facebook photo of preschool graduation

Dear Readers, if ever we should be proud to live in this small community, it was last Saturday at the Naselle GRV Graduation Ceremony. Those seniors are a fine example of why a small school can be an asset to a community. They are exemplary in their work, their friendships and their achievements. One relationship I truly appreciate is working with Principal, Justin Laine. He did all he could to help me meet with seniors for interviews and he also sent me his own thoughts about them. Here is an example he sent to me today:

"Brayden Colombo was the class president. Brayden was selected by his class as their president for the past five years. He is an amazing young man with unlimited potential who is highly regarded and respected by his classmates and our staff.

Leodemir (Elmer) Toftemark was this year's ASB president for the entire high school. He displayed strong spirit and leadership this year as the president for our entire ASB. Five members of this year's senior class served on our ASB this year and their citizenship and leadership will be dearly missed." - Principal Justin Laine

For me, the Graduation Ceremony was an opportunity to truly look at the future of our area and our state. These students have already made plans for where they want to be, for more education and for some of them, they know what work they want to be doing. The variety of their dreams is inspiring. These grads will grow to be leaders in the years ahead and will make a difference in their communities and indeed, their families. Also in attendance at graduation were parents and grandparents who have invested years of love and time in those precious little ones who are now moving into adulthood. It's a tender time of pride, hope and yet sadness, because some won't be living close by as they have been for most of their lives. They will move on and make new friends, learn more than we may ever know and I hope, change the world.

Also,in the bleachers and the hallways were little ones from four months to four years. The four-year-old told me in a whisper, "My mom is pregnant. I want a little sister." She had rosy cheeks, was friendly and trusting with me and made me smile. Later, a young one, with first teeth showing when he smiled, reached for me to hold him. That was joy for me who has no grandchildren. Children are the greatest gift the world over. It doesn't matter what color they are, whether they are blond, black or red haired, they all belong to us, the family of God. "We are the world, we are the children, we are the ones who make a better world, so let's start giving." Remember that song? I always start to cry when I hear it because we as a community and as individuals can make a difference. Children bring us together for a parade, for kindergarten graduations, for baptism and school plays, and photos with their new uniforms when they join the service. They are the innocence we once knew, and they are the promise of a better tomorrow. God gave me two little ones for just a moment as a gift at graduation, along with twenty-two older ones moving into their new grown-up lives, and I'm grateful to have met them all. But for now, those two little ones who gave me their smiles and attention, made me happy and made me smile. They reminded me that in the end, it's all just about love. And it's our job to role model that love.

Photo of the Week: "Teacher Becky's" recent pre-school graduation photo at Valley Bible Church. Class Speaker for the high school graduation, Isabella Colombo, mentioned in her speech that most of her class had known each other since pre-school. I suspect that it was Becky Erickson who was their teacher and she is still at it. Thanks, Becky, for giving them a loving start.

What else is happening, you ask? Well, that fish preservation class has been very popular. The last two fish preservation classes provided by a grant through the Wahkiakum Marine Resource Committee, will be held on June 26 & 27 at the Grays River Grange Hall. Each class will begin at 10 a.m., with no charge to participate. To register, call the Wahkiakum County Extension Office at 360-795-3278 or email

And the next meeting of the Grays River Habitat Enhancement District will be June 14, at 5:15 p.m., at the Grays River Fire District #3 Firehall (Hull Creek).

Calendar of Events:

Mondays: First Monday of the month, Naselle Library has a men's coffee gathering 10-11:30.

Tuesdays: Naselle Lutheran Church sponsors morning quilters and knitters in afternoons.

Third Tuesday: Naselle Grays River School Board meets at 6:30 in school library.

Second Wednesday of the month: Grays River Habitat Enhancement District meets at the Grays River Fire Hall across from Duffy's Pub at 5:15.

Wednesdays: AA meeting at the Grays River Grange at noon.

Wednesdays at 2 at the Timberland Naselle Library: July 5, Amazing Magic Show; July 12: Reptile Man; July 19: Brownsmead Flats; July 26: East of Sun and West of Moon with Pegasus Puppets; August 2: Ice Cream Party and Great Egg Hunt.

First Thursday of the month: Grays River/Rosburg Gardening group meets at Johnson Park at 6.

First Thursday of the month: Caregiver Support Group at Naselle Library with OBH staff 1-2.

Thursdays: CAP Senior Lunches are located at Rosburg Hall at noon.

Second Friday of month: Women's Coffee Group at Naselle Library at 10.

Second Saturday of month: Grays River Grange's Farmers Market at the Grange 10-1.

June 21: Wednesday Senior Lunch at Rosburg Hall at noon.

June 24: Finnish Tea at Appelo Archives at noon $24/ $20 if purchased by Jun 20.

June 24: FAFF Salmon Dinner 5-7 and Concert 6-8 at Rosburg Hall: $20 Music by Emily Rudolph and Sunnyside. Tickets at

July 29: Nordic Music Concert at Chinook School at 5 with kantele and harp.

August 19: Loggers Reunion with BBQ and beer from 2-5.

Phrase for the Week: "We Can Make a Better Day, Just You and Me" (We are the World).


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