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Editorial: Community comes through — again




Every once in awhile in the newspaper business, we get the opportunity to hear how the stories that we publish make a difference; we get to witness just how generous community members are once a need is brought to their attention.

The most recent example of how this plays out can be found in the outpouring of support for Boy Scout Troop 398’s flag project. The youth organization was recently featured in the Chronicle asking for help to unfurl more flags during patriotic holidays.

The Dalles-based group erects about 200 flags along Second, Third, Fourth and Sixth streets every holiday. Their goal was to at least double that number to ensure the national colors were clearly visible during the Northwest Cherry Festival, Memorial Day and other observances.

Once readers heard about the project they came through with flying colors — red, white and blue, that is.

Rob Denning said the troop received $1,500 from several individuals and a much larger donation from another peson. The great news is that the high level of generosity will result in a wider swath of red, white and blue to blanket streets.

“Because we received so much money, we’re going to increase the number of flags we put up, you are really going to notice the increase,” said Denning.

Anthony Pereira, scout master for Troop 398 said the city has agreed to drill holes in sidewalks for the new flags, which will line Sixth Street from Snipes Street east to Third Street and on to the roundabout and then onto Second Street. There will also be flags flying on a section of Fourth Street and along Cherry Heights Road to Fred Meyer, as well as a few other locations.

“We had some great support to get this done,” said Pereira.

The program to maintain, repair and replace the flags is ongoing, he said. Anyone who wants to dedicate a flag to a loved one can do so for $100. Checks can be sent to: Boy Scout Troop 398, 1520 E. 18th St., The Dalles, OR 97058.

The flag issue is not the only time the community has responded to a need highlighted by the Chronicle. In October and early November, we ran several articles about the Holidays for Heroes Committee’s collection of food and hygiene items for care packages that were sent to troops in the Middle East.

The committee, comprised of representatives from businesses and service organizations, ended up with about $5,000 in donations for the cause. The funds were channeled through The Dalles Outpost of Point Man International Ministries, which serves homeless, imprisoned and troubled veterans.

Shortly after the boxes were shipped, the Wasco County Veterans Service Office asked for food and fuel gift cards that could be handed out to clients in need. We publicized that request and numerous people donated about $2,000 in cards. This is another ongoing need at the 201 Federal Street office.

The Discovery Center was inundated with help for the Lone Pine in-lieu site, which they directly contributed to the Chronicle’s earlier coverage of the desperate situation of Native Americans there.

For the past several years, the Chronicle has focused on educating readers about the work being done to maintain the town’s quality of life by various service organizations.

Volunteers are needed on every front and our reporters regularly write articles to let people know about the many available opportunities for their time and talents.

Because of the community’s strong support of Dancing with the Gorge Stars, the Mid-Columbia Community Concert Association annually raises the funds needed to bring cultural enrichment opportunities to the region.

Stories of the January event that showcase local dancers paired with professionals are fun to put together and a nice break from discussing the workings (or not) of government.

The Chronicle strives to get news out about the vital work being done by Community Meal to feed homeless people and others needing a social connection. This mission could not happen without support from area churches and organizations that take turns cooking and serving on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Home at Last Humane Society is always looking for donations to cover the cost of operating a shelter for abandoned and abused animals.

HAVEN from Domestic and Sexual Violence is quietly at work providing resources for women and children who are survivors of abuse. This organization also requires ongoing support.

Want to check out the dozens of charitable causes that could use your assistance? The Gorge Giving guide, a complimentary publication by the Chronicle, Hood River News and White Salmon Enterprise, provides a comprehensive list. It is available at the offices of all three newspapers. It is our honor to be able to serve this community and report on the many positive things that are happening, as well as government actions.



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