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How to Help: Windermere holds annual ‘Share the Warmth’ coat and blanket drive

The “Share the Warmth” coat and blanket drive, a long-standing tradition for Windermere offices throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, kicked off Nov. 2 in 31 offices, including five in the Gorge serving as donation drop-off sites. Community members are invited to take part and help their neighbors in need this winter by donating coats and blankets to Windermere offices in Bingen, Hood River, Stevenson and The Dalles through Dec. 18.

Bring new or gently used and laundered coats (for children and adults) and blankets to the following Windermere offices during the designated drop-off hours:

Bingen — 900 W. Steuben, Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hood River — 504 Cascade Avenue and 315 Oak Street, Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Stevenson — 220 SW Second Street, Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Dalles — 122 E 2nd Street, Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Donated items will be distributed to those in need by local charities and shelters.

Community Thanksgiving meal organizers seeks volunteers

Riverside Community Church and FISH are coordinating a community meal – open to anyone, regardless of income – on Nov. 26 from 1-5 p.m. at Riverside, Fourth and State streets.

Food donors are already lined up, and donations will be accepted on the day of the meal, but advance donations can be made by sending checks to the church, P.O. Box 656, Hood River, OR 97031, or by going to a financial link at the event Facebook page, Thanksgiving in the Gorge.

Food preparation help is needed along with servers, greeters, cleanup, and drivers to take food to homes of guests who request it.

To help, contact Gean Rains at 541-806-0900 or Debby Chenoweth at 541-399-2384.

Cooking will be overseen by chef Kathy Watson, in the FISH commercial kitchen at the new headquarters on Tucker Road. Deliveries will be organized from that location. Meals for about 400 are planned.

Gala Fashion Show tickets on sale now

The Gala Fashion Show is the primary fundraising event for the Hood River County Christmas Project, providing local families in need with food and gifts this holiday season. This event is a great reminder of all the amazing retailers and salons we have in Hood River precisely at that time we begin to think about holiday shopping.

New for 2015 is the Gala of Giving. The audience is invited to bring an unwrapped gift for any member of a family. The younger audience members will be invited to put their gifts on stage during the event — a great way for kids to be a part of the Fashion Show.

Tickets are on sale now at participating stores for $25: Ananas Boutique, Columbia Gorge Dance Academy, Community Zumba, Doug’s Sports, Dream Street, Enchanted Alpaca, Flow Yoga, Gorge Style Salon, Plenty, Shortt Supply and The Columbiaires. Limited VIP Tickets are available at the Hood River Inn, Front Desk. Front Row Tickets are $75 and Second Row Tickets are $50.

Visit the hoodrivercountychristmasproject.com website to learn more about how to volunteer or sponsor a family.

Christmas Project registration begins

Start-up operations for the 2015 The Hood River County Christmas Project have begun. Applications will be taken at the following locations and dates:

Cascade Locks — Cascade Locks City Hall (FISH Food Bank) on Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Hood River — Oregon Department of Human Services, 1610 9th Ct. on the Heights off of Pacific Avenue, on Fridays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 6, 13, 20 and Dec. 4, and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 7, 14, 21 and Dec. 5.

Odell — Odell Food Bank, 3440 Odell Highway, 3:30-6 p.m. on Thursdays, Nov. 12 and Dec. 3.

Parkdale — Parkdale Community Church during Food Bank hours (4-6 p.m.) on Mondays, Nov. 9 and 23.

Applicants can sign up at whichever location is most convenient for them.

The program benefits many families in need from Hood River County that meet State of Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. A Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) card or a Oregon Health Plan (OHP) card also meets the registration requirements. Families wishing to apply will need to bring proof of eligibility and residency. In each of the last five years about 500 families (over 2,000 men, women, and children) have received support.

‘Bountiful Blessings’ at Riverside

Riverside Community Church, 4th and State streets, Hood River, hosts the “Bountiful Blessings,” a free community concert Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. featuring Tim Mayer and his band, Diana Beterbide, Susan Ticknor, the Gorge Celtic band Barley Draught, the Sweet Adelines vocal ensemble, the Riverside Chancel Choir and Gospel Ensemble.

In addition, community members are invited to purchase a ticket for a pre-concert three-course dinner prepared by Chef Kathy Watson with wines from Mt. Hood Winery. Menu includes roasted fall vegetable salad with pancetta vinaigrette, roast chicken Provençal with lemons and capers, and handmade pasta, and a dessert of flourless chocolate cake, cinnamon poached pears, and Chantilly cream.

Tickets are $60 per person and include reserved seating for the Bountiful Blessings concert to follow immediately after dinner. Dinner reservations are limited to 60 people.

For dinner reservations, call 541-386-1412 or rcc@gorge.net. Donations from the concert and proceeds from the dinner will be used to support community service projects at Riverside, including the free community dinner at the church on Thanksgiving Day.

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