Vernonia, OR – If you’ve visited Vernonia on a Saturday in the Summer, you’ll see many cyclists. Vernonia known to many as a bustling cycling community will be the start of the 2nd Annual Columbia Century Challenge Race Saturday, June 17th. A local group of volunteers that involve business owners and community leaders from across Columbia County have been working over the past three years to bring this race to Columbia County. The Columbia Country Challenge is the only organized cycling race in Columbia County put on by locals who care about enhancing the cycling opportunities in Columbia County.
Gearing up for its 2nd year brings a few changes to the new event. Last year the race started in St Helens, this year it’s in Vernonia. You have the option to pick three types of rides out of Vernonia. The Century Plus 119 miles, Metric Century Plus, 86 miles or the 40-mile gravel ride through commercial timberline. Go to the website to see the full map to determine which path is the one you shall choose. Rolling hills, farmland, historic logging trails, scenic views of the Pacific Northwest, what’s not to like? It’s not too late to join the upcoming race as a cyclist or as a volunteer. You can register online at http://cyclecolumbiacounty.com/registration/ While it lasts use special code CCC17 for a 2 for 1, so grab a friend. Enjoy your ride whatever one you choose!
St Helens, OR- Another long-standing local tradition in St Helens is the Kiwanis Parade held the 3rd Saturday in June. This year St Helens Kiwanis will host the 102nd year parade with the theme “Wonders of Columbia County ” on June 17th at noon at Columbia Blvd and Hwy 30. This parade is great family fun. You can bring a chair if you’d like, find a spot along Main Street Corridor in St. Helens from the South Columbia County Chamber & Emmert Motors to Dockside. Just follow the crowd to find out what’s going on.
If you want to get creative, you can participate in the parade by signing up the day of between 9-11 at Emmert Motors. They have many categories for floats, cars, motorcycles and more. The parade judging starts at 11:00 and the parade at noon. It is a not to miss community event. At the bottom of the page, you will find the Kiwanis Parade Application. If you would like to pre-register forms which can be mailed to:
Kiwanis Community Parade
P.O. Box 295
Saint Helens, OR 97051
The Kiwanis Parade is a family-friendly fun whether you are watching or participating. It’s also an opportunity to see old friends and meet your neighbors. Don’t forget to bring a bag for the candy and treats that are often tossed out to the kids and even a few adults.
Follow along on the Facebook Event Page to keep up on parade day events. See you there Columbia County!
St. Helens, OR- Have you met Carleen Mathews? She’s not your typical business owner and owning a CrossFit business isn’t typical. One could say Carleen has CrossFit in her blood. She has always loved competitive sports, playing softball in college. She worked hard to get scholarships, graduating with a degree in Inter-Disciplinary Studies from Concordia University. When asked why she loves to compete, Carleen shared, “I love the challenge of making myself better every day! I always say, once it’s easy or I’m not improving there will be no reason for me to continue. That’s the amazing thing about this sport, it constantly pushes me to be better every day! I get to see what I’m capable of and then improve that!”
Competing and CrossFit go hand in hand. What is CrossFit? CrossFit is a type of exercise that consists of a daily class in four parts: Warm-up, Skill, Workout of the Day and Cooldown. CrossFit offers a variety of classes for groups , such as for 12-17, and any skill set can join. CrossFit is a long-term physical development that promotes health and well-being.
In 2010, when Carleen tried CrossFit, she was hooked. During her 1st year, she found herself competing in the local CrossFit games. For the past six years, she has competed at Regionals, and at the CrossFit Games the last two years. Carleen has many impressive accomplishments at the age of 33 such as:
2012 NW Regionals 18th Place
2013 NW Regionals 9th Place
2014 NW Regionals 4th Place
2015 2nd Place West Coast Regionals & 36th at CrossFit Games
2016 Fittest in Northwest, NW Regionals 1st & 23rd at CrossFit Games
2017 Fittest in Northwest- More to be determined with upcoming Regionals June 2-4th at the Expo Center in Portland. The Top 5 will move forward to compete at the CrossFit Games the first week in August in Madison, Wisconsin Please follow along on the Crossfit Reader board to cheer Carleen on at Regionals.
When Carleen isn’t training to compete, she loves to train and coach. Carleen shared, “We took over the CrossFit gym because my coach had previously owned it and I was coaching out here full time. When they decided they wanted to focus more on their other business, my coach offered for me to take over the gym. The community out here is the best part about owning the gym. I couldn’t leave them and wanted to continue to work with this community. The main reason we took over was the community. I never imagined myself owning my own gym. I love CrossFit and I love competing but it was never on my long term goals to own my own gym. But when the opportunity came up and I thought about leaving this community I couldn’t say no.”
When asked what her biggest challenge was for training she replied, “There are so many challenging parts to owning a business and training for the Games. It is my full-time job training for the Games, so I think balance is one of the hardest things because I need to balance my training, business, marriage, relationships etc. I am also training a lot alone and that has been very challenging.”
Anyone can take classes at CrossFit St. Helens – view schedule on their website. You can keep up with her events and coaching tips on their Facebook page @CrossFitStHelens. You can even google Carleen. She has been featured in several fitness magazines, on Instagram, Blogs and more. She is a local hero to many, especially those who work out in her classes. Help us cheer her on in the upcoming 2017 Regional CrossFit Games on June 2nd- 2017 in Portland. If you are downtown St Helens, you might just spy her training outside of her location.
Scappoose, OR – Are you looking for a local gift from the Pacific Northwest either for a special someone or for yourself? Then you must try The Woodland Cottage. You’ll find many items made in the Pacific Northwest. The Woodland Cottage, an Artisan Boutique, formerly downtown St. Helens has a new location at 52490 SE 2nd Street, Suite #140, Scappoose. Not only new location but new hours are Wednesday – Friday 11-6, Saturdays 12-6. You can stay up to date with new artists, specials and more on their Facebook Page.
If you’ve never been, you are in for a treat. You are sure to meet a new friend or run into an old one when out shopping. It is a cute boutique that carries products such as boutique clothing, skincare, teas, jewelry, local artists products and more all from the Pacific Northwest. A variety of local artists such as Zimmy Gurumi make handmade knit plush Woodland Animals as in the photo below. Stop in a say hello to Courtney next time your in Scappoose.
Scappoose, OR – Spring signals the return of The Scappoose Farmers Market. They open their 15th Season this Saturday, May 20th. The Scappoose Community Club hosts this local Farmers Market which runs now thru September 30th.
You’ll find a variety of fresh fruits, plants & herbs, vegetables, and handmade goods every Saturday from 9 AM – 2 PM. The amazing local vendors are located between Heritage Park and Scappoose City Hall. To stay in touch with events and new vendors follow the Scappoose Famers Market Facebook page. You’ll also find live music and events at the market.
New this year are vendors like:
Pannikin Ice, Exotic Thai rolled ice cream sold to support job training for local and at-risk youth
YoungFree Designs which create skateboards
Stop by for your local products and say hi to your neighbors. #shopsmall #shopcolumbiacounty #scappoosefarmersmarket #handmade #fruitsveggies
St Helens, OR – More health care services are now available in Columbia County. A local nonprofit organization, Sacagawea Health Center, operates in partnership with St. Helens School District, Public Health Foundation of Columbia County and Columbia County Mental Health (CCMH). Sacagawea Board noticed the need for more healthcare options in our country and had the opportunity to fill that need. Local citizens who are searching for a primary physician or local clinic can now book an appointment with Sacagawea Health Center.
Sacagawea has been around the block from the Eisenschmidt Pool at 1060 Eisenschmdit Lane in St. Helens for the past 17 years. The clinic started as a free in-school clinic for Lewis & Clark students has grown over the years, developing programs such as free dental services for kids, the addition of mental health services and more. Now it’s a community clinic open to all ages. The facility offers in-network for many commercial health insurances. The center can bill other companies such as Oregon Health Plan and offers financial assistance program for those without insurance. The organization also raises funds to supplement charitable grants and hosts fundraisers. To use Sacagawea Health Center, please call the clinic to schedule an appointment at (503) 366-7645. To view more about their services, visit their website.
You are invited to join in the fun for the 16th Annual “Touch the Heart of a Child” fundraiser where community leaders and supporters will gather to celebrate the success of Sacagawea Health Center on May 20th. Join us in supporting the mission of Sacagawea Health Center at 5 pm at Meriwether Place on Columbia Blvd., St. Helens. You can get tickets on sale now at the following locations: Houlton Bakery and Sacagawea Health Clinic to support the local healthcare center.
Scappoose, OR – Have you met Celeste Hardesty? She’s not your typical business owner and FinishLine Graphics (FLG) isn’t your typical business. Celeste Hardesty and her husband Todd started their first business in 2011 called Todd Hardesty Fabrication metal fab and cut vinyl. FLG business has expanded under the parent company Finish Line Technologies as their graphics business has exploded. In February 2017, the business moved to Scappoose as they simply outgrew their space. FLG located at 53303 Columbia River Hwy specializes in branding and marketing. They can create graphics, signs, printing, custom apparel, customized products and more. They can also wrap anything from cars to boats, stairs and more.
Once you meet Celeste you can tell she’s not like all the other business owners. She has Racing in her blood and it runs in her family. Celeste has both a passion for racing and a passion for design. When not working, Celeste likes to spend her spare time on the race track. She currently drives a Dirt Late Model Car. If you ask Celeste, she will proudly tell you, “I started racing when I was 5 years old sitting on my dad’s lap of an old Jeep. I raced jeeps and off-road vehicles until my family started Mud Drag Racing with the monster trucks when they 1st started. I got to grow up around Grave Digger and Big Foot when they 1st started.” She explained, “My parents met racing, so I have been in and around it forever. My dad built a special seat in the jeep for me as a newborn to go with on all the relay races. But I got behind the wheel officially when I was 5, racing barrels in our jeep.” Celeste also shared that her mom was bad @ss too. She was the 1st female mud drag racer on ESPN and one of the 1st female mud drag racers to compete in King Dome.” You could say racing is in her blood.
Celeste described how she graduated from one racing level to another, “When I went to college I met my husband Todd and he introduced me to dirt circle track racing. He bought me my first dirt car which I raced at River City Speedway in St. Helens in the Women’s division. After a few years, I finally got my championship and stepped up to run with the Sportsman division. My 1st race with “the boys” as I called it (but there were women competing) I ended up winning. The best part of it all was the fact that my husband had taught me over the years how to work on my car. He had required me to do it all if I wanted to race. So that win meant more to me than anything! I sold that car a few years ago and purchased a Dirt Late Model, which races throughout the tracks here in Oregon. I finished 3rd in points last year and now have my eye set on getting into a Dirt IMCA Modified. With my crew chief, Shawn Etheredge, helping me both last year and this year…. I look forward to the challenge of a very male dominant sport.”
The Racing Season started mid-April. Celeste is getting excited to get on the track, “but unfortunately my motor program (dad still builds my motors) is a bit behind this year due to the business taking a lot of my time and energy. I hope to have my Late Model motor back by the end of April to start running at Sunset Speedway, Willamette Speedway, and Cottage Grove. Our FinishLine facebook page will announce when the FLG car will be running, but since I am not running for points this year my schedule will be more sporadic with a bit of “let’s go have fun” attitude behind it.”
When she’s not racing, she’s helping her clients. Her racing clients bring their cars to get decals from all over Oregon. She can design and wrap just about anything from a car to a staircase. She can work with businesses or families on promotional products where she can print on just about anything creating the perfect customized gift for your clients or loved ones.
Stop by FLG and follow them on Facebook. #racing #carwraps #decals #FLGgrahics #flgwrap #customapparel #racingdesigns
St. Helens, OR – Established in 2000 as a 501(c) nonprofit, the Amani Center is a community-based assessment & treatment services center, that helps children who have been abused in a child-friendly setting to minimize trauma and raise awareness against child abuse. Every year since 2009, they have held a walk to promote Child Abuse Awareness in our communities as well as a fundraiser for the organization. This year marks the 9th Annual Race which you can support our children in our community by participating in a 5k, 10k or Half Marathon or if you’re not a runner join the 1 mile Walk on April 22nd, 2017.
Beth Pulito, Development Director, shared why this race is so important for Columbia County. Beth said, “Although this is an annual race, just recently we have been trying to consistently hold in in April, which is the National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This race gives us an opportunity to raise necessary funds to provide forensic interviews and medical evaluations to children of Columbia County suspected of abuse or neglect. It’s an event that allows participation and support from all ages and all levels of fitness, with distances from our 1 Mile Family Fun Walk to a beautiful and challenging Half Marathon. We have great volunteers who assist us in many facets of the event, supportive vendors who make our event run smoothly and fabulous sponsors and participants who see the value in supporting our mission and the children we serve. We see amazing growth potential for this event in the future and look forward to participants and partners collaboration to continue and evolve a long-standing race in Columbia County.’
Columbia County, OR- Columbia County has a habit of celebrating Earth Day with several clean ups in our communities. This year they are scheduled on Saturday, April 22nd. You can get involved by volunteering, cleaning up your property or even donating new and gently used residential building materials, home furnishing supplies.
Organizations like SHEDCO (St Helens Economic Development Corporation) have partnered with SOLVE Oregon to help make our community a beautiful place to live. In rural communities like ours, it takes a group of volunteers working together to make a difference. You can get involved by registering at http://www.solveoregon.org/get-involved/events/shedco%E2%80%99s-4th-annual-spring-cleanup. The 4th Annual SHEDCO Clean Up starts down at the Courthouse Plaza in St.Helens from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM. Some of the volunteer tasks include picking weeds, trash pickup, sweeping, and flower planting. Volunteers are encouraged to bring a few tools and gloves if they have them. You can volunteer for an hour or two. You decide. There will also be fun activities for kids like face painting and free pumpkin starts while supplies last. Light snacks and beverages will be provided after the work is done to celebrate Earth Day.
Citizens are also encouraged to bring their unwanted items, yard debris, scrap metal, appliances and more see the flyer below for details for Spring Clean Up. You can also bring your new and gently used residential building materials, appliances, fixtures, and home furnishing picked up by local nonprofit Habitat for Humanity at three convenient locations: St. Helens High School, Scappoose High School, and Columbia City school. Drake’s Towing & Recovery is available for FREE Removal of your scrap vehicles, Call Ryan 503-438-6099.
This is your community. Local citizens are encouraged to help pitch in to make their community a cleaner place. Thanks for getting involved and celebrating Earth Day bycleaning up your local communities. #earthday #springclean #columbiacounty #hereincc