Join the 9th Annual Race Against Child Abuse

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.’

It’s not too late to register.  Go to https://raceagainstchildabusehalfmarathon.itsyourrace.com/register/ use the promo code special for a discount.  Stay in touch as another race is in the works for July in Clatskanie.  Stay tuned on their FB page for more details  #familyfriendlyfun #childabuseawareness #columbiacounty #halfmarathon #walk #fundraiser

 

 


Spring Clean Up on Earth Day

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

 

 


Art & Food: Community Fighting Hunger with Empty Bowls

Photo Courtsey of Columbia Pacific Food Bank

St. Helens, OR –  Food and Art.  Art and Food.  No matter how you say it, Food and Art is an excellent combination.  Add raising funds to help fight hunger and the event has elevated to a can’t be missed evening out called Empty Bowls.   Empty Bowls is a fundraiser for Columbia Pacific Food Bank and its right around the corner on April 7th from 5:00 -7:00 PM at the McBride School Cafeteria in St. Helens.

What makes Empty Bowls so much fun?   You get to pick out your bowl.  It’s handmade pottery created by local retired teacher, Pat Brame.   Oh, and he has friends that help him as well.  Pat also sells his pottery at the event donating 25 % proceeds back to the food bank.  Pat has been involved over the past 11 years, since the beginning of Empty Bowls.  Then you get to pick out your soup.  The eating part is pretty yummy thanks to local restaurants who donate the food.   The Ridge Runners provide live music for entertainment.

Casey Wheeler,  Executive Director for Columbia Pacific Food Bank, wants the community to know, ” The purpose of this event is to help people understand what food insecure families face in our community.  Often they only have soup, bread and some water for dinner (if they are lucky).  Often the parents do not eat so the children have something to eat.”   Casey mentioned his favorite part of the event is ” Having the St. Helens Middle School Honor Society adopt this as one of their community service projects.  They develop the theme, decorations, set-up the venue, serve food and drinks, clean up and help put everything away. Also, watching the interaction of people as they eat and pick out their bowls.”

This fundraiser is a ticketed event.  You can purchase your tickets for $10.00 each at many local businesses such as Bertucci’s, Sunsations, Grocery Outlet and Scappoose Bagel.    They have been known to sell out so don’t wait if you want to go.  See you there!

Follow Columbia Pacific Food Bank Facebook page to stay up to date. #fighthunger #communityfun #art #food #columbiacounty #columbiapacificfoodbank

 

 

 

 


Business Bits: Hagz, Bagz & The Hutch

Meet Debbie Loomis & Geri Noble.

St. Helens, OR- If you’ve lived here for awhile, you might have been a customer of Geri Noble.  She ran a business called “The Hutch” for 15 years on Main Street St. Helens.  She’s back giving great customer service and sewing up a storm at a her old shop location but with a new partner, Debbie Loomis.  Debbie,  owner of  Hagz Bagz since 2006 joined forces with Geri and merged their businesses on Oct 1st, 2016, Hagz Bagz & The Hutch located  at 400 Columbia Blvd, St. Helens. You can also reach them at  503-397-1352.

Even with a name change, everything else has stayed the same except with added services. When asked how they decided to open their business Debbie replied, “I wanted to have a place to showcase what we love to do, create one of a kind gift items at reasonable prices.”

Geri is happy to be back on Main Street St. Helens and wants her customers to know she’s got a great new business partner.  She wanted to work with Debbie to help her develop her business and sewing skills and they both love what they do.  Debbie wanted to partner with Geri because “she has been in the sewing business a lot longer than me. Her wealth of knowledge was what I needed to go forward with my dream of having a storefront.”

Need a special gift, contact Hagz Bagz & The Hutch.  Follow their Facebook page for ideas to give a gift from Columbia County that is personalized and from the heart.  You can also shop online from their catalog.

 

#hagzbagzthehutch #shopsmall #personalizedgifts #handmadeincolumbiacounty

 


River City Singers Performing at Carnegie Hall Memorial Day Weekend

Columbia County, OR –   Columbia County has a strong, long-standing community choir called the River City Singers.  The River City Singers will soon represent Columbia County at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Memorial Day, May 29th.  If you are a local, you can enjoy listening to this group perform year round.

Director, Alice Boyer shared how the group was chosen for the opportunity.  Alice said,” We were very excited to be invited by Dr. William Skoog who is the Chair of the Department of Music, and Director of Choral Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, to come be a part of his mass choir performance of Ola Gjeilo’s “Sunrise Mass.”  This is a contemporary mass setting that will be performed with one of the New York Philharmonic Orchestras.  Dr. Skoog and I have a long history of musical collaboration. I participated in the Dvorak Festival in Prague, the Czech Republic in 2001 as part of his festival choir. When he heard that I was directing a choir here in Oregon, he was eager to have us come be a part of this endeavor at Carnegie Hall.”

Understanding the group’s history is important; it shows their strong foundation as a group.  The community choir group started in 2001 under the name Columbia Chorale of Oregon. The group has between 25-40 members depending on the season.   With no auditions and no fees, the Columbia River Singers are a diverse group of men and women of various ages who love to sing.  Performing in a variety of venues across Columbia County and Portland for the past 16 years, they typically perform 3-4 concerts a year with the first rehearsals starting in late August or Early September. Participating in a few community events such as Doughnut Day at St. Helens Police Department fundraiser for Columbia Pacific Food Bank allows them the opportunity to share their music with their community. They are a true community choir with a strong past and a bright future.

“We are always looking for singers and non-singers who love to support the growth of the arts in Columbia County to join us as members.  While the chance to sing in Carnegie Hall doesn’t come along every year, we believe the chance to sing and perform meets a valuable need in our community.  It’s been shown in recent studies that singing is a very health-promoting exercise,” Alice commented encouraging the community to get involved.

Want to show your support the local singers? If you like to sign, join them for practice on Thursdays at 7:00 PM at The First United Methodist Church, 560 Columbia Blvd, St. Helens.  They are a 501(c)3 non-profit so donations are tax deductible.   Alice mentioned the goal for the trip to New York is to raise $2000-3000 to offset the costs of this trip.  Some of the choir members are using personal funds to cover their expenses, however, the group is setting up an “Angel” fund to help offset the costs for members on fixed incomes. Alice hopes to have as many singers who want to go be able to make this trip.  For most, it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

I’d venture to say, our community is proud of the group to represent not only Columbia County but Oregon.   Go to their Facebook page to stay up to date.

 

River City Singers Photo Courtsey of Facebook

 

 

 

 


Local Business Soon Featured on Cooking Channel

St. Helens, OR –  In today’s world of too much TV not enough time, Carnival Eats might be a new show for you.  It’s a series on the Cooking Channel hosted by Noah Cappe who travels the US in search of the best carnival food from hot dogs to funnel cakes. The show can bring it’s fans back to their childhood memories like fairs have the tendency to do.

This past summer Carnival Eats stopped by the Columbia County Fair.  Host Noah interviewed local business owner Matt Freeman, St Helens Grill, which offers quality products to create the best hamburgers and eats.   You’ll see the St Helens Grill featured on the upcoming episode on 3/23/2017 – Dawn of the Bread.  Matt made Noah the Marionberry Volcano dessert pictured in this blog.  Catch the show to find out more about the food.

Marionberry Volcano Dessert to be featured on Cooking Channel Carnival Eats.

When asked about being featured on the cooking channel series, Matt mentioned he was equally nervous and excited when the producer called.  He said, “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to not only highlight St Helens Grill but to also showcase the Columbia County Fair.  Butch, the fair board, and the countless volunteers put so much time and effort to bring us a quality event each year they deserve the spotlight.”

Matt is no stranger to the food scene. In 2014, he opened his first company Batter Me Up operating out of a tent at 13 Nights on the River, St. Helens. At that time Batter Me Up was battered and deep fried foods; corn dogs, Oreos, Twinkies, and funnel cakes.  As the business grew, so did the business plan with a 16ft concession trailer.  St Helens Grill put their prior experience to use taking the menu up a notch by adding burgers and nacho/tater tots hybrid, Totchos.  They are different from fair food due to our focus on local, quality ingredients. They procure fresh, not frozen NW raised hamburger from a Portland butcher, buns from Portland French Bakery, and other local products such as Bob’s Red Mill.    They use quality ingredients, cooked to order resulting in a great end product for their customers.

Matt said he opened a food truck because, “My dream is to have a local burger joint serving burgers, fries, dogs, and shakes. The food cart allows me to practice for when that dream becomes a reality.”You can get some good food from St Helens Grill this summer at 13 Nights on the River events, Columbia County Fair and Rodeo and home games for St Helens Youth Football.  You can also keep up with new events they add on their Facebook page or Twitter.

#dinelocalcc #columbiacountyfairrodeo #sthelensgrill #qualityeats #carnivaleats #footnetwork

Thumbs up by Noah Cappe, Host, Carnival Eats and Matt Freeman, St Helens Grill

 


“In the Middle” – Thriving Art Community

Columbia County, OR – Columbia County art scene has grown stronger over the past few years.  One could say, we are in the middle of a thriving art community here in Columbia County. Currently, Columbia County has several groups that are working to put local artists in front of new customers, expose families to community art projects and create a sense of community pride for our local artists and projects.

Local art club, Columbia Arts Guild (CAG) looks forward to a great upcoming new year.  In 2016, CAG created August Art Fair in conjunction with the Scappoose Farmers Market conducting local art demos, author readings and presenting their art.   CAG will hold the 2nd Annual August Art Fair on August 5th, 2017 from 9:00 am – 2 pm.  CAG hosts quarterly show at local businesses or community organizations.  The Columbia County Courthouse in St Helens and Brown Butter Bakery in Scappoose are proudly displaying local groups’ art.  For $15.00 a year, you can join CAG.  Joining is a great way to support the artists.  It’s easy to become a member just fill out the CAG Application online.  They are an active group of Artists that meet on Thursdays at 10:00 AM  for Plein Air Art at the Columbia Learning Center, St Helens.  Bring your own art (BYOA) meet in the hallway, work on your project, get advice, share information, listen or join the Urban Sketchers and go out to Paint the Town!  Check out, the CAG Facebook Page for more information.

Photo Courtsey of CAG
GAC members with their work at Brown Butter Bakery, Scappoose.

In Summer 2016, another group the St Helens Arts and Cultural Coalition finished their first round of funding for its second Gateway Structure called the Salmon Tree Cycle.  This group of volunteers raised over $16,000 for public art with a Kickstarter campaign called the Salmon Tree Cycle Project for more information on the committee visit the City of St Helens Arts and Cultural Coalition website. The St Helens Library also has a variety of art classes such as Collage and Paints for Adults on Jan 31st, 2017 as well as a Writers Guild.

New to Columbia County is the first Art Hive Network at Deer Island Manor, Deer Island, OR.  An Art Hive Network is a community art studio that welcomes everyone. The workshops for Art Hive Network will start on Feb 4th, 2017 from 12-4:00 PM.  Workshops will continue the first Saturday of the month go to  The Art Hive at Deer Island Manor for more information.

Something new in Clatskanie, Clatskanie Farmers Market is hosting it’s first Clatskanie in Bloom Art Show March 17th- March 31st, 2017 at Hazen Building Registration is now open for artists.

It’s a great time to create. It’s a great time to admire our talented local artists.  It’s the right time to be in the middle of a thriving art scene with the upcoming economic development in Columbia County.   #SupportALocalArtist #shopsmall

 

 

 


Columbia County Holiday Fun!

St. Helens, OR –  As the holiday season approaches, many of you may have children on school break or are anticipating company visiting.  It’s always a good idea to be proactive with a few ideas in your back pocket should the question come up “What is there to do around here?”

Just a few ideas to help jog your memory keeping everyone full of holiday cheer.

Both St. Helens and Scappoose have great libraries.  They offer programs for adults and kids such as the Dash & Dot Team Challenge on Dec 29th from 1:00 PM -2:00 PM.  Find more information at Scappoose Public Library Events and Details.    Go to St. Helens Library Calander to find interesting classes such as Beginning Ukulele maybe for the teenage kids or just quality time with your mom or dad.

Scappoose Public Library Dec 29th Event

Eisenschmidt Pool offers a variety of options for kids of all ages or exercise if you need some me time!  St Helens Pool Schedule

Photo Courtesy: SHEDCO

Around sunset is the perfect time to check out all the beautiful lights at the Courthouse Plaza Square in St. Helens. Thanks to local nonprofit SHEDCO (St Helens Economic Development Corporation), you should leave feeling that Holiday Spirit.  Plus, it’s a great spot to take family photos.   Open Anytime & FREE.

It’s not always the specific activity with family that we remember.  It is how we felt when we spend time with our family.  How hard we laughed and the memories we shared.  It’s the moments we spend together that matter.  Keep it simple and wonderful all rolled into one.  Happy Holidays Columbia County!

 

 

 

 

 


2016 Summer Community Celebrations

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Our communities offer many types of activities around the 4th of July to showcase a sense of community pride while celebrating our nation’s independence.  These communities are inviting you to join in the fun.

Scappoose –  Start your morning off right with a donation only Pancake Breakfast from 7:30-11:00 AM.  All proceeds go to Scappoose Firefighters Association Scholarship Fund held at 52751 Columbia River Hwy.

St. Helens-  4th of July Festivities start at Columbia View Park  at 11:00 am with an Adult Tail Gate Party down at the waterfront.  The Elks Food Cart opens between 11:00-8:00 PM.  Elks will be grilling up hamburgers and such to raise funds for Veterans.  Other family friendly events like a Pie Baking Contest,Watermelon Eating Contest, Trash Can Painting Contest all happen during the day.  Live music starts at 3:00 PM followed by local sensation Hit Machine at 8:00 PM.  For specific events, go to  St Helens 4th of July Events Schedule.

Rainer Days starts officially at noon on July 7th.  You will find free live music, carnival rides, evening kids movie in the park and more until July 10th.  According to their website, they were voted Best fireworks on the Columbia River for 5 years in a row.  Make sure to catch the “Fibre Federal / Rainier Days in the Park Fireworks show” July 9th 10:00 PM.  Rainier Days 2016 Schedule.

Clatskanie – Heritage Days is a long-running tradition started by pioneers.  Many new events have been added to showcase the best of Clatskanie. On the 4th, they have a day full of events to celebrate their local Heritage.  Two of the highlights is a live logging show at 6:30 PM followed by a fireworks show at dusk.  For more information or detailed events, go to their website.

The Vernonia Chamber of Commerce hosts the  Vernonia Great American Bash 2016.  They have a parade that starts at 6:00 PM and fireworks at dusk.  Looking for daytime activities? The newly upgraded Dewey Pool is ready for visitors.   Want to squeeze in a bike ride?  You can jump on the Crown Zellerbach Trail.   Whatever you choose to do, you will enjoy your time in Vernonia.

Columbia County hosts many community events with free activities that allow you to see your neighbors, meet new friends and participate in what makes small towns so great.  #Thankscolumbiacounty #hereincc #keepitlocalcc #welovecc #welovewherewelive

 

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Festival, Parade & More starting June 16th, 2016

13433336_10208173950839377_9005612333863629753_oSt Helens, OR-   Do you remember the old Port-o-Fun?  Port-o-Fun was located downtown along the waterfront in St Helens for many years.  St Helens Kiwanis decided to bring back the memories and fun with a new name, The River Festival.  St. Helens River Festival will start at noon on Thursday 16th with Free Admission. You’ll have plenty to do with 13 Nights on the River  open air market  from 3:00-9:00 PM and live music starting at 6:00 PM by  a band called “Slicker” made up of some of Oregon’s finest home grown, professional musicians.

Another long-standing local tradition, St Helens Kiwanis will also host the 101st year Kiwanis Parade with the theme “2016 Year of Health & Wellness”  June 18th at noon at Columbia Blvd and Hwy 30.  This parade is great family fun.  If you want to get creative,  you can participate in the parade by signing up the day of the parade between 9-11 at Emmert Motors.  Parade judging starts at 11:00 and Parade at Noon.  It’s a not to miss community event.  Kiwanis want to invite Columbia County to join in the celebrations.

Yes, there is adult fun involved.  When was the last time you attended a street dance?  This upcoming weekend, you’ll have the option to attend two street dances.  One on Friday 17th by Stevie Marie & Jackson Road and The Wieners will play on Saturday both start at 8:00 PM with a $5.00 cover for each dance.  River Festival Facebook Page follow along for details.  Spending time at community creates great family memories.

#hereincc #keepitlocalcc #livemusic #recreatecc