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Hells Canyon Journal
Halfway, Oregon
March 23, 2016     Hells Canyon Journal
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March 23, 2016

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F Page 6 Hells Canyon Journal March 23, 2016 Ambulance Is Just by Sherrie Kvamme of the Hells Canyon Journal (Editor's note: This histori- cal report, was compiled from old newspaper clippings.) The Eagle Valley Grange has always been a hub of so- cial activity and a proponent of community betterment. One of its many stand-out attributes is the development and support of the Eagle Val- ley Ambulance Service. In 1961, Baker County had the unique distinction ofhav- ing three of its Granges se- lected for first, second and third places in the Sears Roe- buck Community Service con- test. At the top of the list was the Eagle Valley Grange of Richland whose annual ac- complishments ordinarily fill a good-sized scrapbook. While it serves as a useful assembly to exchange opinions about the weather, crops, the younger generation and other topic reserved for casual con- versation, the Grange has a more significant purpose: to Service Provided by the Eagl array of projects they under- take. They're led by Robert Coble who is serving a third consecutive year as Master of the Grange - an organiza- tion which has more than doubled its membership - from 57 to 133 - since the start of his term. Perhaps the achievement the Grange members are most proud of is the ambu- lance which they maintain solely for the benefit of the community. The ambulance which was acquired several years ago is supported mainly by money raised from the "Dime-a-Dip Dinners" and donations. Unlike in many of its big- ger sister cities, there is no charge levied on those who have occasion to use the am- bulance service. Drivers of the sleek 1950 Pontiac volunteer their ser- vices as do the nurses who accompany the patient or patients to the nearest hospi- tal 42 miles away in Baker City. The list of drivers is a long one because all have "day jobs" and it's sometimes diffi- make ,the community a bet- cult for them to get away at a ter place in which to live. moment's notice. With a long Twice a month, the mere- enough list of volunteers, bers of the Eagle Valley there's always somebody Grange meet to discuss the available to do the job. Driv- ers include Drake Graven, Robert Coble, Norma Ball, Roy Stacey, Vernon DeMeyer, Walter Forsea and Pete Basche'. Nurses in the com- munity who assist are Flo- rence McCurdy, Norma Jenson, Beth McCurdy, Judy Anderson and Retha Rethmeir. During the first year of operation, the ambulance made 13 trips to the hospital or clinics. And when regula- tions were drafted to make the cost of providing free ambulance service prohibi- tive, the Eagle Valley Grange was in the thick of the fight waged to rescind the rules. More Community Projects Another major project the Eagle Valley Grange under- took for many years was the annual Harvest Dinner for support of the cemetery. Now that the cemetery is main- tained by a tax levy, the din- ner is no longer necessary, but the Grange does not lack for things to do. Gleaned from the list of last year's projects were these representative samples: Members remodeled the Grange Hall, protested log- ging practices on Eagle Creek, worked for improve- ment of Sparta reservoir and Valley Grange Photo courtesy of Frank Randall IN THE FALL OF 1962, the Eagle Valley Grange, which supports ambulance service in Eagle Valley, acquired a new-to-them 1950 ambulance. At that time, trained nurses accompanied patients to the hospital in Baker City. Three of those volunteer nurses are pictured with the new ambulance: (left to right) Florence McCurdy, Norma Jenson and Beth McCurdy. Ambulance drivers were Drake Graven (kneeling) and Robert Coble (standing). Hewitt Memorial Park, spon- sored Boy Scouts and Brown- ies, put on a square dance for young people of the commu- nity, honored the senior citi- zens of the area with a ban- quet, sponsored an Easter egg hunt and a Christmas pro- gram, awarded a $25.00 scholarship for the 4-H sum- mer school, sponsored the x- ray mobile unit and had a chicken pie supper. These are only a few ex- amples of community service, but they give an idea of what the grange does. The Grange is never content to sit back and relax. For the next project year, members plan on paint- ing mail boxes in the commu- nity with the owner's permis- sion and stenciling names on the boxes. Doctor and Son Take a Working Trip to Honduras cal team for his annual Hon- duras trip, which took pIace January 22 through Febru- ary 1, 2016. The team consisted of two physicians, a pharmacist, a number of nurses, youth to work on maintenance, some- one to help fit glasses, and entertainer for the Hondu- ran children, etc., for a total of about 25 people. The crew saw hundreds of people in the five and a half days worth of clinics. With only one dentist scheduled to travel with Dr. Schott's group this year, we felt very fortunate to have a Honduran lady dentist join our team. "Dr. Martha," as she was nicknamed by the group, traveled to the vari- ous villages with us over the course of five and a half days Submitted by Warren Whitnah Note: Dr. Jon Schott, Medi- cal Director for the Pine Eagle Clinic, founded Faith and Humanity Missions, a non- profit organization which sends teams of medical staff and helpers to Honduras twice a year, in January and June. Dr. Schott has made 15 medical missions to Hondu- ras, and has been joined by local dentist Warren Whitnah the last few years. During the January 2016 trip, the team stayed 10 days and saw 1,800 patients, who were grateful for the care they re- ceived despite the long lines and two- to three-hour wait times. My son, Bob Whitnah, filled in as my dental assis- tant this year, and together we joined Dr. Schott's medi- Be sure you receive all the benefits you earned. BAKER COUNTY VETERAN SI,,RVICES RICK GLORIA, VETERAN SERVICES COORDINATOR 1995 Third Street. Baker County Courthouse. 541-523-8223 Our family serving yours. of clinics. With so many people waiting to be seen each day, I'm not sure we could have done it without her. Keffer Mespelt from Baker City filled in as Dr. Martha's assistant, Bob Whitnah was my assistant, and Chris Knoll of Baker City, formerly from Eastern Oregon Medical As- sociates, was our steriliza- tion tech. The very first day, after landing in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, we immediately proceeded to an orphanage in E1 Progreso for a half-day clinic. We stayed in a dorm at a Catholic campground called Campamento Amigos in E1 Progreso. The second day's clinic was about a two-hour drive from oqr campground into the mountains to Agua Caliente, and was our only repeat vil- lage from the villages we had traveled to before. The third day was back to E1Progresso, and the remaining three clin- ics were about an hour and a half into the low hills to vari- ous villages around La Ceiba. We traveled by means of a tour bus to accommodate our large group and all of our equipment. "Wilfredo" was our driver. He was great! His most important driving aid was his horn. He insisted that stop signs were merely just a suggestion. Our clinics were insane with the number of people waiting to be seen. The lines seemed to never shorten. One lady walked three and a half hours just to see us. Thank goodness Dr. Martha joined us. We would have been so overwhelmed. As soon as one person left the dental chair, another patient was crawl- THE TEAM SETTING UP SHOP in the village of Agua Caliente. ing in! Bob really scurried to do clean-up and set-up for the next patient. Kiefer (Dr. Martha's as- sistant) said that we each saw about five patients an hour, with each person having two to three teeth to be extracted. We normally see eight to 12 patients a day back the U.S. - granted we are doing more extensive services there, too. All we saw in Honduras were toothaches, so together Dr. Martha and I removed hun- dreds of teeth. I had a blister on my thumb from having given so many injections! We were fortunate to have a number of Honduran medi- cal students helping who acted as interpreters for us. We did get to do some fun things on the trip, including shopping at a mall, although many of the items were the same as one would find in the U.S. Our last days in Honduras we stayed at a resort along the beach in Residential & Commercial All types of gravel products Pit Run Crushed Rock. Top Soil Concrete Sand Excavation REDI-MIXxNc . ftt Our commitment to you is concrete. I- INSURANCE "Gets you back where you belong" - Life - Home - Commercial Tom Van Diepen Agency 541-523-4464 2825 Tenth Street" Baker City Photo courtesy of Warren Whitnah Photo courtesy of Warren Whitnah BOB WHITNAH with a Honduran soldier. Tela. Bob was a hit with the karaoke. Some of us took a boat trip over to a pristine preserve for hiking, snorkel- ing and monkey viewing, although the beaches were covered in tons of plastic, which had washed up. I think everyone came away with a real apprecia- tion of what we have at home, and feel fortunate to live inl the United States. Many of the Honduran people know what it means to be trulyl poor. Branch Library Hours Halfway - 541-742-5279 Tuesday: 1:00-4:00 p.m. Thursday: 4:00-7:00 p.m. Friday: 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Richland - 541-893-6088 Monday: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Tuesday: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Friday: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Baker County Library website: t