Downing: Hats off to our new graduates

2005-06-16T00:00:00Z Downing: Hats off to our new graduatesBy Kathi Downing
Corvallis Gazette Times
June 16, 2005 12:00 am  • 

NASHVILLE - The communities of Blodgett and Summit have a new crop of graduates we can really be proud of! Four seniors from Blodgett (Ali Fishner, David Hewlett, April Hogan and Jill Christiansen) and two from Summit (Crystal Beck and Barrett Baugher) received their diplomas June 4 at Philomath High School.

Jill Christiansen was on the second academic all-American team and plans to attend Linn-Benton Community College, majoring in music. She hopes to perform or teach piano.

April Hogan will attend beauty school in Salem.

After a summer of camp counseling in Pennsylvania, Dave Hewlett will study at Oregon State University. He was a first academic all-American team graduate and received an ecology scholarship.

Before enrolling at the University of Oregon in September, Ali Fishner will intern at a men's fashion magazine this summer in Manhattan. She won two scholarships from the university, including the dean's scholarship. She is also the recipient of the Blodgett-Summit Community Club's Bill Ayres Memorial Scholarship. Ali graduated with honors and was in the top 10 percent of her class.

Barrett Baugher is planning on taking classes at LBCC this fall, with a goal of eventually transferring to the police academy in Monmouth.

Crystal Beck received an honors diploma from PHS and will attend Western Oregon University. She was this year's recipient of the Summit Star Quilters' Jean Newman Memorial Scholarship. Crystal was awarded a Rotary Club Exchange appointment her junior year and spent six months in Estonia.

We are all proud of these young people and wish them well in their future endeavors.

Foreign exchange student

Congratulations are also in order for Alyssa Hewlett, who received a nomination from the local Rotary Club to spend her junior year on a foreign exchange.

This 16-year-old Blodgett resident will take a break from PHS and attend school in Chile next year.

Teacher departs

The Blodgett grade school bid a fond farewell to one of its two teachers at a going-away party last Wednesday evening.

Tammy Tasker, who has been teaching at the school for more than five years, will be going back to school herself. She intends to get her doctorate from the University of Washington.

Good luck, Tammy.

Community club fund-raiser

If there is such a thing as a TOO-successful fund-raiser, it might be the returnable bottle collection box at the Blodgett Country Store. Store owners Debbie and Mark Scacco are to be thanked for strategically placing the big wooden box next to the front door and encouraging customers to place their empties there instead of collecting the deposit from the store.

The Blodgett-Summit Community Club has raised about $50 each week (that's 1,000 empty bottles and cans!), thanks to the generous offerings of beer and soda drinkers. These donations help pay for books, supplies and field trips for students of the Blodgett School, and everyone is extremely grateful.

Because of the magnitude of the response and necessity for retrieving the empty bottles and cans from the donation box, weekly runs to WinCo Foods, Safeway and First Alternative Co-op to recoup the deposit money have been made by Blodgett resident Jim Damitio.

He could really use some help. If there is any community member out there who would like to take on the responsibility once in a while, let his wife, Cheri, know. Cheri is the chairwoman of the community club and her number is 453-5351.

Watershed meeting

The Yaquina Watershed Group will lead an English ivy pull at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 20. Meet in the Eddyville Charter School parking lot, off of Highway 20 in Eddyville. The originally scheduled presentation has been postponed.

The group will be working to control ivy at two sites, one between the school and the river and another at the Eddy cemetery that students have been restoring.

English ivy is a common landscaping plant that can be highly invasive in our area. The vines climb trees and can eventually smother them or bring them down with their weight.

A simple technique of cutting all the vines growing up the tree and then pulling the lower sections back away from the base of the tree will be used.

Anyone who doesn't have enough yard work to do at home and is interested in helping with this project, join the crew this Monday. Bring gloves and garden tools, such as loppers, pruners or small handsaws.

The Yaquina Watershed Group is a forum for discussion and education about local watershed issues. All are welcome to attend.

For more information or to carpool, contact Vicki at 574-7711, 351-1062 or

Half-marathon, bike races

The mudslingers are at it again. As if a March race wasn't enough, the Mudslinger Events group is sponsoring another race in Blodgett this Saturday.

A half-marathon for runners will begin at 9 a.m. at the Blodgett School, followed at 9:15 by a 50-mile mountain bike race. The Alsea Girls' Basketball team will volunteer their time to help with the event. The entrance fee is $50.

For more information, check

Summit work party

Every Saturday morning until the Summit Summer Festival on Aug. 20, everyone is invited to a party at the Summit Center. A work party, that is.

There is plenty to be done on the Summit Center, and a crew of volunteers gathers at 10 a.m. (Summit time) to spend a few hours together doing what needs to be done.

Plans are under way for the "big project," which entails creating a reliable water system for the center.

Nashville resident Kathi Downing can be contacted at or 456-4252.

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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