10 July 2013 by Published in: Opinion No comments yet

Kudos to Heritage Days Volunteers

Editorial Comments

by Deborah Steele Hazen

It was another very enjoyable Heritage Days celebration in Clatskanie. The community and its visitors owe a big “thank you” to all who worked to make it happen.

The Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce is the parent organization for the Heritage Days Committee which has been headed for several years by Dave and Debi Borgstrom. This is Dave’s second tour of duty at the helm of this community’s biggest celebration – attended and enjoyed by literally thousands. He also was Heritage Days chair for a number of years in the ‘80s and early ‘90s.

Dave and Debi are in charge of a myriad of details. They organize the vendors, coordinate the talent show, schedue the live music, communicate with the fireworks pyrotechnicians, man the information booth at the park, etc., etc., etc.

They are assisted by a committee of hard-working volunteers, several organizations and families that take responsibility for various aspects of the celebration.

We are always hesitant to name specific individuals, because we invariably leave some deserving volunteers out, but we’re going to give it a shot.

The Borgstroms are assisted in putting on the “Strut Your Mutt” dog show by Doug Kallberg of the Dog Zone in Longview, Heritage committee members Debi and Greg Smiley, while Mayor Diane Pohl, Sharon Roggow and members of the Clatskanie Emergency Response Team organize the “Dog Day Afternoon” activities.

Lori Sherman deserves a big thank you for her work with the Heritage Days court over the past two years. Not only does she organize and chaperone the court, but she and they have been busy for weeks helping in various ways – assisting at “Princess-in-Training,” visiting organizations and businesses to promote Heritage Days, selling raffle tickets and buttons, collecting raffle prizes, decorating a float, helping with and participating in the talent show as well as the coronation, organizing the bike and skatepark showcase.

Laurie Blase accepted the volunteer job of Chamber treasurer this year, which also means that she serves as treasurer for Heritage Days. With donations coming both directly to Heritage Days and through the Clatskanie Foundation, fees from vendors, expenses for everything from parade trophies to porta-potties to fireworks, it’s a complicated job.

Not only did she keep the books for the Heritage Days celebration, she also volunteered to organize a new activity – a chili cook-off. It is an event that has been talked about for several years, but Laurie got the ball rolling.

Although we were working with volunteer firefighter Ed Franklin to compile parade results and missed the chili cook-off, we understand it was a success, and we predict there will be more participants next year.

As if they don’t do enough to help us already, the Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection District staff and volunteers provide a huge service to the community by coordinating the parade each year.

The Clatskanie People’s Utility District, the City of Clatskanie, the Clatskanie Police Department, and the Clatskanie Park and Recreation District also provide invaluable services  that are necessary to put on a celebration for thousands of Northwest Oregon residents and visitors.

After years of getting up before dawn to prepare chicken for the barbecue, members of the Clatskanie Kiwanis Club are no longer doing the barbecue, but they are still very much a part of Heritage Days with their bingo, monetary contributions, and, this year, supplying bounce rooms to entertain the youngsters.

While we were successful in getting a carnival to come to Clatskanie for several years, the fact is that they would rather go to more populated places where they can make more money over the 4th of July. So, activities such as the bounce rooms supplied by Kiwanis, are important to help entertain the children after the parade and before the fireworks.

The Skirvin family has given up their 4th for years to put on the logging show. We can’t thank them enough.

Similarly, the members of the Clatskanie Cruisers car club work hard for months to organize and coordinate what has become the kick-off event for the celebration – the car show.

The Cruisers donate the profits from the event for a scholarship, to the Turning Point Community Service Center, and back to Heritage Days to help meet the costs of the celebration.

Other groups such as Chapter T P.E.O., WyldLife and the Clatskanie High School cheerleaders plan and organize events that add to the fun.

Several first-time volunteers stepped forward this year to help out in various ways.

Of course, Heritage Days could not happen without the support of the Clatskanie business community as car show trophy sponsors (they were listed in last week’s Chief), donating prizes for  raffles, and making cash contributions.

Outright donations are also made by individuals, industries and organizations. Those donating $50 or more are listed on page 5.

At the risk of blowing our own horn, we want to thank three generations of the extended family that operates this newspaper for not only publicizing and covering the Heritage Days events, creating posters and flyers, but working as volunteers for several events.

Finally, one of our staff members heard a rumor that this year was the last Heritage Days.

That’s not true.

The finances have ebbed and flowed over the years. We struggled a bit financially this year, but with help, generosity and participation by the people of this community, Clatskanie Heritage Days will continue for many years to come.











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