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News briefs for Oct. 29

Police boosting patrols on Halloween night

Oregon law enforcement agencies will target drunk drivers on Halloween as part of an effort to keep impaired drivers from bringing the Halloween party onto the roads.

During last year's Halloween Sunday night, Oregon State Police arrested eight drivers for driving under the influence of intoxicants, a drop from the 2009 Halloween Saturday night when troopers arrested 34 DUII drivers. Although no traffic fatalities have been reported in Oregon during Halloween night the past two years.

Stay up to date on city via new online link

Gresham has launched a new way for the public to keep up-to-date on city issues.

My Gresham is a new online resource at GreshamOregon.gov and is described as providing users a customized experience with multiple ways to receive information and updates from the city.

'Today, people are consuming massive amounts of information through so many channels it can be a challenge to stay on top of local issues,' said Laura Shepard, communications director. 'To help, we have developed a means for consumers of city information to customize and personalize what they receive from us.'

Those with a My Gresham account will have access to 24-hour Ask Gresham customer service, web alerts, service requests, electronic newsletter subscriptions, RSS feeds, crime reports and more.

A new feature outside of My Gresham will allow visitors to the city's website to share information from GreshamOregon.gov with their social networks. To subscribe to My Gresham visit greshamoregon.gov/mygresham/register.aspx.

New service club seeks members

Connections Community, a nonprofit women's service organization, is seeking new members who are interested in community service projects.

Connections Community, formerly Altrusa International of Gresham, sponsors community projects to promote literacy and support issues that affect women and children in the community and world.

On Sunday, Oct. 23, the group sponsored 'Make a Difference Day' at Gresham Library, where more than 3,000 books for children and adults were given away.

The voluntary dues are $25 a year. For more information or to attend a meeting, call Ann Duffy at 503-668-3703.

Soroptimists offer women, girls awards

Soroptimist International of Gresham is looking to recognize women and girls for personal achievements and activism in their communities through three annual award programs, which are open to nominations.

• The Women's Opportunity Award provides women with cash grants to improve their education, skills and employment. Applicants must be the primary financial support for their family, and be enrolled in or accepted to a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate degree program. First- and second-place recipients will receive $3,500 and $2,000, respectively. Applications are due by Dec. 15.

• The Violet Richardson Award recognizes young women, ages 14-17, engaged in significant and noteworthy volunteer actions with the objective of making their community and the world a better place to live. Volunteer actions that benefit women and girls are of particular interest and will receive the highest priority for selection. First- and second-place recipients will receive $1,500 and $1,000, respectively. Applications are due by Dec. 1.

• The Ruby Award acknowledges a woman (or women) in the community who, through their personal or professional activities, works to improve the lives of women and girls. The award amount is $500, and is awarded in the recipient's name to the charity of their choice.

All three awards will be presented at a reception on March 8, 2012.

Contact Kate Allister at 503-618-6981 for information related to these awards. Local high schools will also have information related to the Violet Richardson Award. Applications are due by Dec. 1.

Program wins governor's award

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Volunteer program was recently awarded the Governor's Volunteer Award as an outstanding statewide program.

The award will be presented to Mary Jaeger, state ombudsman, at the Oregon Civic Engagement Conference Nov. 4 at the Salem Conference Center.

By utilizing nearly 200 volunteers in a variety of roles, the state staff of 10 is able to provide a trained and skilled volunteer in nearly half of Oregon's long-term care facilities to be a presence, voice and advocate for more than 43,000 long-term care residents throughout Oregon.

Call Gretchen Jordan, coordinator of volunteers, at 1-800-522-2602 or visit oregon.gov/LTCO for more information on becoming a certified ombudsman volunteer, or to report a concern about a long-term care facility.

George Fox Choir at Smith Memorial

Christopher Benjamin and the George Fox Gospel Choir will sing at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, at Smith Memorial Presbyterian Church, 2420 Fairview Ave., Fairview.

Benjamin, a 2009 graduate of Reynolds High School, played Jean Valjean in the school's production of 'Les Miserables.'

'I was in the Reynolds High auditorium, crying my eyes out when he sang,' said the Rev. Cynthia O'Brien, pastor of Smith Memorial. 'I was so impressed with his performance that I invited him to sing at the East County Mayors' Prayer Breakfast.'

More than 100 civic leaders gave Benjamin a standing ovation that morning.

For more information, visit smithmemorialpres.org.

Fundraiser to benefit Meals-On-Wheels

The Ambleside Loaves and Fishes Center will host the annual Denim and Diamonds event from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, with proceeds helping to provide hot meals to homebound seniors through the Meals-On-Wheels program.

Denim and Diamonds will feature a barbecued chicken dinner, country dancing with music by Eric Stevenson's Musical Memories and a raffle. Admission is $10 per person and proceeds benefit the Ambleside Loaves and Fishes Center.

Ambleside Loaves and Fishes Center is located at 600 N.E. Eighth St., Gresham. Call Carolyn Williams at 503-953-8201 for more information or if interested in volunteering.