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UNITY Center collecting toys, Christmas concert planned

The UNITY Center in West Linn is accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys, art supplies, board games, stuffed animals and gift cards for children ages infant to 18 for its annual 25 Cent Toys for Boys and Girls event.

Donations can be dropped off at the center, 20255 Willamette Drive, Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Financial donations can also be made via the center’s website, worldhealing.org, and center volunteers will do the shopping for you.

On the afternoon of Dec. 14, parents from selected families will be invited to pick out stocking stuffers, three toys, a book, a craft/art supply or a game for each of their children for a quarter each.

The center is working with the Bolton Head Start program and four primary schools in the area and hopes to serve more than 50 families. School counselors make recommendations about families who may need help.

On Dec. 7, the UNITY Center will host a Christmas concert feature Portland soul and blues artist, LaRhonda Steele and many others.

Tickets can be purchased for $20 in advance through worldhealing.org or at Brown Paper Tickets.

Craft fair will benefit savanna

Peruse 35 artists’ tables for unique holiday gifts during the 5th Annual Holiday Craft Fair to benefit the White Oak Savanna. The craft fair will be held noon-8 p.m. Nov. 21 and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 22 at West Linn Lutheran Church, 20390 Willamette Drive. Refreshments will be available for purchase.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit West Linn’s White Oak Savanna Park.

Time to dust off your ugly sweater

It’s time to rummage through your closet for your ugliest holiday sweater in anticipation for West Linn’s 6th Annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Dash on Dec. 6. Four-legged friends and babies in strollers are welcome at this family friendly 5k walk/run and 1-mile dash/stroll event. Portions of this year’s proceeds will go to the West Linn Food Pantry and to the West Linn Adult Community Center. Racers are encouraged to bring pantry donations to the race for collection. Fees for the 9 a.m. 5k start at $25 per adult, $15 per child or $65 for a family pass for up to two adults and two children. Fees for the shorter 1-mile dash, beginning at 9:30 a.m., will be $10 per adult, $7 per child or $27 for a family pass for up to two adults and two children. Races will start and finish at the Willamette Falls Fire Station on Willamette Falls Drive in West Linn. Early packet pick up and late registration will be available 6-8 p.m. Friday at the annual West Linn Holiday Tree Lighting at West Linn City Hall. For questions about the event, please contact Event Director Kristi DeGroat at 503-887-1259, email your questions to info@eventurousevents.com or visit eventurousevents.com.

Children’s Center showcase, fundraiser on tap

An artist showcase and fundraiser for the Children’s Center brings together a variety of local businesses and artists to support an Oregon City medical assessment center for suspected abused or neglected children.

Local businesses are stepping up to participate from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. Dragonfly Gifts in West Linn is hosting a children’s book author reading/signing. Another children’s book author will be selling her book and doing crafts with children at the fundraising site, West Linn’s Central Village Marketplace’s Suite 106, where an anonymous donor is matching $40,000 for Children’s Center if the financial goal is reached by Dec. 31.

Children’s Center Executive Director Barbara Peschiera wrote in her appeal to the community, “Yes, we have a $40,000 challenge before us, but our bigger challenge is to inspire people to join us in the mission of helping families who have suffered child abuse. The financial challenge is tangible — we can track it with a thermometer celebrating every dollar raised. But the real challenge of involving the community in our mission is harder to measure.”

As a Children’s Center volunteer and former business owner of Ego at Central Village Marketplace, Pam Pesetti reached out to the landlord, Gramor Development, to donate the space, and then to local artists to show their goods and give back a percentage of their profits. Each artist is donating at least 20 percent of their profits, and some are donating 50 percent to 100 percent.

“I believe it sets a great example of both large and small gestures for a common good,” Pesetti said. “During December, when it is easy to get caught up in the stresses surrounding the season, this is an opportunity to display giving in our community.”

For event questions, call Pesetti at 503-880-4866.

Nominate resident for Robert Moore Award

The Robert Moore Award was created by the West Linn City Council in 2013 to recognize individuals who contribute to the quality of life in the community without reward or recognition.

Named after the founder of West Linn, Robert Moore, the award commemorates Moore’s selfless decision to name the town he founded after his friend and mentor, Dr. Lewis Linn.

If you know someone who spends his or her free time volunteering, taking time to help their neighbors, trying to make a difference in the lives of those around them, or sharing acts of kindness with others, submit his or her name for nomination.

Nominations for the 2014 awards are due Friday. The city is accepting nominations online at westlinnoregon.gov/citycouncil/robert-moore-award-nomination-form. Call 503-657-0331 for more info.

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