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Celebrate those who make a difference

| November 10, 2010 8:00 PM

This is Idaho Non-Profit Week, although in our communities we celebrate these organizations every day of the year.I'm continually awed by the extraordinary generosity of donors and volunteers meeting every corner of need. To all of you friends and neighbors whom I see regularly at local benefit events, thank you. You open your hearts and your wallets time and time again to see to it that quality of life extends throughout.

Recently at the Boys and Girls Club of Kootenai County's Beach Ball fundraiser, $88,000 was raised. In this economy! That scenario is repeated with the dozens of non-profits, large and small, all year long. It's not just the scenic beauty that reminds me of why I love where I live.***

Our local veterans will be many places on Veterans Day ... in the schools, at memorials and speaking to civic organizations. Let's be sure we remember the reason for this national holiday and sincerely thank these men and women who not only served in our armed forces but continue to serve in our communities, as well as those serving in the military today.Special thanks to long-time resident and dedicated veteran Jim Shepperd, who will once again ring the Third Street bell at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of November in honor of veterans.

***The supermarket dash at Super 1 Foods on Tuesday with Relish's celebrity chef, Jon Ashton, was great fun. Even though Al Williams, Jeff Conroy and I finished in a three-way tie for second to the speedy Ben Wolfinger, a good time was had by all. I did have a fantastic cheering section of Jame Davis, Barb Chambers, Peggy Santos, Chief Scot Haug and Capt. Pat Knight, though. As to be expected, Al was definitely the best dressed of the dashers!

When The Press brings Chef Ashton back for the Relish Cooking Show at the Greyhound Park and Event Center on Dec. 2, you won't want to miss it. Jon's witty and entertaining, in addition to being easy on the eyes. :)***

You'd have to be a UI Vandal fan who was insulted by Boise State President Bob Kustra's remarks (during an interview in which he called the Vandal fans "nasty and inebriated") to appreciate the birthday gift Heidi Rogers gave Ellen Jaeger this week at Laundry Night. UI alumn Ellen plans to wear her new T-shirt this Friday to what might just be the last game between the Vandals and the Broncos in Moscow for quite some time.***

There must be something in the water there at Lake Tower apartments in downtown Coeur d'Alene. Betty Owens, neighbor of the late, great Ace Walden, is marking her 103rd birthday tomorrow. Betty is quite a gal, still volunteering time to sing with friends at local assisted living facilities. She's celebrated past milestone birthdays by parasailing, taking a ride in the Hagadone helicopter and riding shotgun on the back of Don Sausser's scooter. This morning on the eve of her birth, I'll interview Betty on KVNI AM 1080 about 8:30 a.m., her first time on the radio airwaves!

***Today is the 235th birthday of the United States Marine Corps ... Semper Fi (Latin for always faithful. Faithful to God, country, family and the Corps.) Sharing the date with the Marines are Bret Bowers, Diane Horton, Bev Pogue and Kathleen Tillman. Tomorrow is Veterans Day, the eleventh day of the eleventh month and also the birthday of Ellen Jaeger, Ruth Pratt, Ron Lahr, Ruth Morrow, Kim Malar, Emilia Ovstedal and the most senior member of the Main Street Birthday Club ...103-year-old Betty Owens! On Friday Greg Gervais and Amanda Behringer mark another year. Timarie Lindquist and Matt Backs celebrate on Saturday and Nov.14 birthdays belong to Jane Hansen, Jill Satterly and Tim Curry. Starting the week by blowing out the candles on their cakes Monday are Cheryl Siroshton, Mark Fisher, Teresa Peugh and Mary Scalise. On Tuesday the ever-young Colleen Allison turns 82, sharing the birthdate with Sue Spinazza, James Morris, Cathleen Lenon, Stan Purcell and Dan Ripley.

***THERE'S MORE: New stories and photos almost every day at More Main Street. There's a number of great events coming up that I've listed there, including the Marine Corps Birthday Ball. See who took a uniformed turn on the runway for the Women's Center and more!

***Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press. More Main Street blog is at http://moremainstreet.blogspot.com. Kerri can be reached at mainstreet@cdapress.com

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