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About Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 22, 2017)
6A COTTAGE GROVE SENTINEL FEBRUARY 22, 2017
High school R&B Revue back in town
Musicians, of both the professional
student variety, are gearing up for
the popular music show, Metropolitan
Rhythm and Blues Revue, set to hit the
stage tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 23.
"We're in our 16th year," said Keith Kessler, a volunteer liaison
for the event which started on the suggestion of a community mem-
ber paired with efforts of instructors at the high school.
The two-hour show raises money for the school's arts department
and will kick-off this year with "Some Kind of Wonderful" per-
formed by a new guest vocalist and local resident Neil Thurston. It
continues with "Soul Man," "Walking in Memphis" and "Bohemian
Rhapsody" supported by the entire ensemble.
The program also lists the jazz band playing "Sing, Sing, Sing"
and Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground." Award-winning choral
group, Shades of Jazz, will also be featured singing The Beatles,
"Blackbird." Seniors in Shades of Jazz will be highlighted with solo
performances and joined by student group, Microphones.
Dancers will also take the stage with routines to the beats of
Earth, Wind and Fire's "Shining Star," organized by choreographer
Janet Rust and drama and dance teacher, Madeline Sissone.
By Caitlyn May
For 15 years the show has made an impressive showing with Kes-
sler estimating that it routinely nets approximately $8,000-$10,000
to be used for instruments, music camps and competitions.
"We have a joke about how it beats selling 16,000 candy bars,"
The state of Oregon is facing a nearly $2 billion defi cit and the
budget released by the legislature regarding education, refl ects the
shortage. If the numbers released hold true, South Lane School
District could have to operate with its own shortfall of $1.7 million.
Options for making up the difference include cutting school days
and increasing fees associated with extracurricular activities. Ac-
cording to Kessler, however, the music program students are not
usually subject to the same fees as athletes but the money raised
during the revue is for their use. "The money is always available
for kids in the performing arts for things they need," Kessler said.
Before any money is counted, however, students will perform
with the help of community members, who according to a press
release concerning the event, are invaluable. "All of the adults from
this incredible community are what make the Metropolitan Rhythm
& Blues Revue such an amazing event," the release noted. "Joan-
na Newton and Laurie Hammond will again bring their time and
amazing talent to the R&B Revue, along with R&B veterans
Teresa Martindale, Keith Kessler, and Shelley Dill. This 15-year-
old vision to create a venue where the community and the high
school could collaborate on a very professional show has certainly
come true. It is a remarkable event."
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. Shows begin to-
morrow, Feb. 23 and run through Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. A 2:30 p.m.
show will be held Sunday, Feb. 26.
Conservation organization holds CG fundraiser
The regional outdoor community
came together at the Elk’s Lodge on
Saturday night to help raise funds for a
conservationist organization that aims
to preserve and rehabilitate wetlands. Ducks Unlimited was found-
ed during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl and recently
celebrated its 80th birthday on Jan. 29.
The Cottage Grove Elk’s Lodge played host to a fundraiser for
Ducks Unlimited by hosting a small banquet and auctioning off
hunting and outdoor gear.
State Chairman of Oregon for Ducks Unlimited, Jerry Schuler,
was in attendance, explaining the benefi t of these events.
“We have one paid employee in the state, everyone else is a vol-
unteer,” Schuler said. He explained that Ducks Unlimited across the
country consists of over 55,000 volunteers and less than 500 paid
By Sam Wright
“Everyone that’s a part of our organization is pretty well commit-
ted,” Schuler added.
Fundraisers like these can earn the organization anywhere be-
tween $25,000 and $75,000. District Chair for Cottage Grove Mike
Maaranen says the organization has had a lot of success raising
money for preservation of certain habitats.
“We’ve raised over $4.2 billion across the country,” Maaranen
said, explainaing that the money raised was net earnings, calculated
after all expensese have been paid to host fundraisers.
This specifi c fundraiser was part of a fi ve-year campaign planned
across the country to raise $2 billion.
Ducks Unlimited uses all of its money for things such as restoring
grasslands and replanting forests, restoring watersheds, purchasing
land and working with landowners, conservation easements, man-
agement agreements and Geographic Information Systems.
Ducks Unlimited explains that nearly three quarters of America’s
remaining wetlands are on private lands, which is why working with
landowners is so important. Ducks Unlimited works with farmers
and other landowners to improve the agricultural and recreational
value of their land with more opportunity for wildlife to thrive.
The organization bases its foundation on biological research on
how to better protect wetlands and understand how birds adjust to
different landscapes. So far, Ducks Unlimited reports that they have
conserved over 13.8 millions acres of wetlands across the nation.
In Oregon, Schuler says that Ducks Unlimited is currently work-
ing with public policy staff as state legislature is in session. The
Oregon chapter of Ducks Unlimited tries to send letters and emails
to legislators to ensure that laws are in place to protect many of
To participate in the protection of Oregon’s wetlands, opportu-
nities to get involved with Ducks Unlimited are on their website at
Auction held for HS atheltics, organizers say goal close
The Cottage Grove High School Athletic Department got the
community excited and eager to dig deep into their pockets to
help raise money for the school’s athletic programs. With the
help of sponsors and volunteers, Athletic Director Gary Roberts
hosted a dinner auction at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church in town.
The auction dinner is the fi rst of its kind for Cottage Grove athletics, an idea that Roberts heard from
other athletic directors while playing golf with fellow peers.
Roberts says that each program has been in need for new equipment or fi eld renovations for some
time, and this would help.
“Half of the money we make here will be split up evenly among every sport program,” Roberts said,
“That money will be shared equally and put into each of their accounts.”
The other half of the money will go toward more general athletic equipment such as new scoreboards.
Roberts said that he heard of some larger 5A schools made up to $100,000 in one night, but he knew
the size of Cottage Grove and set a reasonable goal of $20,000.
Over 30 different items were auctioned off during a live auction and a silent auction. All of the items
that were donated included things like vacation packages, service packages, bottles of wine and recre-
ational hunting rifl es and guns.
While the athletic department has taken budget cuts over recent years, Roberts says he doesn’t want
the auction dinner to be a simple Band-Aid. Roberts said that a big issue was to help the school district
in its ability to keep participation fees as low as possible.
Roberts also explained that there were certain facilities that were simply outdated and needed to be
renovated. In one particular case, the softball fi eld is in dire need of a face lift and new dugouts are
“It really means a whole lot
that everyone came out here
WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS TIME TO THANK ALL OF OUR
and was so generous,” Roberts
SPONSORS FOR THE FALL SOCCER AND VOLLEYBALL
said at the dinner. “We’re really
SEASON. WITHOUT THE SUPPORT OF OUR COMMUNITY WE
appreciative of all the donations
WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO PROVIDE NEW EQUIPMENT FOR
and sponsors that helped us put
THE KIDS OR GIVE SCHOLARSHIPS TO KIDS WHO MAY NOT
By Sam Wright
SOUTH VALLEY ATHLETICS
OTHERWISE BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE
• BUSTER’S MAIN STREET CAFE
• D&D AUTOMOTIVE
• COTTAGE GROVE COMMUNITY
• HORNERS, INC
• JOSEPH OSBORN PLUMBING
• COTTAGE GROVE GROCERY
• KNIFE RIVER
• KYLE KISHEN CONSTRUCTION
• COTTAGE GROVE SENTINEL
WE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO THANK THE COACHES, REFEREES,
ALL THE OTHER NUMEROUS VOLUNTEERS WHO SPEND
COUNTLESS HOURS PREPARING AND MAKING THE SPORTS
SEASONS HAPPEN, THE SPECTATORS AND PLAYERS. THE
KIDS LOVE HAVING SO MANY OF THEIR FAMILY AND
FRIENDS OUT CHEERING THEM ON EACH WEEK!
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Community members bid on items like a round of golf, rifl es and weekend getaways to help CGHS athletics.
On Saturday, February 18th the Lane Council of
Governments presented Sherry Duerst-Higgins their
prestigious award for Outstanding Elected Offi cial of 2016
for her outstanding service, leadership, and commitment
to the regional community. Th is recognition could not be
more well deserved.
Th is representative list documents her many years of
volunteer public service, and ascendance to leadership
roles in many community and service organizations are
LEADERSHIP: ( President or Chair)
•Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce 2000
•Cottage Grove Board of Realtors 2001 and 2010
•Cottage Grove Community Foundation 1998-2002
•Cottage Grove Rotary Club 2008
•Community Sharing 1995,2000,2005
•Oregon School Board Association 2004
•South Lane School District Board Chair (10 times)
•Lane Educational Service District (9 times)
• CG High School Booster Club 1990-1998
• CG High School Wrestling Club 1986-1996
• Cottage Grove Community Chest 1998-2004
• Peacehealth Foundation 2012-Present
• President Elect LCOG 2016- Present
•Cottage Grove Community Foundation 1991-Present
•Rotary Club 1998-Present
•Cottage Grove Board of Realtors 1992-2002
•Community Sharing 1992-Present
•Cottage Grove Hospital Foundation 2000-Present
•Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce 1998-2002
•Cottage Grove Community Chest 1995-2005
•Cottage Grove Hospital Governing Board 2013-Present
•Lane Council Of Government EX Board 2005-Present
Th e list clearly represents her support of a diverse range of programs and orga-
nizations vital to the community. But her commitment and dedication to public
education is unparalleled.
In her letter of nomination for this award, Krista Parent, SLSD Superintendent,
articulated Sherry’s commitment to public education with this excerpt from her
“When you think of the term “Public Servant”, Sherry Duerst-Higgin’s image should
appear. Anything happening in this community that is for the greater good, has Sherry
involved in some prominent way. She has served her community repeatedly over a
long period of time and has always put kids fi rst with her eff orts. Sherry was instru-
mental in two of the biggest happenings in the history of South Lane School District
- the passage of a bond levy to build a new Cottage Grove High School in 2000 - and
then the passage of another bond levy to build a new Harrison School in 2016. She is
the ultimate advocate for our public school system in Oregon and in our community
of Cottage Grove.Sherry’s volunteer service has to be unprecedented just about any-
where. Not just the diverse number of boards and service clubs she has served on, but
the number of years that she has made this commitment. Th e number of hours she
commits to service has to be some sort of a record. Her combined years of service on
the four boards SLSD (29 years), Lane ESD (22 years), OSBA (16 years), and OSAA
(8 years) equals 75 years! It is quite a feat to volunteer on one of those boards, but all
four is simply amazing.”
Dear Sherry; we could not agree more with Krista’s sentiments,
and proudly take this opportunity to congratulate you on this distinguished award!
or visit us at
Your loving and appreciative family, Husband Paul, Sons Jeff rey and Dana, Daughter Susan,
and all the grandkids!