Month: April 2014

Keizer teens plan tourney to benefit cancer research

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Alee Banuelos combined two of her passions when coming up with her senior service project at Blanchet Catholic School: softball and fighting cancer. Banuelos and companion Lauren Kessel, who joined her on the project, hail from Keizer, but the they’re hoping to spread news of their Strike Out Cancer softball tournament spreads far and wide. Three of Banuelos’s four grandparents died after battles with cancer as did one of her softball coaches, but it was going to a national softball tournament when she was 13 that left the most indelible mark. “There was a girl there who got sick during the tournament and she was diagnosed with cancer a week after the tournament,” Banuelos said. “She was never able to play again and died two years later. There were 80 teams there and it could have been any one of us.” As the young athlete battled her terminal diagnosis, softball tournaments were held in her honor and Banuelos took a page from that chapter in her life when devising a service project. She and Kessel are organizing a 24-team softball tournament, silent auction and kids’ carnival slated for April 26 and 27 at Wallace Marine Park in Salem. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS) and the Children’s Cancer Association (CCA). Kessel also lost family members to...

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Renaissance Inn getting a Quality upgrade

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Quality is coming to Keizer. Quality Suites, that is. Keizer Renaissance Inn, which underwent a change of ownership last June, will soon become Keizer Quality Suites and Conference Center. The change is expected to take place in mid- to late-April. The Renaissance Inn, built in 1997, is currently Keizer’s only hotel. As indicated in last week’s Keizertimes, a new hotel in Keizer Station is expected to be announced soon. Cameron Stuckart, sales and event coordinator at the Renaissance Inn, said discussions had been going on for a while. “It was a four or five month process,” Stuckart said. “We didn’t decide on being Quality Suites until recently. We knew it would be a Comfort Hotel, we just didn’t know if it would be a Quality Inn or Quality Suites. It was about trying to find the right fit. We really were just seeing which franchise we fit best with.” Tina Winge, director of sales and catering, noted plenty is being changed as part of the update. “There’s a new lobby and new public areas,” Winge said. “We moved the front desk and we added a gift shop. We changed the pool and we changed the breakfast room. We replaced the carpet in the entry with granite tile.” Stuckart said finishing touches were being put on the pool last week. “They ground it down...

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