Month: February 2015

Big check for Marion-Polk Food Share at GGNA meeting [with Video]

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes The check was so big, Rick Gaupo needed help holding it. Fortunately for the president and CEO of Marion-Polk Food Share, he had several hands. Gaupo was at the Feb. 19 Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association meeting to accept a check for money raised during December’s Keizer Miracle of Christmas fundraiser. “We’re here to present a very large check of $21,837,” said Brigett Eisele, who chaired the annual three-week event which also collected 24,899 pounds of food from Dec. 5 to 26. “It was the largest monetary donation we’ve had, by $3,000. It was the second largest poundage donation. We missed that record by 300 pounds, so we were really close.” Eisele herself didn’t hand the check over to Gaupo. She instead left that task to daughter Molly and son Gavin, who were ably assisted by friends Caleb and Jorie Skipper. She also had each of the children share what their favorite part of the food drive was. “People coming in, donating all the money and food,” Gavin said. Molly showed she got swept into the holiday spirit. “Mine is to dress up in my elf costume and go on the buses with Santa,” Molly said. The Skipper siblings also shared their favorite parts. “My favorite part is giving candy canes to kids and seeing how joyful they are,” Jorie said. Caleb seemed to...

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First time since 2009: GVC Champs

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The McNary High School boys varsity basketball players are league champs. “It feels great. It’s taken a while, but it’s awesome to start as the last teams in the state and end up here ranked in the top 10,” said Celt senior Devon Dunagan. A 63-51 win over McKay High School Tuesday, Feb. 24, sealed up co-champion status for McNary. The one footnote to what was a celebratory evening was sharing the Greater Valley Conference title with South Salem High School. McNary will enter the state playoffs ranked 10th. The Saxons will begin ranked No. 5 based on the strength of their schedule. “It feels like everything I hoped it would, it’s been a long time since we’ve had a league title and here we are,” said senior Tregg Peterson. “This is where we wanted to be.” To their credit, McKay never gave up in the match Tuesday. Outsized in every way imaginable, the scrappy Royal Scot team cut McNary’s lead to single digits in the last minute. “When we put the seniors back in at the end of the fourth quarter, we were just sort of goofing around instead of locking down,” Peterson said. Knocking down shots from the foul line and a pair of shots in transitions put the game away. Dunagan laid in the final bucket as the last...

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Lee makes dance debut Feb. 27

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Amid her preparation for Dancing with the Salem Stars Friday, Feb. 27, Krina Lee said part of the fun has been fashion talk. “There was a lot of discussion about what shoes we’re going to wear, but then we found out one of the male contestants is getting a cape. We want to know why we all don’t get one,” Lee said. Lee and six other local “celebs” will be cutting a rug with professional dancers from the Utah Dance Company troupe in the Histroic Elsinore Theatre’s annual fundraiser. Tickets range between $30 and $50 depending on location and are available at the Elsinore box office, 170 High Street S.E., in Salem. “The six contestants will perform first and then be reviewed by celebrity judges. During intermission, the audience votes and then the Utah Dance Company will put on a show before the results are announced,” Lee said. Lee was cajoled into the performance through several different channels, but said the experience has been a memorable one, even if it’s meant striking a difficult balance. “There’s the part of me that wants to have fun doing it and supporting the Elsinore, and then there’s the inner ‘ohmigosh’  that I’m going to be out there in front of a whole theatre of people,” she said. “Mostly I want people to know that I’ve...

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Dislocated shoulder doesn’t stop wrestler

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes SPRAGUE — Thirty seconds into his finals match at the district wrestling tournament, Alvarro Venegas, a McNary High School senior, dislocated his shoulder. “The best we can figure it, he had an underhook on me and when I tried to pry down it just popped out,” said Venegas. The match was stopped immediately and a trainer was able to pop his shoulder back into place. Venegas passed some quick strength tests and was talking with head coach Jason Ebbs about whether to continue. “He told me it was my choice, that wrestling isn’t everything, but this is something I’ve wanted since freshman year,” Venegas said. “It was scary, but I wanted it so badly.” Venegas rode out the next 5:30 of the match to take the district championship in a 5-2 decision. “It feels amazing, I was in the same match last year and lost. After it was over, I cried and hugged all my coaches,” he said. On Monday afternoon, Venegas – the top ranked wrestler at 195 pounds in the state with only one loss this season – was back on the mat preparing for the state tournament slated for Feb. 27-28 in Portland. He’s also running before and after school. Venegas is one of seven wrestlers representing the school at the state tournament after placing third or better in the...

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