American Legion, Post 20

They have been here, in Dallas, for more than 93 years, and are looking forward to serving many, many more years with our help and participation!

The American legion is the nation’s largest wartime veterans’ service organization with a membership of 2.4 million men and women.

All veterans of honorable service during a wartime period, and those currently serving on active duty, are eligible to belong to The American Legion. Congress chartered The American Legion in 1919 as a veterans service organization. Since its founding, The American Legion has remained focused on activities that honor God and country.

The American Legion is also the most active veterans organization in striving to protect benefits earned by all veterans through honorable military service. The American Legion continues to fight for the full repeal of the Disabled Veterans Tax (sometimes called “Concurrent Receipt”), a strong veterans health care system and strong quality of life for U.S. military members and their families.

As the war on terrorism continues U.S. forces remain deployed in countries around the world. Today’s service members are some of the finest men and women ever to put on uniforms, yet they are over-deployed and under-paid. Working with the Commander-in-chief, Congress, and the Department of Defense, The American Legion seeks to ensure that the military’s pay, benefits and force readiness needs are met.

Although The American Legion has international presence, it is more that simply a veteran organization – it is very much a community-based service organization. Among the programs conducted regularly are community Veterans Day and Memorial Day observations, Blue Star Salutes honoring local military families and supportive businesses, American Legion Baseball, Junior Shooting Sports, a High School Oratorical contest and American Legion Boys State and Nation. The American Legion is one of the nation’s largest supporters of Scouting and the largest single donor organization of blood to the American Red Cross. Members of local American Legion posts provide volunteer funeral details to render military honors for fallen comrades. The American Legion’s child Welfare Foundation donates over a quarter of a million dollars each year to worthy children and youth programs. The American Legion’s National Emergency Fund provides immediate financial assistance to fellow Legionnaires and their families displaced by natural disasters. Legionnaires record over a million volunteer hours annually in VA medical facilities throughout the nation and they reinvest millions of dollars back into local communities through cash donations.

Thank you American Legion for serving those that served our country.

Kurt Van Meter

“Straight up, I should be dead,” Kurt Van Meter once cheerfully told a reporter. At 1:30 pm Friday, November 21, 2009, then police officer Van Meter responded to a call from his sergeant saying that shots had been fired in downtown Hillsboro. When the high-speed car chase through the busiest stretch of Portland’s sprawling suburb ended, Van Meter stood only a few paces from the deranged gunman.

“He jumped out of the Honda with the silver .50 caliber Desert Eagle in one hand and a black .45 caliber Desert Eagle in the other,” Van Meter told a reporter from Police One shortly after the incident. Van Meter remembers the man leveling one of the pistols directly at him before two officers from neighboring Cornelius opened fire and killed the gunman.

Van Meter’s brush with death gave way to a moment of clarity in which he decided to pursue his life-long dream and follow in the footsteps of his country music hero, Garth Brooks.

Van Meter can remember the moment he knew he wanted to be a singer.

“My brother was giving me a ride to school – I think I was a freshman or sophomore – and he put in this CD and told me that I had to hear this song,” Van Meter said. “It was ‘Friends in Low Places’ by Garth Brooks. I was instantly hooked. I was like, I don’t know what this is, but whatever it is, I want to be a part of it.”

But life seemed to take him in every direction but the music. Van Meter played football and became a bull rider at Oregon State University before entering the police force. There, he would sing in the office – but his coworkers didn’t seem to share in the joy.

“My first gig was marine patrol and they give you a partner. He told me one day, ‘Kurt have I ever told you how much I love your singing?’ I said no and he goes, ‘then shut up.’” Van Meter figured maybe he wasn’t that good of a singer, after all. The first person who told him he had a good voice was an ex-girlfriend. But music seemed to be an out-of-reach dream.

The shooting changed all of that and about a year later Van Meter decided to chase his dream. He hoped on Youtube and started to learn how to play the guitar. He also began attending local jam sessions in Hillsboro. The next challenge was finding a way to get his music heard. Van Meter was put in contact with Scott Mahalick and told him, “If you believe in me, I can be the next Garth Brooks.” Van Meter had no songs, no band, and nothing to offer but his voice. Despite that, Garth Brooks and Scott attempted to contact Van Meter. A missed phone call that he still cringes about.

Van Meter’s career took off relatively quickly and he opened for country stars like Montgomery Gentry. In 2013, he committed to music full-time and played the Bi-Mart Country Music Festival in 2014, alongside artists Eric Church and Blake Shelton. When he started, Van Meter said his songs had a couple hundred streams and downloads per month. By 2015, those numbers were up to more than 100,000.

As Van Meter has seen his popularity rise, he’s quick to point to his bandmates as reasons for his success. “When you have a team as strong as this one, it’s in your best interest to get the hell out of the way,” he said. “My role is to not forget the lyrics and not suck.”

Van Meter hopes his kids and others can see his journey and decide to follow their passion and to not be afraid of failure. “Two things are important, one is don’t wait until you’re ready to do something. If you want to do it, just go for it. I didn’t know what I was doing. Sometimes, you just gotta go for it. The second thing is you’re never too old. I was 33 when I learned how to play the guitar.”

Van Meter will be performing tomorrow night at Sounds of Summer kicking off the summer series. Come join us, and enjoy good music, food, and drinks. Vendors will start serving at 6 pm and the fun will begin at 6:30 pm. His CDs will be on sale both at the info booth, as well as after the concert at the Chamber of Commerce.

“Kurt, you are obviously doing something right. Stay with what works.” – Garth Brooks

Wake Up Wednesday

For the last month now Dallas Chamber of Commerce has been participating in Wake Up Wednesday alongside your business neighbors. During this time we are able to connect with local business, share both struggles, and solutions, and grow as a community.

The Wake Up Wednesday today was hosted by Citizens Bank, and Jake shared with us what is new with Citizens Bank. Recently they celebrated their 60th anniversary of the first Citizens Bank opening in Corvallis. There was even a photo available for their grand opening! Jake discussed how Citizens Bank focuses on their customers and not with meeting a sales quota like bigger banks do. If they do not have the best option for you they will send you to someone who does. In this day and age, such banking transparency is appreciated!

West Valley Taphouse kicked off their Discover Dallas Wine Walkabout Series this last Sunday with over 50 participants. The goal is to partner with local business in order to drive tourism in the area. If you attended Sam would love to hear any feedback you might have. If you are interested in participating in the next Wine Walkabout on June 24th you can find out more information or purchase a ticket on their website discoverdallas.wine.

Washington Street Steakhouse and Pub is preparing for Fathers Day! For breakfast dad can look forward to big daddy chicken fried steak and eggs, porterhouse peppered pork chops and eggs, or slow smoked prime rib and eggs. If dad is a late riser then bring him in to enjoy a nice lunch or dinner of big daddy chick fried steak with mashed potatoes, porterhouse peppered pork chops with baked potato, or a slow smoked prime rib with baked potato.

Tuesday on the Square is getting ready to kick off on June 12th. The City of Dallas departments and community partners such as Pacific Power, West Valley Hospital, and many more will be on the courthouse lawn from 4 pm to 7 pm. They will be highlighting their services with plenty of fun for the whole family; good food, bouncy houses, and lots of giveaways.

MV Advancements is growing! While we love to see Dallas businesses grow it’s left them in a tight spot. They are in need of volunteers for two positions. They are looking for business that are in need of help to place their clients, as well as Assessment setters. If you would like to help with either of these positions please contact them for more information.

Last but certainly not least, Turf ground breaking. We pulled together as a community to make it happen and it all kicks off Monday at 4 pm. Ground breaking will take place at Ron August Field and everyone is invited!

If you would like to meet with your fellow business members, and hear firsthand what is going on in our community then contact the Chamber of Commerce. We look forward to seeing you there, and to our community growing!

American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Their Global Headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia, and they have regional and local offices throughout the country to ensure they have a presence in every community.

The American Cancer Society’s mission is to save, and celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. While most people know them for their research, they do so much more. They attack cancer from every angle. We promote healthy lifestyles to help you prevent cancer. They research cancer and its causes to find more answers and better treatments. They fight for lifesaving policy changes. They provide everything from emotional support to the latest cancer information for those who have been touched by cancer. And they do it all 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How do they help encourage prevention? Nearly half of all cancer deaths could be avoided if we did what we know works – live healthier lifestyles, quit smoking, and get our recommended cancer screenings. They’re here to help you take steps every day to reduce your cancer risks. They have the resources, information, and support you need to stay motivated to eat right and get active, quit smoking or help a loved one kick the habit, and understand what screenings you need.

If you need support they are available at any time to help guide you through your cancer experience. Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed, are currently going though treatment, or are caring for a loved one with cancer, they’re here with information, day-to-day help, and emotional support every step of the way. From free lodging and transportation to help making decisions about your care, they offer programs services, and resources.

What does it take to outsmart cancer? Research. They have invested more than $4.6 billion in cancer research since 1946, all to find more – and better – treatments, uncover factors that may cause cancer, and improve cancer patients’ quality of life. They are investing in cancer research from every angle. Whether they’re conducting the research or funding it, their goal remains the same: to free the world from the pain and suffering from cancer.

Defeating cancer is as much a matter of public policy as scientific discovery. Every day, elected officials and policy makers at the federal, state, and local levels make decisions that affect the lives of more than 11 million cancer patients and survivors, their families and caregivers, and all those at risk for developing cancer. Advocacy is a critical part of the Society’s mission. To that end, the Society and its nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate work in partnership to ensure that elected officials and policy makers at all levels of government make the fight against cancer a top national priority.

American Cancer Society fights hard against the battle of cancer. If you would like to get involved I encourage you to contact them. On behalf of those that have been touched by cancer, thank you American Cancer society.

All American Toy Company

The All American Toy Company was founded in 1947 by Clay and Beth Steinke of Salem. The company started when Clay thought that a large, heavy duty toy truck was needed, that could be played with for years and years and still hold together. He decided on using the late 1940’s era Ford cabs as the basis for his truck, and developed a means of steering through the hood of the cab using a brass air horn. This became known as the ‘Air Horn Steering’, which not only made the toy truly unique, but very popular with its customers. With a heavy cast Aluminum cab, rugged steel frame, walking beam suspension and rubber tires, the company developed the finest toy log truck ever mass produced. The first cabs were sand cast, and soon the demand was so high for these toys that the company had dies fabricated in the late 40’s, to increase production and consistency in quality. The first truck issued was the famous log truck named the “Timber Toter” and retailed for $19.95. These were 1/12th scale, and measured 36 inches long and weighed a heavy 10 pounds! The truck was designed with quality, durability and a high level of ‘playability’ in mind.

In May of 1990 Bill Hellie and his son Chip purchased the company from the founders and produced three limited editions. They produced 15 Bales and Brady Tow Trucks, 8 Tankers and 7 log trucks, using up the remaining original stock. Then a toy collector by the name of Patrick Russell, through a turn of events, struck a deal to obtain the company and dies in May of 1992. The dies were cracked and rusted shut. There was much concern over whether the dies would even be able to be opened, and used ever again. By September 17, 1992, after buckets of penetrating oil, and much personal effort by the employees of the die company, the dies were producing again. The company now only produces very limited runs of this truck. Both Clay and Beth Steinke, along with a few of the machinists who worked on the trucks were involved in this process, and provided insight into the company history and philosophy of quality.

In January of 1997, the All American Toy Company released their first all new toy truck. With the aid of family and friends, Patrick created a new die for a 1/16th scale commonly known as the ‘narrow nose’ Kenworth. These are also only produced in very limited editions runs, and in keeping with the company tradition, use rubber tires and all metal parts. Finally as an added touch in tribute to the founders, Patrick designed a means whereby the single air horn on the top of the cab recreates the famous ‘Air Horn Steering!’ Shortly thereafter both Clay and Beth Steinke passed away. The first truck produced was a Founders Edition Log Truck, with #92 going to Clay and Beth as a means of thanks.

The All American Toy Company was headquartered in Salem and owned and operated by Patrick Russell. In the fall of 2015, Pat Russell sold the company to Paul and Kelly Cross of Dallas. Pat is still a mentor and has a great relationship with the new owners and hopes to carry the tradition into the next generation with their son Henry.

A new limited edition book about the history of the All American Toy Company has been released to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the company. Only 200 signed copies will be released with custom cab bookstand. Go to allamericantoyco.com to order your copy now!

Johan Vineyards

At Johan Vineyards, they are committed to meticulous vineyard management practices. Highlighted by their biodynamic farming methods and accents of permaculture design. Biodynamic farming focuses on the entire farm as one living organism. They farm to mimic the natural microbiological ecology of the soil where vines evolved. This produces vines more resistant to disease and creates a healthy natural immune system within the vine. This focus also increases the assimilation of nutrients naturally present in the soil and creates a more efficient production of secondary metabolites.

Johan sees their farm as a holistic system that will showcase its own identity through the fruit it develops. Biodynamic farming combines the knowledge of premium organic viticulture practices with an understanding on how to treat the vineyard and its surrounding areas in order to achieve desired long-term farming results.

Their vineyard is broken into multiple blocks that feature thirteen different varieties with ten clones of Pinot Noir and seven of Chardonnay, multiple rootstocks across varying aspects and soil types. The combination of all of these factors creates a diverse system, providing Johan Vineyards and the winery customers they work with an array of options and choice of fruit to achieve a complexity and balance in the resulting finished wines.

Johan Vineyards resides on 85 acres of gently sloping estate vineyards in the heart of the Willamette Valley. Adjacent to the Van Duzer corridor, their vineyards are blessed with afternoon ocean breezes and cool evening temperatures that are ideal for ripening Burgundian varietals. It is the marine influence, in combination with their marine sedimentary soils, that gives Johan Vineyards its unique terroir.

From February through December they open their tasting room doors to the public from 12 pm to 5 pm daily. Their wines are produced with the intention of conveying their farm’s individuality, and tasting at the estate provides the clearest expression of their sense of place. They offer a rotating flight of five wines for their tastings; charging $10 per tasting, refunded with a bottle purchase. For groups of six or more please contact them prior to assure a more intimate and attentive experience.

Child Care Resources & Referral

Child Care Resource and Referral strives to strengthen our community by supporting early childhood professionals, providing leadership in the field and by promoting access to high quality child care experiences for all children and families inclusive of every race, ethnicity, language, gender, age, ability or income level.

Every child and family should have access to high quality, culturally relevant child care and all early learning teachers inclusive of every race, ethnicity, language, gender, age, ability or income level should be professionals earning a fair and sustainable wage with access to high quality professional development, support and resources. This is the vision that Child Care Resource and Referral strives towards.

Child Care Resource and Referral provides opportunities for educators and child care providers to expand on their knowledge, as well as support in starting and running a child care business. They inform providers about the current licensing requirements specific to the field that they are in, and connect them with ways to meet those regulations. Newsletters geared towards educators and providers are released quarterly. These newsletters are full of information like changes in class prices, regulations, upcoming conferences, funding resources, and also includes fun things to do with the children such as themed songs or activities.

For families searching for reliable and safe child care CCR&R provides information not only to put you in contact with local child care providers, but what to look for from these providers. They want to ensure that families are finding the best fit for their needs and with a simple table are able to break down what kind there are, and how that translates over with safety regulations. In an effort to provide safe child care fore everyone they even provide a resource link to help in paying for a child care provider.

Child Care Resources and Referral would not be able to provide this assistance and education to the community without the help of their trainers. Their website is full of information about how to become a trainer with Child Care Resources and Referral, training resources to continue their education, and events for trainers to participate and connect with other trainers.

Child Care Resources and Referral knows how important it is to parts that our children are safe, and in the best care possible while we are at work. They continue to strive endlessly to provide everyone with the information needed to make a wise decision, and with the abilities to provide a safe environment for our children. As a parent, I thank you for your hard work.

Chemeketa Community College

Whether you’re about to graduate high school, returning to college after some time off or want to make a career change, Chemeketa has a place for you.

If you’re ready to prepare for your future, Chemeketa’s faculty and staff are committed to your success in the classroom and beyond. The college’s open enrollment policy means students from all walks of life are welcome. Their diverse student body means you’ll not only learn class content but how to work with people from different backgrounds – a huge asset in today’s job market.

Don’t thing you can afford college? More than 60% of Chemeketa students receive scholarships and financial aid. Low-cost tuition and fees means your money will go further at Chemeketa. While a college education costs real money, they are doing everything we can to keep their tuition among the lowest in Oregon and provide you with affordable textbooks.

Chemeketa offers a variety of services and opportunities to help you succeed in college and beyond. Advising, counseling and career services can put you on the right path to graduate and start your career while internships and work-study jobs can give you job experience while you’re still a student. Writing and tutoring and study skills services are available to all Chemeketa students. Veterans, disability, CAMP, and TRiO programs offer additional college support to those who need it. They also have additional resources and programs to help you meet other personal needs.

Chemeketa Community College strives to fulfill its mission, vision, values, and core themes every day with every student. When they carry out their mission Chemeketa hopes to provide opportunities for students to explore, learn, and succeed through quality educational experiences and workforce training. They strive to be a catalyst for individuals, businesses, and communities to excel in diverse and changing environments.

Chemeketa works to carry out their mission through collaboration, diversity, equity, innovation, and stewardship. They collaborate to ensure purposeful, effective programs and services that support all students, and welcome diverse perspectives and the free exchange of ideas. A college community enriched by the diversity of their students, staff, and community members. All the while they act with personal and institutional accountability for the responsible use of environmental, financial, and human resources to meet the needs of current students without compromising the needs of future generations of students.

Put A Pillow On Your Fridge Day

Your pillow brings you comfort every night but you’ve probably been frustrated at how this resource is often wastefully ignored throughout each day. However, during Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day you can make sure your pillow is working all day to bring you prosperity and good fortune

Before the invention of refrigerators in the 1920s, people in Europe and the United States of America would put cloth in their larder for good luck once a year. The families thought good fortune and prosperity would come from this as they believed placing a piece of cloth from their bedroom into the place where their food was kept brought about the possibility of plentiful food and rich fertility to their household.

Food storage habits have changed since then, putting the future of this fine tradition in doubt. However, this event has survived the scare and is back stronger than ever. All you need to do is place a pillow on your fridge on the correct day. The observant among you may notice that the true equivalent of the old tradition would be to put a pillow inside your fridge. Perhaps try both to make sure you don’t miss out on any of that luck!

Thanks to social media, this special holiday has gained popularity over the past few years, and Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day has fast become one of everybody’s favorite days in the year. There is even a Facebook page dedicated to sharing your photos, a flash game where you have to drop pillows on the fridges, and there is even a pillow case! So why not join in the fun and like, share, and upload your pillow on your fridge to the official Facebook page and see if it brings you luck and likes!

“Definitely my favorite day of the year. It’s like Christmas & my birthday all rolled inot one. Sometimes the excitement gets too much and we might do it on Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day eve as well, shhh.”

“Sweet! I can go to the bank and take out the money from my Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day account!”

Memorial Day

This Monday, May 30th, we observe Memorial Day, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first National Cemeteries. By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.

Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate all of the American military personnel who died in all wars.

It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated from; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York as the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo, which first celebrated Memorial Day on May 5th, was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags. Since then many communities have followed in their example.

A Memorial Day tradition in Dallas, the Avenue of Flags ceremony will take place Monday at 11 am in Dallas Cemetery. In a joint effort of the Dallas American Legion Carl B. Fenton Post 20 and Auxiliary and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3203, the flag display around the cemetery will grow to more than 700 flags from the original 65 flags.

Raising the flag for the ceremony is Boy Scout Troop 288, and will include music from the Dallas High School choir and band as well as guest speaker Marie McCandless. Mayor Brian Dalton will provide the welcome for the hour-long presentation. We hope that we all take a time on Monday to remember those that have paid the ultimate price to protect this country, its citizens, and their rights.