The first Festival of Trees display is being held at the Whitman County Library’s Center, the former Hamilton Drug Store building. The trees will be on display from Nov. 29 until Dec. 13. The public is invited to view the trees and vote for their favorite. Voting can be done online or at the library. On Tuesday evening, Cozy Lueck, left, and Sue Klinke, representing the Bank of Fairfield, decorate this tree. About 13 trees will be displayed at the Center.
Whitman Medical Group’s Garfield clinic will close at the end of this year, Dec. 31. Citing a lack of patient volume, administrator Jennifer Broeckel said the clinic’s doctor, Tony Lundberg, will now spend two days per week at Tekoa instead. His main office is the Whitman Medical Group’s St. John clinic. Dr. Lundberg had been in Garfield for two days per week. Whitman Medical Group leases the Garfield clinic space from the Garfield Hospital District. The decision to close the Garfield clinic was made Wednesday night, Nov. 19, by the group’s board. The organization also has doctors in St. John and Colfax. The on-site Garfield Pharmacy will remain open, continuing its operation since May 2013. “The town is very supportive,” said Michelle Welch, the pharmacy’s owner. “Whitman Medical Group has been wonderful too. I’m sorry to see them close the clinic. It is going to be a big loss there.” Welch also owns the St. John Pharmacy.
By Sally Ousley Gazette Reporter Local organizations disguised as Santa’s elves are gearing up to make the holiday season brighter for people who need a little help. Most report that there’s more of a demand for these services because of the economy. Firefighter’s Toy Box The Firefighter’s Toy Box Drive serves not only Colfax children but kids all over the county, with the exception of Pullman which is taken care of by the Toys for Tots program sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps. Firefighters report that donations are needed even more. The toy drive began more than 30 years ago. Families who visit the toy box are asked to get an application at one of several locations around the county. Applications can be found at fire departments, library branches and schools. Deadline to return applications is Dec. 5. Toys and donations can be dropped off at the Colfax Fire Department on Mill Street. Distribution from the toy box is scheduled Dec. 15, 16 and 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Colfax fire station with each child getting two new toys. “We don’t want any child left out,” Assistant Chief Jim Krouse said. Donations are accepted any time until Christmas. Make donations to: Volunteer Firemen, Inc., P.O. Box 226, Colfax, WA 99111, or in person at the Colfax Fire Department, 400 N. Mill Street in Colfax. Giving Trees Giving trees are popping up in several locations in Colfax. Columbia Bank’s tree has bright red stocking-shaped tags filled with information about children who are in desperate need of clothing. The children range in age from infants to 18 years of age and all are from Whitman County. Organizer Gail Webster said she is organizing two trees this year, one at Columbia Bank which already has ornaments on it, and one at the Colfax Post Office which will be put up the day after Thanksgiving. Each tree is decorated with tags which describe clothing suggestions for a child. Dozens of children in Whitman County receive clothing because of these special tags. Webster said each gift should be wrapped with a tag attached to the gift. Deadline for gifts getting back to the Giving Trees is Dec. 18. Anyone who receives assistance from DSHS or Community Action is eligible to have their children receive gifts of clothing at Christmas. Whitman Hospital Auxiliary Whitman Hospital Auxiliary sponsors a Christmas tree decorated with angels each year. Donations for angels are in memory of or in honor of a loved one. All donations benefit the hospital by funding equipment, supplies and scholarships. Donations can be in any amount and are accepted until Christmas. The angel tree will be put up the weekend after Thanksgiving in the waiting room near the gift shop. An additional fund raiser by the auxiliary this year is a Christmas wreath. Tickets can be purchased for $1 each for a chance to win the wreath at the gift shop. Drawing for the wreath will be Dec. 19. Donations can be mailed to Whitman Hospital Auxiliary, 1200 W. Fairview, Colfax, WA 99111. Include the names of people who should be listed on an angel and who the donor is. Donations also can be made in person at the front desk of the hospital or at the gift shop. Developmentally disabled The Whitman County Parks and Developmental Services Department, in conjunction with DreamWorks Inc., LMK Inc., Boost Collaborative, Himark Transport Inc. and Paul’s Place have set up three Giving Trees located at the Whitman County Courthouse in Colfax, Public Service Building in Colfax and the Human Services Building in Pullman. Gift items requested along with directions are located on the tags. Items collected are distributed to adults residing in Whitman County with developmental disabilities. Return gift wrapped items with the tags attached to Whitman County Parks Office in the Public Service Building, 310 N. Main in Colfax, the Whitman County Commissioners’ Office in the courthouse at 400 N. Main Street in Colfax, or the Human Services Building, SE 1235 Professional Mall Boulevard in Pullman, no later than Friday, Dec. 12. Take a moment in the spirit of the season to fill out a tag. For more information contact Janel at the Whitman County Parks and Developmental Services Department, 397-6238. Library Christmas Book Box New children’s books are being collected at the Colfax Library. New books for children to young adults may be dropped off at the donation box close to the main desk in the library. Cash donations are also welcome. Deadline to drop off books is Dec. 11. Donated children’s books are taken to the Colfax Fire Department to be included with its annual Firefighter’s Toy Box. Christmas Stocking Projects Every Christmas for the last eight years, senior adults have been treated to stockings filled with care by some of Santa’s elves. Adults who may not have family nearby or who receive Mobile Meals get a little bit of extra Christmas cheer by getting a stocking. Items suggested to fill the adult stockings are note cards and stamps, socks, playing cards, small flashlights, small boxes of chocolates and magnifying glasses. Dawn Bennett said 84 children are waiting for Christmas stockings this year. The stockings will be given to children who will be getting clothing through the Giving Trees. Suggested items for children’s stockings include: gift certificates for McDonald’s, candy, gum, small games, craft items or kits, lotions, chapstick, lip gloss, manicure kits, nail polish, brush and comb, hair accessories, stationary, pens and pencils, socks, gloves and mittens, cocoa packets, apple cider packets, cookies, crayons, coloring books, paper dolls, beads, bubbles, puzzles, costume jewelry, shower gels, gifts for teenage girls and boys, blank tablets and magazines. Items or cash donations for the stockings can be dropped off at Bliss in Colfax or the Council on Aging by Dec. 12. Palouse Hyde Out in Colfax will accept contributions for Christmas stockings at the next Dinner and a Movie on Dec. 18. The featured movie is “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” which will start at 7:30 p.m. Dinner will be served before the movie. Patrons are welcome to contribute either suggested items or cash. The stockings will be distributed during the week of Dec. 15. For more information, call Suzy McNeilly, (509) 397-4305.