Dennis Carlson, Volunteer of the Year

Dennis Carlson-Volunteer of the Year

The Next Door is pleased to honor Dennis Carlson as our 2012 Volunteer of the Year.  As a master gardener, Dennis has been instrumental in starting both the Klahre House School Garden and the Raices/Roots Community Garden.  These vegetable gardens have benefited Klahre House students and community members.  Dennis has put in hundreds of hours teaching gardening skills and working in the gardens.

Gardening Fights Hunger and Depression

Janet’s latest email newsletter tells how one new gardener found support and friends by getting involved with our Community Garden.

Kiteboarding 4 Cancer and Standup Paddle Set a Date


Tonia Farman
Kiteboarding 4 Cancer
phone: 541-490-9621

3rd Annual Kiteboarding 4 Cancer & Standup Paddle 4 Cancer Set for August 7-9th at the Hood River Event SiteKiteboarding 4 Cancer

Hood River, OR, June 4, 2009 – This year’s Kiteboarding 4 Cancer, the world’s largest windsport fundraiser, heads into its third year with two new events: The Standup Paddle Race and Sliderbox 4 Cancer. Raising well over $130,000 for Gorge and Northwest cancer programs since its first year, KB4C has brought kiteboarding into the spotlight of mainstream action sports and fundraising communities.

Participating athletes will again race in the 6-hour Kite Derby Endurance Race, raising money for our partnering cancer beneficiaries. New for 2009, the Standup Paddle Race will challenge even the most prepared competitors with swell, currents, and  wind conditions as part of the race. Also new for 2009, the Sliderbox 4 Cancer, where riders attempt kiteboarding the 60 foot A-Frame Rail with wall ride in front of the event site. A spectacular site for sure, the Sliderbox 4 Cancer will not only draw spectators with top park-style riders performing technical maneuvers, but will produce some quality crashes for the crowd as well.

Additional events at KB4C include the Live & Silent auctions, All Day Live Music Stage, Full Sail BBQ & Pit, Raffle, Children’s Healing Art Project Tent and Awards Party.

The John Wayne Cancer Foundation is again partnering with KB4C this year as our primary charity sponsor. JWCF has supported KB4C since the beginning of our event, embracing the enthusiasm, health and energy contributions of the action sports community to give to the cause of cancer. The John Wayne Cancer Foundation is matching Kiteboarding 4 Cancer’s donations to our beneficiaries for 2009.

Kiteboarding 4 Cancer has researched many deserving and impactful cancer programs to benefit from  donor funding to come up with 4 amazing organizations that drive cancer research, awareness, prevention and treatment programs in the Pacific Northwest and west coast:

• Children’s Healing Art Project – Bringing the healing power of art to kids with cancer — Portland, OR
• The Next Door Inc. – Breast Cancer Prevention Program – Hood River, OR
• Children’s Hospital of Seattle — Child Life Program – Seattle, WA
• Celilo Cancer Center — Uncompensated Care Program –The Dalles, OR

Kiteboarding 4 Cancer was founded by a group of Northwest kiteboarders to unite the kiteboarding community and those in need for a great cause. Kiteboarding 4 Cancer is dedicated to bringing the healing power of wind and water to those affected by cancer through funding of advocacy, awareness, and prevention programs. KB4C raises funds through our annual Kiteboarding 4 Cancer and Stand-Up Paddle 4 Cancer events in Hood River, Oregon.

Kiteboarding 4 Cancer is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. We fund our event and charities solely through tax-deductible contributions from private individuals, corporations and foundations.

Underwood Fruit Packer Wins Mammogram Raffle

Mammogram program increases early cancer detection

Thursday, April 23, 2009 Bingen, Washington (April 23): In a room of about 30 workers on their lunch break at the Underwood Fruit Company in Bingen, WA, Carmen Villanueva covered her surprised face with her hands when she realized she had won $200 cash. Villanueva, who has been packing fruit at Underwood for about five years, said she had never won anything before that Wednesday, April 8. The cash prize was warmly handed over with a smile to Villanueva by Community Health Worker Toña Sanchez. Sanchez works for Nuestra Comunidad Sana (NCS), which means Our Healthy Community in Spanish, and is a program of The Next Door in Hood River.

Villanueva was entered into the raffle because she had a clinical breast exam at La Clinica del Cariño Family Health Care Center and a mammogram at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital last year as part of a breast cancer prevention program run by NCS and facilitated by Sanchez.

For eight years, Sanchez has provided breast cancer outreach and education. She recruits women who are 40 years or older, or if they are younger and have a history of breast cancer in their family to receive a reduced price clinical breast exam. La Clinica then refers them to Providence for a free mammogram.

Last year, 48 women from Columbia Gorge communities, such as Hood River, Odell, Parkdale, The Dalles, Mosier, Bingen, and White Salmon, took part in the program and received mammograms. Like Villanueva, many women throughout the Gorge do not have health insurance and may not otherwise have been able to afford a mammogram. A needs assessment by La Clinica del Cariño Family Health Care Center in 2000 estimated 18% of whites and 58% of Latinos in the Columbia Gorge area have no health insurance.

Villanueva plans to use the raffle prize to pay her rent. She told a co-worker that the prize is a small incentive compared to the benefits of detecting breast cancer early. Although Villanueva said she is always nervous to go in for her mammogram because she is afraid to get abnormal results, she said it is important to take care of her health in order to provide for her children. That is why she gets a mammogram each year as suggested by her doctor.

Breast cancer mortality is higher for women of color, women who come from rural areas, those of low socioeconomic status, and women who are non-English speakers. Latinas in particular are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer, which is more difficult to survive than if it is detected early.

Some women at the Underwood Fruit Company have been so enthusiastic about the program’s importance that they have volunteered to do breast health outreach with Sanchez in order to educate other women in their community about breast health and the importance of getting their annual mammograms. The women hope the program continues because it provides an incentive for them and others to get their annual mammograms. However, the program is dependent on funding which has not yet been secured this year.

For more information on Nuestra Comunidad Sana’s programs call (541) 308-2221, or visit our website at

# # #