Helping Works

Helping Works by Anna Webb: Boise Columbian Club revives ‘Decoration Day’ tradition

Anna Webb.
Anna Webb.

The Boise Columbian Club, one of the city’s oldest and most celebrated service clubs (responsible for many a civic asset, including the city’s first library), will host the second annual “Decoration Day at the Pioneer Cemetery” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 30, at the historic cemetery, 460 E. Warm Springs Ave. in Boise.

Decoration Day was the country’s original Memorial Day, celebrated every May 30 regardless of the day of the week. On that day, families would visit the grave sites of their loved ones and friends. After Congress passed the National Holiday Act in 1971, creating three-day weekends out of federal holidays and designating the last Monday in May as Memorial Day, Decoration Day fell by the wayside.

No more, say the members of the Columbian Club. They’re determined to revive the tradition. Visitors to Pioneer Cemetery on May 30 will enjoy refreshments and meet club members in historic garb. Nostalgic postcards, flowers and supplies for gravestone rubbings will be available for visitors to buy.

Do you have ancestors buried at Pioneer Cemetery? Club members want to talk to you about being part of the Decoration Day event by sharing family stories and photographs. Call Alice at 938-4252 for details.

Proceeds and donations from will benefit the Parks Department’s Pioneer Cemetery Trust Fund.

5th annual event will benefit homeless veterans in Boise

The Veterans Administration hosts the fifth annual VA2K 2015 Walk + Roll, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 20, on the front lawn of the Veterans Administration in Boise (meet by the flagpole). Participants are welcome to bring donations of toilet paper, cleaning supplies and household items. A tiny house RV will be up for raffle. Tickets are $10. All proceeds will help homeless veterans.

Contact Gale Hacking at 854-9818 for more information.

Related notes:

•  The Salvation Army is hosting its annual Appreciation Dinner, free for veterans, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 16 (Armed Forces Day). The dinner and program will take place at The Salvation Army, 403 12th Ave. S. in Nampa. RSVP with Sherill Stevens at 467-6586, ext. 208. If you leave a message, note the number of veterans, spouses, etc., who will attend.

•  The Gear Jammers Car Club holds the 20th annual Funds Run exhibition 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 16 at the Idaho State Veterans Home, next to the VA Hospital at 5th and Fort Street in Boise. More than 150 classic automobiles and motorcycles will be on display. Flags will be raised along the Avenue of Flags early Saturday morning. There will be musical entertainment; hot dogs, hamburgers and ice cream, and a raffle.

•  The City of Eagle hosts its 9th annual Field of Honor at 4 p.m. on May 16 at Merrill Park. A BBQ dinner, free for veterans and current military personnel, will follow the ceremony.

•  Emmett resident and U.S. Army nurse Janie Dresser Schaut, who has won numerous awards -- and a

Statesman profile

in 2011 -- for her work researching the lives of local veterans, appears in the May issue of

The American Legion Magazine

. Schaut has interviewed more than 500 veterans and and recorded their stories.

Share your history at the Meridian Memorial Day ceremony

The city will hold the ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday, May 25, at the Rock of Honor Memorial, Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park, 1900 N. Records Ave., Meridian. The event will include the display of a time capsule that will be buried in 2015 and opened on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War II.

If you have a military document or small item you would like to be considered for inclusion in the time capsule, bring it (or a copy) to the ceremony or email Call Meridian Parks and Recreation for more information: 489-0531.

New nonprofit will help seniors remain independent in their homes

Boise at Home, launching in 2015, will provide services, activities and programs for seniors who are members of the organization, to help them live safely and comfortably while maintaining their independence. Services will include transportation to appointments and events, volunteer help with simple handyman tasks, coaching for cellphones and computers, check-in phone calls and much more.

The group is also looking for volunteers interested in helping with Boise at Home’s many programs and projects.

Learn more about costs to join, volunteering and specific benefits at a special Wine and Chocolate Open House, 5:30 to 7 p.m Wednesday, May 20. at the Boise at Home Office, 1009 W. Fort St. in Boise.

Idaho’s 529 college savings plan offers scholarship

To mark national 529 Day, devoted to college savings, IDeal, Idaho’s own 529 program, will give away thousands of dollars in scholarships. They include a $529 contribution into an IDeal college savings account. Idahoans can apply and find more details online (link through this column at The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. May 27.

Communities vie for a chance to win a new dog park

The company PetSafe is holding a national contest and will award one $100,000 grand prize and four $25,000 prizes for communities to build new off-leash dog parks.

Now through June 10, anyone in the U.S. can vote for his or her community every day on and Facebook. Based on the information provided by each community, PetSafe will confirm the availability of land, civic leader support, population size and total number of votes to select 15 finalist communities, which will be announced on June 17.

A bit of bright news ...

More than a few comment cards posted at the Boise Downtown Family YMCA note the charms of Rhonda Tipton, who’s frequently at the front check-in desk. She’ll take time to greet you by name, no matter the hour, nor front desk frenzy. Now, Tipton is spreading more cheer in the form of an animal rescue story.

Tipton arrived home from work on a recent Friday afternoon and came upon a duck and two ducklings on the sidewalk. Tipton realized that five additional ducklings had fallen through the sewer grate and were trapped below the street. She called police dispatch.

Three Boise fire fighters and an engine came quickly to the rescue. They captured four ducklings, then, finally, the fifth and most frightened duckling.

“I was so impressed with their skill and caring for something so tiny! True heroes for saving the day,” said Tipton.