Helping Works

Boise 4th of July parade needs funding help to keep marching on

Organizers hope they can raise enough money so that the annual 4th of July parade can happen as usual in Downtown Boise.
Organizers hope they can raise enough money so that the annual 4th of July parade can happen as usual in Downtown Boise. Statesman file

We recently got word that Boise’s annual 4th of July parade is facing some financial hurdles because of increased permit and traffic control costs. In 2015, it cost $4,500 to put on the parade, an increase of about $1,800 from the year before, said parade committee spokesman Jacob Barrett.

The committee of the all-volunteer effort still needs to raise $4,000 for this year’s parade, Barrett said.

“The committee has committed to the parade for 2016, but we need the generous help of any in our community who would like to see this tradition continue. We think this is something everyone in Boise can rally to support,” he said

The parade relies entirely on donations from the public and entry fees paid by parade participants. If you would like to help, send donations to the Liberty Day 4th of July Celebration Committee, P.O. Box 532 Boise, Idaho 83701.

The parade, which typically includes around 75 entries, is scheduled for Monday, July 4, at 11 a.m. in Downtown Boise. For more information about supporting the parade or getting involved with the project, call 208-850-7911 or 208-890-0881.

Volunteer opportunities are also available on the day of the parade, including helping with traffic control, staging of floats, passing out American flags to parade viewers and collecting donations. Sign up online at

Groups can also register to be part of the parade on the website until July 1.

Fifty Sandwiches: Boise man wants to tell the story of homelessness

Justin Doering has a compelling name for his project, “Fifty Sandwiches,” and a creative idea, traveling cross-county in a van this summer to explore homelessness across the U.S.

Across the continental U.S., he plans to offer men and women a free meal in exchange for sitting down with him, sharing their stories, and having their picture taken. Ultimately, Doering plans to compile the stories into a book.

Through his project, Doering, a recent Boise State University graduate in communications and journalism, is hoping to “humanize the homeless.”

“This project,” he said, “hopes to give a collective face to an issue too often perceived as an inevitable rung in the social food chain.”

Doering ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 to start the project. A new GoFundMe campaign will raise money to support the project as it progresses. If you’d like to donate, find more details on Justin’s GoFundMe page. You can also keep up with Doering and follow his route on his website,

Doering said he got inspiration for his project from the popular photography/story project Humans of New York, which tells evocative, inevitably touching, capsule stories about people on the streets of New York. He said he has worked hard in the past months to spread word about his project. Numerous news organizations, including Boise State Radio, The Atlantic, and Latina Lista, have featured stories about Doering and his project.

Three Idaho veterans are inducted into ‘In Memory’ program

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s In Memory Program honors Vietnam veterans whose lives were shortened as a result of their service in Vietnam, but who are not eligible for inscription on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, D.C. because of Department of Defense guidelines that limit inclusion to those who died directly from combat-related wounds.

On June 18, the In Memory Program will host a ceremony in Washington, D.C., to honor 312 service members. Among them are three Idahoans, Dallas Den Pederson, U.S. Army, from Boise, and Eugene Jonas Ordaz, U.S. Army, from Rogerson, who both died in 2015, and Malvin Earl Dickinson, U.S. Army, from Rathdrum, who died in 2013.

In Memory began in 1999 and has since honored more than 2,500 veterans. The plaque that honors these veterans was dedicated as a part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 2004. It reads: “In Memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice.”

P.E.O.: Don’t overlook this often over-looked scholarship opportunity

P.E.O. International (P.E.O. stands for “philanthropic educational organization”) advocates for the advancement of women through a variety of scholarships, grants, awards and loans. The organization was founded in 1869 and has nearly 6,000 chapters, including 89 chapters with 3,646 members in Idaho. Nineteen of those chapters are located in Boise, Eagle and Meridian.

Between 2015 and 2016, Idaho members contributed over $186,000 to support educational opportunities for women.

Is this an opportunity for you? Find more information about P.E.O. and its scholarship programs online at or contact Sandy Crosby at

Boise State hosts free Mars viewing party

Mars will make its closest approach to Earth in over a decade on Tuesday, May 31.

Boise State’s physics department will make it possible for local residents to get an up-close look at the famous red planet. The department hosts an astronomical viewing party to celebrate from 8:30 to 11 p.m. The evening will begin with a public talk on the latest news from Mars at 8:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Classroom Building with scientist Josh Bandfield from the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

At 9:30 p.m., the party will continue on to the Boise State Quad north of the Administration Building where telescopes will be set up to view not only Mars, but Jupiter and Saturn as well. All the festivities are free and open to the public.

“At the end of May and going into June, Mars will be the closest and brightest that it’s been in a decade as seen from the Earth,” said Brian Jackson, assistant professor of physics and event organizer. “This celestial alignment won’t happen again for two years, so the event will be an unusually good time to view our sister planet.”

St. Luke’s crew heads to Honduras on charitable mission

A group of health care providers from St. Luke’s will travel to Honduras this week. They will set up mini-clinics where they will provide services for as many as 800 people each day.

The 50-person Boise crew will perform physical exams, treat infections, help people manage diabetes and high blood pressure issues and more. Marshall Priest, a cardiologist who runs the St. Luke’s Heart Program is part of the mission along with his two granddaughters. The hospital, said Chereen Langrill, coordinator for public relations and communications, has been organizing charitable medical missions for close to two decades.

Read more about the trip on David Pate’s blog at Pate is the hospital’s president and ceo.