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Arlington VFW parties with National Guard

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By Kristi O'Harran
Herald Columnist
Members of the Arlington VFW entertained two National Guard companies last weekend. VFW Post 1561 Commander Willy Hughes said the event was great.
"Friday, we had about 110 people," Hughes said. "About 70 were there Sunday."
The parties were at the Army Reserve Center in Marysville for the two companies the post adopted. The National Guard units recently moved to the new Reserve Training Center in Marysville.
"Our Guard and Reserve soldiers and their families have been heavily affected by recent economic conditions," Hughes said. "They represent a good portion of our unemployed population and bear the heavy burden of cyclic activation to service in the current conflicts."
The 81st Brigade Special Troops Battalion Family Support Group helped plan and execute the party that included a Santa workshop, photographs, gifts for children, a crafting table, buffet and bingo.
The Arlington Post has been active sine 1923 and is the oldest continuously serving VFW post in Snohomish County, Hughes said.
• • •
Two out of every 100 Boy Scouts on average reach the rank of Eagle. Roman Larsen achieved his Eagle rank and kept going.
Roman achieved the rank of Eagle just after he turned 14 as a member of Troop 4063 in Oak Harbor. For his Eagle project, he organized a drive, collecting 1,194 bottles of children's vitamins that were sent to orphanages in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.
Roman, who is deaf, is a former orphan from the Ukraine. He said it was important to help orphans have nutrition so they could be healthy and not have rickets like he did.
After completing his Eagle Scout project, Roman earned more merit badges. There are more than 120 merit badges offered and to earn an Eagle rank, a person must earn at least 21 merit badges. Roman went on to earn 64 badges before the age cut-off on his 18th birthday. For each additional five merit badges beyond those required for Eagle and three months of active Scouting, someone can receive an Eagle Palm. Roman earned eight Eagle Palms.
Roman is a real example to his troop," said Aaron Bobik, a troop leader. "I always say if you want to know the right thing to be doing, look at Roman."
Roman said he enjoyed earning a collections merit badge by gathering 400 nutcrackers.
• • •
Amelia Purk, of Oak Harbor, danced in Eastern Michigan University's production of "Swan Lake."
She performed the role of one of the swans, and in the dance of the cygnets, featuring a quartet of dancers who perform synchronized steps while keeping their hands linked.
Purk performed in the Oak Harbor Apple Festival Talent Show and Ottawa County Fair Youth Talent Contest.
The daughter of Ron and Joyce Purk, and a 2011 graduate of Oak Harbor High School, is studying nursing at Eastern Michigan University.
• • •
Brunch is served from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday at the Camano Island Yacht Club at 129 N. Sunset Drive on Camano Island. It costs $8 or $5 for children. On the menu is bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, omelets, hash browns, pancakes, fresh fruit, sweet rolls, juices, coffee and tea.
• • •
Friends of the Oak Harbor Library offer a holiday party and gift book gala at 3 p.m. Thursday at 1000 Southeast Regatta Drive in Oak Harbor.
Managing Librarian Mary Campbell said the book list includes an eclectic mix of 2011 fiction and nonfiction titles for adults, teens and children. "What better gift than the perfect book?" she said.
Kristi O'Harran: 425-339-3451;
Story tags » BooksDanceFamily funSno-Isle LibrariesArlingtonCamano IslandMarysvilleOak HarborChristmas

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