Assistance League receives donation from caregiver, CMH

Assistance League and CMH Pediatric Clinic

L to R: Dr. Kelly Peekstok, Jessica Newhall (Assistance League), Randy McClelland, Dr. Ram Madhavarapu, Misha Caldwell, PNP, and Lizzie Wiedmaier, Pediatric Clinic manager, pose with a skateboard after McClelland’s competition.

School Activities Scholarship Program helps students pay for extracurricular activities

By Sarah Bello, Marketing & Communications Coordinator

A local student involved in Future Farmers of America had a dilemma. He needed an official FFA jacket and tie for events, but his family couldn’t afford them. They contacted the Assistance League of the Columbia Pacific, and its School Activities Scholarship Program filled that need, and others, with the help of donations.

A CMH caregiver, Randy McClelland, and the Pediatric Clinic, recently gave $3500 to the scholarship program, assisting area students with the fees for various activities.

In January, McClelland competed in the 24-Hour Ultra Skate in Miami, something he’s done for a few years now. Skateboarding is a passion of his, and competitions are a good outlet. Last year, he began collecting pledges per mile skated to give a donation to the Assistance League, and he decided to do so again this year.

CMH’s Pediatric Clinic made a pledge, in addition to one from pediatrician, Dr. Ram Madhavarapu.

“It was my pleasure to associate with Randy’s skateboarding fundraiser for the Assistance League. The Assistance League’s School Scholarship Program is a really wonderful thing for our community. It promotes participation in extracurricular activities, which are important for kids’ growth academically, physically, mentally and emotionally.

As a pediatrician, I happily endorse any sports and physical activities for kids.”

The Assistance League’s scholarship program provides underserved Clatsop County students in grades six through 12 the opportunity to take part in athletic or cultural programs where fees may prohibit their involvement, says Cheri McGowan, who works with the Assistance League’s Philanthropic Programs.

The scholarship program initially paid for athletic fees only, but it has since expanded to include any school activity. Some of the latest requests have included guitar rental fees for three students in a beginning guitar class, wrestling shoes and team fees, a cultural experience at the Caesar Chavez Leadership Conference for 25 high school students, and Fishing Club, basketball and volleyball fees.

“You can see that the requests are all over the board,” McGowan says. “With the three students learning the guitar, maybe that sparks a love of music — that’s what the scholarship program is all about.”

To learn more about the Assistance League, visit assistanceleaguecp.org.