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The Lavender Girls – Children’s Cancer Association

September 5, 2013

Oregon – Saturday, August 24

I already knew what my donation was going to be today, but I had to drive to Oregon City first, on the outskirts of Portland. On Thursday night, I was listening to the news on TV when I heard a segment about The Lavender Girls. They’re a group of young girls who make and sell lavender products so that they can give the proceeds to the Children’s Cancer Association. They were on the news this year because this was their 5th annual event, and this year they were expanding from a 1-day event to a 2-day event, with pony rides also being offered on Saturday. It’s become a bigger every year, and they’ve raised more and more money. There seems to be a lot of lavender grown in Oregon, and the kids gather up as much as they can and make dried flower bouquets, lavender sachets, lavender wands, candles, and bath products. They have also sold baked goods, homemade dog trats and lavender lemonade. The money goes directly to the Children’s Cancer Association (and their official color happens to be purple) to help grant wishes to seriously or terminally ill children. There’s a group of about 15 girls who seem to be in the 10-12 year old age range, and I really admire them for thinking of others at such a young age, and doing something creative to really make a difference. I definitely wanted to support this event! When I got there, I made my donation, and they were all very gracious and interested in my journey. The girls were all wearing lavender t-shirts, and one of the ponies they were using for the pony rides was white, and it had lavender ribbons in its mane and some lavender designs painted on it. It was fun to see all the different lavender products on the table and I got a few lavender sachets to take home. We took some photos too – it was a fun donation to make!

As I was driving back out toward the main roads, I came across a Saturday flea market/craft show/yard sale/food event in a church parking lot. Tula and I got out to wander by all the booths but the only thing I bought was a hotdog heaped with grilled onions and an ear of corn. One of the vendors wanted to see Tula and asked if she could give her part of a turkey sandwich. I said yes, and she got an entire half of a big turkey sandwich – the lady had 4 of them and said she couldn’t possibly eat them all. Needless to say, Tula thought that was a very special treat – she probably would have stayed with that lady for the rest of the afternoon!

Oregon City also had an End of the Oregon Trail historic site, so I went through that and looked at the exhibits and watched a video, and walked on the paths outside the center – it’s fun to see some of the “end of the road” displays after seeing so many other parts of the trail. I continued south a bit, and stopped in the town of Silverton to walk a bit more – there was a historic downtown area, and Silverton is proud to be the home of a former astronaut.

I drove on to Salem, the location for the Oregon State Fair, and I was happy to have a chance to get to another fair. There was a huge grassy parking lot, so I took Tula for a long walk around that before heading in to the fairgrounds. I started with some of the animal barns, and happened to catch the advanced senior sheep showmanship class (seniors as in high school students, not old folks!). I don’t know the first thing about showing sheep, and was quite fascinated to watch how the kids handled the sheep and moved around them as the judge looked at the sheep – there seems to be a very precise stance and their movements were very crisp. My eyes were drawn to one young lady in particular who seemed to just snap into her stance with precision, and she ultimately won the class, and the judge was very complimentary about her showmanship quality. And when I walked out of that barn, there was a senior cattle showmanship class going on that was mostly high school age guys. The cows positively glistened with cleanliness – earlier I had seen a lot of people using something that looked like a combination hair dryer/vacuum on the cows. Then I watched a team of draft horses get harnessed up – the people had to use step ladders to get parts of the harnesses on! I went back out to the parking lot to walk Tula again, and went back in to the fair to go through the merchants building and the barns with all the other exhibits and entries. I walked through the midway and all the food booths and into a couple other animal barns. With a couple trips back and forth to the parking lot, and walking Tula, and walking all through the fairgrounds a couple times, I walked nearly 5 miles – it was a big fair! I was more than ready to call it a day, and I ended up driving about 20 miles south of Salem, where we stopped for the night.

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One Comment
  1. I’m so impressed with the young girls who make the lavender products and give their proceeds to children who are ill. I’m sure your donation was greatly appreciated.

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