Your Town, Oct. 21, 2012

Ding ... dong (or however your doorbell might sound this coming Halloween eve).

Once again, you pause your annual viewing of “Ernest Scared Stupid,” and head to the door to greet the little trick-or-treaters.

Trick-or-treat for cans!” the group of teens calls out in harmony as you open your door — expecting little monsters, princesses and super heros — and instead are greeted by a gaggle of Fruita Monument High School students.

What’s this? Every year members of the Fruita Monument High School National Honor Society go trick-or-treating, but, instead of going for candy, the students collect canned food to be donated to area food banks.

Last year the students collected more than 3,000 cans to donate. This year, club members will be sent to neighborhoods in Fruita and throughout the Redlands, and they will accept any non-perishable food items people are willing to spare. Their goal this year is to increase the total number of cans collected to 4,000.

At the end of the night, students return the cans to Fruita Monument High School and load them into a trailer. 

“All of the cans we collect from this drive are split between four organizations: Agape Food Basket in Fruita, Homeward Bound, the Food Bank of the Rockies, and the Catholic Outreach Pantry,” wrote student Courtlyn Carpenter in an email to the Daily Sentinel. 

As you stock up on mini-Snickers bars, Sweet-Tarts and lollipops for The Incredible Hulk, Cinderella and Harry Potter, grab a few extra cans of non-perishables for the real super heros of the night — the big kids with the big hearts.

The third annual food drive to support local veterans is under way through Dec. 3, at the Grand Junction Vet Center, 2472 F Road, Unit 16.

Donations of canned and non-perishable food items can be dropped off at the center, which provides free readjustment counseling and outreach to all veterans and their families, and provides help in finding resources available to them.

Call the center at 245-4156 for more information.

Brrrrr. It’s getting cold out at night.

The Mesa County AmeriCorps program, part of Hilltop Community Resources, is organizing “Brrrrr Necessities” — a drive to cover the extremities of those in need in our community to help them stay warm and healthy — because the weather is turning chilly.

The event is in conjunction with Make A Difference Day, an annual event created by USA WEEKEND Magazine. Individuals across the country are asked to provide or participate in a day of service to help their neighbors.

Take donations of new socks, underwear, mittens/gloves, and winter hats, for children, teens and adults from 2–5 p.m. Oct. 28, to the parking lot of Homeward Bound, 2853 North Ave. All donations will benefit Homeward Bound and The House (A Safe Place for Western Slope Teens) shelters.

Call Angie Bertrand, director of AmeriCorps at 244-0633 for more information.

Halloween is still 10 days away, but now’s the time to book “Santa” for your company Christmas party or children’s activity and help raise funds for the Grand Junction Veterans Golden Age Games team at the same time.

“Santa Claus” (a.k.a. Joe Replogle, an active member of the team who has played the Jolly ol’ Elf for 20 years) is available for events at your business or home. All donations from Santa appearances will benefit the fund for the travel and housing of the local team to the 2013 National Golden Age Games, May 30, in Buffalo, N.Y.

For more information or to schedule a Santa event beginning Dec. 3, call Replogle at 712-2717. Call early as events will fill quickly.

Woof! Meow! Ruff! Mew! Purr. Growl.

A loose translation: This week’s spotlight organization is the Roice-Hurst Humane Society.

According to the bio submitted earlier this year, Roice-Hurst’s subtitle is “A No Kill Animal Shelter ... Saving one Life at a Time.” The shelter is at 362 28 Road.

“For nearly 50 years, the private, nonprofit Roice-Hurst Humane Society has provided safety, shelter, care and re-homing for relinquished and abandoned cats and dogs. The ‘no kill’ shelter welcomes adopters, volunteers and supporters and collaborates with the area’s animal welfare community to promote responsible pet ownership and humane education,” the bio said.

As part of that community involvement, Roice-Hurst is hosting a dog-only adoption event and vaccination clinic from 10 a.m.
to 3 p.m. Saturday, at Fruita Co-op Country. Because the outdoor venue has no secure place for cats, the clinic Saturday will only handle canines.

October is National Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month and Roice-Hurst has partnered with local businesses for its fourth annual “Dollars for Dogs/Cash for Cats” fall fundraising campaign. Purchase a paper “paw” for a $1 or more donation at several Grand Valley businesses, through October. All donations will benefit Roice-Hurst.

Visit for a list of participating businesses or call 434-7337 for information.

Submit your Planner and community news items by email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), by fax at 244-8578, or by mail to P.O. Box 668, Grand Junction, CO, 81502. Items to be considered for Your Town should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event.

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