Washinton Federal hosting Prineville Perk as part of the kickoff for the upcoming Rotary Dollars for Scholars fundraiser

It is looking a lot like spring out there folks, but this is Central Oregon and that could change at any time.

Spring break for the Crook County schools is next week and while you may have plans to get away then, what are you doing this week? If you have not heard, the Prineville Merchants Group is holding a celebration for Prineville and Crook County this Thursday through Saturday called the Prineville Equinox Celebration.

Equinox is the time of year when the sun crosses the plane of the earth's equator, making night and day of approximately equal length all over the earth.

The celebration will kick off the day of the Equinox, Thursday, March 20, at local businesses where you can pick up an official stamp book, go to participating businesses to collect stamps, and turn your book in to receive tickets for the drawing that will be held on Saturday, March 22, at the Prineville Golf Club.

You can receive additional tickets by attending the wine tasting at Club Pioneer on Thursday, March 20, starting at 6 p.m. On Friday, March 21, you can sample local home brewers' offerings at Barney Prine’s Steakhouse and Saloon, starting at 6 p.m. The final chance you have to get tickets will be on Saturday, March 22, at the Prineville Golf Club, where they will have live music and free appetizers starting at 6 p.m., with the drawing to be held at 9 p.m. For more information and a list of participating businesses, see the ads below.

If debt is dragging you down, take control of debt before it takes over your life. You are invited to attend a free financial workshop, “Power Over Debt: Break the Debt Cycle” on Thursday, March 20, at Mid Oregon Credit Union, 305 N.E. Hickey Farms Road in Prineville. The workshop starts at 6 p.m., and will be presented by Bob Mullins of Money Management International. There’s no cost to attend. Please call 541-382-1795 to reserve your seat. Light refreshments will be served.

Prineville's senior center is facing tough financial times that could threaten to close their doors if something doesn’t change. From July to December 2013, the Soroptimist International of Prineville Charitable Trust ended up more than $210,000 short of its $447,000 budget. You can help by donating to the Charitable Trust. A form to do so is located on page A9 of today’s Central Oregonian.

The senior center currently offers a variety of free classes, including beginning and intermediate line dancing and exercise, while offering a place to play pinochle and bridge.

Ultimately, the Soroptimists want the community to know that, despite its given name, people of any age can come to the senior center for lunch, and they are welcome to participate in the activities provided. For more information, you can contact them at 541-447-6844.

Prineville Perk will be held at Washington Federal to kick off the Annual Rotary Club of Crook County Dollars for Scholars on Friday, March 21. They are located at 1570 N.E. Third St. The Dollars for Scholars will held on April 1. For more information on Prineville Perk, contact the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce at 541-447-6304.

The Chamber is looking for businesses to hold the weekly gathering. If you would like to have active chamber members come to your business, have coffee, and learn what your business has to offer the community, give Kandice a call to get assigned a Friday that is convenient for you.

The "What’s Brewing?" weekly community forum will be held on Wednesday, March 19, from 7 to 8 a.m., at Meadow Lakes Restaurant. This week’s speaker will be John Shelk on “How the forest collaboratives are bringing environmentalists and timber interests together to create jobs.” The community forum is free and open to the public, and breakfast is available for purchase.

The “Food 4 Kids” weekend backpack program is currently holding a food drive at Ericksons Thriftway and Grocery Outlet during the month of March in an effort to restock their food supply for more than 40 youth in Crook County who do not have enough food to get them through the weekends. You can also make a donation of kid-friendly food by dropping off the food at Crook County High School.

NeighborImpact is helping to promote reading by handing out 2,500 books to children of Head Start. The books are made available by Toys for Tots, which is distributing 89,000 books across the region.

“The goal is pretty simple,” says Kim Snow, Associate Director of Education and Quality with Head Start. “We want to get more books in the hands of families and help increase literacy so kids perform better in school.”

Saving Grace will be holding their semi-annual volunteer training over the course of three weeks, starting Saturday, April 5, through Thursday, April 24. The 40-hour training, will prepare volunteers to work directly with the individuals Saving Grace serves.

After the training, volunteers will be able help with a variety of services including answering hotline calls, assisting shelter residents, facilitating support groups, working with children, and assisting with restraining orders. Saving Grace has a particular need for hotline. For more information or to register for this training, please call Christina at 541-815-2976 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This column was written by the Central Oregonian’s general manager Teresa Tooley. If you have something that you would like to have included in the Central Oregonian’s business briefs, e-mail it to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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