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Day: December 23, 2017

Hunter back with McNary

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By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

When Elizabeth Doran was named McNary’s head girls basketball coach in April, one former player reached out, making it clear she wanted to return and help the program.

After four years at Oregon State University, including a Final Four run in 2016, and then four months playing professionally in Puerto Rico and another four in Finland, Deven Hunter now sits right next to Doran on the McNary bench.

Along with assisting the varsity team, Hunter is also the junior varsity head coach.

“Right when the coaching job came up, I wanted to be with the program either as a head coach or being an assistant,” said Hunter, who played AAU ball at Oregon Elite with Doran’s younger sister.

“It feels amazing to be back. I always wanted to come back and help. If I started a coaching career, this is a place I wanted to get back to. It’s definitely different than playing but it’s really rewarding getting to teach and help kids learn and fall in love with the game.”

Making sure the girls have fun is Hunter’s top priority.

“High school is supposed to be fun,” Hunter said. “Winning is important and I know all my girls love to win but being able to learn and take it step by step and enjoy the process while you’re here.”

The Lady Celts have done plenty of winning as well, opening the season 7-0.

Hunter, who is also working at the high school as an instruction assistant in the Emotional Growth Center, graduated from McNary in 2012. She averaged 18 points and 11.6 rebounds per game her senior season, leading the Lady Celts to fourth place in the state tournament.

At OSU, Hunter finished her career with 893 rebounds, good for fourth in Lady Beavers history.

“She had a lot of really cool experiences in college and played for a great coach (Scott Rueck),” Doran said.

“It’s just awesome to have another really good basketball mind on the bench to turn to. She always has good stuff to say to the girls at practice and before the game, after the game, halftime. It’s awesome having her around.”

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KCFB ‘hires’ new operations manager

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By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

When Jim Johnson became the treasurer for John Knox Presbyterian Church in the late 1990s, he didn’t realize that managing the books for the food bank the church operated was part of the duties. But, it was okay by him.

“I couldn’t work at the food bank because I was still employed full-time, but I wanted to be involved,” Johnson said.

And, he stayed involved, too. Johnson managed the food bank’s accounts through a name change to the Keizer Community Food Bank and right up until the day the operation became its own non-profit in 2012. Johnson retired from the workforce in early 2017 and, since March, he’s been a regular fixture at the food bank as a volunteer. His time in that role caught the eye of Rev. Curt McCormack, the food bank president.

“He never stands around waiting for someone to tell him what to do. That’s the kind of guy you want as a manager because you never ask a volunteer or employee to do something you wouldn’t do yourself,” McCormack said.

This fall, Johnson was named as the food bank’s operations manager.

“My job is to manage the churches that volunteer and the incoming and outgoing food, and making sure the set-up and tear-down happens,” Johnson said.

Since its days as a missionary project of one church, the food bank has grown to encompass congregations from five churches: Clearlake United Methodist, Keizer Christian, John Knox Presbyterian, and Faith Lutheran. The food bank has also expanded services opening its doors to clients twice a week, instead of once. Part of Johnson’s job is simply making sure all hands are on deck when the doors are open. And he could use some extra hands.

Jim Johnson

“We need 10-12 to run every session on Monday nights and Thurssday mornings,” Johnson said. “It would sure be nice to have people come and jump on the bandwagon one day a month or one day a week.”

In addition to helping hand out food or assist clients to their vehicles, volunteers are also needed for food deliveries from the Marion-Polk Food Share on Wednesdays from noon to 2 p.m.

Those interested can contact Johnson at 503-931-7612.

The food bank offers supplemental food boxes packed with staples like bread and canned meat as well as bulk items likes beans and cereals. Contents of the box vary from week to week depending on what is being donated locally. While the boxes are not intended to be the sole source of food for clients, the boxes might help a family get through several days.

To help provide core foods and extras that not every food bank supplies, McCormack has turned his focus to financial contributions over canned and boxed foods.

“If we get a can of soup, we give away a can of soup. If we get $1, we can make it work three times,” McCormack said.

Through a partnership with the Marion Polk Food Share, the food bank pays about .30 cents on the dollar for items bought in bulk.

The Keizer Community Food Bank was also recently approved for bulk purchases through Dollar Tree. While items still cost $1, it means a bigger bang for those 100 pennies.

“We can buy a 62-ounce container of laundry detergent for a buck. We’ve also purchased pet food in 16 ounce boxes that will get a family through a few days,” McCormack said. Such items are rarely donated through other means and can take some of the stress off a struggling family.

For more information about the Keizer Community Food Bank, connect with their Facebook page.

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