ONTARIO – The main fundraiser for a local alumni’s annual scholarship for Vale High School graduates is this Saturday – and the event is nearly sold out. According to Bobbi Buttice, a member of the Vale Alumni Association which hosts the annual fundraiser through a Hall of Fame banquet, said Tuesday afternoon that there were only about 25 tickets left. Organizers are discouraging door-to-door ticket sales for several reasons, including COVID-19.
“We are very fortunate to be able to host this event this year,” said Buttice. “Until a few weeks ago, it was touch and go” on whether Oregonians would see Governor Kate Brown order more pandemic-related shutdowns.
Those nominated and selected to be honored for this year’s Hall of Fame are Dottie Mendiola, 1956 graduate, Doug Maag, 1970 graduate, and the 1954 State Football team. There will be 13 members of that team at Saturday’s banquet, Buttice said. While some of them still live in the area, at least two of them are from out of state – California and Utah, she said.
“They are so excited,” Buttice said, commenting that most were 85 years old.
She explained that the people who are honored this year have been selected to be honored in 2020, but this event has been suspended due to COVID. As such, “we are pursuing those we were going to honor last year.”
The event will return to the Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario, where it was held in 2019, as it had outgrown its space in Vale. However, this year’s crowd is expected to be smaller, even though 375 tickets have been sold.
Buttice said some people chose not to attend the banquet, instead buying a table as a donation.
Although it did not host a banquet in 2020, the Vale Alumni Association was still able to raise funds and distribute $ 20,500 in scholarships, including obtaining funds from certain deceased people.
Since he began distributing scholarships to Vale students in 2013, 99 students have benefited from a total of $ 94,550 in scholarships. In 2021, $ 20,500 was distributed among 14 students.
Information follows on the nominees.
Dottie Mendiola, who was born just 10 miles outside of Vale towards Harper, graduated from Vale Union High School in 1956. She said in a phone interview with the Argus on Wednesday that the nomination was out of the scope left for her.
“I didn’t think I was that special,” Mendiola said. “It’s quite an honor, I’ve been here all my life. I didn’t know I was doing something different.
But she did different things, many of which involved working with food. Her food service started while she was still in school.
“I just fell into it, I guess; There was a woman from [Grove School] who thought we needed a hot lunch, so she started the soup and sandwich program. I was in seventh grade so I helped her serve the rest of the children.
Over the years, Mendiola worked at several companies in Vale including Stockman’s Cafe, The Cue, Willowcreek Store and The Golden Slipper before working at Vale Elementary School for 28 years.
Mendiola recalled that Vale Union High School was seen as a big deal because its graduating class was first in its current facility. Otherwise, she said her school years were mostly uneventful
“It was just a normal life. We didn’t know anything different, ”she said.
According to the Alumni Association, Mendiola has also served pioneer picnics and St. Patrick’s Church dinners for periods of more than 50 years.
“I worked for 60 years with my sister-in-law at religious dinners, and I was with the [American] Auxiliary of the Legion [Post 96] for 60 years. We used to have pheasant dinners for the pheasant hunters who came.
Her husband, Larry, was a barber in town for 50 years. The two met during her national highway crew service and married just two months before the February 1957 flood hit Vale.
While Larry was in the assisted living facility at Pioneer Place, Dottie observed how many newspapers were going to landfill, and now redirects them to recycling centers every Sunday.
“There’s no big whoopee, but I recycle whatever I can. “
She also brings magazines to the local laundromat.
“Recyclers don’t like magazines in their newspaper.
Mendiola has worked at the Vale Food Pantry for four years and has been a member of the Vale Lions Club for 20 years, she said.
“It wasn’t a really exciting life, but it was fun. We had three good children.
Their sons, Joe, Jeff and Jim, in turn gave them five grandchildren, she said.
Some of Mendiola’s favorite cuisines include meat, potatoes, and Chinese cuisine.
Gert Delong, who was inducted into the 2019 Hall of Fame, nominated Maag for 2020. In her nomination form, she states that “the community of Vale is united by family, faith, farmers and ranchers”, and that Maag illustrates these four traits. She said there’s no way to measure the contributions Maag’s farming and ranching businesses have made to Vale, but he’s a “great asset” to the community.
“Jamieson Produce and Y1 Farms have put food on tables and given jobs to many people for years,” said Delong.
Maag says he is very honored and thrilled to have been nominated, adding that the alumni group is great to be involved, which he has always done since his debut.
“It’s nice to see these children take advantage and benefit from it, because these children are going to be our leaders of tomorrow,” he said.
There are many more deserving people, Maag said, and thanked his community and the people around him for making him who he is.
“I am truly blessed to have a great family supporting me and a mom and dad who taught me how to work,” he said.
While his parents are no longer alive, Maag says he’s happy with what they taught him, even when he was younger and he didn’t agree with it.
“There is a reason for that, and it made me who I am,” he said, adding that he had had good teachers throughout his life and hoped he had taken the lead. good path most of the time.
Maag says he is fortunate to have a lot of great employees, who have been with him for 10 to 20 years, saying “they did this, not just me. I was just lucky to be where I was when I started. Among his employees, his wife and children – and a few grandchildren – are also involved in the family business, which includes a feedlot, a farm and Jamieson Produce.
In a biography written by Frank Yraguen, it is stated that Maag was born in Jamieson, having grown up in a large family. After graduating from high school, he attended Oregon State University, Treasure Valley Community College, and Eastern Oregon University before returning to Vale and farming with his father.
Maag and his wife, Terrie, have been married for 47 years and, in addition to two children, have five grandchildren, Terrie having kept books for their operations throughout their marriage.
Additionally, Jamieson Produce, one of the leading onion packers, came into being during a depressed onion market when onions were being traded for sorting equipment.
Maag is involved in his community, having been a member of the Willowcreek School Board, the Board of Directors of the Amalgamated Sugar Company, the Oregon Beef Council and the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, as well as a loyal member of the club. men from St. Patrick’s Church.
“Doug has always been willing to participate, no matter the business, and never asks anyone to do something he wouldn’t do himself,” the bio read.
1954 State Football Championship Team
The 1954 Vale Union High School football team are honored for setting a sporting standard that has continued to live on throughout Vale High School. Vikings, 1954, left guard Paul Schaffeld named the team to be inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame banquet. The 1954 team were the first Vale High School football team to win a state championship, which sparked the legacy of the Vikings. Including the 1954 season, Vale High School appeared in 16 state football championship games while racking up 12 state championships and four second places.
It all started when the 1954 State Championship football team managed to defeat then-two-time reigning state champions Crook County in the state quarterfinals by the score of 13-12.
The Vikings advanced to the semi-finals, where they faced High School Coquille. The Vikings managed to beat Coquille at Coquille by a score of 21-7. At the top of the state championship, where the Vikings faced St. Helens, managing to claim the victory, 14-7.
Another highlight of the 1954 team, the Vikings won the Snake River Valley Championship over Ontario, 26-20.
The team was led by head coach Melvin ‘Dutch’ Kawaso. Kawaso managed to lead the Vikings to their very first state title. Additionally, Coach Kawaso managed to bring the Vikings back to the state championship in the following 1955 season, where they were able to win their second state title. In 1956, the Vikings failed a bit, but managed to find their way into the state championship in the 1957 season, where they were able to win the school’s third state title, according to Schaffeld.
He went on to mention that he believed Vale had lost just two games in that four-year spell under coach Kawaso.
Locals who attend Viking football games may notice that some of Schaffeld’s family are currently on the squad, as well as other relatives of the 1954 squad, over time.