July 4th Activities; Drivers Needed; Miss Teen Oregon; Crisis Line 

July 4th Activities

Florence Habitat for Humanity is “all-in” for Independence Day activities.  In addition to the annual porch parade, there will also be a bike parade.  Janell Morgan says it’s open for motorized and non-motorized entries.

“Everyone is welcome to enter.  You just have to be decorated for the fourth of July.  Vehicles or bicycles; pedestrians; you know, you can decorate a stroller, a wagon.  It doesn’t matter.”

There’s no entry fee and registration forms can be picked up in advance at Habitat ReStore.  Or just show up at Hemlock and First Street on the 4th at 9 AM.     The parade starts at ten and will go through Old Town, ending at the Port of Siuslaw Boardwalk.  That’s where, says Morgan, they’ll find a couple more activities.

“The watermelon and pie eating registrations will begin at 10:30 and cuts off at 11:30. The contest starts at noon, straight up.  And if you don’t want to participate in the pie eating contest or in the bike parade, come on out and cheer everybody on.”

If competitive eating isn’t your thing, there is also a bake sale.  Proceeds and donations go directly to services provided by Habitat for Humanity.

Drivers Needed

Local Non-profit, the Friends of Florence, are looking for drivers.  The organization operates the shuttle that travels from Florence to Eugene to transport cancer patients in need of care from Eugene.  The service is free to riders and is funded by donations and sponsorships. Larry Bacon with Friends of Florence says no commercial driver’s license is required, just a good driving record and a desire to serve the community.  The bus drives round trip to 5 days a week to Eugene and Springfield for radiation treatments.  Drivers will only need to be available once or twice a month.  You can contact Larry Bacon at 997-8180.  The number will also appear with the online version of this story on the Coast Radio Website.

Miss Teen Oregon

Ashlyn Hart is a junior at Siuslaw High School and she was recently crowned Miss Oregon Teen USA.  Ashlyn is now in the running for the Miss Teen USA competition.  She told Coast Radio news that while she had never been part of the pageant experience growing up, she had always thought about how exciting it would be to participate. When one day…

“I was actually getting my hair done one day and my hairdresser she has a little girl that does pageantry and I was like that was so amazing that you put your kid into that, give her experience for life.”

Ashlyn said she wished her mom had done that for her. But she found out it wasn’t too late to start.  Ashlyn was given the information about Miss Teen USA and signed up.  She said luckily the pageant was postponed and she had 6 additional months to prepare.

“To me that was almost like a blessing, because if I would have done the pageant that weekend the chances of me winning would have been very low.”

Miss Teen USA pageant will begin on July 26th.  The finals will be broadcast on the CW network on August 1st. You can hear Ashlyn’s story on the July Edition of Our Town.

Crisis Line

A new report examines the rollout of the 9-8-8 mental health crisis line in each state. It finds Oregon has more work to do. The national three-digit 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is nearing its second anniversary. While the report says progress is needed, it does highlight a bright spot in the state: Oregon’s YouthLine. The service offers crisis support from teens to teens from 4 to 10 p-m. Oregon Health Authority’s youth suicide prevention policy coordinator Jill Baker says this is a developmentally important intervention strategy.

“There’s lots of young people who volunteer at YouthLine. These are young people who have either an interest in mental health or interest in supporting other youth, or young people who have lived experience with mental health challenges or suicide themselves.”

Baker says the addition of texting with the 9-8-8 crisis line has also been a game changer for young people and suicide prevention.