Saturday, January 07, 2012


The Second Annual Girls Gala celebrating local youth takes place Tuesday, Jan. 17 at the Loft in the Red Building, 20 Basin St., Astoria.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for raffle drawings and hors d’oeuvres; the program begins at 6 p.m.

U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall is one of the scheduled speakers at the event, which honors forty local fifth- and sixth-grade girls who have completed a 12-week program called Allies in Action. This program, created by Girls Inc., focuses on starting a dialogue about friendships, media pressure, handling emotions and bullying.

The public is invited, but an RSVP is required – contact Meredith Payton or Nina Palmarini at (503) 325-8673. Admission is free but attendees are invited to bring nonperishable food items for donation to Clatsop Community Action Food Bank.

Girl-on-girl bullying, known as relational aggression, is sometimes called “mean girl behavior.” Due to emerging issues of relational aggression, programs for girls, such as Allies in Action, are increasingly relevant. This fall, Allies in Action was held in Knappa, Astoria, Warrenton, and Seaside schools through a grant from the Clatsop County Commission on Children and Families.

The Girls Gala event will showcase short media presentations created by the participants and will highlight local and regional female role models. Guest speakers are Marshall, U.S. Attorney, Oregon District, and Margaret Frimoth, coordinator of the Lives in Transition program at Clatsop Community College.

Event planners hope that by affirming the work of the program participants, and focusing on the encouragement of positive adult role models, that girls will be able to defy traditional stereotypes of women and unite as confident allies.

The event will also honor the work and teachings of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Girls Gala is coordinated by AmeriCorps H.O.P.E. (Healthy Options through Prevention Education) members at the Clatsop County Juvenile Department Nina Palmarini and Meredith Payton, with assistance from additional Oregon H.O.P.E members Jessy Frey and Jennifer Rasmussen. The event is made possible by the generous food and raffle prize donations from Bagels by the Sea, Baked Alaska, Blue Scorcher, Bridgewater Bistro, Buttery, Fulio’s, Lunar Boy, Mother’s Bistro, Nike, Phillips Candy, Safeway, Serendipity, 3 Cups Coffee House.

For more information about Allies in Action, Girls Gala, or other prevention programs offered through the Juvenile Department, contact Nina or Meredith at (503) 325-8673.

Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 325-1000 ext. 1312

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