Singing postmaster to grace Salem

Casey Killingsworth, above left, the "singing postmaster" of Long Beach, Wash., isn't entirely turning in his mailbag but he is leaving town. Killingsworth is moving to Salem to live. He will work part-time at the Sublimity Post Office while studying for a master's degree at Reed College in Portland. He was feted with cake and some good-natured teasing by customers just before Christmas. Killingsworth took over the Long Beach office a while back when Larry Brocker retired. The long-time Postal Service employee spent the previous nine years as postmaster in Oysterville, Wash. Originally from southern Oregon, Killingsworth, 48, spent time in both Eugene and Portland before moving to the Long Beach Peninsula. As well as being the epitome of friendly customer service, Killingsworth has been known for hairstyles reminiscent of the 1970s and for wearing extremely colorful ties (many depicting cartoon characters) on the job.

Community members pitched in to provide a wonderful Christmas for 110 needy families in the Elsie/Jewell area. Each received a dinner box complete with turkey or ham, boxes of canned goods and a large bag of toys and clothing for the kids. MARY FOX and BEV HOPKINS organized the project. They said it never could have happened without community participation.

Local branches of The Bank of the Pacific contributed more than $1,250 to seven local food banks. The Long Beach Branch donated to HIS SUPPER TABLE, a hot meal kitchen run entirely by volunteers. The Naselle Branch was able to help by donating turkeys to each of the families on their Angel Tree. The Ilwaco Branch donated to both the Chinook Community Food Bank and the Ilwaco Food Bank. The Ocean Park Branch made cash donations to FISH (Friends in Service to Him), and to Reachout Food Bank, a volunteer organization serving the entire peninsula. The Cathlamet Branch made a cash donation to Wahkiakum County Star Program, a local organization that provides gifts and food to the underprivileged. The Gearhart Loan Production Office donated to Clatsop Community Action, the regional coordinating agency for the Oregon Food Bank. Bank President, Dennis Long, said "We stand committed to our local communities and are pleased to be able to give back, especially at this time of year."

STACY KINNEAR wants everyone to know about "the wonderful people at Lum's (Auto Center)" whose generosity made her family's Christmas unforgettable. She said the kids love their bikes and games, and the Christmas Eve trip to the movies was an "awesome treat." But all agreed the used van was definitely the best present. JULIE LUM said it's a tradition for Lum's employees to chip in every year to buy clothes, bikes, toys and gifts for needy families. The company picks up the tab for turkeys and groceries. Lum said the four employees who delivered it all to the Kinnears' home were touched by the children's reaction. "They were screaming and hugging. It was very emotional."

In Washington, the Pacific County Heroes Banquet has been rescheduled to March 27, at the Chautauqua Lodge in Long Beach. Social hour, 6 p.m., dinner, 7 p.m. The nomination deadline has been extended to Feb. 1. Forms are available at the Red Cross office, 167 First St., Ilwaco and the Chinook Observer newspaper office in Long Beach.

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