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"It was some years ago after the arrival of the U.S. Navy on North Whidbey that a group formed as a forerunner to today's museum.We needed people who believed that if it isn't written down it is lost - or if it isn't preserved.That meeting took place at Captain Whidbey Inn and was attended by the Navy Officers Wives club.It didn't matter that their pasts were in Muskeegee or Tucson or Cape May - the OWC was at home on Whidbey Island and they were there that day to help preserve the past.The museum idea held and grew. Everyone was excited and supportive. And volunteers made the vision come true. Volunteers continue to make history come alive at Island County Historical Museum. And the museum can always use more volunteers. If you have some time, want to meet people and learn and preserve island history, call 678-6187. Or visit the museum in Coupeville.Oak Harbor's Venture Club has started its annual Tree of Hope.Each year the club receives the names and wishes of children in need through the Department of Social and Health Services. The names and Christmas wishes are distributed to participating employees of local businesses and to individuals. Gifts are purchased and wrapped by these individuals and collected by club members. Cash donations are also accepted. The gifts are distributed to the children by Santa, at the annual Tree of Hope Christmas party.For more information, call Michele Leslie, 678-7799 or Laura Matthews, 675-1705.Judy Eakin is Coupeville Arts Center's new executive director. She begins her new job Friday, Dec. 1. Margaret Livermore, president of the CAC board of directors, says the board is enthusiastic about the organization's new leader. You can meet Eakin and members of the center's board of directors at Gallery at the Wharf in Coupeville, Saturday, Dec. 2.Dec. 2 is Greening Day in Coupeville and many activities are planned all day in Coupeville.The holiday season always has plenty of fund-raisers. This year, Oak Harbor's Operation Decoration is raffling a handmade wooden wagon filled with holiday items. Operation Decoration is committed to decorating Oak Harbor for the holidays. New decorations this year are candles wound with holly. These new decorations will be put up soon on lightpoles in Oak Harbor along with the lighted snowflakes used last year.The wagon was made by Marine Col. Jim Riemer, unit commander of MATSG; Todd and Laura Martin donated the contents. The wagon will be on display at many locations throughout Oak Harbor. It will also be at Oak Harbor Rotary on Dec. 8. The drawing for the wagon will be held Dec. 21 at the Greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce luncheon. If you have questions, call Gloria Carothers, 679-3700.Sometimes hard knocks or pitfalls come in order to bring something good. A broken hip can result in new friends, a new outlook and sometimes a new reason for living. Like appreciating being able to walk.---------------Tell us your storyEveryone has a story. Stories of yesteryear or today, graduations, family reunions, travels, guests, new businesses, people moving out or moving in are all welcome. Call Dorothy Neil, (360) 675-2844, mornings to 11:30 a.m. "

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