The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Dallas Smith

Talent show set for local girl hurt in car accident


Heidi McCarty

CRASH SITE: Raven Java-McCandless' car last Wednesday shortly after she was broadsided by a semi as she attempted to cross Highway 97. The teen is doing well in recovery now.

It's a rare instance where the show just can't go on.

The Goldendale High School (GHS) Drama Club was all set to perform Noel Coward's classic comedy Private Lives. It was to feature Raven Java-McCandless. But the teen was in a car accident last week, leaving her hospitalized and the show without a key actor.

Early last Wednesday Java-McCandless was in an accident at the Broadway-Highway 97 intersection, where she was hit on the passenger's side by a semi truck. Both drivers were wearing their seatbelts. Java-McCandless suffered a fractured neck, a severe concussion, and numerous small lacerations on her right arm and the right side of her forehead. She was taken to Klickitat Valley Health and then was life-flighted to St. Charles Hospital in Bend, Ore.

Maryanna Kruse is the drama coach for GHS and Raven's teacher in independent study at the high school. "Raven and I are very close-she is like a daughter to me," says Kruse. So the play was canceled, and getting it canceled was no small affair. Kruse had to cancel a license from drama publisher Samuel French for $400, and the company typically doesn't waive a fee if a play is canceled. But Kruse made the call and after explaining the situation was able to cancel and have the fee waived.

Now, in place of the play, Kruse and the Drama Club will host Goldendale's Got Talent, a talent show just for local residents, to take place May 2 and 3. All of the donations would go towards paying for Raven's medical expenses. There will be a minimum donation of $10 at the door to see the show.

The show will have several categories or age brackets, including children through fourth grade, fifth through 8th grades, 9th through 12th grades, and adults. The Drama Club will be providing free refreshments for attendees. The audience will vote for the winners of various categories, and these winners will be given awards donated by local businesses.

According to Stephen McCandless, Raven's father, she is doing very well. Raven has been awake and talking and taken a couple walks in the hall. She is walking with some assistance, and she gets a little confused with the talking at times, but she is recovering well.

"I'm very thankful for the support from the community," says Stephen. It's amazing, a little overwhelming, how the community is being so supportive." Raven was able to return home on Monday, so for those who want to wish her well, contact her through Facebook or contact Joni Fahlenkamp.

Kruse and the Drama Club are currently accepting entries from the whole community, not just the high school, so be sure to sign up. Entry forms are available at Riverview Savings, Sterling Savings, The Goldendale Sentinel, Goldendale High School, Goldendale Middle School, and at the Goldendale Primary School.


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