(WSB photo from December 2012 Rotary Children’s Shopping Spree)
The impending closure of the historic Sears store in SODO (reported by The Seattle Times [WSB partner] Friday) has a West Seattle effect: The Rotary Club of West Seattle suddenly finds itself trying to figure out the future of its Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree, the club’s signature project for more than 40 years. Every year on the first Saturday in December, Rotarians and a volunteer force of hundreds have brought ~100 local kids to the store for a practical-yet-fun shopping event that also includes breakfast and lunch in the same building, as well as Santa photos and holiday songs. So when we heard about the closure news over the weekend, we sought out Rotary reaction; today, club spokesperson Dave Nichols tells WSB, “Our leadership was informed by the folks at Sears. We are gathering facts and options; our goal is to figure out a way to continue to serve our community as we always have.” According to the Times story, 79 people will lose their jobs when the store and the nearby Sears Auto Center close in June. There’s no word yet of another tenant for the space in the building, which is owned by Nitze-Stagen & Co.
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