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WESTWOOD STREET FAIR: Wyatt’s Jewelers namesake fighting hunger with popcorn

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Happy 16th birthday to the namesake of Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor)! During today’s Westwood Village Street Fair (11 am-5 pm), Wyatt Keppler (2nd from left in our photo, with parents Kirk and Joni and sibling Ryan) is selling popcorn at his family’s shop (along the center drive, north of Barnes & Noble) to raise money for the White Center Food Bank.

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HAPPENING NOW: West Seattle Relay for Life 2016

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(WSB photos)

A lap around the track by cancer survivors is a traditional part of the start of the annual West Seattle Relay for Life, under way right now at West Seattle Stadium, until 9 am tomorrow. This year, the lap was followed by the survivors walking under a human arch:

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At the stadium (4432 35th SW), visitors are welcome until the gates close for the night at 11:30 pm, and then again at 5; participants, however, will be on the track all night, or taking breaks for activities including movies at 12:30 and 2:30 am. When morning arrives – remember, it gets light early this time of year! – the schedule calls for special laps including “Bubbles of Hope” at 5:30 am and a “pajama lap” at 7 am, followed by 7:30 am yoga and a closing ceremony at 8:30 am. If you stop by, here’s one way you can help:

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A textile drive is under way throughout the event, collecting clothing and other textile items as part of the cancer-fighting fundraiser. This year, more than 20 teams are taking part in R4LWS, including Key Club members from Chief Sealth International and West Seattle High Schools.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Cancer-fighting West Seattle Relay for Life – with a textile-donation drive this year

(WSB file photo)

Need some inspiration? We know one place you can find it … West Seattle Stadium (4432 35th SW), tomorrow night through Saturday morning, during the annual Relay for Life. It’s a cancer-fighting fundraiser but it’s also a gathering of hundreds of your West Seattle neighbors, starting with the survivors’ lap at 6:30 pm, following the opening lap at 6. Also a highlight: The luminaria ceremony at 10 pm, during which you’re invited to light one for someone you’ve lost to cancer and/or someone who’s fighting the battle. The full agenda for Friday night and Saturday morning, concluding with closing ceremonies at 8:30 am Saturday, is here. Even if you just show up to applaud the survivors at 6:30 pm tomorrow, it’s a stirring sight to see.

P.S. You can donate through a button on that same page. This year, they’re also having a textile drive – clothing, shoes, and more – see the list of donatable items here.

HOW TO HELP: Donate blood, if you can

From the website of Bloodworks Northwest, the regional blood bank: “Our inventory has been low in the past few weeks, yet we have shipped blood components to OneBlood, the blood center in Florida, in response to their emergency appeal. We have now been notified that their immediate needs for blood have been satisfied as a result of additional shipments from us and others.” But that means Bloodworks NW needs to replenish the local supply, and if you can donate, there happens to be a blood drive already scheduled for tomorrow in West Seattle, 1-7 pm at Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood (39th/Thistle) – more information in our calendar listing.

YOU CAN HELP! How to be an ‘Otter Spotter’

(WSB photo, July 2012)

Whenever you see an otter in West Seattle – it’s a river otter, not a sea otter, even if you see it splashing and diving in saltwater Puget Sound. Here’s how to do more than just gawk at them:

Woodland Park Zoo is reaching out to the community to become otter spotters to help collect information on North American river otters, which are virtually unstudied in Washington waters.

Anyone can participate in the new community science project and become an otter spotter. Information and an otter spotter form can be found at www.zoo.org/conservation/otterspotter. Otter spotter tips and etiquette, and how to distinguish a river otter from a sea otter are included.

“This is a great opportunity for our community to get directly involved in science in our backyard. The more reports of sightings we can collect, the more data we’ll have on the range and behavior of river otters,” said Michelle Wainstein, Ph.D., a local ecologist and conservationist, and the field scientist for the project.

The zoo also is launching a new field study, River Otters of Western Washington: Sentinels of Ecological Health, which will focus on otter population biology and the contaminant loads in their scat along the length of the Green-Duwamish River. This river in particular traverses a diverse mosaic of habitats, including wildlands and parks; agricultural, industrial and residential areas; and the highly contaminated Lower Duwamish Waterway.

The Green River flows from undeveloped Washington wildlands through increasingly urbanized areas to become the Duwamish River—Seattle’s major industrial corridor since the early 1900s. According to Wainstein, river otters are an important species in aquatic ecosystems because they can serve as sentinels, telling us about the health of their local environment. Wainstein and the project team hope to determine if river otters are found along the entire 80-plus miles of this important waterway. …

North American river otters are amphibious members of the weasel family and live in water systems all over Washington state. Their habitat ranges over most of North America in coastal areas, estuaries, freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Otters prey on what is readily available and easiest to catch, with a primary diet of fish, crayfish, amphibians and birds.

All otter species are considered threatened while five of the 13 species are endangered due to water pollution, overfishing of commercial stock and habitat destruction. …

YOU CAN HELP! ‘Community baby shower’ Friday

This Friday night, a local youth group invites you to help do a good deed for the tiniest members of our community. Here’s how:

West Seattle Rainbow Assembly #18 will be hosting a community baby shower on June 10th at 6 pm for the benefit of the Pediatric Interim Care Center. There will be a potato bar, games and dessert. Please come and meet the members of WS Rainbow and help out a worthy cause.

The baby shower will be held at the Alki Masonic Center located at 4736 40th Ave SW. Please enter through the doors on the parking-lot level.

PICC is a center that cares for babies born drug-exposed and medically fragile. A list of items that are on their wishlist include: hand sanitizer; cotton/terry sleepers with snap fronts (size small & medium) in white or pastel colors; disposable diapers (size small or medium); antibacterial soap; latex/vinyl gloves (medium & large; powered & non-powdered); Johnson’s Baby Powder with Cornstarch; Johnson’s baby shampoo; and cash donations are also welcome.

There is a list of items which are also needed on an occasional basis found on their website that do not relate directly to the care of the babies (i.e. bleach, toilet paper, Kleenex, etc)

We would welcome your donations if you are not able to attend. This event counts towards the girls’ community service hours and brings them a lot of joy. Please attend!

Questions? E-mail iorg.ws18@gmail.com.

ARE YOU READY? Simple way to help with big regional earthquake drill

You might have heard about the big regional earthquake-preparedness drill that’s under way in a variety of places all week. Here’s how you can help: Join your West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs volunteers this Saturday! Above is the map of all “hubs” – explained here – in West Seattle, but just one needs volunteer help – read on!

Come see what your community is doing to be prepared in the event of a major disaster. Join us in a simulated earthquake neighborhood response drill of the Seattle Emergency Communications Hubs.
We would love for you to stop by as a “put me to work” volunteer or as a Citizen Actor (to give us tasks to perform, you will draw a short script from our bowl of misfortunes). This will help test how we accomplish our mission and to help you learn how you can be ready to help in the event of a disaster!

Participating Hub drill location in West Seattle:

Neighborhood House High Point Center
6400 Sylvan Way SW
9:30 am – 11:30 am

Also on Saturday, separate from the simulation, but ready to meet neighbors and talk preparedness:

New Hub location holding an open-house booth:

Hope Lutheran Church
4456 42nd Ave SW
9:00 am – noon
New Hub! Info table only

For more information about how to be prepared and what the hubs do, visit us at West Seattle Be Prepared.

YOU CAN HELP: Why one West Seattle woman is running today

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(Kate, mom Denise, and son Alex, an Alki Elementary student, atop the Columbia Tower last winter)

One local woman out running today is on a quest – you may already have seen Kate Calamatta out along the Alki Trail if she kept to her original plan:

I’m a West Seattle resident originally from the UK. In March this year my Mum had a very serious road traffic accident in the South of England. I was running along Alki when I got the news. 24 hours later I was by her bedside at Southampton Neuro ICU in the UK. She was in a bad way and it was touch and go for the first few week. After nearly two weeks she began to awake from her coma and begin her long journey of rehabilitation. Now she’s in a specialist unit for traumatic brain injury. Progress is being made but it is a slow and hard fight. There’s no doubting she will be impaired for life.

After the accident my Mum was airlifted by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance to Southampton. Had this service not been available there’s no way she would have survived. The Air Ambulance is a charity and not funded by the UK govt.

I have been running for only 8 months and after Mum’s accident I decided to do something substantial to raise money for the people who saved her life. So, (today) I will be running a half marathon that will begin at Queen Anne and end at my home in West Seattle.

So, if anyone sees (or saw) me, a hunkered down, slow, exhausted looking runner, jogging along Alki, please give me a cheer and some positive vibes! I’ll be easily recognizable by my slow pace, red face, black leggings, grey vest and a black headband! Also, if anyone is moved to do so, please look at my fundraising page:
I know this is a foreign charity for most of the people in WS but it is a very worthwhile cause that makes a real difference.

YOU CAN HELP! Local woman launching ‘Care for Kids’

Want to do a good deed before the weekend’s out? Be part of the first donation drive for a new community group called Care for Kids. Organizer Nicole Jackson explains that the goal is to make sure that kids have access to the hygiene items they need even if their families can’t afford them. Noon-6 pm tomorrow, she’s hoping for donations of the following items:

Please feel free to drop off fresh: toothpaste, deodorant, dental floss, hair care and styling products, cocoa butter lotion, Gold Bond powder, small hand sanitizers (backpack convenient) and anything else you wonderful, generous folks feel like donating.

She says the first goal is to make kits for students at Sanislo Elementary. The dropoff spot is in West Seattle, 1701 SW Austin, noon-6 pm tomorrow (Sunday).

VIDEO: He did it again – Lou Cutler’s first post-retirement Make-A-Wish run

2:25 PM: Retiring last year as PE teacher at Pathfinder K-8 didn’t keep Lou Cutler from coming back for his traditional birthday-month run to raise money for Make-A-Wish. One lap for every year, which meant 65 today – and this time, battling asthma, he walked more than he ran, but nonetheless made it through every one of those laps over the span of five hours, from just after 9 am to just after 2 pm. Above is our iPhone video as his final lap wrapped up, in the company of Pathfinder students who streamed out of the building to finish it with him, chanting “Go, Lou! Go, Lou!” Many were with him at the start:

We’ll be adding photos a bit later. You can still donate to Make-A-Wish, for whom Lou’s been a wish-granting volunteer for more than 20 years – just go here.

ADDED 9:53 PM: Two photos that, like our video above, bookend this year’s inspiring-as-ever event. First, from the morning:

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And then, right after that 65th lap, the group photo:

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Today was the 17th time Lou’s done this, by the way.

YOU CAN HELP! Two Saturday-morning community cleanups

June 2, 2016 7:56 pm
|    Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP! Two Saturday-morning community cleanups
 |   How to help | West Seattle news

Two ways to do a good deed this weekend and leave your community a little cleaner – both happening this Saturday morning (June 4th):

SEAL SITTERS ‘SENTINELS OF THE SOUND’ CLEANUP AT ALKI: As first mentioned here almost two weeks ago, a very-low tide will enable Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network and friends to get out on Alki Beach for a 10 am-noon cleanup. Everybody’s welcome – find out more on the Seal Sitters website, and RSVP if you can, though Seal Sitters stress that you also are welcome to just show up.

ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION ADOPT-A-STREET: Meet at 9 am at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) in Admiral to be part of this quarterly cleanup. Incentive: Treats beforehand, sack lunch afterward – just spend a few hours helping clean up your community. The Admiral Neighborhood Association also invites you to its upcoming monthly meeting, says president Larry Wymer – Tuesday, June 14th, at 7 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd SW/SW Lander), with the agenda featuring HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability).

West Seattle Memorial Day 2016: Stars & Stripes in The Junction

May 30, 2016 10:26 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Memorial Day 2016: Stars & Stripes in The Junction
 |   Holidays | How to help | West Seattle news

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Thanks to volunteers of all ages, led by West Seattle-based Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2713, The Junction’s flags are up in honor of Memorial Day.

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If you weren’t able to help put them up, there’s one more chance to help – meet at 4:50 pm by Cupcake Royale at California/Alaska to help take them down.
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Between now and then, you’ll find local veterans’ groups at the Forest Lawn (6701 30th SW; WSB sponsor) Memorial Day ceremony at 2 pm, all welcome.

COMMENCEMENT ROBES WANTED: Request for donations from recent West Seattle HS grads

With this year’s commencement ceremony just a few weeks away, we’ve been asked to share a donation request to ensure that all West Seattle High School seniors can participate in this year’s ceremony. Volunteer coordinator Amy Doll has asked the WSHS community if any of last year’s graduates would consider donating the robes they wore in the commencement ceremony: “I have several students that aren’t walking because of the cost of the robes. The PTSA has a budget to help students but I would like to be able to let kids keep their Hat, Stole, and Tassel. I can do that if I have donated robes.” If you can donate one, please drop it off in the school office, which is open weekdays until 3 pm (though not tomorrow, because of the holiday).

P.S. One parent tells us they’re also welcoming used prom dresses. If you have a question about these donation requests, please e-mail asdoll@seattleschools.org. (Prom is next Friday, June 4th; graduation is June 21st.)

Highland Park Elementary plans its playground: Time to ‘get excited’!

May 29, 2016 11:30 am
|    Comments Off on Highland Park Elementary plans its playground: Time to ‘get excited’!
 |   Highland Park | How to help | West Seattle news


(Click image to see as full-size PDF)

At this month’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting, Connie Wolf, vice president of the HP Elementary PTA, gave the group a quick update on progress toward the school’s new playground. It now has a design, with help from students, but also has a long road to reality. Your help is needed – and your enthusiasm for helping them get a place to play! An upcoming open house was mentioned; we asked for more information and design images, and received this update from Elyse Clemens on the playground committee:

Over the course of this school year, the community at Highland Park Elementary School worked together with Pomegranate Center to design a playground for our school. Using input from the students, families, teachers, and community members, the new playground design is full of natural elements for students to play and explore on. There are hill slides, boulder steps, log scrambles, a net climber, and rain and sensory gardens. We are also looking forward to a welcoming entry way on 11th Ave SW that will invite the entire community to enjoy the new space:


(Click image to see as full-size PDF)

This Fall we will be working with Pomegranate Center to develop construction drawings for the design. And throughout the 2016-2017 school year we will be holding community events to raise funds, both direct monetary contributions and community participation matching through Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund. We hope to have enough money to start the first phase of construction in Summer 2017.

We will be holding an Open House on Thursday June 16th from 6-7 pm at the current playground. This is an opportunity to meet the Pomegranate Center design team and get excited about the future playground. They will map out the design with sidewalk chalk on the blacktop and answer questions. All are welcome to join in the celebration!

We hear there’ll be ice cream! Get it on your calendar – it’ll be on ours. HP Elementary is at 1012 SW Trenton.

HE’S BACK! Lou Cutler returning to Pathfinder K-8 for annual ‘Laps with Lou’ fundraising run

(WSB photo, June 2015)

When Lou Cutler took that last lap around the Pathfinder K-8 field last June, shortly before retiring from his job as the school’s PE teacher, it seemed like the end of his annual Make-A-Wish fundraising runs, joyful occasions in which the entire school community took part. But it turns out the tradition isn’t ending after all – Lou will be back at the school on Pigeon Point on Friday, June 3rd (one week from tomorrow), to do it again! Since this time of year also brings his birthday, he leads a lap for every year he’s been on the planet, and this year it will be the momentous number 65. Lou tells WSB, “Easiest way for me to explain this all is that I am having so much fun, I don’t want the run to end. The spirit is certainly willing and the cause is great, so I’ll be ready!” Maybe a little more walking, a little less running, but all the better for anyone and everyone who wants to join in – all are welcome – just drop by Pathfinder next Friday morning, at or after the scheduled start time of 8:45 am. Make-A-Wish points out that Lou’s run “has raised more than $60,000 — that’s enough to grant 12 wishes to local kids with life-threatening medical conditions!” (Outside the run, he’s been a wish-granting volunteer for more than 20 years.)

P.S. Here’s where you can go to donate specifically in honor of Lou’s run.

West Seattle Memorial Day: Junction flag help; Forest Lawn ceremony

In case you haven’t yet seen them in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, two Memorial Day notes:

(2015 WSB photo)

JUNCTION FLAG HELP: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2713 welcomes community assistance in putting up and taking down the West Seattle Junction’s U.S. flags on Monday. Meet at California/Alaska, in front of Cupcake Royale, at 8:50 am for flag placement, 4:50 pm for flag removal.

FOREST LAWN CEREMONY: At 2 pm on Monday, American Legion Post 160 and community partners will present the traditional annual Memorial Day ceremony at Forest Lawn (WSB sponsor) in High Point (map); all welcome.

(2014 WSB photo)
Right afterward, you’re invited to a 3:30 pm reception at Post 160 HQ in The Triangle (3618 SW Alaska).

West Seattle schools: ‘Fox Hole Classic’ golf tournament to raise money for multiple PTA’s

May 24, 2016 8:52 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle schools: ‘Fox Hole Classic’ golf tournament to raise money for multiple PTA’s
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

While the school-funding shortage means PTA/PTSA fundraisers are not unusual, this one is: The Schmitz Park Elementary PTA is hosting the first Fox Hole Classic Golf Tournament – which, president Robert Kelly says, its purpose is “to provide financial grants for other West Seattle school PTA’s. This is an opportunity to help make the entire community the best place for our children to succeed as students and citizens.” Here’s the scoop on the tournament:

Join us at West Seattle Golf Course on Friday, June 10, 2016
2:30 pm Shotgun Start (1:15 Check-in)

There will be prizes for: Hole-In-One * Jackpot Hole * Tee & Door Prizes KP’s * Longest Drives * Putting Contest

Registration open now. Cost: $125 per golfer.
Early Bird Foursome Special: $400
Limit 144 total golfers. Deadline June 3rd.

Register and Pay Online or submit the attached form (PDF) with check.

Questions, please contact Robert Kelly: president@schmitzparkpta.org

Kelly says this is open to the public and they’re also seeking sponsors, via hole sponsorship, a one-time monetary donation, prize donations. As he notes, “Each year, school PTA’s help close the funding gaps by providing important resources that help our children learn and achieve every single day.”

YOU CAN HELP! Seal Sitters training Monday; ‘Sentinels of the Sound’ cleanup June 4th

May 22, 2016 6:53 pm
|    Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP! Seal Sitters training Monday; ‘Sentinels of the Sound’ cleanup June 4th
 |   Environment | How to help | West Seattle news | Wildlife

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(Photo by Robin Lindsey)

From Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network, word of two ways you can help care for West Seattle shores and the creatures who share the beaches and waters with us – first, an announcement, second, a reminder:

Seal Sitters and the Alki Community Council will be co-sponsoring the “Sentinels of the Sound” beach cleanup at Alki Beach on Saturday, June 4th, 10 am-noon. There will be a very low tide that day, enabling access to a wide stretch of beach to remove dangerous debris. The adjacent sidewalks and street will also be scoured for trash – it is estimated that up to 80% of all trash discarded on land ends up as marine debris.

Trash poisons, maims, and kills wildlife. Lend a hand to help keep marine life safe and meet up at the Statue of Liberty Plaza. There will be a brief talk about the dangers of marine trash before dispersing to clean up the area. Last year, volunteers removed an estimated 9,000 toxic cigarette butts in approximately two hours.

Please visit our website for more details and the RSVP link. Volunteers do need to provide gloves and pickup sticks this year, but bags will be available at the sign-in table.

Now, the reminder – Seal Sitters training tomorrow!

Harbor-seal pupping season is on the horizon and Seal Sitters volunteers enable pups to rest safely on our urban beaches. We will be holding a training on Monday evening, May 23rd. There are just a few available spaces left to attend. Please visit the volunteer page of our website for info and to RSVP.

Seal Sitters welcomes volunteers of all ages.

West Seattle weekend scene: Young volunteers @ WS Food Bank

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2:32 PM: One group of young West Seattleites had an important job to do before arriving at the West Seattle Bee Festival in time for this morning’s parade: Volunteer work at the West Seattle Food Bank a few blocks away. Marco – who shared the photos (and is at left, below, with WSFB operations manager Lester Yuh at right) – says Girl Scout Brownie Troop #40146 bought 100 pounds of rice with the earnings from their cookie sales, and came to WSFB to put it into family-sized bags. (They also had some left over for a bit of fun, Marco says – an afternoon at Southgate Roller Rink.)

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Marco is a regular WSFB volunteer, by the way, during food distribution on Thursdays, and the food bank always welcomes help – volunteering, donating food, and/or donating money.

Around-the-world rider arrives in West Seattle on ‘Bike Everywhere Day’

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(WSB photo)

On this “Bike Everywhere Day,” one rider who arrived in West Seattle tonight is truly doing just that – riding around the world. At left in our photo is Tim Bridgman, with West Seattleites Dave Nichols (center) and Gary Potter (right), photographed tonight outside Potter Construction (WSB sponsor) between Alaska and Morgan Junctions.

Bridgman is from England and is on an around-the-world ride that started four years ago, in Norway, with his wife Sharon Bridgman. They planned to raise money for ShelterBox, which provides emergency shelter and supplies to people in need around the world.

Two years and 15,939 miles into their ride, Sharon Bridgman was hit and killed on a road in southwestern Bolivia.

Tim decided that in honor of the ShelterBox cause – helping people carry on through disaster and tragedy – he would continue (here’s his story as told to a reporter in Britain). Last year, he resumed the journey in South America, where he had left his bicycle. And now, he’s on the last leg of the journey, riding through the Pacific Northwest en route to Barrow, Alaska, after more than 32,000 miles. Nichols (a ShelterBox volunteer responder) and Potter both support ShelterBox through the Rotary Club of West Seattle; the two met up with Bridgman this afternoon in Auburn for the last leg of his ride into West Seattle, where he is staying with Potter.

Bridgman is chronicling his journey online here. You can donate to ShelterBox through the special page set up for him and his wife, here. He’ll be in West Seattle until Sunday, before resuming his ride north.

SATURDAY: Two neighborhood cleanups tomorrow

May 20, 2016 3:57 pm
|    Comments Off on SATURDAY: Two neighborhood cleanups tomorrow
 |   How to help | Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

Two community cleanups tomorrow! Start your weekend knowing you’ve done a good deed. First, from Jill:

Join us Saturday at 9:00 AM for a short litter cleanup in Gatewood. We are meeting at Myrtle and 35th near the water tower (park on Myrtle) at 9 AM and will do a cleanup along 35th to Henderson. Probably one to two hours max. Bring gloves and water, safety vests if you have them, and ORCA passes if you want to bus back to your car! I may have extra picker-uppers and vests, depending on how many extra folks come. Serious rain probably cancels.

We also have this announcement from Esperanza on Puget Ridge:

The Puget Ridge Neighborhood quarterly clean-up will be on Saturday.

Meet at 10:00 AM at 6559 18th Ave SW to pick up bags and form teams.

WEST SEATTLE 5K: Can you help this Sunday?

(2013 West Seattle 5K photo by Tracy Brigham)

This Sunday brings the West Seattle 5K walk/run along Alki, and race director Jeff Mensing, last call for volunteer help – a few more people would be appreciated!

We are very much in need of volunteers to help with the West Seattle 5K Run/Walk on May 22nd during the race, especially because one adult is needed at every intersection of the route. If you can volunteer, shifts starting from 7:45 and 8:30 until 11:30 AM, we would be very grateful! If you are interested or available, please email wshs5kvolunteers@gmail.com with your name and availability.

P.S. Tonight is your last chance to register online – if you miss the deadline but still want to sign up, you can do that Saturday noon-6 pm at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) or starting at 8 am on Sunday.

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