Just a little more than a week until “Art for Food” at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, benefiting White Center Food Bank, which also serves part of West Seattle. The event is 6-8 pm on Friday, April 24th, WCFB’s Kristina Dahl explains: “Not only does it benefit the food bank, but it’s a fun after- work event with live music from West Seattle jazz trio The Ellis Brothers, held in the wonderful Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, with art from many West Seattle artists (including Peggy Abby, who is co-hosting this event with us). There will be wine (21+) and cheese available also, but the event is open to all ages. We are still welcoming art donations, volunteers at the event, and of course hope that many people from our community will buy tickets and come join us in the fun.” Buy your ticket right here, right now.
We’ve reported before on the achievements of Taryn Smith, the West Seattle High School senior who is the reigning Miss Seattle – and this Saturday (April 18th), you can help her with her next community-service endeavor: A book drive for local kids.
Taryn will be at Merryweather Books in The Junction (4537 California SW) collecting donated children’s book to give to the kids at Mary’s Place, which helps homeless women and children with shelter and other needs. Bring your book donations to Taryn at the shop between 9 am and 1 pm on Saturday.
(Photo courtesy City Fruit)
Got an apple tree? More than one, maybe? Don’t let its fruit go to waste! City Fruit, which harvested almost 14 tons of homegrown fruit last year, is hoping its new “Save Seattle’s Apples” campaign will keep even more from going to waste. Here’s what City Fruit announced this week – and scroll ahead to find out about the West Seattle event that’ll be part of it:
City Fruit is excited to announce the launch of the organization’s first ever Spring 2015 Save Seattle’s Apples Campaign. In partnership with Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Recology, Greater Good Granola, and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, this three-month pest prevention campaign will build awareness about Seattle’s urban canopy, the proper care and management of apple trees, and provide opportunities for the public to protect apples. Additionally, the project aims to reduce waste that unnecessarily ends up in the compost bin.
During 2014, City Fruit harvested nearly 28,000 pounds of fresh, edible fruit and donated the majority to Seattle’s emergency food system. During the same harvest season, the organization composted over 12,000 pounds of rotten fruit that had fallen to the ground due to insects, poor tree management, or neglect. Through education, outreach, and direct hands-on assistance to tree owners in protecting their fruit, City Fruit hopes to cut the number of pounds of composted fruit in half in 2015, adding 6,000 pounds of fruit to the emergency food system and feeding an additional estimated 20,000 families.
WestSide Baby loses power after small fire at White Center facility, asks you to hold onto donations for nowApril 11, 2015 at 1:18 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments
If you were planning to donate items to WestSide Baby via its main HQ in White Center – they’re asking you to wait a few days, because of a power outage caused by a small fire. From WS Baby executive director Nancy Woodland:
WestSide Baby’s White Center Main Operations Center experienced a small electrical fire in an outside meter that has caused us to lose power. We are awaiting landlord-directed repairs and must remain closed until those repairs are made. We hope this will happen quickly and we are exploring other options to continue operations in the meantime. We’ll post updates on our website and/or Facebook. Thank you to everyone for your concern, and please know we are making every effort to be up and running very soon as children are counting on us.
We will have our donation bin out during the regular hours but, if you have item donations and you are able to hold them for us during this time, we would be very grateful. We are in the dark and unable to sort things and a pile up can be difficult to address.
We are hopeful, our landlord will address this quickly but we expect to be closed at least a week at our White Center Donation and Volunteer Center. Our administrative office and our Central Branch location at 23rd and Jackson are both open for full operations!
We stopped by two of the stores where Kiwanis and Key Club volunteers are collecting food until 3 pm:
At West Seattle Thriftway (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan; WSB sponsor), we found, from left, Chief Sealth International High School Key Club members Ariana, Cameron, and Johnny were there with Kiwanis’s Shari Sewell and West Niver. Then at PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (California/Stevens; WSB sponsor):
In our photo, Rosemary and Hana from the Key Club at West Seattle High School (right across the street!). The Kiwanis’s third location is the Junction QFC (42nd/Alaska). Your nonperishable food donations matter more than ever right now – while there are food drives aplenty at some times of year, especially the winter holidays, the need is great year-round.
P.S. Separate from the Kiwanis food drive but toward the same goal – making sure fewer people are hungry – the West Seattle Food Bank has volunteers at Metropolitan Market (41st/42nd/Admiral; WSB sponsor) until 3 pm, too.
Next Sunday (April 12th) afternoon, 2-6 pm, you can help out local animal-advocacy groups via the annual “Catsino” silent auction (and more) at Beveridge Place Pub:
What do Pig Craps, BlackCat 21, Hotwire Snip ‘em, and Studless Draw all have in common? They are the entertainment portion of our annual Catsino Silent Auction! Come on out to meet four local rescue groups and bid on unusual, unique silent auction items! All proceeds benefit Furry Faces Foundation, A.A.R.F., Community Cat Coalition, and Regional Animal Services of King County.
You’ll also get to visit and play games with our local business friends! Check out our Facebook page each day to see who is playing and what silent action items have been added.
Pre-Sale Ticket Outlets – Save $5 By Purchasing Your Ticket Early!
Beveridge Place Pub: 6413 California Ave SW, 932-9906 (Morgan Junction)
Hotwire Coffeehouse: 4410 California Ave SW, 935-1510 (Alaska Junction)
Pet Elements: 6511 California Ave SW, 206-932-0457 (Morgan Junction)
The Beer Junction: 4511 California Ave SW, (206) 938-2337 (Alaska Junction)
The fine print: Catsino’s entertainment is recreational only; Catsino Bucks have no monetary value, and all prizes are non-monetary; BP Pub is 21+.
(Photo courtesy Lisa)
Stock your bookshelves, stock your nearest Little Free Library, get someone a gift, find something new to read in your away-from-the-screen quiet time … lots of books for all ages are on sale right now at Sanislo Elementary‘s annual Book Sale, raising money for the 4th-grade camping trip. Treats too:
Head over to the forested grounds at 1812 SW Myrtle (map) before 2 pm!
You can help Chief Sealth IHS Class of 2015 celebrate Grad Night – even if you don’t know a grad-to-be. Here’s how.April 2, 2015 at 10:08 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment
Now that April’s here, the Class of 2015 is just two months from graduating, and celebrating. At Chief Sealth International High School, a bit of a community boost will go a long way toward making sure the biggest party of the summer isn’t out of any grad’s reach:
The Chief Sealth Class of 2015 senior class parents are currently organizing a tremendous event for our graduating seniors. Grad Night is an all-night, alcohol and drug-free party with non-stop, action-packed and supervised fun aimed at keeping our seniors safe on this important night. Where they’re going is a total surprise…but it will be awesome! This special event sends a clear message to graduates that we want to honor their achievement and care about their safety.
Why do we do Grad Night? Statistically, graduation night is the most common night for tragedy among teens and young adults. Students have just been ceremoniously ushered into adulthood and feel invincible – what could go wrong when left to their own plans? For many teens and young adults, this night has ended in tragedy. Why leave it to chance? We want our graduates to celebrate their bright futures, not ruin them.
Did you know? At Chief Sealth, over half of our students qualify for free/ reduced lunch and there are reportedly at least 40 homeless students currently attending Chief Sealth. For many families in our community, senior year expenses are overwhelming. In previous years, the CSIHS community generosity has made this event possible and affordable for all students. Funds raised have provided valuable scholarships to students who cannot afford the ticket price, as well as prizes for the contests and games offered throughout the event and many other details that make this night a lasting memory for students. Your support of this worthwhile tradition is extremely important. We need your help to continue this event.
Seattle Public Schools and the CSIHS PTSA support Grad Night and they commend you for any contribution. Most of all, the graduating seniors are grateful to you for caring enough to help provide a safe alcohol and drug free party.
It’s so easy to help! Contributions can be made online at bit.ly/sealthgradnight. Or you may use the attached form and send in your contribution to the CSIHS Main Office at 2600 SW Thistle St, Seattle, WA 98126, ATTN: 2015 Grad Night. Contributions must be received by May 1, 2015.
Please consider forwarding this letter to the greater community or anyone you know who may support CSIHS Grad Night.
If you have any questions, please call me at 206-932-4760. Thank you for supporting the CSIHS Class of 2015!
Grad Night Committee Chair
Duwamish Alive! is just two and a half weeks away, and organizers hope you’ll take a minute now to decide where you want to join in to help out our city’s only river and its watershed. All you need to commit to is a four-hour shift on April 18th – 10 am-2 pm – and as the map shows, you have options from West Seattle to South Park and beyond. Go here to find out more and to choose your site.
Got a little space on your bookshelf? Or maybe in your nearest Little Free Library? A legendary book sale is coming up Saturday – and inviting donations before then if you have some books that need new homes (read this all the way to the end!):
It’s spring, and that means it’s time for the annual Sanislo Elementary Book Sale!
Come join us Saturday, April 4th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school (1812 SW Myrtle Street) to browse a great selection of used books and buy a sweet treat. All proceeds benefit the annual fourth grade adventure to Camp Sealth on Vashon Island where for three days and two nights, our kids will immerse themselves in environmental education and camp fun. For many of the kids, this is will be their first trip away from home, first ferry ride, first campfire, first s’more, and it is always a highlight of their years at Sanislo. Please come support our kids and your reading habit! We look forward to seeing you Saturday.
We are also accepting donations of used books in good condition for the sale. (Please, no textbooks, manuals or magazines.) Donations can be dropped by the Sanislo front office during the school day. You can contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. THANK YOU!
Quick! If you appreciate a deal – sign up for this year’s West Seattle 5K Run/Walk by tomorrow (Tuesday) night, in order to get the earlybird rate. It’s the eighth annual fundraising run/walk on Alki Beach, set this year for 9 am Sunday, May 17th, presented by and benefiting the West Seattle High School PTSA, with co-sponsors again including WSB. Go here now to register and get the lowest rate!
It’s a celebration of West Seattle food and drink, a vital lifeline for the West Seattle Helpline, and something people line up for, as our 2013 photo above shows. This year, the Taste of West Seattle celebrates its 10th anniversary, and your ticket gets you a delicious evening that’ll leave you with the afterglow of having done a good deed.
Once again this year, the Taste of West Seattle opens in two stages – a VIP head start at 6 pm, and then doors open for all at 6:30 p.m. It’s happening on Thursday, May 21st at The Hall at Fauntleroy, on the south end of historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse.
Not sure what West Seattle Helpline is, or does? It’s a low-overhead nonprofit – one staff person! – that helps West Seattleites facing one-time financial emergencies. Help from Helpine can help someone keep their gas, electricity, water from being cut off, can help keep a roof over their head, a way for them to get around, can literally keep a shirt on their back.
The first two Taste of West Seattle events were hosted by Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor), which closed its doors so this could be a private function. Metropolitan Market remained a supporter, but in 2007, the Taste moved its location to The Hall at Fauntleroy so there would be room for more to attend.
The number of attendees (above, part of last year’s crowd) has multiplied in a big way – from 50 to 600; the number of vendors has grown to 40+, from fewer than 10. And all this has equaled a bigger haul for the Helpline, to help cover the costs of its programs – from $1,000 at the start, to $28,500 last year. Its success comes from the generosity of community business sponsors as well as that of the participating food/beverage purveyors and of course, that of the ticket buyers.
Never been? Here’s what you should know: You have to be at least 21 to attend. To add to the fun, you get to vote on your favorite tastes, giving participating food/beverage establishments bragging rights when the votes are all tallied. It’s sold out in past years, so buying early is a wise strategy. You can get your ticket(s) right here, right now.
The food/beverage-provider lineup isn’t finalized yet, but you know it’ll be good – see for yourself in our stories from each of the last five Taste of West Seattle events:
(Photo from 2012 Fairmount Ravine cleanup)
One more reminder before tomorrow morning arrives: The more the merrier at the annual Fairmount Ravine Cleanup, starting at 8:30 am Saturday – meet at Fairmount/Forest (map). John Lang says, “Met Market, Starbucks, and Zatz have all graciously agreed to participate in supporting the nourishment portion of the project.” Wear boots and gloves; if you’re interested in helping remove ivy from trees – which is part of the cleanup – please bring a pruning saw and/or large loppers. Whatever time you can spare, the folks of Fairmount will appreciate it. (And if you have a question first, call John @ 206-932-5151.)
(2014 WSB photo)
Of interest to sellers as well as shoppers – the West Seattle Co-op Preschools are planning another mega-consignment sale, exactly one month away. Here are the details:
The West Seattle Co-op Preschool system is very excited to be hosting another spring/summer kids’ consignment sale on April 25 from 9 am- 1 pm at the West Seattle VFW Hall, to help fund scholarships for families in need.
Anyone from the community can consign at this sale. Consigners can set their own prices, and guidance and information about how to register to be a consigner are available at westseattlepreschools.org.
This sale will be a great way for families to make some money with their gently used baby/kids gear, spring/summer clothing, toys and books. Sellers will make 65 percent of the asking price and the preschool scholarship fund will take 35 percent. The consigners will be paid for the sold items via a check, which will be mailed the week following the sale.
Anyone is welcome to shop for low-cost, good-quality items for their kids the day of the sale. All proceeds from the sale benefit the scholarship program to help families in need. The West Seattle Co-op Preschool system is hoping to make this consignment sale a biannual tradition every fall and spring as a way to bring the community together. Hope to see you there!
The VFW Hall is at 3601 SW Alaska.
4:23 PM: Another successful “Scouting for Food” drive – on behalf of Troop 282, Regina Arceo-Schulz shares photos and a wrapup of what they delivered to the West Seattle Food Bank today after circling back around to neighborhoods where they had left doorhangers last weekend:
We collected close to 300 pounds in the area we covered from SW Genesee St and SW Charlestown St, 44th Ave SW and 55th Ave SW. Thank you, West Seattle!
Regardless of whether you donated to SFF, other opportunities to donate are coming up – a big day of donations at local supermarkets, for example, is set for April 11th. You can also support the WSFB by buying tickets to the Instruments of Change Dinner/Auction in May – here’s how.
ADDED 10:21 AM SUNDAY: And thanks to Brian Christenson for sharing the news and a photo from Pack 793:
Pack 793 Cub Scouts would like to thank the North Admiral residents for their extremely kind support of Scouting for Food. This small band of scouts braved the wind and rain Saturday morning to collect 496 pounds of food for the West Seattle Food Bank! The Pack would also like to thank the Admiral Congregational United Church of Christ for allowing us to use their space for a meeting place since the grassy triangle is occupied with the temporary Fire Station.
You can help! West Seattle Food Bank invites you to attend, donate to, and/or sponsor ‘Instruments of Change’March 19, 2015 at 9:12 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off
One of the spring’s biggest benefits is just weeks away, and you can participate in one (or more!) of three ways. From the West Seattle Food Bank:
The Board and Staff of the West Seattle Food Bank would like to invite you to join us at our 8th Annual Instruments of Change Dinner/Auction, Friday evening, May 1st, at our new location at The Seattle Design Center beginning at the new time of 6:00 pm. This very fun event will feature a hosted Happy Hour with games, Liquor Tasting, Photo Booth and unique items in our Silent Auction. Guests will then enjoy dinner prepared by Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering, with our famous Dessert Dash, a special guest speaker, live auction, and Funds for Food.
The West Seattle Food Bank plays an important role in the future of our West Seattle community. Funds will be used to support the various programs we provide to our neighbors in need such as our:
· Food Distribution where we distribute 1.5 million pounds of food yearly through 38,000 visits from 9,200 individuals including 3,400 children and 1,200 seniors three times per week with the help of over 260 volunteers.
· Home Delivery Program where we deliver 170 grocery bags of food weekly to homebound elderly and disabled.
· Backpack Program where we provide nutritious & healthy food to school children at risk of hunger over the weekend.
· Baby & Child Corner where we help baby & toddler parents with diapers, formula, car seats, strollers toys & clothes through our partner WestSide Baby.
· Bookcase Program where we have distributed over 9000 books including children’s books, cookbooks, reference, fiction and non-fiction books.
This fundraising event will bring our neighbors together to support the Food Bank and ensure our continued role as a positive Instrument of Change in our community. If you are interested in being a sponsor, hosting a table at the event or donating an item to the auction, please contact Judi Yazzolino, Development Director at 206.932.9032 or email@example.com. To purchase a ticket at $100/guest or $1000/table of 10, please go to westseattlefoodbank.org/News-Events.
The WSFB would like to thank our major sponsors: Jackson, Morgan & Hunt, PLLC; Seattle & Oregon Wine Awards; CHI Franciscan Health/Highline Medical Center, The CoHo Team of Windermere Agents, JPMorganChase, and First Lutheran Church of West Seattle.
Last year came word of the nomination … now, finally, it’s time to vote on a local book nominated for a national award.
“Leopard & Silkie: One Boy’s Quest to Save the Seal Pups” has been nominated for the prestigious Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award for best book.
Written by Brenda Peterson with photos by Robin Lindsey (co-founders of Seal Sitters), the book weaves a tale based on the true story of the friendship of two West Seattle seal pups in 2007 – and the young volunteers who protected them.
There are 5 nominees for the award, and children must read or listen to at least two of the books in order to vote for a winner. Voting must be completed online between March 15 and April 10, 2015. All elementary-school-age children are eligible to vote.
The highly respected Beverly Cleary Award will help bring even more national attention to the book. This award will help protect seal pups and inspire children to reap the rewards of volunteerism and environmental stewardship.
While Leopard & Silkie has garnered much praise from critics (including 2013 Outstanding Science Trade Books K-12 by National Science Teachers Assoc), the best award of all would be from the children we so hope to influence!
Wondering how to vote? Details are in this post on the Seal Sitters’ Blubberblog.
P.S. – WANT TO BE A SEAL SITTER? TRAINING NEXT SUNDAY! We’re told space remains at this Sunday’s training session for potential Seal Sitters volunteers of (almost) all ages – if you’re interested, it’s a rare chance to get the training and get involved. Go here to get details, including the mandatory RSVP link.
(WSB photo of young volunteer Woodrow at 2014 Fairmount Ravine cleanup)
Early alert for one of our area’s most challenging community cleanups – the annual Fairmount Ravine cleanup is now less than 2 weeks away, set for Saturday, March 28th. Neighbors tackle the roadside slopes once a year to pick up trash and cut tree-threatening invasives off trunks, but would appreciate more help. The official announcement, if you haven’t already seen it in our calendar:
Fairmount Ravine Preservation Group will sponsor the 23rd Annual Spring Cleanup and Reforestation of Fairmount Ravine, Saturday, March 28h at 8:30. Meet at top of ravine (Forest St. and Fairmount Ave.). Wear boots and gloves. Bring a pruning saw or large loppers if interested in removing ivy from trees. Delicious beverages and food from our local merchants will be provided. We extend a special invitation to those who use the ravine to access the waterfront; please donate an hour of your time to keep this greenbelt healthy and pristine. More info – call John at 206-932-5151.
If you’re not familiar with the ravine, it’s along Fairmount Avenue between Harbor and Forest (map), running under the Admiral Way Bridge east of the business district, used by drivers, riders, walkers, and runners, usually as a route between Admiral and Alki.
If you missed that clip of Chief Sealth International High School musicians at the Lionel Hampton Festival in Idaho the first time we featured it a week and a half ago – take a listen; call it a sneak peek of the “Music Night Out, Great Gatsby Style!” benefit coming up 5:30-10 pm Friday, March 27th. Early-bird pricing is available through tomorrow – here’s the event announcement:
Support Denny Int’l Middle School and Chief Sealth Int’l High School Performing Arts programs by celebrating a night of dinner, dancing and great music at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California Ave SW, West Seattle). The evening will feature the orchestras and jazz bands from Denny and Sealth. Come dressed Great Gatsby style (1920′s) and be ready to dance! There will be a small silent auction, raffle, raise-the-paddle and our traditional dessert dash. We’d love to have you attend!
Tickets are available now here – Please click the “Buy Tickets” button. Donations can also be made through this button. Earlybird-price tickets are $45 per person through March 13th, and $50 per person after that until March 25th (last day of ticket sales). There is a limited number of VIP tables to purchase for $600 a table. VIP tables will be the best stage-view tables, include 10 guests and a bottle each of red wine and white wine for enjoyment during dinner.
West Seattle’s Boy Scout Troop 282 and other Scouts are doing it again – “Scouting for Food,” a door-to-door food drive. They will be dropping off door tags to homes in the West Seattle area this Saturday, March 14th between 8:30-10:30 am. They will come back the following Saturday, March 21st to collect food for the West Seattle Food Bank between 9 am 10 am. If you would like to donate and need a pickup, contact R. Schulz, 206-890-2237. At right, last year’s collection by Troop 282, which says, “could we do more this year? Yes, we can!”
If you haven’t seen this in our calendar, you still have three more days to get it on yours: Talented student musicians and chefs ready to entertain and serve you, plus a chance to get out on the floor and dance, with the West Seattle Big Band on hand as a bonus. It’s happening this Friday night (March 13th):
Come enjoy an evening of great music, dancing and a gourmet dinner at the West Seattle High School Big Band Dinner Dance, Friday Mar 13 from 6-9pm, held at West Seattle High School.
Fabulous big-band music from the West Seattle High School Jazz Ensemble and the West Seattle Big Band. Dinner prepared by students in West Seattle High School’s amazing Culinary Arts Program! Dinner served 6-7, Swing Dancing Music from 7-9. Swing dance instruction, door prizes, beverages, dinner & desserts all included!
Tickets purchased in advance are $15 each, or $17 at the door. Special deal for students only – $8 ticket purchased at the door for dancing only.
Tickets can be purchased online at wshsptsa.org/events/big-band-dance
This event is a fundraiser, and West Seattle High School band, orchestra and jazz band students are raising money to pay for their performance and competition trips this spring. For more info – please email WestSeattleHSMusic@gmail.com
(WSHS is at 3000 California SW.)
You can help! Admiral Neighborhood Association’s first Adopt-A-Street cleanup of 2015, tomorrow morningMarch 6, 2015 at 8:55 pm | In How to help, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 1 Comment
One way to start your weekend in the giving mode: Show up at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) at 9 am tomorrow (Saturday) and join the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s first Adopt-A-Street cleanup of 2015. ANA president David Whiting says Met Market is providing coffee/pastries pre-cleanup and sack lunches afterward as it’s done in the past; tools/bags provided, so just bring yourself to the main entrance at 42nd/Admiral.
You can help! West Seattle High School girls’ basketball players are making history – but need an assistMarch 2, 2015 at 9:40 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 9 Comments
We spotted that poster at West Seattle High School tonight, as the school cheers for the athletes who are making history by being one of the eight girls-basketball teams in the state 3A championship tournament. It’s a big accomplishment, but it also comes with a price tag, so the West Seattle Booster Club is hoping that proud community members can help out a bit. They asked us to share this letter:
Dear Local Business Owners, Friends, and Fans of WSHS:
West Seattle High School Girls’ Basketball team is going to the 3A State Tournament for the first time in school history!
After winning the Metro League Championship and making it through both Districts and Regionals, the team plays their first State Tournament game on Thursday, March 5th at 2:00 pm at the Tacoma Dome. They would love your support!
More specifically, the girls would love to hear the West Seattle fans loud and proud in the crowd. Additionally, since the team will be in Tacoma from March 5-7th for the tournament, they are seeking donations of any amount to assist with meals and lodging.
Donations are being accepted by us, the West Seattle Booster Club (WSBC). We are a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting ALL athletic programs at WSHS. Our goal is to further athletic programs and activities at the high school that the school budget cannot cover, and we would love to have you join us in this particular case to help our girls with their record-setting season.
Your tax-deductible donation, no matter the size, would be of great benefit to ease the financial burden on the school and on the girls and their families. You may donate by mailing a check to the address below, or going online to the WSBC website. For either donation type, please be sure to note “Girls Basketball” as the “Purpose” so we ensure the donation supports the girls.
WSHS and WSBC thank you in advance for your support in helping our girls reach their goal!
Donna Veenhuizen and Karin Beck
West Seattle Booster Club Representatives
West Seattle Booster Club
5318 SW Orleans St.
Seattle, WA 98116-3130
Tax ID # 91-1250127
The Wildcats’ opponent at 2 pm Thursday is Lynnwood, from Snohomish County. The WSHS girls earned their ticket to state with a huge win over Sumner in regional competition Saturday night at Renton (WSB coverage here).
VIDEO: Record-setting WestSide Baby Benefit Tea crowd gives big, encouraged to ‘look for the hidden need’March 1, 2015 at 9:53 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 1 Comment
(Auction-style cards were held up at the tea to answer calls for donations)
Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
While a room packed with more than 630 people giving to a nonprofit is a visible sign of caring and support, the people they’re helping are too often not so easy to see. That reminder – to “look for the hidden need” — was the theme of this year’s WestSide Baby benefit tea this afternoon at the SeaTac Hilton Conference Center.
The festive and friendly event not only set an attendance record, it raised more than $300,000 (midweek update: $315,000!) – up from last year, which in turn (despite a snow-suppressed turnout) was more than the year before. The increase in donations is vital because of an increase in what WS Baby is doing already, and what more it could be doing, as the nonprofit’s leaders explained.
(Tea chair Beth Wright with WS Baby executive director Nancy Woodland)
The first speaker of the event, tea chair Beth Wright. said she is in awe of “neighbors helping neighbors” via WS Baby. When it began in the early 2000s, almost 200 children were served. This past year – more than 27,000 children. “So how do we get all of this done?” Wright answered her own question: Through donations and volunteers, comprising “an amazing network of support.” Its partners number more than 120 – social-service agencies and other organizations serving families. “In supporting WestSide Baby,” said Wright, “you are actually supporting those agencies” as well.
While WS Baby is known best for getting diapers to families who cannot afford them – executive director Nancy Woodland, who’s been with WS Baby for nine years, told the tea attendees that so many other needs exist: “Every single baby deserves to have a safe place to sleep,” for example, she said. Last year, WS Baby received 600 requests for cribs – a number roughly equal to those in attendance. But two-thirds of those requests could not be fulfilled. Here’s video of her full speech:
That can change with actions beyond attending today’s event, Woodland said: “Spread the word – host a donation drive – invite others to hear our stories – have members of the WestSide Baby board of directors come speak to your friends, or your workplace.”
WestSide Baby needs to grow, said Woodland, explaining that it hopes to move to another location in White Center, “just down the block.” And it needs a better online-ordering system. When they last increased their space in 2010, she noted, they were able to serve 26 percent more kids immediately: “More things can go in, more things can go out.” She said WS Baby is now helping 1/20th of the number of families in need, around the county, illustrating this by having a few tables of teagoers stand up – about 1/20th of those in attendance. She stressed repeatedly that those in need don’t display it – “to truly understand it, we need to look for the hidden need. … keep our eyes open so that our heart can act on this.”
Those in the room got to meet one of WestSide Baby’s clients, Karen, first via a video, then when she came up to speak.
She talked about having been homeless, and having become a mom at 16. She and her family have a home now, but she and her husband, both working full time, “live paycheck to paycheck.” She spoke of having dreams for their sons, including a 4-month-old held by Woodland as his mom spoke, with his big brother standing alongside:
An early life of financial struggles was also described by featured speaker Kathy LeMay, founder/CEO of Raising Change:
“When Nancy talks about hidden need … I spent all my time (in childhood) trying to hide how poor I was.” Her mother scraped to enable LeMay to go to college, and she talked about how surreal it seemed to have classmates asking “where do you summer?”, and talking herself out of “the Pennsylvania mill-town accent.” She also spoke of compassion – everyone is your neighbor, not just someone who lives by you – yet she is troubled to see “the shift away from compassion,” as people try to set themselves apart from those in tough times, especially those who have made mistakes, though those are the people who need it most.
LeMay lauded those on hand for “showing big business and government what it’s like to help people without judgment. … You just showed people what your character is. … We are all just trying to bring each other home.” Compassion transforms you, she said. And she lauded the attendees again, for spending a Sunday afternoon to gather in an airport hotel to give. That preceded the card-raising gift-making opportunity.
After the speeches, the event moved to raucous rounds of giving and receiving. Cards were waved as calls were made to donate certain amounts, some of which were matched; emcee Ian Lindsay thundered through what seemed like amazingly endless lists of numbers, of people choosing to give beyond what they had donated for entry to the tea, with the hundreds of donors including County Councilmember Joe McDermott:
As for receiving, first, necklaces were sold as entries in the Tombola drawing – as modeled by Josh Sutton of the West Seattle YMCA (tea sponsor and WSB sponsor), at right below with City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen:
Woodland’s children McInnis and Phineas helped with the drawings, as has become a WS Baby Tea tradition:
What they are holding in our photo are two of the famous Baby Cakes that also are available for purchase at the tea each year – created by Avalon Glassworks. The twist is that one box also included a $1,000 necklace donated by Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) – so purchasers are asked to wait and open theirs simultaneously to see who got the necklace.
This year, it was Aileen, who was clearly thrilled:
The tea concluded with Lindsay’s announcement of the grand total, which we recorded in this quick Instagram clip:
ALSO AT THE TEA: As seen in our video above of Nancy Woodland’s speech, two volunteers were honored with the Donna Pierce (WS Baby founder) Service Award – Jerry Johnson of First Student, for making the “Stuff the Bus” diaper-drive bus happen every year (even though it’s usually his birthday weekend!):
And devoted volunteer Laurie Pinard was honored too:
SPONSORS: The local businesses and organizations backing the tea included WSB sponsors too – Ventana Construction, Jackson, Morgan, & Hunt PLLC, Budget Blinds of West Seattle, West Seattle Thriftway, WEdesign, Inc., West Seattle Design Build, and as mentioned earlier, West Seattle YMCA and Wyatt’s Jewelers; Alki Party Treasures donated part of the kids’ birthday party package that was one of the Tombola prizes. Other organizations on the long list of sponsors included the West Seattle Food Bank and White Center Food Bank; WCFB’s executive director Rick Jump posed with board member Kari Holsberry (and a “babycake”):
HOW TO HELP WESTSIDE BABY ANY TIME: Money, volunteering time, items – how to give to WS Baby is all explained online. (Speaking of online, Woodland gave the crowd a quick sneak peek of a remodeled WS Baby website, launching soon!)
*An old library-catalog-style cabinet
*A place to host the Seed Library
The Tool Library would have loved to do it, Katie and Krista tell us, but they’re out of room. So the search continues: “We are hoping for a business that is open to the public during regular business hours, plus evenings and weekends and has good foot traffic already…something like a coffee shop, community center, etc.,” according to the full announcement about the search. If you have something to offer or suggest regarding either component of the search, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org - thanks!
P.S. As a prelude to the library launch, seed donations will be accepted as part of the Great Seattle Seed Swap on March 15th at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library.
Something else you can do today – buy Girl Scout Cookies. We’ve been talking about the annual sale for a few weeks. Above, Holli shared the Instagram photo of Troop 44398 members selling cookies until 2 pm outside Menchie’s in The Admiral District; below, a photo from cookie-selling Saturday at Junction True Value:
Kristiana shared the photo, explaining that the cookie-costumed chaperone and friends are “Michael Lockman from WEdesign Inc. with his daughter Ruby and co-scout Bella.” (WEdesign is a longtime WSB sponsor.) If you somehow aren’t seeing a troop everywhere you turn, you can use the cookie-finder search tool to find one nearby, by going here.
The Fairmount Park Elementary PTA is hosting an online auction as a followup to its recent “live” auction. You can support FPES students via any of more than a hundred items – among them, getaways for destinations such as Alderbrook Resort and Stevens Pass, unique items such as a Little Free Library or a 3-hour photo-booth rental, and/or theme baskets put together by classrooms, including “Family of Scientists,” “Northwest Craft Beer Sampler,” and “Jaunt in the Junctions.” The online auction is open until 9 pm next Friday night (March 6th) – go here to browse and bid.
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