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 – 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 AwardJerry 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!)

The need for seeds: What the West Seattle Seed Library is looking for, to get going and growing

March 1, 2015 at 5:09 pm | In Gardening, How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

We have city libraries, we have Little Free Libraries, we have a Tool Library, and soon, West Seattle will have a Seed Library. But first, organizers Krista and Katie are looking for two things:

*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 - 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.

West Seattle weekend scenes: Cookie sales continue

March 1, 2015 at 1:39 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

A photo posted by Holli Margell (@photoholli) on

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.

You can help! Fairmount Park Elementary auction’s online encore

February 28, 2015 at 11:02 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

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.

You can help! Fauntleroy Children’s Center auction 9 days away

February 26, 2015 at 7:32 pm | In Fauntleroy, How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

The Fauntleroy Children’s Center, headquartered in the historic schoolhouse, is nine days away from its annual fundraiser, and hoping to get a final attendance count within a few days – so it’s circulating a reminder that tickets are available online. The dinner/auction is at 5:30 pm Saturday, March 7th, on the other side of the schoolhouse at The Hall at Fauntleroy, $65/person. The theme is “An Evening in Paris” and you can read more about it here.

Bowling for Equality: Human Rights Campaign fundraiser at West Seattle Bowl

February 25, 2015 at 7:50 pm | In Fun stuff to do, How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

You’re invited to go “Bowling for Equality” at West Seattle Bowl on Sunday, March 15th, to help raise money for the Human Rights Campaign. The invitation comes from West Seattle resident Al Griggs, who’s on the steering committee of the Seattle chapter of HRC, which he describes as “the nation’s largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender advocacy group.” The fundraiser is stretched out over three sessions that day, 1-3 pm, 4-6 pm, 7-9 pm. For $40 adult/$20 child, you get two hours of bowling, shoe rental, appetizers, and a yearlong HRC membership. Tickets are available now at = see the official flyer above for more info (including an afterparty for 21+ bowlers).

You can help! Restore our forest and learn a little while you’re at it

February 25, 2015 at 9:00 am | In Environment, How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

See that long stretch of greenbelt in the lower third of the photo shared with us earlier this week via Twitter by Ron Creel? That’s the West Duwamish Greenbelt – the largest contiguous stretch of forest left in the entire city, and it’s right here in West Seattle. This Saturday, the forecast is for sunshine, and the request is for some help from you:

South Seattle College’s Landscape Horticulture department would like to invite the community to a Restoration Work-party in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. On Saturday, February 28, the Ecological Restoration class will be assisting volunteers in proper planting and mulching techniques for new plantings. The students, taught by the college’s Instructor and Arboretum Coordinator Van Bobbitt, are currently studying the recovery process of urban ecosystems.

The event is scheduled from 9:30 am to 2 pm and will begin at the red doors at the Garden Center, located at the North Parking Lot on campus. Interested? Sign up on The Nature Consortium website at or contact Diana at 425-463-8450.

You can help! ‘Second-Chance Prom’ in West Seattle on March 14th

February 22, 2015 at 4:51 pm | In Fun stuff to do, How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

Miss your high-school prom? Or, even though you went, you wish you could have a second chance? Here it is – a good time for a good cause, coming up in West Seattle in three weeks:

In March, Seattleites will have a second chance at prom to benefit The Ruby Room, a local non-profit organization that provides formal attire to teens in financial need from all over Washington State. The second-chance prom is open to ages 21 and up; and will be held on Saturday, March 14th at West Seattle Golf Course kicking off at 7 PM. Tickets are $25 per person to attend. The event is Casino Royale themed, a 007 inspired event, and attendees are encouraged to dress in iconic James Bond fashion, or their version of prom attire. The prom will have a live DJ and dance floor, a fun prom-style photo booth, cocktails and more.

Tickets are limited and are expected to sell out. Reserve your tickets here.

The fundraising event is being hosted by Michelle Weiss and Francie Warnekros, graduates of Bishop Blanchet High School (2004). These ladies were inspired to create this event to be able to make a difference with the Ruby Room, along with providing an exciting and social outing for adults. This first annual event promises an evening of entertainment, in which attendees have a second chance to experience prom night for the first time with your current sweetheart, or as a fun evening with friends.

For more information, visit or the Facebook event page.

You can help! Dance at Madison with the West Seattle Big Band

February 22, 2015 at 12:20 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

Just five days until a fun fundraiser at Madison Middle School – one that can be a night out for your entire family, with swing dancing and a music lineup including the acclaimed West Seattle Big Band, whose mission is to help student programs like this. In case you haven’t already seen it in our calendar, here’s the announcement (with the official flyer above):

Madison Middle School’s 3rd Annual *Jumpin’ Jive Swing Dance* is on Friday, February 27, from 6 pm-9 pm in the Madison Commons. This fun event is for the entire family!! *Buy tickets online here.

The *Silent Auction and Raffle* will benefit Madison’s music students and their Music Program. This is the Music Program’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The Music Program is currently not funded by the Madison PTSA or the School District. The Madison Middle School Sr. Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Sr. Orchestra will perform for your entertainment. Also featuring *The West Seattle Big Band!!* Come! Eat! And get your free swing dance lessons by *The Savoy Swing Club.* We’ll have snow cones and games for the kids.

Madison is at 45th/Spokane.

You can help! WestSide Baby’s benefit tea is one week away

February 21, 2015 at 12:01 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

(Photo courtesy WestSide Baby)
WestSide Baby‘s biggest fundraiser of the year is one week from tomorrow – its 14th annual Benefit Tea, on Sunday, March 1st, 2-4:30 pm in the conference center at the Hilton by Sea-Tac Airport. You still have time to get ticket(s) online and help support WS Baby in its ever-expanding mission of helping local children – $40/individual, $300/table of 10, $600/VIP table of 10 with extras. From the organization’s update:

The 2015 Tea centers on need in our community that is often kept hidden from sight, and understanding how together we can help children grow up safe and healthy. Raising Change President and CEO Kathy LeMay will highlight the afternoon with a keynote address focusing on the role of compassion in philanthropy. LeMay’s work has taken her around the world, fighting for human rights and social justice.

The Tea offers guests an opportunity to give and many opportunities to walk away with gift packages, including roundtrip airfare for two on Alaska Airlines. WestSide Baby will also sell hand-crafted glass “BabyCakes,” created by Avalon Glassworks, with one hiding a $1,000 diamond and white gold pendant compliments of Wyatt’s Jewelers.

As WS Baby executive director Nancy Woodland points out, “Across King County, poverty is growing and most of us do not realize the challenges families face right in our own neighborhoods. Families don’t always advertise when they are struggling and need help. The infant behind you may be sitting in a wet diaper and living out of a car with her parents, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at her. These are our neighbors, and by getting these children the essentials they deserve, they will grow up safe, warm and dry, and their parents won’t be forced to choose between buying diapers and paying rent.”

P.S. Here’s our coverage of last year’s WS Baby Benefit Tea.

You can help! Pathfinder K-8′s 21st annual auction in 4 weeks

February 20, 2015 at 4:44 pm | In How to help, Pigeon Point, West Seattle news | No Comments

4 weeks to go until Pathfinder K-8‘s big annual auction fundraiser, and tickets are still available, as are donation opportunities. Here’s the update we were asked to share:

Calling all Pathfinder families and alumni! Pathfinder K-8 will be celebrating our 21th Annual Auction, “Starry Night,” on Saturday, March 21 (5:00 pm) at The Hall at Fauntleroy. All money raised will go directly to the unique programs at Pathfinder that support our expeditionary learning, like our Earth Project, tutoring, camping trips and environmental education. Pathfinder educates students to become passionate, lifelong learners, respecting themselves, others and the environment.

We have received several generous donations from West Seattle businesses and Pathfinder supporters. Our students and families are also creating original works of art and gift baskets for our auction. Donations are being accepted until March 2. It will definitely be an exciting evening of giving and community building.

Tickets are on sale at: which is also where you’ll find contact information if you would like to donate something.

You can help! Play golf to support WSHS basketball training

February 20, 2015 at 12:52 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | No Comments

The West Seattle High School boys’ basketball team had a promising season, making it into the playoffs until a season-ending loss last Saturday, and is already looking at how to improve next year. Toward that end, head coach Keffrey Fazio sends word of a benefit golf tournament April 11th at Riverbend Golf Complex in Kent to raise money for the players to attend the University of Gonzaga‘s basketball-team camp. The tournament will have an “8 am shotgun start, 4-person scramble format with handicaps enforced.” You can register online by going here.

2 big reasons to celebrate at West Seattle/Fauntleroy Y gathering

February 10, 2015 at 10:24 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

(Photo courtesy West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA)
Tonight at The Hall at Fauntleroy, the West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) annual-campaign kickoff featured more than 150 volunteers and staff gathered with two reasons to celebrate, per the Y’s announcement:

First reason to celebrate was the start of the 2015 Annual Campaign — goal $400,000 with $75,000 raised to date. Every year for the Y’s Annual Campaign, scores of community volunteers reach out to their friends to get kids what they need at the YMCA. These funds help youth whose families cannot afford YMCA before and after school programs in 7 local schools, YMCA childcare at two locations, youth sports programs, swimming lessons or summer day camp.

The second reason to celebrate was reaching the $3 million mark toward a $5.5 million goal to expand the West Seattle YMCA. The total project cost is $11 million, half to be provided by the YMCA of Greater Seattle and half raised locally.

“This project is designed to meet the needs of our changing West Seattle community,” according to Josh Sutton, YMCA Regional Executive. “We have made sure that the people who will benefit from this expansion project have a voice in its evolution. “ Sutton added, “While we still have some fund-raising benchmarks to reach, we are on track to be awarded our building permit in late spring. This will help us start construction this summer. “

The Y will be open during construction, which will take about a year and be accomplished in phases. Capital Campaign Co-Chair, J. Dino Vasquez is pleased with the progress, “We are honored that so many people in our community see the need for a larger YMCA and want to help. Many donors are making the largest gifts of their lives, and stretching their pledges over five years.”

The Y’s expansion was officially announced five months ago. Meantime, you can help local youth through the Y’s current programs by contributing to the just-launched annual campaign here (you’ll need to designate the West Seattle/Fauntleroy Y as the beneficiary).

See the M’s, support the Wildcats: Baseball-ticket fundraiser!

February 10, 2015 at 11:30 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | No Comments

(WSHS baseball team at Safeco Field in 2013; photo by Greg Slader)
Here’s a chance to see the Mariners this year while giving a boost to local high-school athletes! From Caryn Johnson:

The West Seattle Boosters are supporting a fundraising event for the West Seattle High School baseball team. The team is selling tickets for $12/each to an upcoming Seattle Mariners baseball game (Mon, June 22 vs. the Kansas City Royals at 7:10) to raise money for the team as well as to qualify to play at the annual High School Baseball Classic at Safeco Field in the spring of 2016.

If you would like to support the West Seattle High School Baseball team please e-mail Someone will be in contact with you on how to purchase tickets. The fundraiser is due to end at the end of April, so purchase your tickets now. Last year the team was able to sell enough tickets during the same fundraiser to qualify to play at Safeco Field this spring. West Seattle High School will be playing Sedro Woolley on Saturday, March 28th at 12:30. Admission to this event is FREE!

We look forward to a great season this spring and will keep everyone posted on game dates, times and locations. Thank you for your support. Go, Wildcats!

You’ll never be younger than you are right this moment. Here’s one way to honor that.

February 8, 2015 at 10:03 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

“You’re not getting older, you’re getting better.”* If you’re old enough to remember that slogan, you’re old enough to have a stake in this (although ultimately, we all do): A chance to offer your opinions on what it will take for Seattle and King County to be “more elder-friendly.” Here’s how, as explained by Seattle/King County’s Aging & Disability Services (ADS) agency:

Every four years, ADS develops a comprehensive plan that charts the course they will take in creating an elder-friendly community. The agency looks at local demographics, trends, and major service gaps, and seeks public input, before setting measureable goals and funding priorities for the following four years. ADS has created a survey that will help shape the plan for 2016-2019. You are invited to take the survey (here).

Community forums are planned, too, in case you’d rather share your thoughts in person. Find lots more information here.

Help teach about the beach! Be a volunteer naturalist this year

February 7, 2015 at 7:02 pm | In How to help, West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(Photo by Greg, Constellation Park, 2012
Love to tide-walk? Do it as a volunteer beach naturalist this year! Here’s the official call for volunteers:

Volunteer with the Seattle Aquarium at a beach near you!

Why do barnacles stand on their heads? What do sea stars like to eat? How do moon snails lay their eggs? Learn to answer these and other fun questions by volunteering as a Seattle Aquarium Beach Naturalist this summer. Naturalists receive training in the spring, and then spend three low tide days educating beach visitors about inter-tidal life and beach etiquette at one of eleven Puget Sound beaches, including Constellation Park and Lincoln Beach in West Seattle. Training begins on March 10.

If interested, please email, call (206) 386-4365 or visit

You can help! Be on the Alki Community Center Advisory Council

February 6, 2015 at 9:09 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | Comments Off

What happens at your local community center(s) – a long list of activities, classes, and events, featured in the seasonal brochure – isn’t just the work of the city staffers who work there. A community-based advisory council is hard at work behind the scenes, too. The Alki Community Center Advisory Council is inviting new members, and center coordinator Marc Hoffman asked us to share the invitation for you to “support the community center staff’s efforts to meet our recreational needs – use your talents to better our community!” The council usually meets at the center on second Wednesdays. If you’re interested, contact Marc at 206-684-7430 or, and/or council president Roberta Fowler,

Here’s one way Seattle DID beat New England, thanks to you

February 3, 2015 at 9:09 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

If you haven’t entirely cheered up postgame yet – here’s some consolation, from Betsy at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor):

Here’s the outcome from Tibbetts UMC in the United in Blue food drive challenge – Seattle versus New England. The Tibbetts grand total was 1215 food items (money donated counts as 1 food item per dollar). Deliveries were made Monday to the West Seattle and White Center food banks.

The counts from other churches in Seattle – and really all across Washington – are continuing to come in but total over 43,000 food items right now and we’re so far ahead of the New England counts that Seattle has been declared the winner this year.

Big thanks to the WS Blog for publishing info about the United in Blue food drive Challenge and to those who were able to donate in person or on line. We may not have won the game Sunday but we’ll be making a difference in the lives of the people of our communities. Way to go, United in Blue!

Be a hero! Run/walk in the White Center 5K to help 3 nonprofits

February 2, 2015 at 5:49 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, White Center | 4 Comments

(2014 WC5K photo by Patrick Sand)
Run or walk five kilometers to help three local nonprofits! Signups are under way for this year’s White Center 5K. From the official announcement:

The White Center Community Development Association (CDA) is partnering with the YES Foundation of White Center and the White Center Food Bank to host the third annual White Center 5K Walk & Run. This community event will take place on March 28, 2014, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at White Center Heights Park. Like the previous year, this will be another Superhero Run and all participants are encouraged to dress up as their favorite superheroes.

The 5K has an official start time of 9:00 am, with registration beginning at 8:00 am. Following the completion of the race there will be an award ceremony to recognize the fastest runners in each age group. The cost of participation is $25 for people aged 11 through 18, $30 for people between the ages of 11 and 54, $25 for those aged 55 and up, and free for children 10 years of age and younger. All proceeds from the event will benefit the White Center CDA, the YES Foundation of White Center, and the White Center Food Bank.

Sign up now – just go here.

Another way to keep busy until game time: Food drives’ last day

February 1, 2015 at 9:15 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | Comments Off

Big snack spread planned for The Big Game? In honor of that abundance, here’s something more you can do in the next few hours: Score a touchdown against hunger by contributing to one or both of two local churches’ Super Bowl-linked food drives. Before 1 pm or so, take a nonperishable item or two or three or … to Tibbetts United Methodist Church (3940 41st SW; WSB sponsor; backstory here) and/or Peace Lutheran Church (39th/Thistle; backstory here).

P.S. The food drives are part of our West Seattle Super Bowl Spirit list – see it in full here.

You can help! Volunteer as a Girls on the Run coach this spring

January 25, 2015 at 3:20 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 2 Comments

(Photo courtesy Girls on the Run)
So sunny and warm today that we’ve seen people out running, walking, bicycling everywhere around West Seattle. Great time to think about community involvement like this: Girls on the Run is recruiting coaches for spring 2015, and needs volunteers for the program at three West Seattle schools: WS Elementary, Alki Elementary, and Westside School (WSB sponsor). Here’s the announcement:

Girls on the Run of Puget Sound is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Empower 3rd-5th grade girls to celebrate their bodies, honor their voices, recognize their gifts, and activate their power to make healthy choices for years to come!

As a coach, you’ll work with 1-2 other coaches to guide a group of girls through an established, easy-to-follow curriculum that uses running games to teach healthy living lessons that develop the whole girl – her social, emotional and physical self. Together, you will explore issues like media awareness, nutrition, emotional health, positive communication, and community service. Help empower the next generation of women by volunteering to coach this spring! For more information, please visit or contact Jen John, Program Manager, at or 206-528-2118.

Early registration begins for 2015 West Seattle 5K Run/Walk

January 23, 2015 at 4:05 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | Comments Off

(2013 photo by Debra Salazar Herbst)
The signs of spring are starting to show up – like this one: If you know you’re going to participate in the West Seattle 5K Run/Walk this year, there’s an incentive to early registration, as announced by race director Jeff Mensing:

Early Registration is open for the West Seattle 5K Run/Walk. Join us with your friends and family on May 17th at beautiful Alki Beach for the 7th annual West Seattle 5K Run/Walk! This community event is a fund raiser for West Seattle High School. The first 100 registrations are automatically entered in a drawing to win a new pair of running shoes from West Seattle Runner. Help support West Seattle students and take advantage of early registration discount fees.

You can register online at

Super Bowl challenge where everybody wins: Seattle vs. New England food drive! Tibbetts UMC is in – are you?

January 22, 2015 at 7:03 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

(Photo courtesy Tibbetts UMC)
With a week and a half until the Super Bowl, Seattle vs. New England team-spirit contests abound. Here’s one you can join while not only showing your love for the Seahawks, but also your love for your down-and-out neighbors. From Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor), here’s how you can get involved in a Seattle vs. New England food drive!

Since the Seahawks are repeating a trip to the Super Bowl, the Seattle-area United Methodist Churches are repeating a challenge to a food drive contest – this year to New England. Tibbetts UMC is a drop-off site and food will go to the West Seattle and White Center Food Banks.

Whoever has the highest number of donations of dry goods or money at midnight on Super Bowl Sunday will be declared the winner. In this contest, EVERYONE wins, since our spirited competition supports local people in need. All food & money will be donated to local food banks. For details on how/where to donate, go here.

You can also donate online at (where you’ll also find out about participating churches in other areas). Once again we expect that many churches in Washington will participate since our Seahawks have such a huge fan base! Monetary donations made online will count towards the contest, with donations going to Northwest Harvest. We’ll beat New England in football AND in generosity!

P.S. Food items that are needed most: Whole-grain cereal; fruit in water or juice; meat (canned in water when possible); vegetables, low or no sodium; beans (dry or canned); 100% fruit juice; powdered or shelf-stable milk; pasta sauce; peanut butter; soup; canned meals; Mac & Cheese & other boxed meals; whole-wheat pasta, rice, or other whole grains.

Tibbetts UMC is at 3940 41st SW.

Also tonight: Benefit for Jasmin; opening night at ArtsWest

January 22, 2015 at 3:24 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

The trajectory of today’s coverage kept us from our usual preview of various events, so as we arrive at mid-afternoon, here are two more to mention, both happening in The Junction:

BENEFIT FOR JASMIN: In November and December, we mentioned benefits for Jasmin Egan, who grew up in West Seattle and is fighting leukemia. Friends at Brunette Mix (longtime WSB sponsor) in The Junction are organizing another benefit tonight, 5-8 pm, just around the corner at Lika Love Fashion Boutique (4447 California SW) – a sip-and-shop event, with a percentage of tonight’s sales proceeds going to help Jasmin and her family with mounting medical bills. You can even stop in while on your way to …

OPENING NIGHT FOR ’4000 MILES’: Be among the first to see the new production at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor), the Northwest premiere of “4000 Miles“:

(ArtsWest photo by Michael Brunk; cast, L-R, Adria LaMorticella, Adam Standley, Susan Corzatte, Sara Porkalob)
Amy Herzog was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for writing “4000 Miles,” a dramatic comedy telling the story of a 91-year-old grandmother and her 21-year-old grandson, and who really needs who and why. ArtsWest’s artistic director Mathew Wright directs. Curtain time tonight is 7:30 pm; tickets are available online here. “4000 Miles” will run through February 15th.

Have books to donate? West Seattle Food Bank needs more!

January 21, 2015 at 11:20 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off

The latest reminder that the West Seattle Food Bank provides recycled books to its clients – and needs your donations to keep the books flowing!

The West Seattle Food Bank’s Bookcase Program was so successful with our clients during the holidays that we have run out of many books, especially children’s books. Young children enjoy the picture books while waiting with their parents in our lobby and are excited about being able to take them home. Cookbooks, history books and Adult fiction and non-fiction are extremely popular with our adult clients. Our Bookcase Program distributed more than 5,500 recycled books last year donated by local book stores and individuals in our community. Donations are accepted during our office hours of Monday – Friday 9 am – 3 pm. The West Seattle Food Bank is located at 3419 SW Morgan St. at the corner of 35th & Morgan.

‘Take a step. Make a difference. Help us help others’: Straight Blast Gym’s food-drive challenge for you

January 14, 2015 at 8:16 pm | In Delridge, How to help, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(Some of last year’s Straight Blast Gym food-drive donations)
North Delridge’s Straight Blast Gym of Seattle (WSB sponsor) isn’t just aiming to strengthen bodies. It’s aiming to strengthen community. And the latest way it’s working to do that, with your help, is via monthlong food drive. From SBG’s Sonia Sillan:

We are currently running a food drive throughout the month of January for the West Seattle Food Bank. Every ten items (ramen not included) earns one raffle ticket; at the end of the month we’ll hold a drawing for different prizes like an Xbox One, gift cards, etc. When discussing how to help others and the purpose of the food drive, one of my five-year-old students said “Well, when you help others it shows that you love them, even if they’re strangers. They don’t have the things that we have. That’s why we should always help everyone and love everyone” (clearly awesome parents!).

My focus with the drive this year is to really pull the community together. Everyone at SBG is excited to see what we can raise within our gym community, and outside of it as well. I really challenge people who don’t know us to stop by and drop some nonperishables off. Take a step. Make a difference. Help us help others. Last year, we raised 1700 pounds of food. This year, our goal is to raise at least 3000.

This quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson really resonates with me: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

You can help Straight Blast Gym meet and pass that ton-and-a-half goal by dropping off food at the gym, 5050 Delridge Way SW.

2 weeks to go! Chef-tastic lineup for ‘Gifts From the Earth’ at SSC

January 10, 2015 at 3:33 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

(Photo courtesy South Seattle College: SkyCity Executive Chef Jeff Maxfield, SSC culinary alum)
Two weeks from tonight, 15 accomplished Seattle chefs will cook dinner for 300 people supporting the South Seattle College Foundation during “Gifts From the Earth.” Go here to see the full lineup and read their stories – award winners, entrepreneurs, hotel chefs, restaurant chefs, club chefs, SSC-alum chefs. Then make your reservation to support student scholarships and services via tickets to the event, 5 pm Saturday, January 24th, at Brockey Center on campus. The night includes silent and live auctions. And yes, there will be wine! Your tickets await, here.

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