West Seattle, Washington
Last year, generous West Seattleites donated more than 200 coats during the Hometown Holidays Cocoa and Coat Drive at the WS Farmers’ Market – and tomorrow’s the day you have the chance to help beat that total! Between 10 am and 2 pm on Sunday, look for the Junction Association, Kiwanis Club, and West Seattle Christian Church booth at the market (California/Alaska) – get free cocoa while dropping off coats, hats, and/or gloves, which will all go to West Seattle Helpline. (And nearby, you’ll be able to board the free Santa Trolley for the second and final Sunday of that new Hometown Holidays feature.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
West Seattle-based, West Coast-spanning The Whale Trail chose an auspicious week for its annual winter gathering: It began with two opportunities to watch Southern Resident Killer Whales passing our shores, southbound Monday and northbound Tuesday.
The message of the gathering this past Tuesday night at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor): It’s not too late for the resident orca population to rebound, despite being near a historic low.
Whale Trail founder Donna Sandstrom noted this is the third year they’ve had a “winter gathering,” four years since launching the ongoing series of Orca Talks. “Our tagline is connect, protect, inspire,” and she wanted everyone to feel inspired to take action, particularly toward protection – more on that later.
The first to speak were two photographers whose work you’ve seen here – Trileigh Tucker and Kersti Muul. The night’s lineup also included West Seattle-based researcher Mark Sears, often in a research boat when the resident orcas are in the area, and Lynne Barre from NOAA.
While you’re out shopping in The Junction tomorrow, check out these girls’ benefit bake sale:
The photo of Brownie Troop 40596 members is from Karen Crane, who says they met earlier this week to make those signs for their bake sale tomorrow (Saturday), with all proceeds going to Wellspring Family Services. The girls also have volunteered at Wellspring as part of their service project. You’ll find them outside Menashe & Sons Jewelers (4532 California SW; WSB sponsor) 1-3 pm Saturday, with homemade baked goods: “We would love to see our WS community come get a sweet treat, while supporting a great cause!”
Santa Claus has arrived at HomeStreet Bank (4022 SW Alaska; WSB sponsor) for photos until 6 pm! Cocoa and cookies too – drop in for holiday cheer; it’s also a donation drive for the West Seattle Food Bank, so bring along nonperishable food for the bin. Tomorrow, Santa’s photo stops include My Three Little Birds (6959 California SW; WSB sponsor) 11 am-2 pm, and on Saturday night, the Menashe Family Lights (5605 Beach Drive), 6 pm-10 pm, also a WSFB food-donation drive.
West Seattle’s school communities have been talking for some time now about how to help each other – the West Seattle School Parent Collaborative is one way – and another is coming up with a chance to involve many people from around the community, including you: One big event to benefit five schools next Tuesday (December 19th). Between 11 am and 8 pm that day, dine at Marination ma kai (1660 Harbor SW) and part of the proceeds will go to help kids at this area’s five Title I schools – Concord International, Highland Park, Roxhill, Sanislo, West Seattle elementaries. (Here’s the menu if you don’t already have favorites there but want to plan ahead!)
That’s the video Caitlin Huertas made to promote her plan to open what would be West Seattle’s only “large indoor play space” as well as the only one with a space theme – it’ll be called Outer Space Seattle. Today is the final day of her IndieGogo crowdfunding campaign to clear the final financial hurdle before locking down their planned location.
The West Seattle Food Bank welcomed a giant holiday haul today – the annual visit by a delegation from the Nucor West Seattle steel mill to deliver food and money, courtesy of the company and its employees.
This year, employees donated 4,740 pounds of food – more than two and a third tons! – and $751 in cash; the company’s match for all that totaled $10,982, and Nucor added $3,367 more in cash. Here’s WSFB development director Judi Yazzolino accepting the check from Nucor’s Stephanie Sanchez:
Another important component of the delivery – Omega Morgan donated the flatbed truck! Here are Todd Strobeck and Erik Tronvig from OM:
You can help the WSFB and its thousands of clients too … here’s how.
The holiday season is a time to give … and a time to reach out.
It is also a time to try to cope with the loss of those who are no longer with us.
Three years ago, Jenny Taylor lost her 26-year-old son Jay Taylor in a car crash.
His loss was also a loss to the community. Jay was a star baseball player at West Seattle High School, helping the Wildcats win the league championship. (That’s Jay in the photo at right, with recently retired WSHS baseball coach Velko Vitalich.)
He also played college baseball at multiple schools, and his potential had been recognized by pro-baseball teams. Before all that, Jay mentored many younger players.
His promising future was taken away in August of 2014, on the night before he was to return to Kansas for his final year of playing college baseball. He crashed near Lincoln Park in a summer downpour. Jenny explains that he suffered a brain injury that took his life 9 days later.
“The loss of our son is something we will never get over in my lifetime. I wake up every morning trying to remember how his hug warmed my heart and how proud I was of him and maybe someday I will be able to feel love in my heart again. It’s just horrible to lose a child of any age.”
Before WSHS, Jay went to Schmitz Park Elementary and Madison Middle School. His love for baseball started with T-ball at age 5. Along with playing in youth leagues, Jenny says, her son “played all year around on select teams that traveled around … during the summer also.”
His achievements are detailed in part in his obituary. During his senior year, in June 2006, the Colorado Rockies drafted him, and interest was shown by other teams including the Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres, Jenny recalls. “He didn’t sign and accepted a full ride to Lewis-Clark in Idaho that year.” His college career took him to several other schools, finally Sterling College in Kansas, “where he met his girlfriend, the captain of the softball team, and gave her a promise ring in May.” She too was from western Washington (Renton).
Then came the crash. “The night of the accident, he had been at Lincoln Park and left his backpack and went back to get it during a downpour, and was seen by a RapidRide bus driver rounding the corner on an a oily roadway, sliding into a pole and not getting aid soon enough …” Jenny says the bus driver did not call for help, while her son remained at the scene, gravely injured. But separate from that, she is seeking closure in the form of a headstone in tribute to her son. “I feel that all of his friends and teammates need some closure and a place to grieve, to process this horrible accident. I as a mother can only now think of putting his ashes to rest here in West Seattle in the (J) section that is still open after 3 years was just meant to be. My family is starting over and can’t afford the plot and headstone that Jay deserves.”
She is asking for community help via crowdfunding, hoping that those touched by Jay’s life might be able to make the memorial happen.
“My son never gave up on his dream, and deserves a nice headstone … he brought scouts to his school for other players to follow their dreams.” She hopes to be able to fulfill this last one she has for him.
Dance for education! A tango charity gala is in the works for programs including the Concord International Elementary PTA and the Heritage Spanish program at Kennedy CHS, “A Milonga for a Cause,” with live music featuring the Chicharra Tango Orchestra, a pre-milonga lesson, dance performances, a DJ, and more. It’s set for 8:30 pm Friday, December 15th, at Eden Seattle Event Place and Nightclub (1950 1st Ave. S.) Tickets are $40 in advance – buy yours now – and after advance sales cut off (or at the door), $50. Tickets include two drinks and a bite.
Thanks to Judy Pickens for the report and photo:
The concept of giving donations in lieu of more stuff for Christmas gained momentum during the second annual West Seattle Alternative Giving Fair.
Hosted last Saturday and Sunday by Fauntleroy Church UCC for 19 local, national, and international programs, the fair brought in $11,291 to strengthen families and communities, support elders, care for creation, and respond to hunger and homelessness. Thanks to generous area residents, this “giving from the heart” represents a 37% increase over last year.
P.S. Still many opportunities for holiday giving – in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, you’ll find a list of donation drives – including giving trees – and volunteer opportunities that we’ve heard about so far.
Though we’re three weeks away from Christmas, it’s never too early to give to holiday-season donation drives, many of which involve a lot of coordination to get the gifts to recipients in time.
At the Dave Newman State Farm Insurance Agency office (WSB sponsor), we photographed Dave with Kristy Hoppenrath by the bins where they’re collecting coats, shoes, and other winter clothing for the West Seattle Helpline. The annual drive’s been going on for more than a month now and they’re taking deliveries over to the Helpline weekly. You’re invited to drop off donations 9 am-5 pm weekdays at 3435 California SW, or if you can’t get there, call 206-932-1878 about arranging a pickup.
OTHER DONATION DRIVES: We’re continuing to add them to the West Seattle Holiday Guide as we get them. Some have early deadlines – this Saturday, for example, is the deadline for the West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) Giving Trees, and for the Bartell Drugs Toy ‘n’ Joy Drive. If you are collecting holiday gifts for local nonprofit(s), it’s not too late to let us know so we can add the info – email@example.com – thank you!
Until 2:30 pm, the West Seattle Alternative Giving Fair welcomes you to experience education as well as generosity during its second and final session. From Judy Pickens:
The second annual West Seattle Alternative Giving Fair got under way Saturday evening at Fauntleroy Church with 19 local, national, and international nonprofits represented. In addition to explaining what they do, each is welcoming donations in the name of family members, neighbors, teachers, and others this holiday season.
Alina Guyon is selling African crafts and soliciting donations to pay school fees for refugee children in Uganda. It’s the same agency for which she built a library and stocked it in July with books donated by West Seattle residents.
Rhiannon Wolfe-Jones, special education assistant at West Seattle Elementary, is at the fair to build a scholarship fund to enable low-income students at the school to attend Islandwood nature camp.
The fair continues until 2:30 pm in Fellowship Hall at the church (9140 California Ave. SW).
If you have books you don’t need any more – for kids or adults – here’s how to get them to people who will read them!
The West Seattle Food Bank Bookcase is running extremely low on a number of categories of books for this holiday season especially children’s picture books and easy readers, as well as teen books, and adult fiction and non-fiction. Donations are accepted Monday-Friday 9 am – 3 pm and Wednesday until 7pm at 3419 SW Morgan St. at the corner of 35th & Morgan. Have a wonderful holiday season.
WSFB is on the southeast corner of 35th and Morgan. We’re adding this to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide‘s “how to help” section, too – if you have a donation drive, fundraiser, volunteer need, etc. this season, please let us know!
(UPDATING THROUGH THE DAY/NIGHT as we hear of local additions)
9:09 AM: After Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday, Cyber Monday … now it’s Giving Tuesday. If you can chip in to your favorite nonprofit, this is the day to do it. So far we’ve heard directly from one local campaign – the Lafayette Elementary School PTA:
We are hoping to raise $4,005 during this campaign to support instrumental music, the purchase of basic school supplies, and the procurement of eight tablets for low-income students so they are able to do their digital math and reading assignments (Note: Lafayette has moved completely away from homework packets and uses RazKids and DreamBox platforms for student-variable learning).
They’re receiving contributions via this GoFundMe page. Anyone else in West Seattle/White Center with a Giving Tuesday campaign? Please post a comment, or e-mail us, and we’ll add it to the story! Also remember that we have holiday-season-specific giving/volunteering opportunities listed in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.
Concord International Elementary – Grocery Gift Cards: “Concord International Elementary School is an incredible school with bright, hard-working kids, loving families, and passionate staff. Concord serves a high-poverty community — 75% of our kids qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch and many of our kids benefit from our weekly Backpack program, which sends home meals over the weekend. We would love to raise enough for a $50 grocery gift card for each child in the Backpack program for the 16 days away from the food programs.” (Donate here) … Concord also has a greening/safety project (learn/help here), and its general PTA PayPal donation link is here.
Fairmount Park Elementary PTA: “We are raising money to help support the budget gap for critical programs such as program support for the school’s library, physical education, visual arts, and music, grants and scholarships for families experiencing hardship, classroom support, educational field trips and assemblies and our student council leadership program.” PayPal donation link is here.
YMCA HELP FOR HOMELESS YOUTH: Donate here to help with this:
The YMCA is the largest provider of housing for homeless young adults in King County, housing 280 young people on any given night. It provides support services such as education, employment and mental health counseling to help young people reach their full potential. Every dollar raised through #GivingTuesday will go toward these crucial, life-saving services.
Just for today, Delta Air Lines will match all gifts. With added support from individuals who donate on Giving Tuesday, we can make a bigger impact on ending youth homelessness. Please step up and help the Y help our youth today. No donation is too small.
WEST SEATTLEITES’ NONPROFIT SUPPORTING CONSERVATION ON A NICARAGUAN ISLAND: Just got this Giving Tuesday addition from a West Seattleite who is co-director of the new nonprofit Guias Unidos:
My co-director/husband and I have been National Park Service rangers for the last few years, and just started GU. We are working with ecotourism guides and businesses in Nicaragua on Ometepe Island to support conservation and sustainable development so the new and booming tourism industry there doesn’t destroy the environment or communities of the island. Our website is www.guiasunidos.org, and our donation site is (here) – that runs through Earth Island Institute, our umbrella agency.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, let’s talk Christmas! For almost two decades, The Christmas People Foundation has been providing Christmas dinners to thousands of people around Seattle. Last year for the first time, the group also organized a festive free sit-down dinner in West Seattle, and promised they’d do it again this year, with an earlier announcement. So here’s the plan:
HELP NEEDED: If you can help, you can do it via something simple – bake homemade cookies (no store-bought) and drop them off at Alki Masonic Center (40th/Edmunds) 9 am-1 pm December 22nd/23rd/24th/25th – or something a little more complex: If you are a professional sous chef, line cook, or food handler, your volunteer help would be welcome! Call 206-719-4979 and talk with one of The Christmas People’s co-founders (Dr. Ruth Bishop and Fred Hutchinson).
ATTEND THE EVENT: Noon-4 pm at Alki Masonic Center on Christmas Day (Monday, December 25th), you’ll find a full-course dinner, including coffee/tea and dessert. Entertainment, too – trombonist/vocalist Marc Smason.
Again, this is free, and all are welcome, particularly, per the announcement, “elders, homeless, and those who would otherwise be alone” on the holiday. You can find out more via TheChristmasPeople.org.
The journey of a thousand laps begins with a single stride, you might say. So Michele Pettinger of P3 | Running was happy to draw a starter-sized group to the first-ever West Seattle edition of Track Friday, a movement meant to meld fitness and fundraising on the day after Thanksgiving, which has been growing nationwide since 2012. She organized it with the help of West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), and set up alongside the Hiawatha track this morning to see who would show up:
Some hardy, giving-minded runners did!
Michele hopes Track Friday will grow as a tradition here as well as elsewhere. Her chosen charity was for the fight against Parkinson’s Disease, which her mom is dealing with, but participants could pledge to any nonprofit they chose. So make a plan to be part of Track Friday next year – Friday, November 23, 2018.
That photo from September is an example of just part of what the organization VIEWS – Visualize Increased Engagement in West Seattle – does, supporting other community organizations with proceeds from the annual Delridge Day festival. Want to help magnify that kind of good – while being involved with events that bring joy to so many West Seattle neighbors? Pete Spalding of VIEWS shares an invitation:
Visualizing Increased Engagement in West Seattle (VIEWS) is a nonpartisan community organization comprised of local citizens creating programming to educate, engage, & mobilize West Seattle citizens to sustain & improve the quality of life & services available across the peninsula.
VIEWS is best known for two big ongoing events: Gathering of Neighbors and the annual Delridge Day festival. The 2018 Delridge Day Festival will be held on Saturday, August 11th.
We are beginning the planning process for the 2018 festival. In light of this, we are reaching out to the West Seattle community, seeking community-minded individuals who are interested in volunteering to help VIEWS make our West Seattle community a more-welcoming community for all. We are seeking community members who have graphic design skills, creating marketing material skills, want to help organize the Kids Zone area of the festival, want to help with the skate park activities, are interested in helping to coordinate our volunteers for the festival, want to assist in the acquisition of sponsors and/or vendors, or just want to pitch in and help VIEWS with the overall coordination and implementation of the Delridge Day festival logistics.
If you are intrigued by the prospect of becoming more actively involved in our West Seattle community on a local level please reach out to VIEWS by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have abundance to share this Thanksgiving, here are three ways to ensure others will have holiday feasts too:
DONATE TURKEYS TO WEST SEATTLE FOOD BANK: You can bring one or more turkeys to the WSFB until 3 pm today, 9 am-3 pm Tuesday, 9 am-7 pm Wednesday. (35th SW/SW Morgan)
DONATE TURKEYS TO WHITE CENTER FOOD BANK: Turkeys are also being accepted at the WCFB through 5 pm today, 9 am-5 pm Tuesday and Wednesday. (8th SW/SW 108th)
DONATE DESSERTS TO FREE THANKSGIVING DINNER @ THE HALL AT FAUNTLEROY: Thursday’s open-to-everyone dinner at The Hall always welcomes dessert donations – pies, cookies, etc. You can drop them off on Thanksgiving, 10 am-1 pm, or call 206-932-1059 to arrange a Wednesday afternoon dropoff. They could use kids’ clothing, new socks (any size), and blankets, too. (9131 California SW)
P.S. Throughout the holiday season, we feature other donation opportunities (and volunteering, too) in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide – so if you have something to add there, please e-mail info to email@example.com – thank you!
Every holiday season, you can find ways to ensure your dollars are spent for more than just giving a gift – they can also do a good deed. That’s what’s happening until 1 pm at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Ethical Fair Trade Sale. Some of what’s on sale inside OLG’s Walmesley Center on the northeast corner of 35th and Myrtle are items created overseas. Some are items benefiting causes close to home, like cards for Noel House, a women’s shelter.
And OLG students are selling baked goods to benefit WestSide Baby.
Another OLG student, 8th-grader Mark, is answering questions near the door, as an “ambassador” for the sale:
OLG has another big holiday event coming up – the annual “Light Up the Night” grounds-lighting and caroling celebration is set for Friday night, December 1st, 7 pm. (That event, like today’s sale and dozens of other seasonal events and FYIs, is in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.)
The Gatewood Elementary playfield project has hit a milestone – and one student has a fundraiser Sunday to help cover the rest of the gap. First:
From Linnea Westerlind:
Thanks to generous donations from our school families and West Seattle community, we have raised $40,517.45 for a new Gatewood Elementary playfield! Principal Kyna Hogg announced the total to our kids at an assembly this morning. To celebrate this fundraising effort the kids got to wear pajamas and have an all-school dance party today.
We are so grateful to the support of community and want to say thank you! We are within reach of our goal to raise $50,000 to complete the full playfield project. We are continuing to take donations via our online site: gatewoodplayfield.org and by donations of checks or cash to the Gatewood Elementary School office. We can’t wait to see our 400 elementary and preschool kids enjoying an amazing new outdoor play space soon!
One of them will be Gwen, whose mom Elissa e-mailed to tell us about her planned fundraising sale this Sunday:
Our daughter Gwen is in the 2nd grade at Gatewood. Her favorite thing right now is collecting little Japanese puzzle erasers; she has dozens of them. She also is really passionate about donating her money to help Gatewood build a new playground and soccer field. So she came up with the awesome idea to sell brand-new erasers, in the package, to help raise money for the playground.
We squared things away with Wildwood Market to give Gwen a venue for selling the erasers. She’ll be at the store on Sunday, Nov 19, from 1 pm to 4 pm, or until she’s out of erasers. If she sells all the erasers we bought for the sale, she can make a huge contribution to the playground fund. Even better, her handsome dad works for a company that doubles charitable contributions, so your eraser money will go twice as far.
Erasers will be $2 each or 3 for $5, and they’re brand new, unopened, official and genuine, direct from the US Iwako distributor (the real deal). Get there early for the best selection, we have a mix of little animals and little rubber desserts. 100% of the eraser money will go straight to Gatewood on Monday morning, and Dad’s company will follow up with a matching grant.
Wildwood is at 9214 45th SW.
Late add to the list of what’s up today/tonight due to a mail mixup – Take the family to see “Moana” at West Seattle High School. It’s free to get in – and then you can buy treats to support the school’s ASB! 7 pm; bring your own chairs/blankets/etc.; the movie will be shown in the Commons, so enter from the parking lot. WSHS is at 3000 California SW.
(WSB reader photo by Candace from Christmas Ship’s past visit)
As we continue assembling this year’s WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide – we’ve received this announcement of a brand-new West Seattle holiday event, a fun(draiser) for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Reservations required, and the announcement explains how:
If you have ever wanted to watch and listen to the Argosy Christmas Ship Cruise in comfort and hang out with some super-awesome people, please join with us for “Seasonal Sounds On The Sound” at Harbor Park Condominium complex, 1727 Harbor Avenue SW, on Saturday, December 9th, 2017!
This 21-and-older event is from 3 pm – 6:30 pm and includes live holiday music on site, beverages, and food, along with a FRONT ROW seat for the Argosy Christmas Ship stop along Harbor Avenue!
This hosted holiday fundraiser benefits the SW Seattle Historical Society.
You may know about the Log House Museum on Alki Beach, but there are many other things that our local historical society does to promote the heritage and history of this area. (Most recently, think “We ❤ The Junction” campaign which successfully landmarked both the Campbell and Hamm buildings at the Alaska Junction, “Words, Writers & West Seattle” on the first Friday of each month at Barnes & Noble, ongoing school assembly programs, and more.)
A suggested donation of $50 per person is appreciated and will be a wonderful opportunity for you & a date to ring in the holiday spirit and still leave time to enjoy other holiday activities that day!
Details below – and remember… all proceeds benefit the SWSHS! Space is limited so RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org right away!
While “Seasonal Sounds on the Sound”is a special one-time only event, December 9th is one of two days this season with Christmas Ship stops off the West Seattle shore – three stops that night, one stop on December 14th, all listed on our calendar and on the official Christmas Ship website.
An addition to this year’s calendar of fundraising run/walks in West Seattle – the first-ever Amazon Turkey Trot is happening in Lincoln Park next Saturday, November 18th, 7:30 am. (It was moved from the originally planned South Lake Union location “due to heavy construction,” according to the event poster.)
It’s a fundraiser for Northwest Harvest, which works with food banks and other parters to fight hunger. Organizers stress that the Turkey Trot is a casual 5K, no timing chips, though they promise a clock at the finish line. There’ll be a “kids’ dash” for 10 and under, too.
Everyone’s welcome to participate, even if you aren’t connected to Amazon – scroll down this page to register.
P.S. We are also including this to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, covering the season through New Year’s Day and launching shortly – if you have anything for the guide, please send us the info soon as you can – email@example.com – thank you!