Ticket time! Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s gala this year at Salty’s will celebrate ‘Coming Home to the Homestead’

August 28, 2015 at 5:04 am | In How to help, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Story and photos by Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

A “small organization with a big heart … the heart and soul of West Seattle.”

That’s how the Southwest Seattle Historical Society was described at a gathering to preview and celebrate an upcoming event that’s anything but small … its annual Champagne Gala Brunch fundraiser. As mentioned here a week ago, the date is set – Saturday, November 7th, 11 am, at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). The theme is an in-progress success story that was only a long-held dream at the time of last year’s gala – the restoration of the Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge.

More than 50 people, including SWSHS board members past and present, attended the gala preview Wednesday night at another historic West Seattle property, the Colman Estate on the Fauntleroy waterfront.

Its current owners were there for the preview too. Midway through the sips-and-bites event, SWSHS executive director Clay Eals took centerstage to formally announce the gala, themed “Coming Home to the Homestead.” The man who bought the fire-damaged landmark in March and has begun restoring it, Dennis Schilling, was also among the preview attendees.

While last year’s gala was “supremely successful,” SWSHS circulated a survey afterward to seek ideas for improving it this year, and so they determined it will be more focused, shorter, and with a little more room to roam in the Salty’s special-event rooms. The menu, Eals promised, will be reminiscent of the old Homestead – minus, he joked, the Jello (in a room full of history fans, laughter rippled around the room, which also filled with applause multiple times during the event).

Fittingly, one special presentation will feature, as explained on the SWSHS preview page, “Catherine Gruye Alexander and Rob Gruye, daughter and son of 1950s Alki Homestead chef and manager Robert Gruye.” Also planned for the Champagne Gala program, returning from last year’s gala – West Seattle personality Marty Riemer, who recorded this short sneak preview to explain:

You really, really don’t want to miss “Wait, Wait,” do you? Then don’t wait – assure yourself a seat with an early ticket purchase – go right here, right now.

P.S. One more announcement during the preview – SWSHS will lead a cruise group again next fall, this time to view autumn foliage along the Northeast coast, New York to Quebec. And if you’d like to join the group for this year’s Alaska Totem Cruise, September 19th-26th, it’s not too late to book a spot – scroll down this page to see how.

VIDEO: Alki Beach 5K brings out more than 1,000 runners and walkers to help breast-cancer patients

August 23, 2015 at 1:17 pm | In Health, How to help, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 4 Comments

(WSB video of all runners and walkers as they left from the starting line)

Yes, it was a race, but the biggest winners in today’s Alki Beach 5K are the cancer patients helped by the organization that presents and benefits from the annual run/walk, Northwest Hope and Healing, whose unique work supporting breast-cancer patients is explained here. This year, 1,040 people were signed up by race time, according to NWHH executive director Shari Sewell.

At right, above, with Shari is Kristi Stone, who was today’s official race-starter. She’s undergoing breast-cancer treatment after being diagnosed late last year. Shari told us that in addition to all the usual fundraising from race participants, one person walked up with a check for $5,000!

(Updated) Full results are here. Below, the top runners, each shown in the photo under her/his name.


1. Kelly Lakeman, 30, 19:25:

2. Margaret Lang, 45, 21:18:

3. Emily Ehlers, 30, 21:20:


1. Kelly Spady, 28, 16:23:

(Our archives show Spady was also first finisher at the Alki Beach 5K in 2012.)

2. Travis Gradjian, 17, 16:47:

3. Michael Drogalis, 24, 17:02:

Other Alki Beach 5K sights – first, Team Saxby:

As always, it was an all-ages event:

This might just have been the tiniest participant:

Along with runners, walkers, pledgers, donors, and volunteers, major contributors to the Alki Beach 5K’s success include its sponsors – including West Seattle Runner (also a WSB sponsor), whose Lori McConnell and Tim McConnell were there as always:

See the full sponsor team here (it features two other WSB sponsors, Fauntleroy Chiropractic and Salty’s on Alki). This is one of three major fundraisers Northwest Hope and Healing holds annually, along with the “Style” fashion show in the spring, and Women Winemakers of the Pacific Northwest in the fall, coming up November 18th in Georgetown – go here to find out more. You can also donate to the organization any time by going here.

TOMORROW: Buy a treat, help Gwen and Muriel help animals!

August 22, 2015 at 9:20 pm | In How to help, Pets, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Goodies for a good cause, tomorrow – the photo and preview are from Carey:

Gwen and Muriel, Madison 6th graders, are putting their love for animals to work again through their third annual Humane Society bake sale! Delicious cupcakes, cookies, brownies, and more! They’ll be back at the corner of 36th and Dakota this Sunday, August 23rd, from 10 am-3 pm. The girls are also sponsoring a barrel from the Humane Society to collect cat or dog food (wet or dry), animal toys, or new scratching posts. Cash and check donations are very welcome; all proceeds go to Seattle Humane Society.

Here’s a map.

You can help! Holy Rosary WestFest seeking volunteer performers

August 22, 2015 at 12:55 pm | In How to help, West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news | No Comments

Looking ahead to fall’s first festival in West Seattle – Holy Rosary School’s WestFest, four weeks away, is putting out a call for volunteers to entertain festivalgoers. Tiffany (a volunteer herself) is in charge of lining up stage entertainment and says, “We could use bands, musicians, magicians, etc. WestFest is Friday, September 18th, 6 pm-10 pm, AND Saturday, September 19th, 10 am-10 pm.” If you’re interested, please e-mail Tiffany at westfeststage@outlook.com.

Alki Beach 5K 2015: Last day to register online!

August 20, 2015 at 12:27 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | No Comments

(WSB photo from 2014 Alki Beach 5K)

Signed up already for summer’s last big walk/run in West Seattle, the Alki Beach 5K this Sunday? Great! Not signed up yet? Today’s the final full day of online registration – so you can do it here right now. This walk/run benefits West Seattleite-founded-and-led Northwest Hope and Healing, which helps breast-cancer patients, and it’s open to everyone! If you would rather register in person, stop by West Seattle Runner (2742 California SW; WSB sponsor) on Saturday, 10 am-2 pm, during the packet-pickup session, and you can do it then and there, or right before the race, starting at 8 am Sunday by the Alki Bathhouse (60th SW & Alki).

Does West Seattle need a ‘Village’? If you think so – here’s how to help plan it!

August 18, 2015 at 11:43 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Depending on where you are in life, you might imagine the future as exciting, or worrisome, or a combination of both. If you tend toward the latter, you might take some reassurance in learning that plans are in the works for a “Village” in West Seattle. Even better, it’s so early in the planning stage that you can jump in and help make it something that you’ll look forward to being part of when the time comes. From the group working on it so far:

What is a Village?

A village is not a place – it is a plan for aging successfully in your own home. It is a membership-based organization with paid staff who act as a personal, central resource to coordinate access to services for you. These services can help you stay in your home as you age and could be provided by trained neighborhood volunteers, or you might be referred to a screened vendor/service provider for more complex needs and services. It could also include social and activity groups.

Services might include yard work, rides to the doctor or a friend’s house, housecleaning, companionship, pet care, painters, plumbers, grocery shopping, and educational and social events at nearby locations.

Click to read the rest of Does West Seattle need a ‘Village’? If you think so – here’s how to help plan it!…

COUNTDOWN: One week away from 2015 Alki Beach 5K

August 16, 2015 at 6:52 pm | In Health, How to help, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | No Comments

(WSB photo from 2014 Alki Beach 5K)

Run with your family and friends – and/or bring them to be your cheering section! One week from today, you can run, or walk, in the Alki Beach 5K, which raises money for Northwest Hope and Healing to help cancer patients. More than a thousand people are expected to leave the finish line at 9 am next Sunday, August 23rd, on Alki Avenue near 61st SW, running (on the temporarily closed-to-vehicles road) to Anchor Park and back. You have until this Friday morning to register online and get the discount registration rate – do that here right now. (Kids under 6 are free.)

Also happening today: Need your vehicle washed?

August 15, 2015 at 11:50 am | In Gatewood, How to help, Triangle, West Seattle news | No Comments

The sun’s out and two vehicle-wash fundraisers happening right now in West Seattle, both by donation:

WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL CHEERLEADERS: Until 3 pm, WSHS cheerleaders are washing vehicles at Les Schwab, Fauntleroy/Alaska (map).

TRINITY WEST SEATTLE YOUTH: Also until 3 pm, a fundraising vehicle wash is under way to send Trinity and Skate Church youth to camp. It’s at the church, 7551 35th SW (map).

‘My dad and I made it!’ Cal & Gordon Prinster finish West Seattle-to-Austin fundraising ride

August 10, 2015 at 6:30 pm | In Health, How to help, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

West Seattle High School student Cal Prinster just sent the photo with word that he and dad Gordon Prinster reached their bicycling destination, Austin – but still have a ways left to get to the ultimate goal:

I just wanted to let you know that my dad and I made it! After over 2,600 miles, 38 days, 7 Continental Divide crossings, and one set of tires, we took our photo-finish-selfie in front of the the Texas Capitol last week. We, and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, really appreciate the great help WSB has been in spreading the word for us. Our trip is over, but people can still donate and help us get a little closer to our fundraising goal at pbtf.convio.net/goto/calsbikeride.

This isn’t the first time the Prinsters (Cal is a WSHS sophomore and his dad is the school psychologist) have pedaled a long way to help the PBTF help kids – past rides include 2011, when they rode to the Mexican border, and a cross-country journey the year after that.

COUNTDOWN: 2 weeks until Alki Beach 5K run/walk to help cancer patients

August 9, 2015 at 10:38 pm | In Health, How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo from 2014 Alki Beach 5K)

Now just two weeks to go until you can spend a little time doing a lot of good by being part of the Alki Beach 5K on Sunday morning, August 23rd. It’s presented by West Seattleite-founded Northwest Hope and Healing. NWH&H deals with the fact that everyday life and its expenses go on even as patients deal with the shock and challenges of being diagnosed with and treated for cancer:

Your dollars support the NW Hope & Healing Patient Assistance Fund! Proceeds support the Healing Programs of NW Hope & Healing Foundation and help women who are fighting breast and gynecologic cancer in the Puget Sound area. For that reason we encourage all participants to set a $100 minimum fundraising goal. Although fundraising is not required, we hope you will join us in providing basic needs to women who are battling cancer. $25 provides a Healing Basket, $50 can buy groceries, $100 can keep the lights on and the phone connected, $250 may ensure childcare during treatment and recovery, and $500 can help prevent an eviction.

The Alki Beach 5K starts from the Alki Bathhouse vicinity (60th/Alki) at 9 am on the 23rd (and closes the road for a few hours); you can register online right now by going here. (Note that kids under 6 are free, and NWH&H adds, “Strollers and friendly dogs on leash are welcome.”)

You can help! Seal Sitters volunteer-training session ahead – as is the peak of pupping season

August 1, 2015 at 12:10 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, Wildlife | Comments Off

(Photo by Robin Lindsey)
If you’ve thought about volunteering with Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network – here’s your chance – a training session two weeks from today:

When: Saturday, August 15, 2015
Time: 10 am – 12:30 pm
Training starts promptly at 10 am (please arrive early: doors open for registration and paperwork at 9:30)

Help protect wildlife! Volunteer with Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network. On Saturday morning, August 15th, we will be holding a special training for those wanting to protect marine mammals along the shoreline of West Seattle and the Duwamish River. Unlike most marine mammal stranding networks, we encourage children to participate in Seal Sitters – supervised at all times, of course, by a parent or guardian. We are so proud of our amazing and dedicated volunteers who are on duty rain or shine – we hope you will join us!

A multi-media presentation will illustrate Seal Sitters MMSN’s educational work in the community and the unique challenges of protecting seals and other marine mammals in an urban environment. Included in the training is an overview of NOAA’s Western Region Marine Mammal Stranding Network and biology and behavior of seals and other common pinnipeds.

FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT LOCATION AND TO RSVP, visit Seal Sitters’ event page.
*RSVP is required to assure seating.

Seal Sitters MMSN averages 200 responses each year to reports of marine mammals (large or small species, dead or alive) on the beach. 90% of those responses are to vulnerable harbor seal pups during our busiest time of year – late summer and fall. Pupping season is now underway in South Puget Sound and Seal Sitters has responded to 4 newborn pups since the end of May. We are happy to say that one of those pups, Little Dipper (abandoned and rescued from Lincoln Park) is doing well in rehab at PAWS Wildlife Center. Visit www.blubberblog.org to learn more about Little Dipper and Seal Sitters’ recent activities.

Please join us on August 15th and help ensure that seal pups and other marine mammals can rest safely on our beaches. Due to time constraints of volunteers during the height of pupping season in West Seattle (usually August – October), this will be our final training for this season until later in the Fall. We hope you can attend!

Alki Beach 5K for Northwest Hope and Healing: 3 weeks away!

July 31, 2015 at 12:15 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Ready for one more run/walk providing a good time while you do good? The Alki Beach 5K is just a little over three weeks away, on Sunday, August 23rd. As always, proceeds benefit Northwest Hope and Healing, which helps breast-cancer patients. It’s a beautiful morning run/walk along Alki – no matter what the weather – so you might as well http://alkibeachrun.com“>sign up now.

What a ride! West Seattleite Joel Kampf arrives on Alki after pedaling cross-country for World Bicycle Relief

July 30, 2015 at 3:11 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 15 Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
Joel Kampf just arrived home from a bike ride. A big bike ride – 4,500 miles. A big bike ride with a big achievement, raising money for World Bicycle Relief. And he got a big welcome:

Joel’s wife LaVonne Dorsey and friends showered him with champagne as he turned onto 53rd SW to head home. He’s been on the road for more than two months (read his chronicles here), so hugs and kisses were in order too:

Thanks to LaVonne for letting us know so we could be there for Joel’s big arrival. She shared this information about his ride for World Bicycle Relief, which started May 14th in Williamsburg, Virginia:

The goal is to bring bicycles to the developing world as engines for economic and cultural empowerment.

Having built and distributed over 230,000 bikes this year, their Educational Empowerment Program provides bikes to students (70% girls), teachers and education workers in rural Africa. With the ability to save time and shorten distances between schools and villages, the program dramatically improves grades and attendance rates after students receive bicycles. Other programs include a Healthcare effort that helps workers who would walk over 4 miles a day to visit four patients, visit 18 patients in a single day; (also) micro-finance, Environmental and social enterprise programs.

For $147, we can provide a World Bicycle Relief bicycle to a student in need. Every donation helps. Seattle is one of the most successful and supportive bicycle commuting cities in the country and we also realize the importance of cycling for recreation and good health.

Even more friends and family were waiting at Joel and LaVonne’s house for a welcome-home party. You can still donate, by the way, even though his journey’s done – here’s how.

2nd year of ‘Find It, Fix It’ walks brings 1st one for West Seattle

July 28, 2015 at 1:03 pm | In Delridge, How to help, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

(City photo from Find It, Fix It walk last July in the Central District)

More than one year after the city launched a series of “Find It, Fix It” walks, one is finally scheduled for West Seattle. According to the Department of Neighborhoods‘ “West Seattle News You Can Use” newsletter, it’ll happen in North Delridge on October 3rd. Months away, but you can get ready:

Save the date! On Saturday, October 3, 2015, Mayor Murray’s Find-It/Fix-It Community Walk is coming to Delridge! The proposed walk route will include areas in and around the SW Brandon Street node.

In 2014, Mayor Ed Murray initiated Find It, Fix It Community Walks, a series of Mayor-led walks that help improve neighborhoods one block at a time. During these walks, neighbors, police, and City officials walk together to identify physical elements in the neighborhood that make it feel unsafe or poorly maintained. Examples include overgrown trees, graffiti, street light outages, and litter. Once the elements are identified, the City and community work together to fix the problems.

To date, nine Community Walks have been held throughout the city, resulting in hundreds of infrastructure improvements – from new trash and recycle bins to upgraded street lights.
- See more (here).

This year’s walks come with an added bonus. In partnership with Cities of Service – a national nonprofit that works with mayors to implement high-impact volunteering strategies – up to $5,000 in Community Project Grants will support community-led revitalization projects in each walk neighborhood ($25,000 total). …

The goal of Community Project Grants is to support the volunteer efforts of community members who are working together to improve the appearance and safety of their neighborhoods. The community engagement from this process builds unity and a common purpose that strengthens neighborhoods. For more on last year’s walks head HERE.

All are welcome to participate in the walk on October 3rd, but there are other ways to get involved as well. You and your community group can apply for grant funds to do an small improvement project, or you can serve on the Community Walk Action Team. For more information, contact the Mayor’s Find-It/Fix-It Team or contact Kerry Wade (Neighborhood District Coordinator) at kerry.wade@seattle.gov or via phone at 206-733-9091.

Kids helping kids: ‘Stuff the Bus’ drive stops at Fauntleroy Children’s Center

July 23, 2015 at 3:41 pm | In Fauntleroy, How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

That’s Pablo and he’s one of the Fauntleroy Children’s Center students who helped Stuff the Bus when WestSide Baby‘s diaper drive made a stop at historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse today.

These might just be the youngest bus-stuffers to participate in this year’s drive.

We’re told that the FCC community gathered 4,000 diapers to contribute! The young donors got a chance to hang out in the bus a bit, too.

The heart of this year’s drive started with last Sunday’s donation event at HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) in The Junction and – since WestSide Baby serves families outside this area too – continues on Capitol Hill this weekend (9 am-2 pm Sunday at St. Joseph’s, 732 18th Ave. E.). If you haven’t donated yet, go here to find out how to help.

P.S. Congratulations to Fauntleroy Children’s Center for recently getting re-accredited for five more years by the National Association for the Education of Young Children! Director Kim Sheridan says, “We have been accredited since 1987 and are currently the only center in West Seattle with NAEYC accreditation.”

Retired Marine’s ‘Valor Run’ to stop in West Seattle on Saturday

July 22, 2015 at 3:41 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, Westwood | 1 Comment

Tomorrow morning, retired U.S. Marine Corps Major Bridget Guerrero starts a four-day, 160-mile run around Puget Sound, and it will include a stop Saturday at Westwood Village, according to a notice circulated to merchants there. (Thanks to Donna at Giannoni’s Pizza for the tip.) The photo is courtesy of our friends at MyEdmondsNews.com, who wrote last weekend about Maj. Guerrero’s plan, part of Valor Run, an organization honoring military women lost in Iraq and Afghanistan; 160 have died since 9/11, so Guerrero’s run will include one mile for each. According to the webpage about her run – where you can make a donation – “Bridget’s goal is to raise $5,000, which will be split between Valor Run, Inc. and the USMC Scholarship Foundation for a scholarship given in the name of USMC MAJ Megan McClung.”

Guerrero starts running tomorrow morning on Whidbey Island and will conclude her run Sunday in Dupont, southeast of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Her full route can be seen here, and you are invited to run with her at any point along the way. She is expected to arrive at Westwood Village sometime between 12:30 pm and 3 pm on Saturday. An “honor station” will be set up for the occasion in the center of WWV across from Carter’s, according to the notice circulated to merchants, which says it will be supported by Warrior Pointe as well as by a local family, relatives of U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jarod Newlove, killed in Afghanistan five years ago.

UPDATE: You can keep helping WestSide Baby ‘Stuff the Bus’

July 19, 2015 at 11:23 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

11:23 AM: Just checked in on the WestSide BabyStuff the Bus diaper-drive kickoff – our Instagram photo above looks inside the bus that’s in the parking lot at HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor). As of just after 11 am, it held 12,697 diapers – a good start, but just a drop in the diaper bucket, so anything and everything you can contribute will be a big help. If you can’t make it to HomeStreet (41st/Alaska), your nearest Safeway is collecting diapers today too. Updates to come!

12:51 PM: A little more than an hour left in today’s kickoff event – stop by the bus and commemorate your donation with a cute photo like this one:

This year’s theme (and hashtag) is #Smile4Diapers.

2:26 PM UPDATE: As of the top of the hour – 28,800 diapers and many more to be counted from the satellite dropoff locations.

We’ll be adding photos and more info on what you can do as the drive continues. (added) Here are the victorious smiles of today’s crew at The Bus:

Help them get closer to the half-million-diaper goal this week … donate money via text or Web, as explained here, or drop off diapers at ongoing locations.

Got diapers? WestSide Baby has the bus, ready for Stuff the Bus kickoff on Sunday

July 16, 2015 at 7:13 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off

With three days to go until the big kickoff for WestSide Baby‘s annual “Stuff the Bus” mega-diaper drive, we spotted THE bus this afternoon at Fauntleroy/Alaska – and then learned from WS Baby’s executive director Nancy Woodland, it had just been unveiled:

Our new and exciting bus just arrived in West Seattle!! This afternoon it appeared in the parking lot at Les Schwab to kick off the weekend of diaper collecting in West Seattle. Les Schwab is holding drives all over Western Washington so this was the perfect place to unveil this year’s bus. We hope to see everyone on Sunday when we collect diapers at HomeStreet Bank (41st/Alaska) from 10-2 but feel free to drop off at a Les Schwab or a local Safeway if you can’t make it Sunday. Go, West Seattle, and let’s #Smile4Diapers!!!

P.S. Look for Stuff the Bus in Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade (11 am start at California/Lander, heading 1.5 miles south to California/Edmunds)!

P.P.S. You can also drop off diapers in advance – Friday’s a great day! – at the site of Sunday’s bus-stuffing, HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor).

WestSide Baby ‘Stuff the Bus’ countdown: Diaper dropoffs

July 13, 2015 at 8:24 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Another of this weekend’s many big events – WestSide Baby‘s “Stuff the Bus” diaper-drive kickoff event! If you can’t make it to the HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) parking lot at 41st/Alaska during the 10 am-2 pm event on Sunday (July 19th), you can drop off diapers there all week long, and at other spots including the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. The sizes needed most: Newborn, size 6, and all sizes of pull-ups. The reason this is so important, as WestSide Baby points out: Diapers can’t be purchased using food stamps or other forms of government assistance, but cost up to $150/month, and families can’t just go without – besides the obvious health and comfort implications, child-care providers require diapers, and without child care, parents can’t get to their jobs. P.S. If you need a reminder about Sunday, you’ll get it from WS Baby’s “Stuff the Bus” contingent in the West Seattle Grand Parade on Saturday (11 am, California/Lander to California/Edmunds).

REPORT #1: West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade 2015

July 4, 2015 at 10:16 am | In Fun stuff to do, How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off

10:16 AM: Just a quick note to let you know – in case you’re not already here – that the West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade has just begun, traveling through part of North Admiral, starting at 44th/Sunset (map), heading west, then south, then east along Atlantic, across California, and finishing at Hamilton Viewpoint Park. Immediately post-parade, that’s where you’ll find fun family games (sack races, etc.), concessions, and more. Traffic reminder: Police stop vehicles on California while the parade crosses, so be aware of that – we plan to update when the parade gets to that point. Until we’re back at HQ, watch for photos on the WSB Twitter and Instagram feeds. Happy 4th!

10:39 AM: California just reopened at Atlantic – the parade has finished crossing. Now it’s on to the post-parade festival at Hamilton Viewpoint.

(Above & below – guest emcees for the sack races included City Council District 1 candidates Shannon Braddock, above, and Chas Redmond, below)

12:10 PM: Just back from the festivities – added a few of our social-media clips/photos here; report #2 will be up later today with video of the entire parade, before/during/after photos, and more.

You can help! West Seattle Food Bank needs more books for kids

June 30, 2015 at 10:10 pm | In How to help, West Seattle books, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Doing some pre-holiday cleaning? Got children’s books that the kids in your family have outgrown? Consider taking them to the West Seattle Food Bank, which provided the photos and the request:

The West Seattle Food Bank’s Bookcase Program is in need of all kinds of gently used children’s books, especially board books. Our Bookcase Program has grown tremendously over the last year – we distributed over 12,000 adult and children books all through generous donations from our community. Our clients love the program; they can take up to 10 books home to keep. Donation hours are Monday – Friday 9 am – 3 pm and we are located at 3419 SW Morgan St. on the corner of 35th & Morgan. Enter through the garage on Morgan, come in, and we have volunteers that can help you with your donation. Thank you so much.

(You want to make somebody smile before the holiday, right?)

You can help! Be part of GreenLife at West Seattle Summer Fest

June 28, 2015 at 4:40 pm | In How to help, West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Less than two weeks now until the biggest event of the year in West Seattle – Summer Fest, happening in The Junction Friday-Sunday, July 10-12. If you’re not already part of it as a vendor or volunteer, here’s a chance to help make it happen: Tamsen Spengler from West Seattle Timebank says not only can her group use some of your time, the sustainability expo GreenLife – where WST and other organizations will be headquartered – has volunteer openings too. Go here to find out how to pitch in.

VIDEO: West Seattle teen and dad heading out on another big bicycle ride to help Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation

June 27, 2015 at 7:20 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 6 Comments

That quick video is a pitch from Cal Prinster, who you’ve probably seen here before – dating back to 2011, when he and dad Gordon Prinster finished a 1,732-mile West Coast bicycle ride, raising money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation along the way. The year after that, they rode cross-country. And today, we learned they’re about to head out on a ride to Austin, Texas, as Cal explains in the clip – he’s now a sophomore at West Seattle High School, where his dad is the school psychologist. Gordon’s wife Bernadette Brown says, “While it’s shorter than their ride to NYC, it’s going to be a challenging one with two mountain ranges and ridiculous heat.” If you’re inspired to donate to PBTF, you can do that online, here – as they say on that page, “Now, we know we’ve hit you up a few times over the years, so you might have a touch of ‘solicitation fatigue,’ but we also know there’s no better cause to support. No, nobody in our family is sick. But there are plenty of kids who do need our help. Every day, 13 more kids in the US will be diagnosed with a brain tumor. By supporting the PBTF, we can help give these kids hope for a brighter future!”

West Seattle 4th of July 2015: Parade prep time! Can you help?

June 23, 2015 at 11:51 pm | In Fun stuff to do, Holidays, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

The photos are from West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade organizer Jackie Clough of Alki Party Treasures (WSB sponsor) – as of tonight, Walking on Logs alongside the Fauntleroy end of the West Seattle Bridge is decked out as a red, white, and blue reminder that the holiday is just a week and a half away.

As always, the parade starts at 10 am on the 4th (which is on a Saturday this year) at 44th and Sunset in North Admiral (map) – all welcome to participate – walking, biking, riding in a stroller or wagon. The route goes through the neighborhood and then over to Hamilton Viewpoint Park for post-parade games (sack races, etc.). Three ways to help:

1. Bring diapers for WestSide Baby
2. Volunteer to help with the post-parade games
3. Loan Jackie a bullhorn/microphone so they can bag the equipment that in the past has cut out on the national-anthem singer and announcements

E-mail her at jackie@alkipartytreasures.com if you can help with #2 and/or #3 – for #1, just bring them on the 4th!

HAPPENING NOW: Relay for Life at West Seattle Stadium

June 19, 2015 at 7:15 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

West Seattle Relay for Life opens with the survivors' lap. All-night fundraising event. #westseattle

A video posted by West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) on

7:15 PM: Applauding friends and family lined the track at West Seattle Stadium as purple-shirted cancer survivors walked a special lap to open this year’s Relay for Life less than an hour ago. It’s an all-night fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, with more than 20 teams participating this year; they’ll each keep someone on the track until closing ceremonies tomorrow morning. You’re welcome to visit and cheer them on until tonight’s luminaria ceremony (10 pm) is over, and again as they wrap up tomorrow morning. More photos once we’re back at HQ. P.S. Here’s where to donate online.

8:14 PM: Just added our photos from the early going. Above, a sign of support for a young cancer patient, shown to us by longtime Relay volunteers Gerry and Lauri Cunningham (you might know them as the mother-and-daughter team who raise money through grab-and-go dinner events each year). Also there tonight, Key Club members from local high schools, working on their tent:

Most teams have tents/canopies in the infield for the duration of R4L. And many have signage, sometimes whimsical, related to the team name:

The gophers were courtesy of Team Go For It. Meantime, back on the track, supporters were invited to walk with the survivors after their first lap:

While the luminaria ceremony at 10 – in honor of those who are gone, as well as those in the fight now – is open to the public, the stadium gates close from 11:30 pm until early morning, but you can see on the schedule (bottom of this page) the activities that Relay for Life participants have planned all night long.

1:03 AM: Thanks to stadium-area resident Ann for sharing the photo from the luminaria ceremony, including HOPE spelled out in lights in the stadium stands:

2016 West Seattle Wildlife Calendar: Help it take off!

June 17, 2015 at 8:50 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off

The first-ever West Seattle Wildlife Calendar featuring photos by Mark Wangerin, who kindly has shared so many here on WSB, was a hit – sold out, raising money for students at Chief Sealth International High School, where Mark taught for so long.

Now the small independent local publisher that printed his calendar, Mark House Publishing (which donated ALL proceeds from it), is getting ready for a 2016 West Seattle Wildlife Calendar. Mark and Mark House are hoping for a little help, so the calendar sales can yield even more for the students: They’re crowdfunding to raise money to help cover the print run of 500. Laura Robb of Mark House explains:

Just like last year, the calendar sales will benefit Chief Sealth International High School environmental programs. Last year the sales netted Chief Sealth $1200 and helped them host the WAGIN leadership conference for 200+ students at Sealth in March.

With double the run of calendars this year, our goal is $2500. However, if we can crowdfund the printing costs, the donation could rise to $5000. We need people to contribute just $10 to the campaign. $10 will print 2 calendars and net the students over $20. For contributors of $50 or more, we are offering an autographed print of Mark’s bald eagle photo from the cover of the 2016 calendar, as seen above. Here’s how to contribute.

The calendar will go on sale in September; if you’re interested in pre-ordering it, e-mail markhousepublish@gmail.com.

TOMORROW MORNING: Alki Beach cleanup with Seal Sitters

June 12, 2015 at 8:18 pm | In Environment, How to help, West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Thanks to Lamont Granquist for that photo from earlier this week – yes, taken from a distance, while a Seal Sitters Marine Stranding Network volunteer guarded the pup near Alki Point Lighthouse. We saved it so we could publish it with this reminder of tomorrow morning’s beach cleanup on Alki – meet Seal Sitters at Statue of Liberty Plaza (61st/Alki) at 9 am; the cleanup continues until 11:30, but whatever time you can give to it will be appreciated. The cleanup is in honor of Sandy the seal pup who died in 2012 after getting tangled in marine debris, and the Arroyos gray whale whose 2010 necropsy revealed a belly full of trash. Whatever you clean from the beach tomorrow (or any other day) will be that much less pollution in our waters – if it’s left on the beach, it’ll get into Puget Sound eventually.

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