West Seattle Rotary Children’s Shopping Spree 2014: New location, same giving

December 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm | In Holidays, Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(WSB photos by Torin Record-Sand)
He sees you when you’re sleeping … he sees when you’re awake …” The all-seeing Santa can even see you when you’re smiling right behind him. So went the holiday joy this morning during the Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s annual Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree – which had one big change this year:

It happened bright and early this morning at Sears in Southcenter – after many years at Sears in SODO, which closed earlier this year, requiring the Rotarians to find someplace new to bring the dozens of students who would spend the morning shopping with volunteers.

It’s a huge effort to organize – so the Rotarians are joined by many other volunteers, including other service organizations, like the Omega Psi Phi fraternity:

Participating kids also get to dine during the spree, and Southcenter’s Rainforest Café stepped up to help with that:

That’s Rotarian Dave Nichols with one of the café mascots. As always, kids went home with new wintertime wear, to be sure they’ll stay warm:

And they’ll remember warm smiles, like that of Rotarian Tara Luckie:

The club has fundraisers throughout the year to pay for the annual Shopping Spree – here’s how to donate.

And if you’re interested in checking out Rotary membership, stop by one of their weekly lunch meetings, usually noon Tuesdays at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor).

West Seattle Rotary’s new site for Children’s Shopping Spree

November 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Three weeks from today, right about this time in the afternoon, dozens and dozens of local kids will be returning home with many reasons to smile after the annual Rotary Club of West Seattle Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree. In addition to raising money and organizing volunteers for this year’s spree – the 43rd! – the West Seattle Rotary had one more big task: Find a new location – since SODO Sears was closing, as announced in February. They’ve found one, and this year, when the shopping spree – which also involves food, music, and Santa – starts bright and early Saturday, December 6th, it’ll be happening at Sears (and Rainforest Café) in Southcenter. You can contribute to help cover the costs – there’s a link on this page of the Rotary website.

West Seattle weekend scene: Getting ready for Oktoberfest

October 11, 2014 at 1:03 pm | In Fun stuff to do, Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

While covering the “walkshed” tour in The Junction/Triangle this morning (story to come), we stopped by the Masonic Center to peek at preps for the Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s first-ever Oktoberfest, one of the events in our preview for today/tonight. Above, Rotarians Len Burton-Hardin of Howden-Kennedy and Dotty Hughes of Washington Federal were working inside; the crew decorating outside included Gary Potter of Potter Construction (WSB sponsor):

The German food and beer, oompah music, etc. are all set to start around 6 tonight. Proceeds benefit the Rotary’s community work including the annual – not too far off! Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree and the school-supplies-collecting Pencil Me In For Kids. Ticket info for tonight’s event is here.

Tickets now on sale for West Seattle Rotary’s first Oktoberfest

August 29, 2014 at 10:38 am | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

The Rotary Club of West Seattle is now selling tickets for its first-ever Oktoberfest. Everyone (21 and up) is invited to the celebration, 6 pm Saturday, October 11th, at Alki Masonic Center in The Junction – from the announcement: “Come enjoy a Bavarian evening complete with German and local microbrew beer, authentic German food, Oompah band, and a raffle. Bavarian dress encouraged. … Oktoberfest is a fundraiser to support the West Seattle Rotary Club’s community projects: Annual Children’s Shopping Spree; Rotary First Harvest; Pencil Me In For Kids.” Go here to get your ticket(s)!

West Seattle scene: Rotarians sort school-supplies donations for Pencil Me In For Kids

August 26, 2014 at 11:56 pm | In How to help, Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Thanks to Josh Sutton from the Rotary Club of West Seattle for the photo from an annual late-summer tradition – the sorting party for school-supplies donations collected and obtained by Pencil Me In For Kids. In the heart of the activity at Monday night’s event, that’s Sue Lindblom waving, and Cathy Rouyer talking with her. Josh adds that overall, “More than a dozen West Seattle Rotarians sorted over $9,000 in school supplies destined for students in need from every West Seattle public school. Thanks to Staples and to QFC for their discounts and support of Rotary Pencil Me In For Kids.” P.S. PMIFK has been getting school supplies to kids who need them for almost 20 years! Here’s how to help.

Wondering where the berry sales went? West Seattle Rotary explains

July 6, 2014 at 1:44 pm | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

GF asked about this in a comment today, so in case anyone else wondered too: The Rotary Club of West Seattle is no longer selling berries as a summertime fundraiser. Past president Len Burton-Hardin explains:

Our club made the painful decision to discontinue this fundrasiser after 30 years. Lack of a venue with refrigeration facilities, rising costs to us and the unpredictability of Mother Nature and the growing season made it very hard for us. We are very grateful to our supporters and are saddened that we couldn’t not continue, The positive is that our numerous local Farmers’ Markets provide high-quality berries for West Seattle residents.

(We can attest to that, having seen fresh-picked berries at the WS Farmers’ Market today, and also at local grocery stores.) The Rotary has added two new endeavors – as you’ve probably heard by now, it’s presenting the West Seattle Grand Parade starting this year (July 19th!), and it’s also sponsoring a first-ever Oktoberfest celebration, October 11th at the Masonic Center (watch for details).

Congratulations! West Seattle Rotary awards for John Fretz, Aya Hoffman, Jack Miller, Dave Vague

July 3, 2014 at 11:17 am | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(Husky Deli proprietor Jack Miller with, at right, Teri Templin of the Rotary Foundation)
Congratulations to four people recently honored by the Rotary Club of West Seattle. Club spokesperson George Brinkmann shares the info and photos:

Jack Miller, the proprietor of the Husky Deli, was recognized with a Paul Harris Fellow award as an outstanding local businessman. He has long supported local Rotary project fundraisers. The Husky Deli opened for business in 1932. Jack is the third generation to operate the family-owned business, which features ice cream, catering, lunch, and groceries.

(L to R, Dave Vague and John Fretz)
Dave Vague and John Fretz also received Paul Harris Fellow recognition. For many years, Vague has volunteered as a coordinator of the West Seattle Grand Parade, to be held on July 19th this year. Fretz is an employee of Salty’s on Alki who has ably served Rotary luncheon meetings for more than 5 years.

The Paul Harris Fellow award, named after the founder of Rotary, was established in 1957 to recognize individuals for whom contributions have been made to the Rotary Foundation in support of its charitable projects around the world, including the eradication of Polio. The Rotary Club of West Seattle made contributions to honor these three individuals.

(Aya Hoffman with RC of WS past president Len Burton-Hardin)
Aya Hoffman, President of the West Seattle-Burien Rotaract Club, received the Service Above Self Award, given annually to that person believed to best exemplify Rotary’s motto: ‘Service Above Self.’ Aya has volunteered her time and talent to serve as President of the West Seattle-Burien Rotaract Club for young adults ages 18 to 32 since its inception in 2012. She is the Communications and Events Manager at the Alexander Hamilton Friends Association in Seattle.

Congratulations! Rotary Club of West Seattle awards scholarships to six local students

June 11, 2014 at 9:04 am | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
Congratulations to the scholarship winners honored by the Rotary Club of West Seattle at this week’s meeting! Above, the Students of the Year – all graduating seniors chosen from the “Students of the Month” announced throughout the year – from left, Elliott Snodgrass from Chief Sealth International High School, Mariel Smith from West Seattle High School, and Robert Leslie from Seattle Lutheran High School. Next, the three recipients of the Gambriell Scholarship:

From left, they are: Martha Girma from WSHS, Joseph Werlech from Kennedy High School, and Tomas Woldemichael from WSHS. Each spring, the Rotary invites applications for the Gambriell Scholarships; meantime, the selection of Students of the Month is explained here.

Headed for college? Rotary Club of West Seattle offering scholarship money

April 27, 2014 at 10:07 am | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

College can be costly. Here’s potential help: The Rotary Club of West Seattle is offering scholarship money again this year. Here’s the announcement:

Continuing Education of our young people is such an important resource that every year the Rotary of West Seattle awards Scholarships to two or three graduating West Seattle Seniors towards their college education.

The deadline for applications is fast approaching, so if you know a deserving West Seattle Senior please visit our website to fill out the application. It is open to any senior student in the West Seattle area.

Please e-mail dotty.hughes@wafed.com for an application.

Ahead, the requirements and details:
Click to read the rest of Headed for college? Rotary Club of West Seattle offering scholarship money…

Congratulations! Reis Pearson honored with President’s Volunteer Service Award

April 6, 2014 at 11:23 am | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 6 Comments

“Make a Difference … Volunteer!” So exhorts the home page for the President’s Volunteer Service Award program. Someone who did – Reis Pearson (photo left) from the Rotary Club of West Seattle – has been honored with the award, according to an announcement from ShelterBox USA. Pearson is one of three WS Rotarians who work with ShelterBox, which we’ve featured here before – as described in the announcement, “an international disaster-relief organization that delivers emergency tented shelter and other lifesaving supplies to survivors of disasters and other humanitarian crises.” Last year alone, Pearson’s fund- and awareness-raising work for ShelterBox helped it “respond to more than 25 disasters in 19 countries last year, providing families with disaster relief tents, cook stoves, water filters, blankets, mosquito nets, children’s packs and other essential equipment.” Pearson is a local entrepreneur as well, proprietor of Inside Out Building Inspection.

Rotary Club of West Seattle taking over WS Grand Parade

April 1, 2014 at 4:56 pm | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle Grand Parade, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

(WSB file photo)
Big announcement at today’s Rotary Club of West Seattle breakfast event – the summertime Grand Parade will be presented by the Rotary starting with this year’s July 19th parade, picking up the baton from American Legion Post 160.

Josh Sutton – at right in our photo above, with incoming president Shane Carew – introduced Legion reps as well as longtime parade coordinators Jim Edwards and Dave Vague, who will continue in their roles. Sutton said he was pleased to announce that the Rotary was stepping up as the Legion was stepping back; he said the parade is a vital part of the community, and that the Rotary has big shoes to fill. At left in our photo is Josh Menashe of Menashe and Sons Jewelers (WSB sponsor), which is donating $1,000 to help with parade costs. He said the parade has always been part of his life, and he’s been going to it since childhood, so his family is pleased to be able to help with an event that is so central to the community. Sutton said the Rotary Kiddie Parade that traditionally precedes the main parade will continue too …

(WSB photo from 2012 Rotary Kiddie Parade)
… as will the Float Dodger 5K, the new Rotary-co-sponsored event that is going into its third year this parade season. More later on the Rotary breakfast itself, which featured a Medal of Honor winner as special guest; meantime, ahead, the official Rotary news release we received while finishing up this story:
Click to read the rest of Rotary Club of West Seattle taking over WS Grand Parade…

SODO Sears closure means changes for West Seattle Rotary Club’s annual Children’s Shopping Spree

February 24, 2014 at 9:27 pm | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 26 Comments

(WSB photo from December 2012 Rotary Children’s Shopping Spree)
The impending closure of the historic Sears store in SODO (reported by The Seattle Times [WSB partner] Friday) has a West Seattle effect: The Rotary Club of West Seattle suddenly finds itself trying to figure out the future of its Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree, the club’s signature project for more than 40 years. Every year on the first Saturday in December, Rotarians and a volunteer force of hundreds have brought ~100 local kids to the store for a practical-yet-fun shopping event that also includes breakfast and lunch in the same building, as well as Santa photos and holiday songs. So when we heard about the closure news over the weekend, we sought out Rotary reaction; today, club spokesperson Dave Nichols tells WSB, “Our leadership was informed by the folks at Sears. We are gathering facts and options; our goal is to figure out a way to continue to serve our community as we always have.” According to the Times story, 79 people will lose their jobs when the store and the nearby Sears Auto Center close in June. There’s no word yet of another tenant for the space in the building, which is owned by Nitze-Stagen & Co.

Happier holiday for 90 kids, thanks to Rotary Club of West Seattle Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree

December 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm | In Holidays, Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Once again this year, the Rotary Club of West Seattle and a big supporting cast of volunteers got to play Santa for almost a hundred kids from local schools, during the annual Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree – the club’s biggest day, and signature community-service project, each year. It all started before dawn Saturday, with volunteers already in place as kids began arriving at the building that’s home to SODO Sears, SODO Kitchen, and Starbucks HQ. It’s always a big operation:

The kids patiently waited as a full morning of activities ramped up:

Click to read the rest of Happier holiday for 90 kids, thanks to Rotary Club of West Seattle Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree…

New service club for local youth: West Seattle Rotary’s Interact

October 16, 2013 at 10:12 pm | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

**Rescheduled to November 5th, same time/place**

Parents and teens/tweens are invited to an organizational/informational meeting planned in two weeks for a new youth service club that the Rotary Club of West Seattle is organizing. The announcement:

West Seattle Rotary Club is excited to announce our new Interact club. It is for youth ages 12-18 who want to connect with others in their community or school. Interact club members have fun while carrying out service projects and learning about the world. Interact clubs organize at least two service projects a year: one that benefits their community and one that encourages international understanding. While Interact clubs receive guidance from individual Rotary clubs, they govern and support themselves.

Click to read the rest of New service club for local youth: West Seattle Rotary’s Interact…

West Seattle Rotary Children’s Shopping Spree to benefit from wine, chocolate party Friday

October 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

In about two months, West Seattle Rotarians will again muster a huge team of volunteers to help local kids have a happier holiday via the annual Children’s Shopping Spree.

(WSB photo from 2012 Rotary Children’s Shopping Spree)
One big part of making it happen is fundraising. And that’s what the Rotary is doing next Friday (October 11th) with its third Wine and Chocolate Gala. Here’s the newest reminder:

We are throwing a PARTY. It’s time for our annual Premium Wine and Chocolate Gala.

Please join us for heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine, spirits and chocolate. There will be live and silent auctions and a casino night. This premier event is paramount to our children’s shopping spree. We invite 100 children from low-income families in west Seattle to annual children’s shopping spree. It is held at Sears on the first weekend in December. We provide each child with a new warm winter coat. We then take them shopping for 100 dollars worth of new clothes (underwear, socks, shoes and a couple of new outfits). We provide breakfast and lunch and a trip to Santa’s knee for a bag of treats. This is made possible from funds raised at this wine and chocolate event. Please help us provide this valuable service to local children in need by attending our wine and chocolate event.

When: Friday, October 11th
Where: The Sanctuary at Admiral
Time: 5:00 pm
Cost: $95 for auction and food/beverages; $115 for auction and casino night

Tickets are available online – just go here.

West Seattle scene: Rotarians pitch in with Pencil Me In For Kids

August 29, 2013 at 9:38 am | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Thanks to Josh Sutton for the photo from last night’s Rotary Club of West Seattle sorting party for Pencil Me In For Kids, which collects and distributes school supplies to students in need; in red at left, that’s longtime PMIFK champion Sue Lindblom giving instructions to Rotarians who joined in. This year, nine elementary schools in West Seattle are getting about $8,500 worth of supplies as a result of PMIFK.

SIDE NOTE: The WS Rotary’s monthly fun/fundraising First Friday public gathering is (date corrected) one week from tomorrow (Friday, September 6th), 5-7 pm, at The Bridge this time around. (4439 35th SW)

Video: King County Executive talks recap, letdown @ West Seattle Rotary

July 10, 2013 at 3:49 am | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

The speech that King County Executive Dow Constantine gave at the Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s weekly lunch Tuesday was really two speeches. For the first 11 minutes, it was largely a recap of achievements in his first full term, as he approaches a re-election bid, without a major, campaigning-all-out opponent. For the seven minutes after that, he turned to the disappointment of being left by the Legislature without a means to avoid cuts in Metro service when two temporary funding sources run out next year without – at this point – replacement. Constantine talked about the rise in West Seattle bus ridership “going down the drain because the State Legislature just walked away without doing anything about transportation.” But, he said, a regional coalition will “continue to push (for a transportation-funding solution) because we don’t have an alternative.” A transportation-funding package made it out of the State House before the Legislature’s second special session ended last month, but it hit a dead end in the State Senate.

ROTARY NOTES: The West Seattle club’s new president Len Burton-Hardin (right) is in his first month of presiding, after an installation banquet two weeks ago. In a message to club members, he declared that the theme he has chosen for his year is “Celebrating Us,” in honor of Rotarians’ ongoing community efforts including the holiday-season Children’s Shopping Spree. The club also participated in the recent West Seattle Relay for Life cancer-fighting fundraiser and is gearing up to present another edition of the Kiddie Parade preceding the West Seattle Grand Parade on July 20th (details here).

Dine out Tuesday to help West Seattle High School music

May 12, 2013 at 7:03 pm | In How to help, Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

It’s been a big year for West Seattle High School‘s music program, especially the marching band, with two downtown parade appearances including St. Patrick’s Day, as shown in our video above. This Tuesday, you can help the program keep growing by having dinner at Abbondanza in Morgan Junction. WSHS’s first-year music teacher Ethan Thomas explains:

The West Seattle Rotary Club is hosting a dinner fundraiser at Abbondanza Pizzeria (6503 California Ave SW) to support the music program at WSHS.

Abbondanza will be donating 10% of their proceeds and Rotary Club volunteers will be waiting tables and donating their tips.

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 14th, and come out and support our young musicians. The restaurant will be open from 5-9 pm.

Help West Seattle Rotary honor ‘Service Above Self’: Nominees, anyone?

April 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

From Tara Luckie, who chairs the West Seattle Rotary‘s New Generations committee:

The Rotary Club of West Seattle is taking nominations for the Service Above Self Award. We highly encourage anyone to nominate a young adult for their service. The recipient of the award will be honored at a West Seattle Rotary meeting in June. Applications must be in no later than May 15, 2013.

Eligibility for award:
Youth and young adults up to age 30
Service experiences that exemplify “Service Above Self”
Be a member of the West Seattle community (live, work and/or attend school in West Seattle)

Make a nomination by completing the online form now! Directions on applying for the award are provided in the online form.

Books? Textbooks? Share them globally with Rotary’s help Saturday

March 4, 2013 at 2:57 am | In How to help, Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Ready for spring cleaning – including reading material you don’t need any more? The Rotary Club of West Seattle invites you to donate it next Saturday:

The West Seattle Rotary Club, along with many Rotary Clubs across the United States, is accepting donations of gently used or new books that will be sent to underserved communities in South Africa and other southern African nations. Books for all ages are welcome, for example:

§ Picture/story books (pre-K and up)
§ Teen and adult fiction
§ K-12 textbooks in sets of 10 or more (world history is okay; U.S. history is discouraged)
§ Current professional books (medical books, international law, etc.)
§ Encyclopedia sets (less than 20 years old)
§ Magazines – National Geographic, Smithsonian (please, no news magazines)

Your donation will be gratefully accepted on Saturday, March 9th, between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at 3925 SW Alaska Street (the empty used car lot on the southeast corner of SW Alaska Street and 40th Avenue SW – just west of the Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home at 3909 SW Alaska Street).

Cash donations of any amount are also being accepted to help with the cost of shipping the books to Africa. Make checks payable to: “District 5030 Service Fund” and send to: West Seattle Rotary, 6523 California Avenue SW, PMB 315, Seattle, WA 98136.

If you have any questions, you may contact Rotarian Martha Sidlo at (206) 933-8008.

Food Lifeline discusses West Seattle plan: Rotary today, Highland Park Action Committee tomorrow

February 26, 2013 at 7:13 pm | In 'Nickelsville' encampment, Highland Park, Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

The photo is courtesy of the Rotary Club of West Seattle, which heard today from Linda Nageotte, CEO of Food Lifeline, regarding its proposal for a new facility on the site that currently houses the encampment that calls itself Nickelsville, but primarily about the organization’s main job, as Rotary publicity chair Dave Nichols notes:

She talked about all the great things Food Lifeline conducts to help people who need help. A couple of facts that stuck out:

*97 cents of every dollar is spent on feeding people
*1 in 4 children in our community is at risk of being hungry

For an update on the Nickelsville-site plan, join the Highland Park Action Committee at its meeting tomorrow night. As the closest community council to the encampment, they’ve discussed it more than a few times, and will hear from Food Lifeline tomorrow (Wednesday) night. The meeting’s at 7 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club HQ (12th/Holden), all welcome.

West Seattle Rotary offering scholarships to high-school seniors

February 18, 2013 at 10:55 am | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

High-school senior in the house? The Rotary Club of West Seattle is offering scholarship money and awaiting applications:

Continuing education of our young people is so important that every year the Rotary Club of West Seattle awards Scholarships to two or three graduating Seattle Area (preference given to West Seattle) high school seniors towards their college education.

The deadline for applications is fast approaching (April); if you know a deserving West Seattle senior, please visit our website to fill out the application. It is open to any senior student in the West Seattle area.

In summary, the name of the scholarship is the Gambriell Scholarship and requirements follow:

· Available to any graduating high school senior student.
· Based on financial need and academic merit.
· Student would not otherwise be able to attend college without these funds.
· Preference given to West Seattle residents.
· This year each recipient will receive $3,000 to $5,000, depending on number of recipients.
· Funds must be used on tuition and fees to accredited post-secondary educational programs.
· Date due for applications is April 30, 2013.
· Recipients chosen by May 31, 2013.
· Applications should be returned to the address on the application.

The application form, along with more information, is on the WS Rotary’s home page at westseattlerotary.org.

West Seattle Rotary’s ‘First Friday’ to support Nature Consortium

January 29, 2013 at 9:05 am | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

That’s a city photo of part of the West Duwamish Greenbelt – Seattle’s largest remaining contiguous forest, stretching across much of eastern West Seattle. The WS-based Nature Consortium works to restore it, as well as offering youth arts programs, and this Friday, the Rotary Club of West Seattle invites you to join its next “First Friday” get-together while supporting the Nature Consortium. They’re meeting again at Marination ma kai (WSB sponsor) at Seacrest, by the West Seattle Water Taxi dock, this Friday, February 1st, 5 pm-7 pm. Drop by and, whether you stay for a drink or snack or more (or not), help with their collection of donations:

We would love to collect the following items for them:

Paint Brushes (acrylic, watercolor, brush sets)
Paper (Bristol pads, drawing & sketch pads, technical drawing pads, paper rolls)
Atlas Gloves
You can also give cash; we will be prepared to collect that too.

Membership not required – just show up. If you have a question, the Rotary’s publicity chair Dave Nichols has answers, 206-391-5017 or
 e-mail dave@disasterdave.com.

Know a young leader? West Seattle Rotary has an offer

January 13, 2013 at 11:35 am | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Our next generation of leaders is already out there making a difference – and some training and mentoring can help them go even further. Tara Luckie from the Rotary Club of West Seattle says they’re hoping you can suggest candidates for such support:

The West Seattle Rotary Club seeks your help in identifying and nominating West Seattle qualified and interested candidates to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Seminar (at no cost to the student or school). The conference will be held at Pacific Lutheran University February 28th- March 3rd, 2013.

RYLA is an intensive leadership training conference and workshop. The program has been carefully designed to provide basic leadership training and experience for young people from Western Washington and Canada. The program will include lectures and discussions with skilled and prominent leaders, as well as recreation, good food, and fellowship.

We are seeking student applicants who have demonstrated a desire and some ability as a responsible leader of others. These students don’t necessarily have to hold student body leadership positions. What we do suggest is that those that apply for RYLA have high character and a constructive attitude, and are in a position to learn and benefit from this experience.

Please help us by selecting qualified students, have them fill out the application by January 29th, 2013 and forward the applications to Rotarian Tara Luckie at taraluckie@gmail.com. Tara will then send more detailed information to student(s) on their application status.

Find the application here.

Happening now: Holiday Shopping Spree for almost 100 students, courtesy of West Seattle Rotary Club and friends

December 1, 2012 at 7:17 am | In Holidays, Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

The first students have crossed the bridge and arrived at Sears SODO for the biggest event the Rotary Club of West Seattle organizes every year, the Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree. They’re coming here from five elementary schools in West Seattle – 96 kids [updated number], greeted by a corps of volunteers more than double that size:

A little breezy this morning! Inside, volunteers of all ages – from high-school students to retirees – have already been busy in the pre-dawn hours, getting ready:

The tasks range from assembling bags for the kids – who are from Arbor Heights, Highland Park, Sanislo, Schmitz Park, and West Seattle Elementaries – to keeping track of the volunteers:

They’re not just West Seattle Rotarians, but also Panhellenic sorority and fraternity members, as well as the aforementioned students, including University of Washington Rotaract members and Mercer Island High School Interact members. They’ve all just heard the morning’s order of events from West Seattle Rotary president Andy Horner:

He noted this has been growing since 1972, when the West Seattle Rotary held the first shopping spree … for nine students. With him in that photo, at left, is Martha Sidlo, who organized this year’s shopping spree. Next up – volunteers are paired with kids, for breakfast, followed by shopping – $100 gift cards, to be used to purchase essentials (with a 10 percent discount) – Santa photos, and lunch.

ADDED 8:14 AM: Before shopping, there’s the waiting …

Then the smiling (with Rotarian Josh Sutton):

The shoe-fitting:

The coat-choosing (with Rotarian Dr. Susanne Gee):

And inside Sears, the shopping (that’s Anissa the Elf, offering a greeting)

ADDED 11:48 AM: Santa listened to many wishes, and posed for many photos, but this scene said it all:

To make this happen, it takes many donors and sponsors – they had big thanks, for example, for their baked-goods donors The Essential Baking Company and Macrina Bakery, as well as for SODO Kitchen, the venue in the Sears/Starbucks building where everyone gathered – and you can donate too: A link to the Shopping Spree fund is on the Rotary home page.

P.S. Some extra info from WS Rotary president Andy: 256 was the final volunteer count – 35 Rotarians, 221 non-Rotarians. Four drivers from First Student transported the kids – Chuck, Robert, David, Jim. The schools each had coordinators – including Arbor Heights principal Christy Collins, Pam Rago from Highland Park, Nina Bowman from Sanislo, Jennifer Toth from Highland Park, and Tracie Thompson from West Seattle Elementary.

Warm response to West Seattle Rotary one-night coat drive; next up, Purse Gala

November 3, 2012 at 8:07 am | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Followup to last night’s “First Friday” Rotary Club of West Seattle event, gathering coats and other warm clothing for West Seattle Helpline – a quick report from the club’s publicity chair Dave Nichols:

We had a successful evening; four couples who saw our event in the West Seattle Blog came in to The Cask with coats to donate; at the end of the evening, we loaded 10 bags of coats into our president’s truck for delivery to the West Seattle Helpline. Thank you to everyone who participated.

You can help Helpline any time, of course – here’s how. Meantime, another benefit event is on the Rotary calendar – and you’re invited to this one, too, the 2nd annual Purse Gala Champagne Brunch, coming up 11:30 am November 18th at Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (WSB sponsor). Register through the Rotary website.

First Friday: West Seattle Rotarians invite you to ‘hang out,’ & help

October 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

The Rotary Club of West Seattle is reaching beyond its regular Tuesday meetings for another opportunity to meet community members and help neighbors in need:

The Rotary Club of West Seattle is known as the fun club. While we have serious meetings and have serious goals to help the community, on the First Friday we meet at a West Seattle watering hole for friendship and libations.

In October, The First Friday was a success on a couple of levels. First we had non-Rotarians join us to just hang out. We also gathered 180 pounds of food and three boxes of paper for printers. This was all donated to the West Seattle Food Bank.

This Friday (November 2nd), we will be meeting at The Cask again (located at 2350 California Ave SW from 5 PM till 7PM). And we want to try it again; this time we are looking for gently used coats, gloves, scarves. If your kids have outgrown their coat, bring it. If your coat is out of style and clogging your closet bring it. The West Seattle Helpline will be accepting the donations; given in West Seattle, used in West Seattle.

Question? Contact Rotary publicity chair Dave Nichols, dave@disasterdave.com.

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