West Seattle Blog... » Rotary Club of West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Thu, 26 Nov 2015 14:03:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Before Santa, there’s oompah: Celebrate Oktoberfest with West Seattle Rotarians to help fund Children’s Holiday Spree & more http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/before-santa-theres-oompah-celebrate-oktoberfest-with-west-seattle-rotarians-to-help-fund-childrens-holiday-spree-more/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/before-santa-theres-oompah-celebrate-oktoberfest-with-west-seattle-rotarians-to-help-fund-childrens-holiday-spree-more/#comments Fri, 16 Oct 2015 21:27:03 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=326222

(WSB photo, December 2014)
Every year in early December, the Rotary Club of West Seattle brings holiday gifts and fun to about a hundred local students in need via its annual Children’s Shopping Spree. The rest of the year, the club has other events and donation drives to raise money for its charitable projects, including the spree. You’re invited to be part of a fall fundraiser that’s now just eight days away:

Saturday, October 24, 2015, the Rotary Club of West Seattle will host its 2nd annual Oktoberfest from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM at Alki Masonic Hall, 4736 40th Ave SW. Free parking is available in the lot adjacent to the hall.

The festivities will include German & local microbrew BEER, authentic German FOOD, an Oompah BAND, and a RAFFLE.

Net proceeds from the event will be used to support the Club’s charitable projects. Tickets are $45 and may be purchased (must be age 21 or older) on the Club’s website.

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West Seattle scene: Pencil Me In For Kids back-to-school party http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-scene-pencil-me-in-for-kids-back-to-school-party/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-scene-pencil-me-in-for-kids-back-to-school-party/#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 07:10:15 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=321714

It’s one of the most fun nights of (almost-)fall for Rotary Club of West Seattle members … the back-to-school sorting party for Pencil Me In For Kids, their signature charity distributing donated school supplies to local students. As Rotarians and friends gathered Wednesday night in a Westwood backyard, they knew that every local elementary has kids getting a boost from PMIFK (that was noted at this week’s Rotary meeting). Member or not, you can help too, through PMIFK – here’s how.

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Local speech, global overview: What Navy Region NW commander Rear Adm. Jeff Ruth told West Seattle Rotary http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/local-speech-global-overview-what-navy-region-nw-commander-rear-adm-jeff-ruth-told-west-seattle-rotary/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/local-speech-global-overview-what-navy-region-nw-commander-rear-adm-jeff-ruth-told-west-seattle-rotary/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 23:07:14 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=321536 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The U.S. Navy‘s presence in the Northwest – and much of the rest of the world – is vital, on a planet where 80 percent of all people live close to oceans or other waterways, and 90 percent of the world’s trade goes by water.

That’s what Rear Admiral Jeff Ruth, commander of Navy Region Northwest, told the Rotary Club of West Seattle this afternoon, as guest speaker at their weekly lunch. This region, in particular, he noted, is reliant on those trade routes, and in turn on the security provided by the Navy.

The turnout filled the lower meeting room at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). The admiral’s resume – detailed here – includes two years commanding the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. And his speech was far more global than local.

He showed the maritime routes around the world to underscore their importance – not just in relation to war and peace, he explained, telling an anecdote about Starbucks, and how it transports a particular bean from Africa to New York City. Imagine how that route could be disrupted if the Navy wasn’t in the region, RDML Ruth said: “I think you’d see how our livelihoods, our trade, relies on the ability to keep our routes, our crossroads open.”

He outlined how “the Navy has recently fine-tuned its maritime strategy”:

*Emphasizing warfighting first
*Being where it matters, when it matters
*Continuing to strengthen alliances and partnerships
*Assuring global access
*Continuing the President’s “Rebalance to the Asia-Pacific”
*Building the Navy of the future

He elaborated on each point. On the first, “We believe that if we are ready for the high-end war, we will possess the capability to do disaster relief … and all the other pieces [of the Navy's potential roles] as well.”

97 ships are deployed overseas right now, and that will increase to 120 by 2020. “By that time, about 60 percent will be based in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.” In the same time frame, the number of ships in the Middle East will increase from 30 to 40. But “The Navy’s not going to ignore our partners in Europe,” he said. 4 destroyers, for example, will move to Rota, Spain, by the end of this year.

But the Pacific balance is vital because of the ascendancy of China’s forces, among other reasons, he said. They have “aspirations” in the South and East China Seas and are anticipating U.S. “intervention,” he said. China sextupled its surface-vessel number alone, he said, showing just how much the Chinese have beefed up their force. In the late ’90s, the U.S. was ahead of China, according to a slide he showed, and now, they are well ahead. Some of what they’re doing “is a good thing,” he added – anti-piracy efforts in the Africa area and fisheries work, among them, as well as disaster relief. He also talked about other efforts – reclaiming some land in the China Sea – more than 3,000 acres of property recently.

This was his run-up to declaring that continuing to fund the military (here’s the Navy’s current budget outlook) is vital to maintaining security – the “sequestration” a few years back had spending at an unsustainable level, he contended, and if the U.S. returned to that level, the Navy believes it could not respond effectively to threats or to disasters.

He acknowledged that he was making this speech because the Navy is trying to build community relationships – to foster an understanding “not only of our needs … but of your concerns as we work together to meet our national objectives.”

With that, he invited questions.

The first questioner wanted to know about drones and aircraft carriers. Ruth mentioned the XP-47 that was tested about a year ago, using the military term, “unmanned aerial vehicles.” He also mentioned a remotely operated small helicopter that’s been used, but right now, he said, nothing’s been officially deployed from carriers.

What happens if you see a submarine while out on a pleasure craft in local waters? “You can’t really communicate with them,” said the person asking the question. “Yes, you can, they’re out there monitoring,” replied Ruth. (“On 16,” he later added.) He talked about “driving in and out of” here and San Diego as an aircraft-carrier commander, and how the visibility for anything closer than a quarter-mile is negligible. “When a ship comes and decides it’s going to pass beneath my bow … it’s out of my vision and I just hope we don’t run it over.” Warships are not easy to stop, he explained. And he reminded them of 500-yard safety zones. “Don’t cause (Navy ship commanders) to wonder, what the hell is this guy doing?” he concluded.

The next question was a three-part one about China and Russia. Bottom line: Both are at the top of the risk-to-U.S. list, as they continue to have nuclear weapons with the U.S. in range, he said. North Korea also is there because “they’re developing the ability to reach out and touch us,” and because of the unpredictability of its leader. Also, “cyber” warfare is a major perceived threat overall.

He also shared stories including one he characterized as “old-style Cold War stuff” while in the Middle East with a Russian carrier out following his ship around, to which, he said, they responded by deploying some aircraft on flybys. One day they got a call that “the captain of the Russian ship wants your e-mail address.” E-mail actually ensued – requesting a helicopter landing for a “gift exchange.” They actually did that exchange, with helicopters (not landing) – “patches, stickers, we gave them to the Russians, they gave us a bunch of stuff.” The next day, he said, the Russian carrier was gone – possibly out of oil.

“One last question,” he was then asked – “are you a Seahawks fan?”

He said yes, while also noting he’s been a lifelong Chargers fan – having spent some time living in San Diego – saying he watched the Seattle-SD game last week with interest.


The West Seattle Rotarians meet every Tuesday at Salty’s. Upcoming guests include: September 8th, Peter Royce speaks about the Rotary Well Project in Cambodia; September 15th, Amy Lee Derenthal talks about Food Lifeline (which is about to break ground for its new center, just south of South Park); September 22nd, Michael Luis will talk about the Center for Wooden Boats at Lake Union. In addition to its meetings, the club tackles an intensive schedule of charitable work; tomorrow, for example, is its annual sorting party for school supplies donated via Pencil Me In For Kids.


Photo credit: Patrick Sand, WSB

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Congratulations! West Seattle Rotary scholarships for local students http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/congratulations-west-seattle-rotary-scholarships-for-local-students/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/congratulations-west-seattle-rotary-scholarships-for-local-students/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 05:17:41 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=313919

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
School’s out – and some are looking ahead to the next stage of their education, like the seven students to whom the Rotary Club of West Seattle awarded scholarships today – Student of the Month and Gambriell scholarships totaling $15,500. We stopped by the Rotary lunch meeting to photograph the students who were there to accept them – from left, Julia Nark (Career Link), Tin Vo (West Seattle High School), Caprice Villeza (West Seattle HS), Naeem Ghodsian (Career Link), and Joey Werlech (now a Central Washington University student); recipients not pictured are Brisa Mendez-Alvarez (Chief Sealth International High School) and Carolina Sayuri Sasai (Seattle Lutheran). The club explains, “The Students of the Month program honors outstanding students in West Seattle (area) high-school programs selected by their school counselors. Each year all Students of the Month are encouraged to apply for the available scholarships. Also every year, the club awards two or three Gambriell Scholarships based on financial need and academic merit to graduating West Seattle-area seniors who apply and might not otherwise be able to attend college.”

A Rotarian with extra reason to smile about all this is Len Burton-Hardin:

Starting next month, he’ll be in charge of the club’s vocational/educational outreach.

P.S. The next big West Seattle Rotary-sponsored event, the WS Grand Parade, is now just one month away – Saturday, July 18th!

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Congratulations! Jim Edwards honored by West Seattle Rotary http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/congratulations-jim-edwards-honored-by-west-seattle-rotary/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/congratulations-jim-edwards-honored-by-west-seattle-rotary/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 23:38:27 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=309270

(WSB photos)
The Rotary Club of West Seattle was up extra-early today for a special occasion – a breakfast event at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). At right above is Jim Edwards, honored by the Rotary with the Paul Harris Fellow award, named after Rotary’s founder. Jim’s long history of community service includes coordinating the West Seattle Grand Parade, which is now presented by the Rotary. He accepted the award with his daughter Michelle Edwards, who works with him on the parade, as does Dave Vague, at left, honored by the Rotary last year. (One of the other things for which you might know Jim right now is the West Seattle Big Band, which donates its earnings to student programs.) This year’s parade, by the way, is coming up fast – Saturday, July 18th, from The Admiral District to The Junction as always.

Rotarians also heard from King County Executive Dow Constantine this morning:

The centerpiece of his talk was his new initiative, Best Starts for Kids, announced in his recent State of the County address as a plan to “provide the resources needed to prevent negative outcomes in the community and put every child on a path toward lifelong success.” Its components include mental-health and developmental screenings and a host of other services aimed at the notion that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Voters will be asked to approve a levy to fund it. Early childhood is a subject not only important to Constantine as a leader but also as a parent, and he noted that daughter Sabrina is about to turn 1.

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Have breakfast with West Seattle Rotary & King County Executive Dow Constantine on May 5th http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/have-breakfast-with-west-seattle-rotary-king-county-executive-dow-constantine-on-may-5th/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/have-breakfast-with-west-seattle-rotary-king-county-executive-dow-constantine-on-may-5th/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:16:18 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307094 Less than three weeks till your chance to break your breakfast routine and support nonprofits by having breakfast with the Rotary Club of West Seattle and special guest:

King County Executive (and West Seattle Rotarian) Dow Constantine will speak at the West Seattle Rotary Club’s annual Fundraising Breakfast at Salty’s on May 5, 2015, 7-9 am. Go to the club website for more information and to register.

The Rotary Club of West Seattle supports local projects including Pencil Me In For Kids, the Children’s Shopping Spree, Students of the Month, the Kiddie Parade, and the Grand Parade.

(WSB photo of Executive Constantine from March 28th dedication of M/V Sally Fox on Vashon Island)

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Future college student in the house? Application time for scholarships offered by Rotary Club of West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2015/02/future-college-student-in-the-house-application-time-for-scholarships-offered-by-rotary-club-of-west-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/02/future-college-student-in-the-house-application-time-for-scholarships-offered-by-rotary-club-of-west-seattle/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 17:28:48 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=302002 This is the time of year when most college applications are in and students await acceptance letters. Then there’s the matter of how to pay for college. The Rotary Club of West Seattle is inviting applications right now for its annual Gambriell Scholarships, awarded to two or three local graduating seniors:

Here are the requirements:
· 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.

The deadline for applications is fast approaching: April 15th, 2015. Recipients will be chosen by April 30th, 2015. Please e-mail Dotty Hughes, dotty.hughes@wafd.com, for an application. Applications may be returned by email, given to any West Seattle Rotarian, or mailed to the address on the application form.

The Rotary Club of West Seattle utilizes five avenues of service: Club, Vocational, International, New Generations and Community. The club’s foundation board (West Seattle Rotary Service Foundation) allocates funding annually to each avenue of service for projects. The Gambriell Scholarship is one of the Community Service projects of the club.

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West Seattle Rotary Children’s Shopping Spree 2014: New location, same giving http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/photos-west-seattle-rotary-childrens-shopping-spree-new-location-same-giving/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/photos-west-seattle-rotary-childrens-shopping-spree-new-location-same-giving/#comments Sun, 07 Dec 2014 00:20:24 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=294386

(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).

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West Seattle Rotary’s new site for Children’s Shopping Spree http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-rotary-finds-new-site-for-childrens-holiday-shopping-spree/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-rotary-finds-new-site-for-childrens-holiday-shopping-spree/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 23:24:35 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=292253 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.

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West Seattle weekend scene: Getting ready for Oktoberfest http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-weekend-scene-getting-ready-for-oktoberfest/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-weekend-scene-getting-ready-for-oktoberfest/#comments Sat, 11 Oct 2014 20:03:43 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=288440

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.

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Tickets now on sale for West Seattle Rotary’s first Oktoberfest http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/tickets-now-on-sale-for-west-seattle-rotarys-first-oktoberfest/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/tickets-now-on-sale-for-west-seattle-rotarys-first-oktoberfest/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:38:07 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=283993 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)!

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West Seattle scene: Rotarians sort school-supplies donations for Pencil Me In For Kids http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-scene-rotarians-sort-school-supplies-donations-for-pencil-me-in-for-kids/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-scene-rotarians-sort-school-supplies-donations-for-pencil-me-in-for-kids/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:56:09 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=283756

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.

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Wondering where the berry sales went? West Seattle Rotary explains http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/wondering-where-the-berry-sales-went-west-seattle-rotary-explains/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/wondering-where-the-berry-sales-went-west-seattle-rotary-explains/#comments Sun, 06 Jul 2014 20:44:51 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=278530 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).

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Congratulations! West Seattle Rotary awards for John Fretz, Aya Hoffman, Jack Miller, Dave Vague http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/congratulations-west-seattle-rotary-awards-for-john-fretz-aya-hoffman-jack-miller-dave-vague/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/congratulations-west-seattle-rotary-awards-for-john-fretz-aya-hoffman-jack-miller-dave-vague/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 18:17:38 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=278173

(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.

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Congratulations! Rotary Club of West Seattle awards scholarships to six local students http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/congratulations-rotary-club-of-west-seattle-awards-scholarships-to-six-local-students/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/congratulations-rotary-club-of-west-seattle-awards-scholarships-to-six-local-students/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 16:04:37 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=276173

(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.

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