Two of the events we covered on Saturday had a fortuitous meeting of the minds afterward .. thanks to Martha for the followup photo and report:
After its book sale yesterday, Sanislo Elementary generously donated its leftover books to the West Seattle Rotary Club’s “Books for the World” book drive. Photo is of Sanislo and Rotary volunteers. Both the sale and the book drive were successful thanks to the help of all the donors, shoppers, and volunteers (and WSB coverage)!
West Seattle Rotary
Just look for the truck in the 40th/Alaska parking lot – and the banner! Volunteers from the Rotary Club of West Seattle has been out in the morning’s mercurial weather (still slushing when we stopped for our photo), collecting Books for the World. Here are details of what they’re collecting, in our preview from earlier this week. They’re scheduled to be there till 1:30 pm.
We’ve been celebrating West Seattle students’ accomplishments in the Global Reading Challenge. Now, here’s an opportunity to help give the gift of literacy to youth around the world. Martha Sidlo e-mailed us on behalf of the Rotary Club of West Seattle:
Your donation of new and lightly used books will be gratefully accepted by the West Seattle Rotary Club on Saturday, March 17th, between 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at 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. Books will be distributed to underserved communities in South Africa, Haiti and Guatemala through Rotary’s Books for the World – 2012 campaign. Cash donations of any amount are welcome to help with the cost of shipping the books overseas. Make checks payable to “5030 Service Fund” and send West Seattle Rotary, c/o Martha Sidlo, 7500 34th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98126.
We asked what kinds of books they’re looking for:
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), as well as magazines such as National Geographic or Smithsonian (please, no news magazines).
This time yesterday, your editor here was honored to be the monthly speaker at the Rotary Club of West Seattle, talking about covering news in West Seattle. Since then, there’s big news involving club members and more than 3,000 of their fellow regional Rotarians – Rotary International District 5030 is the first organization in 68 years to receive the Seattle-King County First Citizen Award. West Seattle is one of 53 clubs comprising District 5030, and is home to its district governor, Ann Liberato, at right in our July 2011 photo below, with club president Sue Lindblom:
The news release we just received from the First Citizen Award’s sponsoring organization, Seattle-King County Realtors, quotes award-committee chair Roni Strupat: “Rather than single out an individual, we are delighted to honor an organization with remarkable dedication – and results — in meeting the challenges associated with hunger, poverty and illiteracy.” District 5030 will officially receive the award at a Seattle Sheraton banquet on June 13th. Read on for the district’s accomplishments, listed in the announcement: Click to read the rest of ‘First Citizen Award’ for Rotary District 5030, led by West Seattleite…
Know a teenager who might be interested? The Rotary Club of West Seattle is getting the word out:
The West Seattle Rotary Club is identifying and nominating West Seattle qualified and interested West Seattle high school students (13-18) 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 March 1-4, 2012.
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 discussion periods with skilled and prominent leaders, as well as recreation, good food, and fellowship.
It’s a great way to further develop leadership talents and abilities, add to your resume, and broaden your horizons while having fun.
If you are an interested high-school student, please fill out an application by February 15th 2012. Applications may be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or via fax at 206.932.2326. For more information visit rylanw.org
The application form can be found here.
We’re in the SODO Sears/Starbucks building right now along with hundreds of people from teens through seniors, all volunteers who are here with one mission: To make this a happier holiday for about 100 kids from local elementary schools. It’s the annual Rotary Club of West Seattle Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree, and as those kids arrive, they’ll be matched with volunteers for a busy morning including breakfast, choosing warm clothing – our top photo shows volunteers, sorting – shopping, talking to Santa, and more. It’s a herculean effort to organize and stage:
ADDED 7 AM: That hallway suddenly filled, as the first kids arrived:
The kids participating today are from Alki, Lafayette, Gatewood, and Roxhill Elementary Schools, Pathfinder K-8, and Concord International School. Volunteers include not only West Seattle Rotarians, but also members of the National Panhellenic Council of Seattle and its associated sororities and fraternities (Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Sigma Gamma Rho, Zeta Phi Beta, Alpha Phi Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, Kappa Alpha Psi) – plus the Loren Miller Bar Association, and youth volunteers (we just met a group from Tukwila’s Foster High School):
ADDED 8:10 AM: More photos – from just part of the crowd of more than 300 volunteers:
… to the actual shopping!
We’re sitting next to a table with two volunteers and a little girl, making a list as they ask her what she’s interested in finding; this is all about practical gifts like warm clothes and shoes, and yet it’s a fun and festive atmosphere too (a table away, other volunteers are decorating the area where Santa will start meeting with the kids a bit later … update, he arrived to cheers and applause at 8:35 am).
ADDED: And even more photos, ahead, including a visitor from the Seahawks! Click to read the rest of Video: West Seattle Rotary Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree…
Planning winter travel? The Rotary Club of West Seattle and its fellow area Rotarians send news of a group headed out on a particularly exotic journey:
Only one more week to go before local area delegates from Rotary District 5030 leave the comforts of Seattle for Nepal. As posted over the summer, Rotary’s Group Study Exchange is a vocational exchange program that is sending a team of young professionals to Nepal (December 2011 – January 2012). Three of the five delegates are from West Seattle and two are sponsored by the West Seattle Rotary. Learn more about the program and the team – they could be your neighbors – and follow them along on their Himalayan adventure at gse2011seattle.blogspot.com.
Tomorrow morning, by the way, Rotary members have a big event a lot closer to home: With the help of volunteers and donations, they will be helping 100 local kids have a happier holiday season through the annual Children’s Shopping Spree. If you’d like to chip in, there’s a donation link on their official website, here.
(WSB photo from 2010 Rotary Club of West Seattle Children’s Shopping Spree)
Another giving opportunity this holiday season – you can be (a) Santa without the beard, suit and hat! Very early the morning of December 3rd – so early that most years we’ve covered it, the ground and pavement are still frost-covered – the Rotary Club of West Seattle will deploy volunteers for a huge operation that means happier holidays for 100 local kids, the 38th annual Children’s Shopping Spree: They get a bus ride across the bridge to Sears SODO, where they get to choose gifts both practical and fun, including warm coats and clothing, as well as breakfast, lunch, and Santa photos! You don’t have to be a Rotarian – nor do you even have to get up at 6 am! – to be part of this. You can contribute to the shopping-spree fund online by going here, or mail a donation with the form you’ll find here. (Here’s our coverage from last year.)
From Heidi Horwitz, fundraising chair for the Rotary Club of West Seattle:
One bag, two bag, red bag, GOLF BAG… Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled purses, yearning to be worn; the wretched refuse of your teeming closets and drawers just in time for Christmas shopping! Friday; December 2nd, 12-1:30 pm, West Seattle Golf Club Banquet Room. Luncheon and purse sale with mini-auction of 10 premium items; just in time for Christmas gift-giving!
This fundraiser will consist of sales of donated purses, men’s wallets, and golf bags that are either new, have been pre-owned, or as we like to say: ‘Gently Used.’ Proceeds from this luncheon event will benefit the West Seattle Rotary Service Club. The West Seattle Rotary Service Foundation is a 501 C-3 nonprofit organization.
We hope that you can join us for the fundraiser, but if you cannot attend the event itself, perhaps you will consider making a donation of purses, wallets, or golf-related items.
You can e-mail Heidi at email@example.com to find out how to donate. Tickets to the event are available at westseattlerotary.org.
One week till the first day of school for Seattle Public Schools (some independent schools start earlier), and this gathering in Westwood tonight was good news for local students whose families can’t afford school supplies – it was the annual Pencil Me In For Kids sorting party.
Rotary Club of West Seattle president Sue Lindblom, Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor) owner and longtime PMIFK ringleader, says “Rotarians and friends who signed up to help us sort out those school supplies” planned a potluck barbecue after the work was done. Tomorrow, the supplies get delivered to a pickup site, and this year, PMIFK got extra help, Sue says: “West Seattle Helpline donated money and 100 extra backpacks they had!” PMIFK also will benefit from raffles at the upcoming West Seattle Junction Car Show on September 18th, organizer Michael Hoffman of Liberty Bell Print and Design has announced.
P.S. One more note from Sue: “There have been many shifts in Family Support Workers over the years and this year we were not able to get responses from two schools that usually receive some of these supplies. We are hoping if they still are in need they will contact us. Those two schools are Alki and Concord.” PMIFK contact info can be found here.
It’s a first for the Rotary Club of West Seattle – a fun-draiser bringing together premium wine and chocolate – and with one week to go until the August 4th event at Salty’s on Alki, the lineup is set: ‘O’ Wines, DeLille Cellars, Hedges Family Estates, Goedhart Family Estates, La Coye, Two Brothers, Baron’s V, Hestia Cellars, Fat Cork, JM Cellars, Rasa, Theo Chocolates. Plus live jazz/blues music, hors d’oeuvres, and a live/silent auction, all supporting scholarships for local youth, the 38th annual Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree, and other humanitarian work. Major discount for signing up before next Thursday’s 5:30 pm event – you can register online right now. (The official poster/flyer can be seen here.)
If you watched Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade from north of Genesee, you missed out on the freeform fun of the WS Rotary Kiddie Parade, which invites any and all local kids to travel the three blocks south of Edmunds, between the motorcycle drill teams and the rest of the parade. Kids walk, bike, ride in wagons and strollers, and even perform – the Denny International Middle School Marching Band is part of it – here’s our video of the Kiddie Parade in its entirety, recorded at California/Alaska:
Leading the parade and carrying the flag was Sue Lindblom, West Seattle Rotary president and owner of longtime WSB sponsor Illusions Hair Design.
At this week’s Rotary Club of West Seattle lunch meeting, new president Sue Lindblom (from longtime WSB sponsor Illusions Hair Design) and new District 5030 Governor Ann Liberato paused for a photo-op with the brand-new banner celebrating the club’s status as home to the district governor. Busy times for the Rotarians – with several upcoming events, including a first-ever wine-tasting fundraiser:
*JULY 22-23: Next round of the three-round Rotary Berry Sale (WSB sponsor) – raspberries will be ready for pickup. Order in advance, online.
*AUGUST 4 – the club’s 1st annual wine-tasting event/auction, with live music, “heavy hors d’oeuvres,” and of course, the wine! 5:30 pm, full details here. This is a fundraiser for the Rotary’s Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree and other humanitarian projects, locally and worldwide.
While you’re in The Junction for the West Seattle Farmers’ Market and/or Summer Fest, drop by the Keller Williams lot on the east side of California just north of Oregon to get stocked up on strawberries. The West Seattle Rotary Berry Sale (WSB sponsor) has a few more buckets left and will sell them to walk-ups, first come first served, 11 am-2 pm today. $25 for 7 1/2 pounds, $40 for 15 pounds. Freezable if you don’t have some massive use for them all immediately. (And you can order the next two rounds, blueberries and/or raspberries, in advance online.)
Order berries through the Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s Berry Sale (WSB sponsor)? Or – want some berries? Strawberry pickup is today and tomorrow, at a different location (since the old Admiral Safeway back parking lot is now part of a new store opening next month) – 40th/Alaska, on the east side of The Junction. 1-6 pm today, 9 am-3 pm on Saturday. And there’s still time to order the next two rounds of berries – raspberries and blueberries – with online ordering available via the Rotary’s website.
The Rotary Club of West Seattle is helping get the word out about a month-long Group Study Exchange for “young businesspeople.” They’re taking applications for a team that will spend a month in Nepal next winter. Though Rotary pays all costs, only non-Rotarians, ages 25-40, are eligible; other qualifications and more information can be found here. If you are interested in hearing more about how the Group Study Exchange program works, West Seattle Rotary’s Steve Fuller tells WSB that this coming Tuesday’s West Seattle Rotary lunch meeting (noon, Salty’s on Alki) will include a presentation by this year’s Group Study Exchange team, which went to India.
It’s been half a century since a vaccine breakthrough led to the near-eradication of polio in the U.S. But as the Rotary Club of West Seattle is explaining today in The Junction – the rest of the world is a different story, particularly isolated areas of Asia and Africa. Till 5 pm today, West Seattle Rotarians are by KeyBank with an iron lung – the device that paralyzed polio victims needed to keep breathing. Contributions will go toward the Rotary International campaign to match a nine-digit grant from the Gates Foundation for worldwide polio vaccination, to wipe out the disease once and for all. (P.S. The WS Rotary’s Berry Sale is under way too, supporting all their charity programs including the Christmas Shopping Spree – you can order online; deliveries are just weeks away.)
Cari Simson of the Duwamish RIver Cleanup Coalition estimated 1,100 volunteers have been part of today’s Duwamish Alive! events at 13 spots from Alki south to Tukwila – and more than 75 of them were here at Port of Seattle-owned T-107 Park, for a ceremony that just concluded the day’s work. Top, the Blue Heron Canoe (read about it here) heading out from the new hand-carry launch at the park; (added) here’s video after it launched, with skipper Mike Evans of the Snohomish Tribe asking permission to proceed, while, offcamera, James Rasmussen of DRCC and Duwamish Tribe welcomes the canoe:
Below, the new bench the Rotary Club of West Seattle just dedicated in honor of the late Ken Wise (His son, Tom is at the far right in the photo).
Many more photos, and video – those speaking here included Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin, and Port of Seattle Commissioner Gael Tarleton – to come, including the unveiling of the new interpretive sign here. The followup event that’s getting under way now is an Earth Day Festival at Pathfinder K-8 School on Pigeon Point.
ADDED 8:32 PM: As promised, additional photos ahead: Click to read the rest of Duwamish Alive! at T-107 Park: New launch, new bench, new sign…
The Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s weekly Tuesday lunch meeting at Salty’s on Alki drew about double the usual crowd as Rotarians celebrated the “Partners for Work” service program, which helps developmentally disabled people prepare for and secure employment. It’s not just a West Seattle Rotary program – it’s implemented throughout their regional District (5030), so those who were on hand included visitors from all around King County. And county government was represented too; as seen in our video clip (along with remarks from areawide Rotary leaders), County Executive Dow Constantine – a longtime WS Rotary member – received an award for his support of similar employment programs. A bit of the current political climate sparked in his brief speech; you’ll hear him criticize proposed state cuts that would mean less support for people with developmental disabilities. So far, the Rotary program has created 13 jobs – in a group that they say has up to 80 percent unemployment – but even more important, it was noted, “We have educated hundreds about the dignity of work.” They have set a goal of creating 20 jobs districtwide per year. You can find out more about Partners for Work here.
The Rotary Club of West Seattle usually meets for lunch on Tuesdays, but today members got up early for the annual Community Breakfast. Guest speakers included Penny LeGate, award-winning veteran broadcaster, and Ezra Teshome, who is assistant governor for Rotary District 5030 (above, from left, Teshome, LeGate, and WS Rotary president Steve Fuller). LeGate talked about the Rotary effort to help eradicate polio, which persists in countries including Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan, where it’s difficult to deliver vaccine, and to break through geographic/cultural challenges. The Rotary’s polio-fighting campaign goes back more than a quarter of a century, and gets financial assistance from the Seattle-headquartered Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Teshome talked about his trips taking dozens of Rotarians to Ethiopia each fall to work on the polio-fighting project.
Also highlighted – Arbor Heights Elementary students modeling clothes from last December’s West Seattle Rotary Holiday Shopping Spree, and Molly Ward from the South Seattle Community College-based Career Link, which receives assistance from the Rotary’s education program (which also provides scholarships to local students including West Seattle High School, Chief Sealth International High School, and Seattle Lutheran High School). One more youth note – the Ellis Brothers Jazz Trio entertained:
You can find out more about the Rotary Club of West Seattle, its events and programs at their website – westseattlerotary.org.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
For all the hubbub this week over Mayor McGinn‘s suggestion to shut down the Alaskan Way Viaduct next year – the people working on The Viaduct’s future point out that half of it is already scheduled to be closed next year.
That’s the southern half – the Holgate-to-King leg of the project that is exempt from the tunnel-or-no-tunnel controversy, since, as Viaduct project boss Ron Paananen told the Rotary Club of West Seattle on Tuesday, it’s designed to fit with whatever winds up replacing the Central Waterfront section.
Paananen was the headliner for the Rotary’s weekly lunch, before a crowd filling one of the downstairs meeting rooms at Salty’s on Alki, with attendees including even King County Executive Dow Constantine, days before The Viaduct closes for its next semiannual inspection (6 am-6 pm Saturday and Sunday).
To some degree, you could describe his presentation as part refresher course, part attempted myth-busting.
Two Alaskan Way Viaduct notes tonight: First, the man who oversees the entire project – including the controversial tunnel plan – will be the next guest speaker for the Rotary Club of West Seattle; Ron Paananen is scheduled to speak at noon Tuesday at Salty’s on Alki. (Guests are welcome at the lunch meetings; call the club at 206-718-9401 for info, or e-mail with the form on this page.) Second, next weekend is the semiannual maintenance shutdown for The Viaduct – 6 am-6 pm each day, Saturday and Sunday, March 19-20.
(The table was only empty for presentation logistics – all the others were full)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
With that quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., longtime West Seattleite Mike Heavey opened his presentation this afternoon to the Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s weekly lunch meeting at Salty’s on Alki. The topic: The much-discussed case of Amanda Knox – “a 20-year-old kid, from the University of Washington, from West Seattle” at the time of her arrest in Italy in 2007, which as you almost certainly have heard led to a murder conviction which is now being appealed (with proceedings continuing next Saturday).
Just got that photo from Josh Sutton of the West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor), e-mailing us on behalf of the Rotary Club of West Seattle, whose members are busy with a big volunteer project right now:
A dozen Rotary Club members are busy sorting over $8,000 worth of school supplies for elementary students in need across West Seattle. Pencil Me in for Kids is a project of the West Seattle Rotary. We raise money throughout the year and work with school staff to be sure that students have the supplies they need to be successful in class. Tonight we sort the supplies by school, and on Friday we’ll deliver them to local schools.
(Our first report on the totem-pole rededication event can be found here)
Along the 8-month-plus journey between the brazen theft of the West Seattle Rotary Viewpoint Park totem pole on a fall evening and its rededication in summer sunshine, there have been lessons learned by many – among them, the long and sometimes surprising path that justice can take.
One lesson provided at Tuesday night’s event, attended by more than 100 people gathered mostly in a semi-circle facing the front of the pole (and therefore the downtown Seattle skyline in the distance behind it), was that of grace, provided by someone who had not figured directly into the story before: Haida master carver Ralph Bennett. In the top video, you hear his drumming – and his words of honor for some of those on hand, including a request for the permission of in-attendance Duwamish Tribe leader Cecile Hansen, before he drummed on her historic territory. (The Haida people are from further north – coastal British Columbia and Alaska.) He also told a story – but first, one told by a Rotary leader, past president Amy Lee Derenthal. She led the club last fall, and so, as she noted Tuesday, the pole “was stolen on my watch!” Perhaps mostly for those who questioned why the club (and the Parks Department) chose to accept restitution from the man believed to be responsible for the theft, rather than pursuing prosecution, she spoke of how they believed the decision met the club’s “Four-Way Test” ethics code:
Back now to Ralph Bennett, who followed his drum song with a story relating specifically to the tale he says is told by the totem pole itself, particularly the thunderbird and whale that comprise its top sections.
His words about community rang close to home, as those who attended lingered after the ceremony’s end, either mingling by the pole, or moving on to a Rotary-organized celebration at the Golf Course clubhouse a short walk down the hill. And the event brought people from afar – not just carver Robin Young (shown in our first report), but even the woman who was Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu the year the pole was dedicated along with the park:
Debby Freeman Peterson was introduced toward the end of the event, when it was pointed out she came from the Midwest to be there. So what now? As noted in our previous coverage of the pole-restoration process, it will need a little TLC now and then – a coat of oil at least once a year:
As for the 34-year-old park itself, donated by the Rotarians in the bicentennial year of 1976, what you make of it now, is up to you, even if just – as Ralph Bennett put it – driving by and seeing it “alive.”
As Rotary Club of West Seattle past president Amy Lee Derenthal spoke tonight to the 100-plus people who gathered at Rotary Viewpoint Park to celebrate the stolen-then-returned-and-restored totem pole, she invoked the memory of longtime Rotarian Ken Wise, who helped sleuth the case. Mr. Wise, who died of cancer a little over a week ago, wanted to see the pole reinstalled before he died – “We made it!” Derenthal said proudly (referring to the pole’s July 28th reinstallation), while lamenting he couldn’t have been there for tonight’s ceremony – and among the crowd, voices rippled, “He’s here, he’s here.” As were members of his family:
(From left, granddaughters Amy Bentrott and Kelly Bentrott, daughter MaryAnn Bentrott, and widow Anne Wise.) Past president Derenthal also explained how the totem-pole thief had given Rotarians a chance to practice their “four-way test” of integrity and justice. Even those disappointed by how the case turned out, with a settlement rather than prosecution, might want to hear that explained on video in our second report; right now, the celebration is continuing at the West Seattle Golf Course just beneath the viewpoint:
At the start of tonight’s ceremony, Haida master carver Ralph Bennett drummed, and spoke of the pole’s mainstays, the thunderbird and whale – representing, he said, “the story of community.”
Before he drummed, he asked permission from Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen, who was in attendance:
Returning to West Seattle for the ceremony was Robin Young, the Native American carver who created the pole more than three decades ago:
He was at its dedication too – here’s the 1976 photo his family shared with us for a December story:
(Photo provided by carver Robin Young(third from left) ‘s daughter Tracy Zimmerman)
At the time, he told WSB he hoped to be at the park for the totem pole’s rededication – and that wish came true. The event, by the way, began with a greeting from West Seattle Rotary president Steve Fuller:
Meantime, our video from tonight’s event is coming up in a separate story.
Volunteers, mostly Rotary Club of West Seattle members, converged on Rotary Viewpoint Park (35th/Alaska) in the rain this morning to spruce things up before Tuesday night’s rededication event. Most notable, check out the pole’s new “surroundings” – the flowers that were growing around its base have been removed, replaced by rocks so the pole can be fully seen. Other planting beds in the small park received more-conventional touchups:
Tuesday night’s event is at 5 pm, followed by a no-host celebration in the Golf Course clubhouse down the hill. The pole was reinstalled a week and a half ago.
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