Happening now: Holiday Shopping Spree for almost 100 students, courtesy of West Seattle Rotary Club and friendsDecember 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 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.
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Announcing this event for November 3rd, the Rotary Club of West Seattle wants to be clear – it’s not a job fair, but instead, a career workshop. For veterans – and workers over 40, whether you’re a veteran or not – this could be invaluable in helping you plot your career plan from here on out. Here’s the announcement:
If you are a veteran or an adult aged 40=plus, and you are seeking information about really good jobs that need qualified workers, jobs that will continue to grow in need of skilled qualified workers, plan on attending the Occupational Resource Fair on the South Seattle Community College campus on the morning of Saturday, November 3rd.
This event is planned by two members of the Rotary Club of West Seattle Vocational Committee and two South Seattle Community College (SSCC) staff members from WorkForce and WorkSource offices.
“We want to provide a one stop shop for veterans and mature adults wanting assistance in developing their individual career plans”, says Cathy Rouyer, Rotarian.
The announcement continues ahead: Click to read the rest of Veteran? And/or, over 40? What’s your career future? West Seattle Rotary announces an event to help…
Two food drives that will be all the more successful with YOUR help:
ALL MONTH LONG: Sound Physical Therapy has challenged other clinics in West Seattle for “a good-natured competition to celebrate National Physical Therapy Month.” All month long, they’ll accept food donations – and at month’s end, the West Seattle Food Bank will weigh the donations and announce who “won.” Even if you’re not a client, stop by the nearest clinic and drop off a donation! Also participating (we’ve linked each name to their website so you can find the clinic): Highline PT, Life in Balance, BioJunction Sports Therapy, Southwest Hand Therapy, Cascade Dizziness and Balance, Kinetic Physical Therapy. (The “wish list” for the food bank is the same one in the next item.)
THIS FRIDAY NIGHT: The Rotary Club of West Seattle invites you to a food drive that’s also a fun way to wind up the week. From publicity chair Dave Nichols:
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 fellowship and libations.
This Friday (October 5th), we will be meeting at The Cask, located at 2350 California Ave SW, from 5 pm till 7 pm. In order to be a little serious, we would like to ask the community to stop by to meet their local Rotarians and drop off a food donation for the West Seattle Food Bank. We will have a donation barrel set up at the front door.
The West Seattle Food Bank serves around 900 families a week and consistently distributes more than 100,000 pounds of food each month. As far as our food donations go, The West Seattle Food Bank purchases about 12% of its food, and rely on local businesses, grocery stores, farmer’s markets and individual food drives for the rest.
While all donations help, a wish list from the West Seattle Food Bank follows:
Protein items (including tuna, peanut butter, beans)
Reusable, Paper & Plastic Bags
Office supplies like copy paper
We usually only report on judges when they preside over high-profile trials or sentencings – but their work includes much more. If you’d like to hear from a judge firsthand outside court, the Rotary Club of West Seattle invites you to lunch tomorrow, with featured speaker King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu. She has been on the bench for a dozen years, serving in the court’s civil-, criminal-, and family-law departments, and shared the Washington State Bar Association’s Judge of the Year award in 2011. (Our most recent coverage of Judge Yu’s work was at a murder sentencing in April.) The Rotary meets at noon Tuesdays at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor).
(Photo courtesy Dave Nichols)
“An astounding 2.5 billion people around the world still use crude open fires fueled by coal, wood and charcoal to cook meals,” says Vashon-based Burn Design Lab. Reducing that number, they add, will save people’s lives (as well as reduce deforestation). So they’re working on cook-stove technology. BDL founder Peter Scott is in the photo above, speaking today to the Rotary Club of West Seattle about the organization and its work.
Two Rotary Club of West Seattle notes tonight:
PENCIL ME IN FOR KIDS: Rotarians and friends have collected, sorted, and delivered school-supply donations again this year for Pencil Me In For Kids. Our photograph is from the sorting party in Westwood last Thursday night. PMIFK is an all-volunteer program that helps kids at local schools; while this year’s donation drive has wrapped up, it’s never too soon to start looking ahead to next year, and you can find out here how to help.
WINE AND CHOCOLATE GALA AUCTION: It takes $ to support community projects like PMIFK. The Rotary’s next fundraiser promises to be a tasty one – the second annual Wine and Chocolate Gala Auction, less than two weeks away. Here’s the club announcement:
The Rotary Club of West Seattle will host its second annual Wine & Chocolate Gala Auction on Friday, September 7 at 6 PM at Salty’s on Alki. Enjoy an evening of great wine and an auction of wonderful items to support the club’s community projects. In addition to the auctions, there will be ample appetizers, food trays, wine tasting from boutique local wineries (10) and chocolatiers. Auction items run from trips to Sonoma, Caribbean, Kenya, and Orlando, to locally focused items like a “Bin 41 and Husky’s pair up appetizers and wine for 10.” For tickets, please visit the Rotary Club of West Seattle website at www.westseattlerotary.org
Andy Horner is the new president of the Rotary Club of West Seattle, elected to lead the 75-member club until next July. He is the Senior Supervising Manager of Tukwila-headquartered Leavitt Machinery USA, one of the Northwest’s largest privately owned full service multi-line dealers of materials-handling equipment. The West Seattle Rotary was chartered in 1947 and meets every Tuesday at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). A news release from the club quotes Horner: “West Seattle has a long-standing tradition of producing great results in the local community as well as developing Rotary leaders for Rotary District 5030. This year’s Rotary International theme is ‘Peace Through Service,’ one of which I am very excited to be a part of. When you bring peace to someone through your service efforts, it returns such a wonderful feeling of self-worth. Rotary has connected me to a great group of individuals and community leaders who care about their neighbors, those less fortunate, and most importantly, making a difference in the world though their commitment to service above self.” His past roles in the club include Community Service Chair, President of the West Seattle Service Foundation, and 2011 Rotarian of the Year. P.S. Special events upcoming for WS Rotary include the Wine and Chocolate Auction, scheduled for September 7th (register here).
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
Yet another facet of the interwoven events of Saturday, in connection with the West Seattle Grand Parade, was the Rotary Club of West Seattle-presented Kiddie Parade. Once again on Saturday, the proud participants marched down California from SW Genesee to Edmunds. Or rolled:
First, as usual, they mill about, which is almost as much of a spectacle:
Costumes usually abound:
Always lots of kids in the “main parade,” but this is a chance for little ones to enjoy the being-in-the-parade experience, even if they’re not part of a school, group, church, etc. that has an entry.
While she awaits the results of the Cox Conserves Heroes vote (announcement expected on July 25th, one week from today), diver/environmental advocate Laura James is keeping busy as always. On Tuesday, she was guest speaker for the Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s weekly meeting, showing some of her trademark underwater video, and talking about the fight against toxic runoff – “Tox-Ick,” as dubbed in the campaign by Sustainable West Seattle. (Here’s what you can do to NOT feed the Tox-Ick Monster.)
P.S. The Rotary is presenter of the West Seattle Kiddie Parade right before the WS Grand Parade on Saturday – with kids/families invited to walk a short route through The Junction starting at 11 am. You can sign up on their website. (They’re also a beneficiary of the pre-parade Float Dodger 5K – online signups end today!)
One big event is in the books, and another one ahead, for the Rotary Club of West Seattle. First, what’s ahead: Advance orders are now being taken for the annual berry sale – deliveries are expected in July, but the sooner you order, the better. As usual, it’s a three-round sale – strawberries first, then raspberries, then blueberries; prices and projected pickup dates are listed here; you can place an order online by going to this page. It’s another of their major fundraisers for activities such as the annual Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree. Earlier this week, they gathered for the annual breakfast – photos ahead: Click to read the rest of Rotary Club of West Seattle: Berry orders; annual breakfast…
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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