West Seattle, Washington
(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.
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:
**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.
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.
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)
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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) -
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com. Tara will then send more detailed information to student(s) on their application status.
Find the application here.
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:Read More
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).