West Seattle, Washington
11:55 AM: Alki’s biggest post-holidays winter event is happening now – the Special Olympics of Washington Polar Plunge. The “plunging” doesn’t actually start until 1 pm, but the accompanying food-trucks-and-beer festival is happening now:
We counted 11 trucks – from west to east, Off the Rez, Thai-U-Up, Tabassum, Kathmandu MoMoCha, Whateke, The Cheese Pit, Sam Choy’s Poké to the Max, SeoulBowl, Theo’s Gyros, Alaska Weathervane Scallops.
Sorry, no lineup for the beer garden, but you can buy tokens for tastings:
And heaters are set up!
This is all scheduled to continue until around 4 pm, near Alki Bathhouse (60th/Alki), with a costume contest coming up pre-plunge, shortly after noon.
ADDED 7:06 PM: Thanks to Robert Spears for sending photos from the costume contest and plunging!
If the forecast holds, it won’t be very “polar” for Saturday’s Special Olympics Washington-benefiting Polar Plunge at Alki. But it’s good news overall for the “winter beach party” that the event promises to be, with a beer garden, food trucks, and costume contest, before all the “plunging” gets going. The party starts near Alki Bathhouse (60th/Alki) at 10 am Saturday (February 24); the costume contest starts around 12:10 pm, and even if you’re not going in the water (that begins at 1 pm), you have a role to play, since the costume judging will be by audience acclaim. If you do want to go in, there’s still time to register online. P.S. The beer garden also offers a tasting experience – tickets are available in advance online here.
On Saturday, we previewed Alki UCC‘s monthly donation drive, with an urgent call for warm outerwear, with many chilly nights still ahead before the warm season. Today we received this report from Cinda:
Alki UCC reporting in on how wonderful the response was from the West Seattle community due to your feature of our donation drive on the WS Blog. We received many warm coats, as well as hats, gloves, long underwear, blankets, etc. It was so great to greet everyone as they dropped off yesterday, to experience their positive spirits contributing to a deep need in the wider community. Thank you everyone who took the time out to search your closets and to drop by Alki UCC with your donation. Every single piece will go toward making someone a little warmer this month. We appreciate you so much!
We feature various ways to help – donating items, money, and/or time – almost daily, so if you’re having a drive/campaign/event/etc. in which the community can participate, please let us know by sending info to email@example.com – thank you!
On some Sundays, Alki UCC hosts a communitywide donation drive seeking specific items for people in need. Tomorrow’s the next one, with an emphasis on helping people stay warm – winter still has a month to go! Here’s the announcement:
Alki UCC Donation Drive this Sunday, February 18
6115 SW Hinds
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Outerwear is the priority. We have no warm coats for men, need all sizes.
Also welcome: vests, long underwear, heavy hoodies, sweatshirts, gloves, beanies and socks.
Your donations of food, clothing, and outdoor gear are distributed through the Westside Interfaith Network Saturday lunch, hosted in White Center.
Deepest gratitude to our community for your generous support of our neighbors in need.
As reported on our partner site White Center Now, the co-founder of Full Tilt Ice Cream, Justin Cline, is in the hospital after a heart attack earlier this month. Friends have set up a crowdfunding account, with the update that Justin is now in serious but stable condition: “He is slowly improving. In the meantime, it is unknown how long his recovery will take and the family and business could use some support while they are navigating this.” Justin and partner Ann Magyar, parents of two, founded the shop in 2008 in downtown White Center, where it’s been a community anchor ever since. Here’s the crowdfunding link.
Another signature springtime event has confirmed it’s returning this year – the West Seattle 5K run/walk on Alki. And the sponsor search is happening now. Here’s the announcement we received:
West Seattle High School and the PTSA are excited to announce the 2024 West Seattle 5K – Sunday, May 19.
All profits raised from the West Seattle 5K will provide funding for West Seattle High School to provide classroom tools, books, supplies, and much more to its students and teachers. The West Seattle High School PTSA is a 501c non-profit whose mission is to encourage its students’ potential.
Thousands of runners and spectators from all corners of Puget Sound and beyond have participated in this 5K over the previous 13+ years. Participants are drawn to the event by the family fun, the gorgeous scenery, a flat course, and all the amenities that Alki Beach has to offer. The West Seattle 5K website (westseattle5K.com) is live.
So is the search for sponsors – the earlier you sign up, the better, so sponsors can be listed on posters, flyers, race T-shirts, etc. If you’re interested, contact Kelley O’Connor or Athena Frederick at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-894-8641. (WSB has been a sponsor every year and expect to repeat this year too.)
A parent asked us to share this with you: A donation drive is under way to support music programs at Denny International Middle School. Organizers say, “Your support will help us offer a higher quality experience for our students in Band, Choir, & Orchestra.” If you can chip in, go here.
Though spring is still five weeks away, the baby blossoms you’ll eventually see in West Seattle Junction flower baskets this year are growing now. The Junction Association provided these photos from Van Wingerden Greenhouses in Blaine, raising the spring/summer color show again this year:
With basket season approaching, WSJA has opened this year’s adopt-a-basket opportunities – almost 100 this year, and you can adopt – aka sponsor – one for $189, supporting the nonprofit’s operations. You can sign up here.
We’ve reported before on the impending launch of a new high-school girls’ water-polo team. The players fought for, and won, permission – but that doesn’t come with funding, since it’s a “club sport.” So they’ve planned a unique fundraiser for tomorrow – outside West Seattle, but you can support online. Also note they’re still recruiting players! Here’s the announcement:
Members of the newly formed girls’ West Seattle Water Polo Team are holding an event to raise funds for startup costs associated with their first season. The Tread-a-thon is this Saturday, February 10, from 3-5 pm at Medgar Evers Pool. Players will tread for 100 minutes without touching the sides or bottom of the pool and without using floatation devices. Sponsors are invited to pledge per minute or a flat amount. Members of the team invite the West Seattle community to help by donating to their cause!
The girls forming this team attended several of [former School Board director] Leslie Harris’s community meetings in an effort to gain permission to field a team in the local high school league. Permission was granted by the league, but no funds are being provided by the school or district for the team. Donations will fund scholarships, pay for pool-rental time, league fees, and equipment.
Girls from any high school are welcome to join the team. Head coach Truly Dorland is ready to quickly bring new players to proficiency. Practices will be 2 mornings per week before school with home games on Friday evening. Season starts February 26th and runs to mid-May.
For more information, email email@example.com.
Donations can be made to WSBooster by putting “Water Polo” in the notes.
We have news of statewide honors for two local students – and an opportunity for you to support them. The announcement is from Denny-Sealth Performing Arts:
Two Chief Sealth International High School students have received top honors by being selected by the Washington Music Educators Association to participate in prestigious WMEA High School All-State performing groups.
Please join us in celebrating senior Tyler Peace Jones (pictured on the right), who has been selected to play viola in the All-State Orchestra, and senior Dylan Sagahon Smith (pictured on the left), who was selected to play guitar in the All-State Jazz Band for the Jazz Choir.
Nearly 1,900 students applied for this opportunity. From those, the finest high school musicians will rehearse and perform in concert under the direction of world-renowned conductors. These WMEA All-State musicians were selected through auditions to participate in this outstanding event, which is sponsored by the Washington Music Educators Association.
Many professional musicians credit their All-State experience as crucial in their decision to choose music as a career. Thousands of others whose career paths took them in other directions have great memories of participating in this inspiring and motivating musical experience and claim that it was a life-changing experience for them.
Tyler plans to pursue a career in music as an orchestral conductor. Dylan plans on studying music along with entrepreneurial business and technology. We are so proud of their achievement and can’t wait to see how it launches them forward!
The WMEA High School All-State Honor Ensembles will meet in Yakima, February 15-17, 2024. But registration and the cost of making this trip are not covered by school funds. Help us celebrate Tyler and Dylan by contributing to the Denny Sealth Performing Arts Scholarship Fund to support their participation: PayPal “Denny Sealth Performing Arts” or Venmo @DennySealthPerforming Arts, and indicate “scholarship.”
Support Tyler and Dylan. Support the arts. Be a part of their journey!
Dream Dinners West Seattle (longtime WSB sponsor) is not only offering you the chance to enjoy home-cooked meals with much less effort, they’re also offering the chance to help local students. Order three dinners from Dream Dinners West Seattle, use a special code, and Madison Middle School‘s WEB program (explained here) benefits. From the announcement:
Help support Madison’s W.E.B. (where everyone belongs) program! We are teaming up with Dream Dinners West Seattle again this year and they’re donating a portion of their sales to Madison. By helping WEB and a local small business, your money has a DOUBLE positive impact in our community, and you’ll have some quick, easy meals ready. If you’re interested, please put MADWEB in the special instructions when you order and Madison will get a portion of the sales!
P.S. If you are not interested in Dream Dinners at this time, we are asking for donations of $10 (or more) to keep WEB going strong. If you can help, here is the donation link.
Here’s the fundraiser flyer. Place your order before February 24.
Spring is now just six weeks away. If you’re thinking of volunteering during this year’s warm season, here’s an opportunity – the annual call for Seattle Urban Nature Guides, which we were asked to share with you:
Become a Seattle Urban Nature Guide! Seattle Parks and Recreation Environmental Engagement Unit is offering free volunteer guide training. Inspire change through education, enrich the experience of park visitors, teach families and school students in nature, and share with your community. Applications are due March 15th; training begins April 12th.
If you have questions about the program, PKSNatureFieldTrips@seattle.gov is the address.
If you can give blood on February 23, Aliye Menzies would love to have your help organizing a blood drive in West Seattle that day. She needs 35 people to commit to donating in order to book a Bloodworks Northwest mobile donation vehicle for a spot outside Just Another Barbershop, across from Seacrest, at 1617 Harbor Avenue SW, 10 am-4 pm. Aliye advocates giving via her nonprofit Tithing Foundation; we asked her to tell us more about it and why she is organizing a blood drive:
The importance of using people’s 10% is a core foundation on what I stand on for Tithing Foundation. I know it can be difficult to get people to give to their community due to the many other commitments within life. Tithing Foundation helps everyday people in the community use 10% of their time, resources, or finances (or blood) to impact the community. That’s also why I partnered with Just Another Barbershop; as a new business, they expressed the importance of being community pillars and making an impact in people’s lives.
The reason why I chose BloodWorks NW was an easy pick. In the month of love, everyone is focusing on giving to the people they know and love. Well, what about all the lives that are at risk because they are unable to receive enough blood transfusions? Can’t we look at extending our love this month even to people we may not know? Blood is the life source, and if we choose to donate something that comes freely to us, we will save lives.
To help make this happen, you can respond via this online form. If you have a question first, contact Aliye at firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Seattle Cooperative Preschools are launching a new event this year to raise money for scholarships so more kids can attend preschool: A community “Family Disco Party.”
They’re hoping to host hundreds of kids (and their parents, grandparents, guardians, whoever wants to come along) from 10 am-11 am Sunday, February 11, for an hour of all-ages dancing with DJ Baby Van Beezly (and glow sticks!) at South Seattle College‘s Brockey Center. “Get the wiggles out before the Big Game!” is the invitation. Tickets are $10/person; all proceeds go to the Co-op Preschool Scholarship Fund and community parent-education programming. The campus café will also be open special hours before and after the dance party for breakfast/brunch treats and coffee/beverages. Tickets are on sale now – go here.
The local youth-baseball team Seattle Tigers have launched a unique fundraiser to pay for a dream trip to the home of baseball’s history. Here’s the announcement they asked us to share:
The 12U Seattle Tigers, a local West Seattle travel bseball team, are gearing up for the opportunity of a lifetime – a trip to Cooperstown, the home of legendary baseball memories. They’ll get to play Summer tournament baseball with other 12U teams from across the US, visit the Hall of Fame and participate in a 7-day sleep-away camp with teammates and coaches.
To help turn this dream into a reality, the Tigers have launched a unique Valentine’s fundraiser – a raffle for a dazzling 1-carat diamond ring.
The 12U Seattle Tigers includes a dedicated group of 11 young baseball players, and dedicated coaches who have played together for years on various West Seattle BB, West Seattle LL, All Stars and travel teams. Each player has shown growth of talent and sportsmanship throughout their years. Competing in Cooperstown is both an honor and a challenge, requiring financial support beyond their usual means. The Tigers team is thrilled to invite the local West Seattle community to join them on this exciting journey.
The fundraising efforts center around ‘Raffle for a Ring’ – happening now until Feb. 12th. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this raffle is for a 1 carat round, brilliant cut diamond ring ($8,500 value) generously donated by Menashe & Sons Jewelers. Raffle tickets are priced at $50 each, providing community members with a chance to win this stunning prize while contributing to the Tigers’ Cooperstown fund.
=Members of the 12U Tigers Baseball Team will be in-person at the West Seattle Farmers Market Feb 4th + 11th, to interact and say hello to the public. Each player will have flyers in hand with information on how to purchase a $50 raffle ticket, and talk about Cooperstown!
Join us in supporting the 12U Seattle Tigers as they aim to hit a home run toward Cooperstown. Together, we can help these young baseball players achieve their dreams.
Again this year, the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle will offer free seeds to teachers and parents for working with kids to learn about growing food. Right now, though, they need your help deciding what kind of seeds – here’s the announcement and request frm Kiwanis president Denis Sapiro:
The Kiwanis Club of West Seattle gave out about 200 packs of seeds to people at the Sunday Farmers’ Market last year. Kiwanis will again offer vegetable seeds and flower seeds this year. Teachers and parents can help select the type of seeds and number of packages of seeds Kiwanis will order this year. This is not a commitment to use the seeds nor for Kiwanis to provide all that is requested.
Here’s the survey – please answer it by February 5.
Kiwanis offers the Seed Project to boost family fun and joy and to provide an educational experience with hands-on activity! As the plant grows, you can transplant it into your garden. In the survey, please add your contact info (particularly your email address), so that we can let you know when the seeds will be available at the Farmers Market in the spring.
Four weeks from today, Alki Beach will be the site of a daylong celebration raising money for Special Olympics Washington, and you’re invited. Here’s the latest information:
The Special Olympics Washington Polar Plunge, a Seattle tradition, will take place on Saturday, February 24. The annual Winter Beach Party unites supporters from the area to ‘Get Cold for a Cause’. This year’s event promises something for everyone, whether plunging into the cold waters or joining in the festivities to cheer on participants.
Attendees can expect a full-on beach party with DJs, beach games, a beer garden, food trucks, costume contests, and more! Individual and team registrants are encouraged to raise donations in support of Special Olympics Washington athletes. As they raise funds, they can also earn prizes including airline vouchers and pizza party gift cards for the top individual and team fundraisers.
Proceeds from the Polar Plunge support Special Olympics Washington’s Beyond Gold Initiatives, enabling life-changing and inclusive programs for thousands of Washington athletes while ensuring their participation comes at no cost to them.
Get an inside look into the lives of Special Olympians by exploring the story of Brook Ayers, a local athlete from the Seattle area. Brook is one of over 11,900 participants in Special Olympics Washington, directly supported by funds raised through the Polar Plunge. Her journey embodies the spirit of the games and highlights the significant impact of these donations. Discover her inspiring story here.
Festivities kick off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 24 at Alki Beach & Bathhouse. The costume contest will begin at 12:10 p.m., with winners awarded based on crowd response. Polar Plunging starts at 1:00 p.m., with soup and hot chocolate stations to warm up afterward. For more information, and to register, visit PolarPlungeWA.com.
All ages are assisting with a food and clothihg drive happening right now at Combat Arts Academy (5050 Delridge Way SW), and you can too! They’re also planning a fundraising self-defense workshop for women on Sunday. First, the donation drive, which continues through the end of the month:
Winter’s chill has been upon us, and not everyone has a warm meal waiting. We’re collecting food and clothes for the West Seattle Food Bank through the end of the month. Let’s make a difference together!
Drop off items at Combat Arts Academy at 5050 Delridge Way SW
– M-Th 10a-9p, F 3p-9p, Su 10a-2p
– shoot us a message and we can coordinate.
– Non-Perishable foods (think ready-to eat): chili, soups, shelf stable milk, etc
– Healthy Snacks for kids (backpack program for school lunch): huge; fruit leather, granola bars, microwaveable pasta meals and soup cups, oatmeal/cereal packs
– Clothesline: winter coats, hats, gloves, hand warmers, towels, tents, sleeping bags, new underwear and socks, backpacks and duffle bags, suitcases with wheels, sheets and blankets
– Baby Corner: diapers, formula, wipes
The women’s self-defense workshop is at 3 pm Sunday (January 28) at CAA, suggested donation $30, for girls and women 13+ – details and registration link are in our calendar listing.
That’s a photo from the Dick’s Drive-In truck visit to Highland Park Corner Store last May. It’s returning this Saturday (January 27), this time as one of three ways to help nearby Highland Park Elementary School students, via the PTA.
First – show up for a community cleanup at 10 am Saturday – meet on the west side of the school (1012 SW Trenton) by the dumpsters.
Second – At 11 am, head to the HP Corner Store (7789 Highland Park Way SW), where the Dick’s truck will be selling burgers and shakes until 2 pm as part of a fundraiser for the PTA.
Third – While you’re at HPCS, grab a Mighty Mustang soda, and/or a pint of local beer, and bid on raffle items, also at HPCS, as the PTA works to raise money for new stools and acrylic paint for the school’s Art Room. grab a Mighty Mustang Soda or a pint of local beer, and bid on raffle items – the proceeds of which will go to support the Highland Park Elementary PTA. The PTA thanks Dick’s, The Bridge, and HPCS for supporting the school, and hopes you’ll be there to help.
If you worry that joining an advisory board would take too much time – the Southwest Design Review Board, right now, would prove that wrong. While it technically could meet twice a month, considering up to two projects per meeting, it’s been many years since there were enough qualifying development projects to fill that schedule. Last year, in fact, the SWDRB only met three times. Nonetheless, the city needs to have board members, and reader Rob McCulloch – a current SWDRB member – suggested we let you know that applications are open right now. The deadline is January 28 (next Sunday). Here are the basics:
Applicants should have knowledge of, or interest in, architecture, urban design, and the development process. They should have the ability to evaluate projects based on the City’s design guidelines, the ability to listen and communicate effectively, have a passion for urban design and community development, and the ability to work well with others under pressure. Prior experience with community or neighborhood groups is a plus. Board members must live in the city.
Currently the meetings are held online (the board met in-person pre-pandemic). More on the program, and how to apply (openings include boards for other parts of the city too), can be found here. (The rest of the city’s schedule is pretty empty right now too – see it here.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The Highland Park Improvement Club rebuilding project needs more donated dollars. But as much as – or maybe even more than – that, iHPIC needs your talent and time.
That was the message at this week’s online “town hall” updating where the project stands, two and a half years after fire ravaged HPIC’s historic community-owned-and-operated building at 12th/Holden.
The meeting, facilitated by HPIC’s board president Rhonda Smith and member Kay Kirkpatrick, lasted less than an hour, and you can see it in its entirety in the HPIC-provided video above. It was the first “town hall” update on the project in more than a year (here’s our coverage of the previous one, in November 2022), and the sixth since the fire.
The project has been far from idle in the ensuing 14 months – it’s been slogging through the city review process, as explained by architect (and Highland Park resident) Matt Estes of Wittman Estes. Key permits are likely just weeks away. But that’s just one hurdle to clear – to make the project reality, it’ll take more community involvement and more fundraising. The latter has made a lot of progress: Read More
You donate, they read! The Madison Middle School ASB (student association) has a request:
Help us get people reading!
Madison Middle School’s annual fundraiser is approaching! This fundraiser allows us to fund clubs, sports, and extracurriculars. This year, we’ll be holding a read-a-thon, from March 11th to March 25th. We are looking for incentives for students to motivate them to participate. The Madison Middle School ASB will be accepting gift cards/certificates to local West Seattle businesses, no more than $25 each.
If you have any questions, or would like to make a donation, please email email@example.com
Last April, in this report on a community-conversation event hosted by then-School Board member Leslie Harris, we mentioned two students who were there to ask her support for creation of a West Seattle High School water-polo team. It’s finally happening, according to reader Jennifer, who sent this update because now they need community help:
The league and district have approved a club team (no district funds) so that the girls can play. The season starts in late February! However, the team has no funds to cover pool time, equipment, or coaching. Please consider supporting them through the West Seattle Booster Club at wsbooster.com/#donate (be sure to put “Water Polo” in the notes!)