By Bethany Overland
It’s mid-August, and the new school year is less than a month away. New clothes, shoes and school supplies can be hard on the budget of any family—that is, if you’re lucky enough to have a budget.
For homeless parents, back-to-school can mean back-to-wondering how they’ll meet their children’s needs for the new academic year. But thanks to Project Cool, more than 1,800 homeless students across King County will enter the year with a brand-new backpack, binder and other basic supplies necessary for success in school—and eventually in life.
More than 30 volunteers met Aug. 11 at a former Baptist church in Crown Hill to stuff backpacks with school supplies. Thousands of packages of crayons and markers and stacks of notebooks littered the hall, and brand-new backpacks waited reverently in the pews.
At 2:30 p.m. Aug. 10, nine months after it announced its move, the Ballard Food Bank will officially open for business in its new home at 5130 Leary Ave. N.W.
The food bank moved out of its old space at 7001 24th Ave. N.W. Aug. 6 with the help of volunteers and the Ballard High School football team.
And, after an exhausting few days of preparation, the food bank's new space is ready to receive its first customers.
"People just worked hard until we were done," said Nancy McKinney, executive director of the Ballard Food Bank. "It was a couple of 12-hour days."
The new Ballard Food Bank has 75 percent more square footage than the former space. There is more room for storage and services and customers will no longer have to wait outside in the cold and rain.
McKinney said she is looking forward to clients being able to shop in a store setting instead of a cramped space. They now have breathing room and space to browse, she said.
"When I go grocery shopping, I like to be in an atmosphere that's pleasant," she said.
The public is invited to join the Rotary Club of West Seattle as they celebrate the return and rededication of West Seattle’s beloved Totem Pole on Tuesday August 10 at 5:00pm.
The totem was recently refurbished and re-installed at The Rotary Viewpoint Park on 35th and Alaska SW. In attendance will be the original carver Robin Young, Cecile Hansen, Duwamish Tribal Chairperson and other dignitaries.
After the ceremony, everyone attending is invited to join the Rotary Club at the West Seattle Golf Course Fox Den Grille.
Refreshments will be available for purchase.
For more information, please contact Shirley Clough at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-2773.
When Ballard native Electa Anderson's husband Norm was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease in 1999 at the age of 56, she became aware firsthand of the misconceptions and lack of understanding associated with the disease.
"Something as simple as going to dinner and reading the menu for them and ordering for them and having the waiter looking at you like you are trying to run your husband's life," Anderson said.
She said people who do not have to deal directly with those suffering from Alzheimer's make wrong judgements about the situation. They see someone who still looks normal and healthy despite the loss of memory and body function, she said.
Anderson said the husband of a friend of hers was diagnosed with Alzheimer's when he was in his 40s. Eventually he had to have his driver's license taken away. He was still mentally aware enough to complain to friends, and they nearly sued his wife for guardianship because they were convinced she was mistreating her seemingly normal husband, Anderson said.
The statue – meant to celebrate Puget Sound salmon and local indigenous cultures as well as draw attention to the natural area located near the Ballard Locks at the street end of 34th Avenue Northwest – was first announced June 2009. Since that time, the project suffered a number of fits and starts.
Groundswell NW, the nonprofit that partnered with the city to bring the welcome figure to Ballard, originally planned to have it installed in fall 2009. The installation was then postponed to early June 2010 before being moved to this week.
"I don't consider them delays," said Oliver, an artist of Quinault heritage and a curator at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. "For me, it's right on time."
Mary Dunlap became homeless at 13 and spent much of her teenage years living with friends and family. After graduating from high school, she applied to the University of Washington and was granted a full-ride scholarship.
While she said the four years of tuition are a blessing, the financial aid did not guarantee other basic living expenses. Desiring stability and structure, Dunlap moved into Crown Hill's Labateyah Youth Home in May.
“It’s more like a rent-savings program for youth," Dunlap said. "I like to think of it as a bank almost. They give you a loan in a sense."
Labateyah, located at 9010 13th Ave. N.W., was established in 1992 when founder Bearnie Whitebear noticed that Native American youth were disproportionately represented in the homeless community and often had trouble assimilating into traditional support programs. Whitebear hoped to provide Native youth with a nurturing environment and culturally relevant program.
A 65-year-old mountain climbing and sea kayak guide from Ballard was the lead bicycle rider June 21 at the start of the Big Ride Across America, a 3,300-mile, 12-state trek from Seattle to Washington, D.C.
Noel Gilbrough was the first in the group of 25 on this bike ride of a lifetime to help prevent lung disease and promote clean air.
The riders, ranging in age from 17 to 65, each raised at least $6,000 to participate. At the opening ceremony, a check was presented for $175,000 for the total funds raised for the American Lung Association.
“My wife Cindy and her community of fellow quilters raised most of the money,” said Gilbrough, the fundraising leader at $12,000.
The riders come from 15 states, and will be traveling through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland before reaching Washington D.C. on Aug. 7.
Due to some last minute fabrication hitches, the dedication of a sculpture at the Salmon Bay Natural Area has been postponed fron June 12 to July 17.
The statue, a welcome figure, is being created by Marvin Oliver, a renowned artist of Quinault heritage, and will help remind viewers of the stories, history and creativity inherent in local indigenous cultures.
Commissioned in partnership with Groundswell NW and the City of Seattle, the welcome figure will serve to identify Salmon Bay Natural Area while offering an aesthetic reminder to protect vulnerable watersheds, according to a Groundswell NW press release.
An aluminum and glass disc depicting the salmon life cycle is oriented to face upstream, giving thanks to the salmon as they migrate out to sea and creating a visual connection to the waterway with color and light, according to the press release.
The dedication ceremony on July 17 will feature Duwamish tribal leader Cecile Hanson to honor the unique artistry of the Salish people and people's connection with the landscape.
It's been a good few weeks for local food banks. The Ballard Food Bank announced its new location earlier this month, and now the Greenwood Food Bank is preparing to move into a new, larger space.
The Greenwood Food Bank, currently at 9747 Greenwood Ave. N., will be moving seven blocks south to 9041 Greenwood Ave. N. this weekend. May 27 was their final day of service at the old location, and service will begin June 1 in the new space.
Volunteers of America Western Washington, which runs the Greenwood Food Bank, bought the building at 9041 Greenwood Ave. N. and will be moving its Senior Companion Program and Disability Services there as well to create the Volunteers of America Community Resource Center.
Lori Drabant, vice president of development and communications for Volunteers of America, said the goal is to fill the needs of the community while increasing visibility and integration of the Senior Companion Program and Disability Services.
The first Spoke and Food event will combine bicycling and dining to raise funds for Solid Ground's Lettuce Link program.
The main goals of Spoke and Food, which takes place on June 29, are to motivate the community to use bicycles as they dine out and to improve access to healthy food fro all by supporting Lettuce Link, an innovative food and gardening program started in 1988, according to a Spoke and Food press release.
Lettuce Link creates access to fresh, nutritious and organic produce, seeds and gardening information for families with lower incomes in Seattle.
Residents can bike to any of the following Ballard-area restaurants June 29, and they will donate 15 percent to 20 percent of their proceeds to Lettuce Link.
- Dad Watsons
- The Stepping Stone
- Snoose Junction Pizzeria
- Naked City Brewery & Tap House
Other participating restaurants around the city include The Scarlet Tree, Montlake Alehouse, Fiddler’s Inn, Muleadys Irish Pub and Cantinetta Restaurant.