March 12, 2013

Kauk, Walters

Cori Kauk and Chas Walters, both of Issaquah, were married Dec. 30, 2012, at Barra de Navidad, Mexico.

Wyndi Westhoff Prouse officiated.

Chas Walters and Cori Kauk

Chas Walters and Cori Kauk

The couple honeymooned at the Grand Canyon.

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City Council restores dollars for nonprofit organizations

December 11, 2012

By the numbers

Data from the most recent year available, 2011, illustrates how Issaquah ranks against other King County cities in per capita funding for human services.


  • Human services budget: $222,000
  • Funding formula: 1 percent of general fund
  • Per capita human services funding: $8.22


  • Human services budget: $2,792,312
  • Funding formula: inflation plus population growth
  • Per capita human services funding: $23.01


  • Human services budget: $234,500
  • Funding formula: per capita
  • Per capita human services funding: $7


  • Human services budget: $289,000
  • Funding formula: 3 percent of estimated revenues
  • Per capita human services funding: $13.85


  • Human services budget: $571,880
  • Funding formula: per capita
  • Per capita human services funding: $11.52


  • Human services budget: $664,235
  • Funding formula: per capita plus $74,500 per year in domestic violence funds
  • Per capita human services funding: $11.35


  • Human services budget: $176,000
  • Funding formula: no formula
  • Per capita human services funding: $4.29


  • Human services budget: $340,307
  • Funding formula: no formula
  • Per capita human services funding: $6.23


  • Human services budget: $66,501
  • Funding formula: no formula
  • Per capita human services funding: $5.86

Source: City of Issaquah

Representatives from a spectrum of organizations — nonprofit human services groups offering affordable housing, safe havens for domestic violence victims, assistance to struggling students and more — successfully lobbied City Council members Dec. 3 to stave off a $48,750 drop in funding for such programs.

The council agreed to allocate $280,750 in the $42 million general fund budget for human services grants, but only after a council committee pushed to increase the amount and local nonprofit organizations pleaded for the council not to eliminate $48,750 in funding.

Grants go to organizations such as Eastside Baby Corner, Friends of Youth and the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank to offer services to residents from Issaquah and the Issaquah School District.

In a 4-3 decision, council members agreed to increase the amount budgeted for human services by $48,750 from the $233,250 the council recommended in earlier budget deliberations. The additional dollars for human services grants comes from the municipal rainy day fund.

Councilwoman Eileen Barber initiated the process to restore the human services funding.

Then, before the split decision, representatives from local human services organizations — including Catholic Community Services, Issaquah Community Services and LifeWire — beseeched the council to restore funds for grants.

“At a time when I see the needs rising among our students, and I see the return on investment for cities in investing in students while they’re still in school, I think it’s a critical time for you to consider being able to support organizations, such as the schools foundation, in retaining our current funding,” Issaquah Schools Foundation Executive Director Robin Callahan said.

Several referenced the Great Recession and the fragile economy recovery in pleas to the council.

“I believe that our nonprofits are still recovering from the recession,” Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank Executive Director Cori Kauk said. “Many of our local nonprofits haven’t rebounded yet and they still need your support. Now is really not a good time for cuts.”

Council President Tola Marts said the city did not intend to undercut human services organizations through the budget reduction.

“In a time when the state and the county are reducing funds — and I realize that puts even more strain on local budgets — I think the intent of the council when we did the budget was that we thought that was a strong position to take,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that it’s been perceived as a Grinchian position.”

The council acts on recommendations from the municipal Human Services Commission. Overall, commissioners received 60 grant applications totaling $366,283 in requests for 2013.

Commission Chairwoman Maggie Baker, disappointed about the proposed reduction in funding, pored over data from the U.S. Census Bureau to better quantify the need in the community.

“I realized that with $47,000 less, we weren’t going to be able to do the right thing for our 1,365 Issaquah neighbors 65 and over who live with at least one disability that keeps them from completing an activity of daily living, such as eating, dressing or bathing,” she said.

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Issaquah cash mob aims to stock food bank

November 13, 2012

The indefatigable team behind recent cash mobs at Issaquah businesses is asking consumers to shop BOGO — buy one and, in a holiday season change-up, give one.

The next cash mob is due to descend on specialty grocer Champion Grocery on Nov. 17, and organizers encourage shoppers to buy something for themselves, and something extra for the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.

In a cash mob, a group of people descends on a business to buy, buy, buy. The destination is revealed through social media services. Then, the mob pops up at the business to browse and shop.

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Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank holiday program helps children

November 13, 2012

The holiday season can be a stressful time for families struggling through a difficult financial situation.

But the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank is doing its part to bring holiday cheer to all through its holiday gift-giving program.

Caring Through Sharing ensures that families in need get to experience the joy of the holiday season and that each child has a present to open.

“It’s not in our mission necessarily to do holiday gifts for families; we’re really focused on basic needs, but we see this as a really important part of our community,” said Cori Kauk, executive director at the food bank.

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Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank board needs members

July 31, 2012

Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank leaders seek community members to serve on the nonprofit organization’s board.

The food bank board needs volunteer members experienced in donor relations, operations, board development and facility expansion. Interested citizens should contact Executive Director Cori Kauk at or call 392-4123.

The food bank serves clients from throughout the Issaquah School District. In the summer, the organization operates a popular Summer Lunch Program to provide children with free snacks and food to ensure adequate nutrition while school is out.

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Cash mob shoppers needed to purchase school supplies

July 24, 2012

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce is directing its next cash mob efforts to help needy students within the Issaquah School District acquire school supplies.

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Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank gets makeover on Community Service Day

June 26, 2012

The Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank was hustling and bustling June 15 for the annual Windermere Community Service Day. More than 50 agents from the Issaquah Windermere office volunteered to clean and paint, and sort groceries.

“We are doing spring cleaning, like you’d do at home,” said Cori Kauk, executive director for the food bank.

Larry Miller, project director, found out the food bank needed help by calling and asking.

“It’s been a rough few years on a lot of people and they had to step up and help them,” Miller said.

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Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank program keeps children fed through summer

June 19, 2012

Thanks to the National School Lunch Program, while school is in session, parents can be sure that their children are kept fed.

But during the summer months, the important resource is no longer available, placing an added burden on families.

Nearly 1,700 children in the Issaquah School District receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year, according to the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s website.

But thanks to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank’s Summer Lunch Program, children in its service area can receive free snacks and food, ensuring adequate nutrition during the summertime. Read more

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Food Stamp Challenge participants asked to eat on only $4.50 per day

May 8, 2012

The whole coffee beans Cori Kauk grinds for a morning cup of java could disappear from the menu soon, as the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank executive director embarks on a challenge to eat and drink on only $4.50 per day.

The cause is the Food Stamp Challenge, a campaign to encourage households to meet all food needs for a period of time on the equivalent amount to food stamps. The catch: Participants can spend only $1.50 per person per meal, or $4.50 per day — about the same amount as a morning latte.

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‘Speed’ food drive helps Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank at right time

February 21, 2012

The challenge was to see how many nonperishable food items could be gathered in one week.

In the end, students, families and staff members of Pacific Cascade Middle School rose to the occasion, said Tanya Hansen, food drive chairwoman. There was some concern the drive was going to stumble a bit, admitted Hansen and teacher Stan Kasemeier.

As of Feb. 13, one day before the end of the drive, the amount of food gathered was just not what they were hoping.

They need not have worried. Hansen said a surprising 1,100 items came in the last day.

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