Teenagers think inside of the box

November 23, 2010

Cold campout raises awareness of homelessness

Even after spending more than an hour building her cardboard box house and sleeping with nothing but cardboard and a sleeping bag between her and the raw outside, Kristin Dietzel was ready to tackle the day’s challenges as a temporary homeless minor.

But, as the day wore on, Dietzel, an eighth-grade student at Beaver Lake Middle School, found herself growing tired. She had fasted for 24 hours, gone digging through Dumpsters for meals, walked door to door for a food drive and panhandled outside a grocery store in Issaquah, all on the cold, gray day of Nov. 13.

She and 23 other students learned about homelessness in a 24-hour activity called Box Out, held by the Faith United Methodist Church youth group. Director of Youth Ministries Robert Seybold started the program seven years ago, but this is the first year he has organized it in Issaquah.

For Seybold, homelessness is a personal issue. As a teenager growing up in Yakima, he was homeless on and off for three years.

“I just remember what it was like to have to cover myself up with cardboard boxes whenever it would be raining or snowing,” he said. “I would grab plastic bags from the grocery store to prevent them from getting wet.”

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Soap for Hope needs donations

November 16, 2010

AAA Washington and KOMO Newsradio are joining together for the third annual Soap for Hope, a campaign seeking donations of unused and unopened toiletry items for people in need.

The AAA Issaquah office will give its donations to the Eastside Domestic Violence Program. Donate at the office at 405 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite 102. Read more

Sammamish grants dollars to Issaquah nonprofits

November 2, 2010

Sammamish City Council members cited the impact of the economic downturn and increased the amount the city grants to local nonprofits Oct. 26.

The money allotted by the council — $192,000 — includes grants to some Issaquah-based organizations. The allocation is a sharp increase from 2010. The city doled out $147,000 for 2010.

“I’d like to see some increase in funding for one time only because of these especially hard times,” Deputy Mayor Nancy Whitten said. “A lot of people who would normally give have given less because they can’t afford it or not given at all.”

The recipients include Athletes For Kids, AtWork!, Eastside Baby Corner, the Eastside Domestic Violence Program, Faith In Action, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, Issaquah Church and Community Services, the Issaquah Schools Foundation, Life Enrichment Options and the Providence Marianwood Foundation.

Women’s Club tea combines good times, charity work

November 2, 2010

Steamy tea, little sandwiches and sugary treats await those snacking at the third annual Harmony and High Tea hosted by the Issaquah Women’s Club.

After a group of friends founded the club in 1983, “just a couple of women who wanted to get together and have fun and do some good for the community,” the club has intertwined itself with Issaquah, forming friendships and donating funds to local groups, community outreach chair Mary Mallet said.

Tea aficionados chatter during the annual Harmony and High Tea auction organized by the Issaquah Women’s Club. By Debby Bader

At the tea, women of all ages can catch up with their family and neighbors. Joann McHolland plans to bring her 12-year-old granddaughter, who has already saved $100 to spend at the auction.

McHolland joined the club in 2002, after a vehicle accident made it difficult for her to pursue her other extracurricular activity: golf.

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Paranormal activity: Nightmare at Beaver Lake ups the scare factor

October 5, 2010

Dana Young, Curt Madden and Chris Shea (from left) work on the spinning vortex set for this year’s Nightmare at Beaver Lake. By Christopher Huber

For Dana Young, Curt Madden and Chris Shea, it’s all about the scare.

The trio from Scare Productions, which puts on the annual Nightmare at Beaver Lake, spend months before the mid-October haunt in Sammamish, scheming, recruiting actors, and building and designing sets to optimize the Halloween experience for thousands of area residents who flock to the event.

“We get paid in screams,” Young said as the three recently built the roof for the spinning vortex at Beaver Lake Park.

The seventh annual Nightmare opens Oct. 19 and will feature about 120 actors aiming to scare, startle and frighten anyone who dares to take a stroll through the 85-acre park.

“Hopefully we’ll get someone to throw up,” said Madden, Scare Productions president.

Scare Productions does receive actual compensation, but the majority of ticket proceeds benefits the Sammamish Rotary Club and its variety of scholarship funds and local and international giving programs.

Nightmare at Beaver Lake will highlight similar features this year as in past years, such as ornery orcs launching fireballs from a trebuchet and various dreary and creepy settings. This time, it will be a little more interactive.

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Duo bikes for domestic violence prevention

September 14, 2010

Bridget (left) and Cycle the WAVE Ride Director Sharon Anderson talk about raising money for the Eastside Domestic Violence Program. By Laura Geggel

Bridget considers herself a strong woman, so strong that she found a way to save herself and her young son from her abusive husband.

The two got help from the Eastside Domestic Violence Program, and now Bridget is giving back by cycling with the Lakemont Ladies Cycling Club during the annual Cycle the WAVE — Women Against Violence Everywhere — Issaquah bike ride. Read more

Volunteer, hobby expo returns bigger than ever

April 20, 2010

Whether you’re brand new to the community or have lived here your whole life, possibilities abound for getting involved with your neighbors and other like-minded individuals or groups. The trick is finding them.

Luckily, the Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department gathers more than 30 organizations at one convenient location each year — the Hobby & Volunteer Expo.

“It’s for all ages,” organizer Cathy Jones said. “It’s especially great for parents to find different groups for their children.”

Now in its 11th year, this year’s show is geared more toward hobby and volunteer opportunities for adults and high school students, Jones said.

“There are some great opportunities for retirees and empty nesters,” she added.

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Kiwanis event funds grants for local organizations

April 13, 2010

Ready, set, bid — for a good cause as the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah hosts its 32nd annual auction and dinner fundraiser April 24.

The event is one of the largest Kiwanis fundraisers all year, President Connie Fletcher said.

Last year, the event made about $66,000, member Keith Watts said. Members are hoping to reach that again this year at the Hilton Garden Inn with help from emcee Leon Kos, Issaquah’s city administrator, and City Councilman Fred Butler.

Items for the auction include travel packages, an oceanfront condo in Mexico, iPod Touch, jewelry, local experiences like a fire truck ride, and two Trophy Club passes to the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Golf Course.

Proceeds from the event go to fund grant requests from local organizations, like Eastside Baby Corner, Issaquah Church and Community Services and the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. Read more

Issaquah Women’s Club furnishes local charities with funding

March 23, 2010

Representatives of local recipient organizations and Issaquah Women’s Club officers pose March 4 with checks totaling $6,000, raised by club members at their annual Harmony & High Tea fundraiser last November. Contributed

Issaquah Women’s Club members gathered to distribute $6,000 in donations to local organizations March 4.

“This is what we work so hard for all year,” said Club President Mariann Crane. “We are very thoughtful where our monies go, and we feel we have got Read more

Council will vote on dollars to feed hungry, shelter homeless

December 1, 2009

Many human services agencies are in line to receive the same amount of city grant dollars next year as the organizations received in 2009. Read more

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