Master Chorus Eastside announces relief concert

March 22, 2011

Master Chorus Eastside is lending a hand to disaster victims in Japan.

The organization — and its many members from Issaquah and Sammamish — plans a fund drive for the earthquake-stricken nation as part of the Bach “St. John Passion” concert at 3 p.m. March 27. The concert is at the Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave. Learn more at the chorus’ website, www.masterchoruseastside.org.

Proceeds from the concert support relief efforts by Federal Way-based World Vision, a faith-based nonprofit organization.

World Vision is working around the clock in a hard-hit coastal community, Minami Sanriku.

“These needs I’m seeing in my own country are as bad as anything I’ve seen globally,” World Vision Relief Manager Kenjiro Ban said. “Priority needs include supplies for babies and small children, and next steps will include setting up child-friendly spaces, which are safe places for children where they can be protected, have structure and playtime, and begin to deal with the stress of the traumatic events they’ve just experienced.”

Off the Press

March 22, 2011

Bill Gates and I finally have something in common. Neither one of us is at the top of Forbes magazine’s  list of the world’s richest people.

The fact that I’m not on the top of the list probably isn’t a huge surprise to most readers. But becoming a millionaire, or a billionaire, has never been one of my goals. Thus far, I’m doing a good job of avoiding it. However, there are Power Ball and Mega Millions lotteries coming up this week, so who knows? If I won a jackpot, after getting resuscitated, I would donate millions to charities.

Gates has a net worth of $56 billion. Yes, that ranked the chairman of Microsoft second on the list. Why? Gates has a generous spirit. His charitable contributions prevented him from being No. 1.

Bob Taylor        Press sports editor

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the world. In 2007, the couple contributed $28 billion to charities. The foundation contributes money to combat hunger, poverty, disease and illiteracy around the world. Gates has made huge donations to improve education in the United States, too.

I admire a person like Gates who is willing to give and give and give to make our world better.

Giving is something else that I have in common with Gates. Over the years, I have made contributions to many charities although not on the same scale. In recent times, however, my contributions haven’t been as frequent because of medical expenditures. My pockets are not quite as deep as they once were because of my battle with cancer.

Fortunately, my son David has taken over the role of being the family philanthropist. He has a very generous spirit, making donations to a variety of charities each month.

David is quite a success story. He has overcome a physical disability. He graduated from the University of Washington cum laude and later earned a master’s degree. He has a steady job with a good company. No father could be more proud. I’m especially proud of his giving spirit. David, like his dad, has no ambitions to become wealthy, either.

For many people, this is the giving time of the year. There is, after all, “the infernal revenue service” where some of us will again make a donation to Uncle Sam.

Read more

Karate West kicks in $8,000 for Kenyan school

January 11, 2011

By Katya Palladina Kevin Jacobson, with his mother Rachel, shows off his medals for winning second place in sparring and third place in kata.

Randy and Jan Holeman only expected about 125 or so of their students to show up at their December fundraiser tournament at Karate West in Sammamish.

Ultimately, twice that many came to compete and exhibit their self-defense skills Dec. 18.

“It was amazing,” Randy Holeman, Karate West co-owner, said. “We were overwhelmed.” Read more

Hop to it: Groups host Easter egg hunts

March 30, 2010

Trevor Jordan dashes to the far end of the field for treasures as a horde of youngsters pick up prizes near the starting line at the 2009 Easter egg hunt and carnival in the Issaquah Highlands. — By Greg Farrar

With Easter less than a week away, several community organizations will host egg hunts the day before the holiday and on Easter.

The annual Easter egg hunt in the Issaquah Highlands, called Highlands 4 Haiti, will be at Grand Ridge Elementary School, 1739 N.E. Park Drive, on April 3. Proceeds from the event will go to World Vision, a nonprofit relief organization based in Federal Way that’s helping children in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake.

Wristbands, sold for $5 at Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive, in the days before the event, will also be available at the event gate. The event runs from 10 a.m. – noon.

About 1,700 people turned out for the Sammamish Family YMCA Eggstravaganza last year. Organizers expect about 2,000 attendees when the event returns April 3.

The event will be 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. The event will include carnival games, face painting, inflatable obstacle courses and a visit from the Easter Bunny. The event will be at the YMCA, 4221 228th Ave. S.E. Call 391-4840 for more information. Read more

Skyline students play it forward

November 3, 2009

Emily Baer saw a newspaper ad in search of unused soccer balls.

Perfect, the eighth-grader thought. Answering that call would more than satisfy a community service requirement.

She collected 36 balls from her neighborhood and figured she was done. Turns out she sold herself short. Way short.

“A couple months later, I was at it again,” Baer said. Read more

Inter-high leaders discuss community service ideas

April 13, 2009

By Christopher Huber

Skyline High School's representatives to the Inter-high leadership conference spent the afternoon of March 25 discussing community service with their peers from across King County at Liberty High School. By Christopher Huber

About 115 student leaders from 10 KingCo conference high schools made stone soup March 25 at Liberty High School.

They didn’t literally eat soup full of rocks, but the potatoes in the veggie soup resembled the magic stone from the legendary story about a man who brings together a starving community to make a scrumptious meal in a time of need.

Presenters told the story at the third Inter-high student leadership conference of the school year. It was meant to inspire the students, mostly Associated Student Body officers, to promote philanthropy and teamwork among their respective student bodies and in their home communities, said Skyline ASB advisor Allison Maners. Read more

Hoopsters: sink shots to prevent AIDS

April 6, 2009

Shooting hoops to save the world? It may sound too good to be true, but Hoops of Hope is coming to the Issaquah Community Center from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. April 18 and you can make difference. Read more

Highlands festival has global goal

December 1, 2008

The Issaquah Highlands Christmas Festival will not only celebrate the season, but seeks to raise funds for some international causes.

Read more