DICTIONARIES FOR THIRD GRADERS
Every September, Rotary presents a dictionary to each and every third grade student on Vashon to use and keep. In Rotary’s efforts to promote literacy, enhance education and support youth, our club is proud to accomplish this project each year.
Students wrote sweet thank-you notes to Rotary last year including these:
“It is so nice of you to give us a Dictionary. I found a word that I didn’t even know existed. It was so cool!” “The dictionary is AWESOME because it makes me smarter than I already am!”
2015 marks the sixth year that Rotary will give a dictionary to each third grader on the island.
MUSIC MENDS MINDS will launch in September 2015 – This brand new Vashon organization facilitates music opportunities for people with dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The patients sing and play music; caregivers have a support group. Rotarian Amy Huggins is at the helm.
BLOOD DRIVE Donate a pint (it’s painless and takes less than an hour!) or volunteer to help during the afternoon and evening hours. Held at Vashon’s Lutheran Church on the main highway, usually on a Thursday. Neil Jungemann is our lead on this project. Next blood drive at Vashon Lutheran Church is Thursday August 27.
Rotary also encourages you to donate platelets and/or plasma at one of the offices of the Puget Sound Blood Center. When you give a pint of whole blood on Vashon, the staff can tell you if you are a candidate for other donations which are also desperately needed. These donations take an hour or two in Seattle or one of their other locations….parking is free & easy….donation is free & easy….and it makes a huge difference for people who are sick or having surgery.
Most people can donate whole blood every 8 weeks…make this donation part of your routine only 6 times each year.
FOOD BANK SUPPORT
Rotarians from all over Seattle and Vashon Island gather frequently at the Northwest Harvest food warehouse in Kent to package bulk apples and peas for distribution to food banks throughout the area. Rotary’s western Washington program, Rotary First Harvest, is instrumental in facilitating donations of bulk food and donations of transportation to bring it to central distribution areas. Rotary volunteers and others help with packaging and further distribution. Several drivers for Vashon Food Bank are members of Vashon Rotary.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT DINNERS Rotary takes a turn about four times each year to prepare and serve this free community meal at Church of the Holy Spirit just north of town. You can volunteer pretty much ANY Wednesday, but the ones to focus on are the Rotary nights coming up. Next date for Rotary to host is August 12.
FIRST THURSDAY FOOD DRIVE for the Vashon Food Bank Bring non-perishable and shelf-stable foods, including your fresh garden produce, to our Rotary meeting on the first Thursday morning of each month.
SECURITY FENCE FOR THE FOOD BANK Rotarians raised the funds for materials and our volunteers built a security fence at the Vashon Food Bank. The Food Bank’s truck was constantly the victim of gasoline theft, so now there is a fenced area to park it. Pascal Py and Neil Jungemann planned the project and served as head carpenters. Gary Sipple built several custom carts for food distribution inside the small warehouse. Verne Johnson, Ka Luomala and others also pitched in.
Rotary recently partnered with two Vashon social service organizations to bring additional funds to the island to prevent homelessness. Two Rotary grants totalling $10,000 were administered by Vashon Youth and Family Services and the Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness. To earn the Rotary funding, these two organizations pledged $1,250 each and Rotary brings $7,500 to the table for direct support to families.
Several local non-profit partner organizations helped get this rolling three years ago for Vashon: Vashon Household, Vashon Community Care and the Vashon Senior Center all chipped-in with VYFS and IFCH then to match the Rotary funding.
LONG TIME COMMITMENT TO OUR LOCAL PARKS
Rotarians rebuilt a historic fence around the Keepers’ Quarters at Point Robinson Park a decade ago, retaining the authentic period style with just two wooden rails and concrete posts. Last summer, the fence was cleaned and painted in cooperation with the volunteer group, Keepers of Point Robinson, that stewards the historic Coast Guard facilities. Many thanks to Captain Joe Wubbold for his leadership of the stewardship efforts at the park! Point Robinson would not be the incredible place that it is without his work and that of his organization, Keepers of Point Robinson.
This past winter, Rotary and AmeriCorps teamed-up to renovate Lisabeula Park. Some safety problems were mitigated, a new barrier installed around the parking lot, invasive plants removed, native species were planted, and a new trail created back through the valley. The AmeriCorps team also cleared trails at Agren Park and helped with some site rehabilitation at Paradise Ridge Equestrian Park.