Since May 2012, ThurstonTalk has been sharing stories about inexpensive family fun around Thurston County. Now, it’s your chance to share your Thrifty Thurston ideas with us.
We want to know where you and your family go to enjoy inexpensive fun around Thurston County. Submit your best Thrifty Thurston idea by noon on Monday, December 15, for a chance to have your Thrifty Thurston idea published on ThurstonTalk and you will be entered to win a family pack of four ticket to the Hands On Children’s Museum’s Noon Year’s Eve party.
Thrifty Thurston Ideas What is your best idea for inexpensive family fun around Thurston County?
Submitted by Port Blakely Companies
Port Blakely Companies, a family-owned forestry and forest products company, today announced its support of an environmental education program to serve over 100 of Seattle’s underserved and under-represented youth in honor of its 150th Anniversary and legacy of stewardship.
NatureBridge, a non-profit organization that provides hands-on environmental science programs for students, is a national leader in environmental education. NatureBridge will lead approximately 130 underserved Seattle students through its programs in spring 2015 at Olympic National Park. Students will visit and study the Elwha River Restoration, one of the largest watershed restoration projects in US history. They will also learn about watershed science on the Olympic Peninsula as they study the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems and the role of water in terrestrial systems.
“As a company committed to creating a healthier world, we believe all students should have the opportunity to learn about nature through science, and through NatureBridge students will gain a better understanding of the importance of natural resources and the environment,” said René Ancinas, CEO of Port Blakely Companies.
“The environmental challenges in our future will be increasingly complex. With this, we’re thrilled that Port Blakely Companies is helping to build a generation of environmentally literate citizens armed with the tools and know-how to make a difference,” noted Stephen Streufert, Pacific Northwest Director of NatureBridge.
The program will continue for the next five years. Each year NatureBridge will select local schools to participate. Port Blakely is known for environmental education, as it has taught nearly 60,000 students from throughout the region about managed forests and responsible land stewardship since 1991.
Submitted by the Healthy Homes Program
The Healthy Homes Program offers free, voluntary, and confidential home visits to help reduce housing-related health risks like mold, asthma triggers, exposure to toxins, and more. This program relies on trained volunteers to conduct these visits. Healthy Homes is holding a free training for new volunteers starting January 14. As a Healthy Homes Volunteer, you will gain practical life skills and help members of your community create healthier living spaces!
Who can become a Healthy Homes Volunteer? YOU! No prior experience is necessary. The 30 hours of hands-on training will equip volunteers with the knowledge to create healthier living spaces for themselves and Thurston County residents. The training is fun, engaging, and useful. Once the training is completed, volunteers are asked to give back 30 volunteer hours to the program. Volunteers can perform Healthy Home Visits in pairs, staff booths at community events, assist with community outreach, and more.
Training Schedule: Wednesdays from 6:00-9:00 p.m. January 14 – March 25, 2015
Training Location: Thurston County Public Health & Social Services, 412 Lilly Rd. NE Olympia. Across from Providence St. Peter Hospital, served by bus route #60.
Contact: (360) 867-2674 or HealthyHomes@co.thurston.wa.us
Submitted by City of Olympia
Shopping downtown this holiday season is easy and convenient with the annual Twelve Days of Free Holiday Parking!
Parking is free in the downtown core from December 12 through December 24 – valid at purple 2-hour and green 3-hour metered spaces only. Time limits will be enforced to give many people the chance to park, shop, dine and enjoy downtown. 9-hour meters (gray domed ones) are not part of the free program.
Happy Holidays from Olympia Parking Services!
Owning a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle is, for many people, a lifelong dream. It’s not unusual for people to visit Northwest Harley-Davidson multiple times simply to admire the bikes. And, when admiration turns to questions of, “Could I really do this?” NW Harley-Davidson’s Business Manager, Yvonne Stanton, is there to provide an answer. With her creative financing abilities and attitude to provide exceptional customer satisfaction, the answer is often yes.
Originally from California, Yvonne has lived literally all over the world. She comes from a multi-generational military family and is no stranger to moving. “I’m a military wife, mom, sister, friend, aunt, and supporter,” she says. In fact, at one point all the active duty soldiers in her family were deployed at the same time. It was during one of these deployments that her sister-in-law, who lives in Lacey, suggested that Yvonne might want to head north, settling closer to family in the Pacific Northwest.
At the time, Yvonne was a successful real estate agent in California and knew the market was hot in our area. She arrived on a glorious, blue-skied October day, warm enough for people to wear tank tops. She was sold.
Yvonne flew home, put the house on the market, packed up her four children and headed north. She found a home quickly and the family settled into the community. When her husband’s deployment ended, he de-mobilized at Fort Lewis. She surprised him there, greeting him with a kiss and a ride home. He was surprised to say the least, but thrilled with the move near his brother and JBLM.
Yvonne’s business savvy, used daily to help customers with their Harley-Davidson purchase, began with her business degree. She honed her skills as a wine broker in California for 10 years before getting her real estate license. “I was an Army wife by then and knew I needed a profession that was mobile. Real estate allowed me to take my skills with me,” she says.
“Being married to the military is a different life than a civilian,” Yvonne explains. “I know this life, I’ve lived it, so when a military customer comes in, I can have a different kind of relationship with them. I understand the life they live.”
Yvonne’s career at Northwest Harley-Davidson started on the sales floor. Yvonne is nothing if not committed and threw herself 110 percent into learning to be the best she could be. “It’s a bit of a man’s world, selling Harleys,” she says with a smile. “I always want to be the best I can be, so I asked questions, read all I could, but more importantly, I listened.” Yvonne’s hard work paid off and she was soon one of the top sales people in the store.
When the business manager position became open, Yvonne was a natural fit – although she still helps out on the sales floor. “I call myself a buyer’s assistant,” she explains of her role in both jobs. “Because, if you are here, you already know you want a Harley when you come in. I look at it as a puzzle to try and figure out how you can get one.”
Despite her accomplishments –Yvonne is humble and doesn’t look for recognition. “I really see myself as helping people achieve their dreams,” she says. “You can sell anything, but unless you’re passionate about it, it doesn’t work.” Her determination and know-how creates Harley-Davidson owners out of Harley-Davidson admirers.
Yvonne has countless stories of customers she’s helped – people who thought ownership was out of reach. “People make mistakes. It happens and it can be so hard to recover from early financial mistakes – they follow you even though you’ve changed your habits,” she explains. “I advocate on a customer’s behalf with banks or credit unions and Harley-Davidson financial services. I believe a ‘no’ is really just a ‘not yet.’”
And, Yvonne is very successful at helping customers ride out the door simply because she cares. She takes the time to listen and get to know her customers, as well as understand their situation. “I don’t do it just because it’s my job. I do it because it’s the right thing to do,” says Yvonne. And she knows that her colleagues throughout the store feel the same way. Yvonne may not be a Washington native nor has she worked at Northwest Harley-Davidson for her whole career, but no one could imagine the dealership without her positive attitude, knowledge, and compassion.
“What truly sets us apart at Northwest Harley-Davidson is that we genuinely and passionately care about our customers,” Yvonne summarizes.
8000 Freedom Lane NE in Lacey, WA
Exit 111, The Friendlist Shop on the West Coast
By Mary Ellen Psaltis
Need any help with your your holiday happiness quotient? Add a measure of joy, do yourself a favor and take time from your (likely) over-scheduled days to stop at Bayview Thriftway this Saturday, December 13. The essence of the season will be in full swing with Taste the Holiday Spirit. Imagine over fifty vendors tucked into every inch of open floor space and passing out samples of their favorite wares. The festivities are food-filled, family-friendly and it’s free.
Carol Lundblad, Bayview’s Store Director, has been gearing up with all her department heads to pull together a memorable event that celebrates the best of the season. This year there is a focus on Painted Hill’s prime rib and Bayview’s world famous homemade crab cakes. Lundblad, who has made it her personal mission to do extensive research on as many cakes as she could, is convinced that theirs are “definitely the best.” On Saturday you will be able to find out for yourself.
When you arrive, stop outside to have a cup of hot cider and find out what roasted chestnuts are all about. As you step inside, you will be greeted by an elf passing out special maps. You might be tempted by the cooking chanterelles, but remember your assignment is to explore the store and have your map stamped at the designated locations. Well, I guess you can taste along the way. When your passport is fully stamped, turn it in to be entered in the prize drawing. One lucky winner will take home a snowboard. There will be prize baskets of housewares and deli items, too.
Do you like samples as much as I do? I get excited to taste something new. If I like it, I can buy it and if I don’t, well, now I know why. You’ll be enticed by more vendors than I will name now, but here are a few. Tillen Farms’ Bada Bing Cherries – Lundblad almost swooned when she talked about them. It’s the perfect gift for someone in my life. How about Cyrus O’Leary Pies? Or our nearby Domina Dairy? You’ll find savories and sweets, toppings, seasonings and much more.
Every forty-five minutes, the Bayview School of Cooking will present mini-cooking demos. These are free, too, and gift certificates for future classes will be available for purchase.
The annual Taste the Holiday Spirit remains popular with the employees. They will enjoy the added interaction with their customers. Activities will be non-stop from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lundblad said that many vendors ask her to be part of the event. I think they are all having fun, too.
Lundblad, who has thoroughly appreciated her employment with the Stormans family for nearly 25 years, promises that, “A good time will be had by all.” Of course, you have to show up to experience the tastes and smells of the holiday season. Your ears will be treated, too, by carolers from a local high school. Did I mention that various wines would be on sale during the event?
When you visit Taste the Holiday Spirit, surely, you will run into friends. Now isn’t that the heart of the holidays? Spending time with people you like, nibbling on great food and celebrating life right here in Thurston County. Enjoy!
Taste the Holiday Spirit
Saturday, December 13 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
516 – 4th Ave West in downtown Olympia
You`re invited to a night of art, music, mischief, and magic to celebrate Alex Coxen’s first solo art exhibit and his return to Olympia. Special musical guest tba. The fun begins at 8pm. Dancing is encouraged.
By Lisa Herrick
We just celebrated #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back and honoring generosity. On this one day, non-profit organizations worldwide encouraged virtual volunteerism activities and online donations. Yet we all know the needs extend beyond just one day. Locally, opportunities abound to give of your time, money, and items. Consider how you might be able to give this season to make the holidays better in our community.
Giving of Time
The Community Kitchen provides nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner at designated times throughout the week at the Salvation Army, Community Youth Services and Drexel House. Volunteer opportunities for all ages, including families, are available by simply putting on an apron and washing hands. The onsite crew chief will provide direction as to helping prepare the meal, serving food, cleaning up or packaging leftovers. Contact Gabriel Ash, Social Services Manager at 360-753-3340 or Kelly Hanson, Site Coordinator to inquire if help is needed on a particular day or meal.
Whether a teen, retiree or any age in between the Family Support Center of South Sound abides by a quote from Forest Witcraft, “One hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of house you lived in, what kind of car you drove, what your bank balance was but what will matter is that you were important in the life of a child.” In November 2009, the Family Support Center opened the largest shelter for homeless families in Thurston County and is in constant need of healthy meals as well as trained hosts and greeters. Contact the Family Support Center of South Sound for of the moment volunteer needs.
Giving of Money
We have all seen the red kettle and heard the bell ringing as we rush into the grocery store. Sometimes we even drop a few coins in the bucket. This Salvation Army program is one of the world’s oldest philanthropic campaigns. All the money raised in Thurston County kettles remains within our community to help the local Salvation Army with food and toys at Christmas as well as the many other programs they provide throughout the year. Drop some money in the bucket as you pass by or even considering signing up for a shift to ring the bell.
Giving of Things
The Other Bank will be distributing special holiday gifts and cleaning supplies on Wednesday, December 17 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. for families in need. Cherie Reeves Sperr, Communications and Special Events Director shares, “This is a very special day for families. Thanks to Lucky Eagle Casino we will be able to serve cookies and hot cocoa and a team from Kohl’s will join our amazing Other Bank volunteers for what should be the biggest day of our year.” Donations are still needed. Cleaning supplies will be part of the package with items needed such as laundry detergent, dish soap, toilet paper, paper towels, sponges and cleaning products. They also need stocking stuffers for children such as baby toys, books, games, art supplies, kid bath supplies, stationary, costume jewelry, small stuffed animals, bubble bath, sports equipment, and picture frames. Donations can be dropped off Monday-Thursday between 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the YWCA (220 Union Ave SE in the big red house). Donors and clients with questions can contact Tanikka Watford at 352-0593 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This emergency overnight shelter only has thirty beds and a long wait list since the cold weather arrived this winter. They have been consistently running out of supplies. A warm coat, bed and socks are often taken for granted yet not for those homeless and less fortunate in our community. Consider the simple act of donating bedding, winter clothing, toiletries or even money. View the donation wish list or donate online.
Combine donations, volunteering and festivities with the Stockings Filled with Love Teen Challenge benefitting the Homeless Backpacks Program on Sunday, December 14, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Macy’s Court in Capital Mall. Homeless Backpacks is committed to ending homelessness by giving teens the help they need so they can focus on school, graduate and become contributing citizens. Following the teen stocking stuffing competition, a live concert will start at 4:00 p.m. featuring 4MORE. The event is sponsored by Bruce Titus Automotive Group and TwinStar Credit Union. Canned food, mittens and socks are being accepted in donation barrels throughout the mall until the event date.
Giving Throughout the Year
While many of us are inspired to give during this time of year, keep in mind that the truest gift of giving could be volunteering throughout the year. Most non-profit needs are not confined to the holiday season. Consider gifting yourself the opportunity to give back throughout 2015. Schedule a time in the new year to submit a volunteer application or go through an organization’s training. Learn more about local non-profits in these articles. The gift of time, given consistently, is likely more valuable than one afternoon.
By Margo Greenman
Did you hear or see the term #GivingTuesday being tossed around earlier last week? If you answered, “yes,” that’s because this two-year-old concept is catching like fire across the nation, encouraging people to put holiday gift shopping on hold and pick-up their checkbooks for a good cause.
#GivingTuesday, which takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, started in 2012 as a reaction to designated consumerism days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While the concept is still new, it has been quickly propelled thanks to the likes of hashtag activism and big-time supporters like Olympia’s own Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU).
Not-for-profit financial cooperative WSECU made their first #GivingTuesday donation last year, matching $2,500 in contributions made to the non-profit group Homes First, a local advocate for affordable housing in Thurston County. Wanting to give again this year, WSECU decided to make donations to 11 food banks across the state. Playing off of this year’s Dec. 2 event date, the donations were made in the amount $1,202.
“We really pride ourselves in a deep commitment of giving back,” said WSECU’s Vice President of Public Relations, Ann Flannigan. “The food banks were extremely grateful, and our branch managers who went out and delivered the checks were exposed to just how beneficial food banks are to the communities they serve,” she explained. “When we better understand the resources available in the community, that makes us better credit union employees.”
As WSECU branch managers busily delivered checks, WSECU helped spread the word about #GivingTuesday and their own contribution via Twitter: “It’s #GivingTuesday & we’re donating $1,202 (get it – 12/2?) to each of the 11 food banks across the state! #WSECUAllIn #creditunions.”
Like the “giving back” message conveyed through the #GivingTuesday hashtag, WSECU’s branded “#WSECUAllIn” tag is another example of their commitment to the communities they serve. “It applies in many ways, some subtle, some less subtle,” said Flannigan. “What [#WSECUAllIn] really represents is 100 percent commitment to our members and the greater community. On a secondary level, in 2013 we opened up our membership to any resident in the state – there’s a bit of a nod there as well – everyone’s in.”
For WSECU, giving back isn’t a one-time holiday bandwagon, it’s a philosophy the company lives by year-round. Flannigan said WSECU implements a variety of programs throughout their branches that benefit the communities they serve. And, for WSECU, giving back doesn’t just come in the form of a check.
“When we enter a new relationship with a non-profit, yes, we can sponsor an auction or other event, but we also like to come in and educate the staff through financial wellness classes,” explained Flannigan. The classes, which are offered free of charge, are a great opportunity for individuals in the non-profit sector to expand their financial knowledge.
Another way WSECU gives back is by offering WSECU employees 8-hours of paid-time-off to volunteer in the community. This is a new benefit that was introduced in January of 2014. Flannigan said in the program’s first year WSECU hoped to see 25 percent of their 525 employees take advantage of the incentive. As of the end of November, 52 percent of WSECU’s employees have put in volunteer hours through the incentive. “To see this type of reaction and response from our employees is great,” remarked Flannigan.
While #GivingTuesday has come and gone, WSECU will surely find creative ways to positively impact local charities and non-profits throughout the year, just as they have in year’s past. To learn more about WSECU and their community commitment, visit WSECU’s website here.
All photos courtesy WSECU.
Once again, Northern is providing you, the consumer, with a premiere hyperlocal shopping opportunity that will empower you to find all of your perfect holiday gifts in one convenient location. Vendor’s table fees support Northern/the Olympia All Ages Project as we prepare for our next new adventure hosting shows at The Midnight Sun?. There will be beverages, snacks, and good cheer abounding for this evening shopping experience.
Antiquated Future is a store for independently-created artifacts of the heart. Zine distro, tape label, and pop-up shop out of Portland, Or. and Olympia, Wa.
Hand rolled chocolate truffles, dairy, vegan, diabetic friendly, gluten free/wheat free.
Vintage and oddities for the masses.
Chelsea the Baker
Chelsea the Baker sells comics for all ages and one-of-a-kind illustrations drawn right before your very eyes. She takes requests, too!
Letterpress and other fine printing from the Community Print collective, an Olympia arts institution for over 20 years. Help us to raise money for our upcoming move! Ask us about our proficiency classes!
Cuddle Manor (aka Mike and Sunday)
Olympia’s most unremarkable couple bring you the Bad Neighbors card game (incredibly easy to learn and playable in 15 minutes or less!) and Sunday’s first novel in print, the acclaimed* E Galactic Mu (*almost a dozen Amazon.com reviews!). One look and your friends and family will know you “bought local” this year!
Duck Duck Bags and Accessories
Handmade goods by Kailey Dawn, thoughtfully designed and crafted for the Northwest with cotton duck canvas, recycled sail cloth and waterproof vinyl.
Little General Food Shop
Food gift baskets in a variety of sizes for your grandma, your sweetheart, or your colleague.
May Day Press- Catherine Alice Michaelis
May Day Press is a print shop creating artist books & prints using a variety of techniques since 1992.
Mercy Me Designs
Handmade clothing and accessories using organic and natural fibers.
Oddfellows is a mother daughter run business. We specialize in handmade canvas bags and cold pressed soaps. We make the soaps and the bags in our homes. We also curate small gift bags that include lip balm, spoon butter (for oiling wood), hand towels, kitchen towels and aprons. We make all our products from hand using fine and exquisite materials. Our bags are made from quality, durable canvas and our soap making process is palm oil free.
Polly’s notecards and calendars are handprinted using linoleum blocks, on 100% recycled paper with high-quality inks using handcarved linoleum blocks. The designs are inspired by nature and what Polly finds around her West Olympia home throughout the year.
Pope Press Olympia is a Letterpress and Book Arts teaching studio in Olympia, Washington. Pope Press offers classes and workshops with local artists, press rentals and open studio hours. Come and learn how to print with us!
Roni makes paintings, coffee tables & a lamp or two. Once in awhile she has an Etsy listing- but usually her mom buys it.
Roseroot Herbes: Community Supported Apothecary
Offering a variety of botanical products made exclusively with plants grown on our farm in NE Olympia or ethically wildcrafted from local forests. These include tinctures, tea blends, salves and balms, infused vinegars and honeys, bulk herbs, spice blends, elixers and syrups, and flower essences.
Space Diamond Jewelry
Space Diamond jewelry designs are made with a vision of simplicity; combining antique and new pieces alike to compliment one another; joining both time and space to jewelry pieces. The result is in each piece, simple yet bold designs which are each unique. Most all pieces used are antique and not one piece is exactly the same.
Tea Time, Inc.
Tea Time, Inc makes clothing inspired by anything Victorian, Edwardian, Steampunk, Lolita, Sci-fi, Gothic, or related to maps at all.
Tea Toast Threads
Caps for sale! Wool caps and other apparel to keep you and your friends toastea.
The Twisted Twigster
A variety of beautiful handcrafted wooden housewares. Natural or live edged, made from locally sourced wood. Ramon makes most of his own finishes, all natural with no petroleum products.
Vinny and Vernelle
All available pieces from The Black Market Collection of one of a kind reworked vintage jewelry will be up for grabs as well as my new fine silver work
Solid color knitwear from Lindsay Schief.
Whack-A-Do: Hair by Louise
Are you ready for the holiday season? If not, Let me assist you. Come on down to the Northern and get your haircut (sliding scale)! Many years of experience. I have hydraulics! Merry Jolly Happy December! =]
Submitted by Salon Refu
You’ve seen Jean Nagai’s work around town. He makes murals. There’s one on the front of the Northern, another on the side of the Salon Refu, across the street from Trinacria, Fosbre, and Browsers Books. The two murals don’t look alike. The Northern’s features multiple splashes of loose paint; at Salon Refu, a taller building, the mural consists of huge geometric shapes resembling tipis and diamonds.
Unlike grafitti, mural works on buildings made with the permission of building owners are legal and more or less permanent. For example, the Hiroshige “Great Wave” on the west wall of Childhood’s End Gallery was painted in 1978, before Jean Nagai was born.
Besides very large outdoor works, Nagai makes super-finicky smaller works on paper, superimposing white dots applied with correction-fluid pen onto flat colored backgrounds. His pen allows him to exercise exacting control over the dots’ distribution. The dots add up in various ways: sometimes illustrative – flowers, animals – and sometimes pure pattern, either geometric or evocative of natural forms.
Nagai will be showing a series of these works at Salon Refu, 114 N Capitol, from December 5 through January 4, 2015. There will be tote bags for sale a bit later in the month, as well as original works and color prints of them in smaller sizes. In addition, Nagai and gallery owner Susan Christian will demonstrate batiking technique onsite, using molten wax on silk and cotton to produce dot-patterned equivalents of Nagai’s designs. If you’re good, we may allow you to help.