By Gale Hemmann
What is “The Grey Wharf?” Listen to their music and you’ll find out. The Grey Wharf is an up-and-coming young band from Olympia, and the band members say their name is a reference to a metaphorical space they hope their music will take the listener to: a space of creativity, relaxation and enjoyment of life.
If you haven’t already heard of The Grey Wharf, chances are you will soon. While young, this band has already seen some initial success in the Olympia music scene and beyond. Made up of lead singer Austin May, accordionist Jason Geissler, and drummer Adam Dougherty, all juniors at Tumwater High School, The Grey Wharf’s mellow indie-rock sound is gaining fans quickly.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with The Grey Wharf band – polite, laid-back young men who were happy to talk about their band and their shared love of music.
May, Geissler, and Dougherty shared the band’s history with me. The three are long-time friends and each of them had been playing music for awhile on their own. Since the band members were already good friends, it was only natural they started playing together and, eventually, started a band. They started jamming together in middle school and The Grey Wharf was officially formed in early 2013. In listening to them talk, it is clear that the heart and energy of the band is based on the outgrowth of their friendship and enjoyment of playing music together.
The Grey Wharf’s style is acoustic indie-rock, and if you take a listen, you’ll be impressed. Hearing their music, it’s hard to believe the group hasn’t been playing together very long.
Despite their young ages and the fact that they formed less than a year ago, their songs show that they are serious about music: the tracks are well-put together and resonant, with a mellow sound can easily be listened to over and over again. They have written several original tracks, including the single “The Harvest” (June 2013), as well as doing a cover of the folk classic song “Fare Thee Well.” The band utilizes unique instrumentation, with Geissler playing the accordion.
When I asked the band about their musical influences, they cite bands like Mumford and Sons, The Head and the Heart, and Fleet Foxes as inspirations. While you can hear clear echoes of these contemporary bands in their songs, their music also has a more timeless, vintage sound. Dougherty notes that he grew up listening to classic rock and that older musicians such as Johnny Cash have also influenced the band.
The Grey Wharf has already played a number of shows around South Sound, including at The Urban Onion, Sand in the City, and Oregon Trail Days in Tenino. Lead singer May has also played solo shows at a coffee house in Spokane and at Caffe Vivaldi in New York City.
I asked the band about their favorite show they’ve played so far. They said their first show, at the Brownstone Coffee Lounge in Centralia, was their favorite. The crowd was positive and they had a great time playing for a live audience for the first time. It seems that The Grey Wharf sincerely enjoys putting on a good show and bringing their music to audiences.
The band is currently focused in the studio, working on putting out a 4-track EP, called Valley of Wolves. May says creating a longer recording is a new and novel experience for the band. They will keep playing live shows as well. The band practices at a home recording studio, and like many groups just starting out, they have practiced anywhere they can, including a local church.
When asked about their future goals, the band said they hope to play together for awhile, but said they are currently living in the “now,” just enjoying their music and getting the band rolling. May says he hopes the band will play at Olympia’s iconic Capitol Theater at some point.
It is impressive that the band balances being full-time high school students with making music. It takes a lot of initiative for youth to carve out a creative vision and step out to do something different, like create a band. For music lovers of all ages, I encourage you to support The Grey Wharf by checking out their music or coming to a live show.
To learn more about The Grey Wharf and get information about their upcoming shows, you can “like” them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. You can also check out their single “The Harvest” on Bandcamp and see videos of them playing on YouTube.
“If you take a look at your child and see that they are rapidly losing or gaining weight, not sleeping, are irritable or angry, not functioning well in relationships, not doing well in school, or not wanting to engage in community — these are all good reasons to seek help,” said Dr. David Callies, a Child & Adolescent Psychologist at Gyro Psychology Services.
Until recently, seeking the necessary help often meant traveling to specialists in Tacoma or Seattle after the initial assessment, creating a hardship for the child and the family. In addition, if the Psychologist proved to be a poor fit for the child, the family would have to seek out another Psychologist, often beginning the process all over again.
A Collaborative Approach is The Gyro Psychology Difference
Founded in 2008 by Dr. Callies, formerly a staff Pediatric Psychologist at Madigan Army Medical Center, Gyro Psychology Services, located in Lacey, is built on the foundation of team-based collaborative care. Callies promotes a holistic approach to Psychology that is caring, compassionate, and empathetic, taking care of the whole child and the child’s family as well.
Currently, there are three Psychologists on staff at Gyro Psychology Services – Dr. David Callies, Dr. Liz Koenig and Dr. Katherine Marsh. “When a child arrives for a consultation and is presenting across the board issues we’ll consult together as a team to create a plan for the child that will meet the needs of the child and the family. We’ll also make sure that they are matched with a team member who is the best fit for that patient based on the assessment. The great news for families is that rather than referrals elsewhere, we are able to treat them right here in Thurston County,” said Dr. Marsh.
Gyro Psychologists Share Broad Range of Specialties and Experience
Each doctor at Gyro received extensive training in Child and Adolescent Psychology, but also have individual areas of expertise, and seek out the team’s advice when creating a treatment plan. “We see kids and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 25 years-old,“ Callies said. “Dr. March specializes in treating adolescents and young adults who’ve experienced trauma, self-injury and eating disorders. She is one of the best in our region in these areas. One of Dr. Koenig’s specialties is assessing and working with children who have autism as well as working with children with disabilities and disruptive behavior disorders,” said Dr. Callies.
Dr. Callies focuses on the treatment of children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems, attention problems, anxiety, depression, developmental delays, pervasive developmental disorders like Autism and Asperger’s Disorder, deployment-related problems and youth with chronic medical conditions and illnesses.
“We bring a team together of shared knowledge and shared experience. We can consult and talk about treatment issues and how we can best utilize our resources to support our families in order to better understand and manage their child’s behaviors,” said Dr. Callies.
“Kids get better here,” said Dr. Callies. Kerri Myers, the office manager, added, “We’ve created an environment that is warm and welcoming, starting with caring receptionists who greet and welcome kids, teens and members of their family, a patient accounts coordinator who helps parents understand their insurance benefits, to the warm and colorful murals on the walls. All these things add up to make our families feel at ease.”
Dr. Marsh agrees, “Our environment is inviting. Families look forward to coming here because they have a relationship with each and every one of us. There might be very serious things going in in their lives, but when they come in to Gyro they can relax a little bit.”
The entire staff works together to help not only the child, but the parents as well. Sometimes it is as simple as a warm smile greeting them when they walk in the door. For others, it is the realization that they won’t be judged for their child’s behavior.
“For many patients and their families a visit to Gyro marks the first time that things are normalized in a family. It can be really comforting and motivating and fills them with a sense of relief and hope,” said Dr. Marsh.
Self-Referrals Grow as Stigma Associated with Therapy Decreases
Most patients who visit a Psychologist are referred by a school counselor, Pediatrician, or insurance websites, but the number of self-referrals are growing. This may be due to the fact that the stigma so long associated with therapy is decreasing.
Dr. Koenig agrees, “We are getting 10 to 15 referrals a week. There are a lot of children out there who need support and this number is growing as our culture changes. People thought they needed to go up to Tacoma or Seattle for certain mental health services, but now they are talking to their doctor or their teacher and realize they can benefit from our local care. They get a couple weeks of help and they see improvement.”
Gyro Psychology Services, caring for kids, teens and emerging adults across Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, and Shelton, is located at 5191 Corporate Center Court SE, Lacey.
For more information, call 360.236.0206 or 1.866.616.GYRO (4976) or visit their website.
Submitted by LOTT
Our local communities all produce wastewater – water that has been used and sent down the drain. This wastewater contains a variety of chemicals and pollutants picked up in area homes, offices, and businesses. The water must be collected and cleaned up before it is released back to the environment. The water can be treated to various levels of quality, using different treatment technologies, and released in a variety of ways to the environment.
Most of Thurston County’s urban wastewater is treated to advanced secondary standards and discharged to the marine waters of Budd Inlet. Some is treated to reclaimed water standards and reused in the community or infiltrated into the ground. The long-range plan for managing wastewater in the Lacey-Olympia-Tumwater region in the future has been centered on expanding reclaimed water production and groundwater recharge.
Recently, questions and concerns about infiltration of reclaimed water have been raised because contaminants from medicines, cleaners, and other household products may remain in the water after treatment. To address those questions, the LOTT Clean Water Alliance – whose members are the cities of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater, and Thurston County – is beginning a multi-year scientific study.
The study goal is to provide local, scientific data and gather community perspectives related to water quality, wastewater treatment, reclaimed water, and groundwater recharge. The study will also engage technical experts to help characterize local groundwater conditions and potential water quality concerns. However, improving our understanding of our local water resources is only one piece of the overall study effort.
Community conversations about these issues is another key piece of the study effort. To foster meaningful community-wide dialogue about water quality and related issues, LOTT will engage the public in a series of workshops and public involvement opportunities. Together, the science and the community dialogue generated during the study will help policymakers make informed decisions about future reclaimed water treatment and uses.
As part of the initial design of the study, public input will be gathered at a Public Workshop on Monday, December 9, from 6:30-9:00 p.m., in the LOTT Board Room, 500 Adams Street NE in Olympia.
The workshop will begin with an open house and staffed information stations so that members of the public can ask questions and learn more about topics related to the study, such as reclaimed water, groundwater infiltration, and residual chemicals from medicines and household and personal care products. A presentation about the study and an overview of the study’s design will begin at 7:00 p.m., followed by discussions to gather input about the proposed study design.
More information about the workshop and the Reclaimed Water Infiltration Study is available at www.lottcleanwater.org/groundwater.htm.
Submitted by Lacey Chamber
The Lacey Chamber of Commerce has an immediate opening for a new Executive Director. The Chamber is a vibrant, business-driven Chamber of Commerce with approximately 350 members and 3 current employees. Membership is highly invested in the Chamber and the Board of Directors is a cohesive unit (13 members) with a dynamic Strategic Plan. A thriving business community in Thurston County which offers excellent schools, outstanding health care resources, and a high quality of life.
The Chamber’s mission is to promote economic growth of the local business community. The Executive Director is responsible for all administrative and management functions of the organization.
Key accountabilities/leadership/management skills & abilities, including:
Background: Successful candidates should possess demonstrated/proven experience guiding an organization, preferably in the management of a chamber of commerce organization.
Salary TBD, depending upon experience and qualifications.
Lacey Chamber of Commerce is an At-Will, Equal Opportunity Employer. Please let us know if you need accommodations to participate in the application process.
Interested candidates need to submit a resume, along with 3 references, to: Al Eckroth, Chair-Search Committee: email@example.com by December 15th, 2013.
Submitted by Cathy Johnson for Dandelion Gardens
Flora, a delightful lady, is also one of the most recognizable landmarks in Tumwater. The topiary lady stands in front of Artistry in Flowers. Colorful Flora captures your attention on the corner of Cleveland and North Street. Her stylish, seasonal outfits are great attention getters, from the Christmas angel halo to the fetching construction outfit proudly worn during Yelm Highway’s construction project. Flora’s fetching outfits are designed by owner Jeff Hortin, manager Heidi Tobash and the staff.
It isn’t easy to create outfits for a “woman” who is seven feet tall, with a 104-inch waist. Flora doesn’t have an enviable hourglass figure, but she does have an enviable fan base. A tablecloth purchased at a discount store becomes Flora’s skirt. Material for local stores creates her blouses and hats. Her costumes are refreshed every two years or so because they fade in the sun and weather.
What is Flora’s history? Ginny Greenwood, a previous store owner, took a sojourn in the 1980’s to Minter Gardens in Chilliwack, British Columbia. Minter Gardens (which unfortunately closed in October 2013) was a 32-acre garden delight with 12 themed gardens and beautiful garden pathways. Part of the garden’s attraction was its notable topiary figures. Ginny Greenwood was inspired.
When she returned from her trip, Greenwood hired a local welder to create Flora. When Flora was installed in 1990, she was planted with seasonal annuals. By the late 1990’s, she was transformed from a flower lady to a stylish diva with more than 12 outfits to celebrate the seasons and holidays. Flora makes a great pilgrim, a regal mother, and a scary witch.
It takes the team about an hour to change Flora’s clothing, securing it tightly so it doesn’t blow away in stormy weather. When I peeked under her skirt (yes, I did), I could see the metal structure form, wire, and soil that used to be planted with flowers.
To the staff’s delight, Flora has received presents from her admiring fans over the years. An admirer, caught up with the spirit of the Irish, placed a can of Guinness beer in her basket on St. Patrick’s Day and another fan left a bottle of wine in her basket for Valentine’s Day. Much to everyone’s delight, Flora came to life in 2008 when a “look-a-like” participated in the Fourth of July parade.
Mitchell Bell, a manager and floral designer at Artistry in Flowers, said that his favorite outfits for Flora are her Christmas and Halloween attire. Bell, a Yelm High School graduate, got his start in the industry through Yelm High School’s floral program. Bell’s design flair was noticed and encouraged by his floral design teacher. He was soon designing wreaths and floral arrangements for local events. Bell has worked at Artistry in Flowers for four years. He loves his job, and especially enjoys creating French country and creative, stylized arrangements.
Artistry in Flowers opened in 1903 and has been on the same corner for 110 years. The current owner, Jeff Hortin, has operated the business since 2002 with 12 employees. Bell shared that Heidi Tobash, a second generation florist, has been with Artistry in Flowers for 24 years. The store has “everything flowers,” a nice gift line, blooming plants, and even silk plants. Christmas is the store’s busiest time of year.
Artistry in Flowers has given us Flora as a delightful and colorful community asset. We would love to solve the mystery of who was her welding creator, so if you know, please let us know! Flora is no bride of Frankenstein, so her creator would be joyfully celebrated! When you drive by Flora, give her a honk or wave.
300 Cleveland Ave SE
Tumwater, WA 98501
By Jennifer Crain
For many years, Yazna Ruiz made yearly trips to Olympia to visit a friend who was close enough to be family. After her visits, she would return to Costa Rica and, for a number of years, to the neighborhood grocery store she ran out of her cousin’s building.
Every week, customers would come through the small store and stock up for the week on fresh vegetables, sausage, salami, grains, ice cream, and other items. The business was humming when she sold it to move to the United States.
Once stateside, she settled in Olympia where she became part of the local community. Among the friends she had made through the years was Amando Hidalgo, the owner and founder of Tierra Bonita. Hidalgo, a marine biologist, student of ecological agriculture, and advocate for sustainable food systems, started Tierra Bonita in 1996. For the next thirteen years he sold fresh salsa and garlic sauce at the Olympia Farmers Market where his products and his voice for ecological change became fixtures in the community.
When Hidalgo became ill, eventually losing his ability to speak, Ruiz stepped in as his assistant and bought the business from him in 2009. Hidalgo passed away in 2011.
Ruiz’s experience – she owned and operated several businesses before buying Tierra Bonita – prepared her for the daily ins and outs of enterprise. Learning to produce a product, however, was new territory. But Hidalgo was a great coach and the sauce she sells today is made using the same techniques and ingredients that have distinguished it from the beginning.
Tierra Bonita Garlic Sauces retain the characteristic punch, creamy texture, and full flavor that has landed them on eggs, tacos, and (yes) pasta for over a decade. Ruiz says the sauces contain a bounty of raw whole ingredients, including tomatoes, garlic, onion, and cilantro. Vinegar is the only preservative.
The full line of sauces includes Olympia Salsa in three heat levels and Garlic Sauce in original, garlic and cilantro, garlic and pepper, and vegan. Plans for an organic line are in the works.
The salsa will last for up to six weeks but still, she says, “I need to make it every week to keep it fresh for the customer.”
In 2010, following the completion of Enterprise for Equity’s entrepreneurial program, (read their profile of her here), Ruiz designed a new label highlighting the star ingredient, with images of both the clove and the bloom of a garlic plant.
She also did some field research with market customers, adjusting the amount of peppers in the salsa until the heat level was pleasing to the local palate. Reducing the heat doubled her salsa sales. Olympia Salsa is now available in mild, medium, and hot.
Ruiz says she received a lot of support during her seasons at the Olympia Farmers Market from fellow sellers who helped with her children during the long days. Though she continued selling her sauces there through the end of last season, she decided to pursue an alternate business plan to accommodate for her two young children. Enterprise for Equity consultant and graduate, Sash Sunday (co-creator of OlyKraut), has assisted Ruiz in securing new placements in local grocery stores, an effort that’s paying off.
“The thing about Yazna is that she is incredibly tenacious,” says Lisa Smith, Executive Director of Enterprise for Equity. “She took on Amando’s business with integrity and incredible diligence. She’s really done every bit of her business plan by the book. I just think she’s a treasure.”
By Lisa Herrick
Have you ever sipped champagne in The Forest? My initial response to that question was no. Although a bottle of bubbly under a canopy of trees does sound alluring, the champagne breakfast at Christmas Forest appears to be a lovely and upcoming option. On the morning of Thursday, December 5 guests have the opportunity to enjoy a champagne breakfast at the Providence St. Peter Foundation’s Silver Bells Breakfast as part of the week long holiday fundraiser Christmas Forest.
The Silver Bells Breakfast, sponsored by Olympia Federal Savings, includes holiday favors and special entertainment by the North Thurston High School Chamber Choir. The Chamber Choir is a highly talented group of 16 girls who auditioned and were selected to perform at various community events, competitions, and festivals such as Christmas Forest.
Kelle Schalin, Special Events Manager for Providence St. Peter Foundation exclaims, “The Silver Bells Breakfast has turned out to be quite the event of the season—everyone wants to attend. We sell mini-trees, which are 2-foot designer trees. It is a fun way to dress up in holiday attire and get into the holiday spirit.” Schalin explains that many of the guests are either groups of friends celebrating the holidays together or businesses taking out their employees as an expression of appreciation. All those attending are seeking the opportunity to enjoy a champagne breakfast amidst the beautifully decorated holiday trees and wreaths of Christmas Forest but also for the purpose to support the mission and work of Providence St. Peter Foundation.
The Silver Bells Breakfast presents a special program to raise money for the Providence St. Peter Hospital Regional Neuroscience Center, specifically the Stroke Center. Stroke is a foremost cause of serious, long-term disability in Washington State. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain either bursts or is blocked. When this happens, the affected areas of the brain do not receive oxygen and cells begin to die, leading to permanent disability. Prompt treatment of a stroke is crucial, and effective treatments do exist, especially when the patient is able to reach a stroke center during the very narrow window of time that exists to deliver successful treatment.
Jocelyn Wood, Development and Communications Manager for Providence St. Peter Foundation shares, “Providence St. Peter Hospital recently implemented a telestroke network, which allows for emergency bedside video conferencing between rural hospitals and specialized neurologists, so that all patients in a five-county area can receive gold-standard stroke treatment, regardless of their distance from Providence St. Peter Hospital.”
As the sponsor of the Silver Bells Breakfast, Olympia Federal Savings shares in the commitment to Providence St. Peter’s mission as well as efforts to directly support the Stroke Center. Schalin describes the important role that Olympia Federal Savings has played with Christmas Forest over many years. “Olympia Federal Savings has been a long-standing and critical partner with Christmas Forest supporting the Providence mission and helping to expand care. As a long time sponsor of the Silver Bells Breakfast, Oly Fed staffs the breakfast, supplies the fun holiday favors, beautiful centerpieces and lovely champagne. By offering this support, Oly Fed helps us raise the money that Providence St. Peter Foundation can dedicate directly to the Stroke Center. Without their sponsorship we would not be able to offer the Silver Bells Breakfast as a holiday event for the community.”
Annually, Olympia Federal Savings is dedicated to returning at least 5 percent of its profits to the community. However, in the recent years and during these more challenging economic times, Olympia Federal has contributed in excess of 10 percent of profits back to the community. Along with providing financial support, its employees also donate many hours volunteering for a variety of nonprofits. They support cultural events, affordable housing, health and human services, children’s programs, and numerous charitable organizations.
Providence St. Peter Foundation’s Christmas Forest opens on Wednesday, December 4. Located at the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia, this five-day holiday fundraiser showcases a festive display of Christmas trees and wreaths decorated by local businesses, interior designers, florists, and talented individuals. Christmas Forest offers an exciting week of events, public viewing times, a gift shop and activities for the entire family.
Christmas Forest provides vital funds to ensure better health for the entire community. Over the past 26 years, the Forest has raised significant funds for life-saving medical equipment and compassionate programs such as No One Dies Alone, Hospice Respite and Comfort Care, and the Providence St. Peter Sexual Assault Clinic. Funds from Christmas Forest also support Providence ministries in Southwest Washington including Providence St. Peter Hospital, Providence Mother Joseph Care Center, Providence Medical Group, Providence St. Francis House, and Providence Sound Home Care & Hospice.
The Silver Bells Breakfast including all Christmas Forest events will take place at the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia (2300 Evergreen Park Drive, Olympia 98502). For reservations or more information about any of the Christmas Forest events or public viewings, call 360.493.7981 or click here.
Submitted by Thurston County
Overnight temps in the 20s expected through weekend
Thurston County Public Works road crews stand ready to respond to freezing conditions, but remind drivers that even anti-icing solution and sanding won’t clear every spot. Once temperatures dip below the mid-20s, anti-icing solution won’t stop moisture in the air or on the ground from freezing on the surface, and snow and freezing rain can begin to accumulate, even on treated roadways.
“Your best bet for avoiding the ice is to stay off the road if you can. But if you must drive, take it slow, increase your following distance, and make sure our plows and trucks can get through in your neighborhood,” said Lucy Mills, Road Operations Manager for the county’s Public Works Department.
To stay safe when driving in winter weather, keep an emergency kit in your car that includes bottled water and high energy, non-perishable food, an extra blanket, warm clothes, a battery-powered flashlight and extra batteries. You should also tell a friend or relative when you’re leaving, your destination, and when you expect to arrive.
For more information about the county’s winter road maintenance and how to contact the Public Works Department to report road hazards, go to www.co.thurston.wa.us/publicworks. Follow Thurston County Public Works on Twitter at @Thurston_PW.
Thurston County Emergency Management officials also remind residents to stay safe when winter cold sets in. Residents using space heaters should never leave them unattended while the heater is running, and never leave a space heater on while you or others in your home are sleeping. Residents are also reminded to never use barbeques, gas grills or camp stoves inside for extra heat. Burning charcoal, propane or natural gas lets off deadly carbon monoxide (CO) fumes, and if burned inside your house or apartment, the fumes can build up to deadly levels in just minutes.
For updated information about Thurston County’s emergency response and preparedness, go to www.co.thurston.wa.us/em.
Stay connected with TCEM with social media. Get Thurston County Emergency Management updates on Facebook and Twitter:
By Kathryn Millhorn
There is an Irish proverb which states that “it is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” A sense of community can be built, felt, and fostered through the willingness of its members to share what they have, be it time, goods, or assistance.
SafePlace is a local agency which helps women and families dealing with domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in Thurston County. According to Michelle Rodriguez, Communications and Events Director of the United Way of Thurston County, in 2012 there were nearly 3900 9-1-1 calls as a result of such abuse and this event hopes to aid the SafePlace vision of “a community free of physical, sexual and psychological violence and oppression.”
The Women’s Leadership Council has a simple mission: to “positively impact the lives of women in our community by promoting self sufficiency and financial stability through philanthropy and community service.” Members network, educate, volunteer, advocate, and impact women leaders in Thurston County, past, present, and future. Within the 2012-2013 period, they have provided over $50,000 in grants and scholarships to promote these generous goals.
Event co-chair and WLC member Nancy LaPointe believes the Council exists to “fill in the cracks” of needs not typically met by standard grant programs. As a local business owner, the WLC allows her to raise “significant impact and awareness” within other women’s groups and the local community because “we all have a lot of things in common.” LaPointe explains that they chose to hold this year’s Shelter Shower in the fall since “people love to show their generous spirit over the holidays.”
Previous Shelter Shower recipients have been local organizations like Bread and Roses. This year, SafePlace was chosen and their Development Director Thomasina Cooper is thrilled. The event will help meet many needs for their organization and raises awareness not only of their mission but the painful statistics they deal with every day.
“SafePlace is truly honored to be selected as the recipient of the UW WLC 5th annual shelter shower. The gifts from the shower come at the perfect time, when the survivors of domestic and sexual violence need them the most, since they most often flee with only the clothes on their backs,” says Cooper.
“Those who reside at the SafePlace shelter receive all basic needs, including food, clothing, assistance with transportation, self-care items, and items for their children. Needless to say, we fly through basics like shampoo, paper towels and toothpaste,” notes Cooper.
Cooper continues, “The gifts represent so much more than simply the items themselves. They reflect the love that our community feels for the survivors SafePlace is serving, and sends a powerful message that these folks are not alone. The community is here to support them on their healing path. That is why we are so truly thankful to be the recipient of this year’s shelter shower event. We are sure it will be such fun!”
The Shower runs from 5:30-7:30pm at Art House Design (420 Franklin St SE) and will feature wine and appetizers provided by Nineveh Assyrian. WLC members, SafePlace representatives, and one of last year’s scholarship recipients will be among the evening’s speakers. Guests are encouraged to donate items from SafePlace’s Wish List at the event. The Shower is open to anyone, and tickets can be purchased online with proceeds benefitting the WLC Giving Circle.
Submitted by Saint Martin’s University
Ring in the season of giving by partaking in Saint Martin’s Jingle Bell Run, a holiday-themed, five-kilometer race that will take place Saturday, December 7, at 10 a.m. Presented by Puget Sound Energy, the festive event will be held on the Saint Martin’s University campus. Check-in and day-of registration begins at 8 a.m. in the Norman Worthington Conference Center, and the race starts outside of the Hal and Inge Marcus Pavilion. Pre-registered runners can also pick up their packets Friday, December 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Norman Worthington Conference Center.
Participants can run, walk or stroll the five-kilometer route on the University’s wooded campus. A finish-line celebration, featuring Christmas cookies, cider and cocoa, will immediately follow the race.
Those not interested in running a full 5k race can still be part of the fun; registration includes an option to compete in the 1.55-mile run/walk, providing another opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Saint Martin’s University’s campus, as well as a decorated Christmas tree in front of Old Main. The run/walk will begin at 9:30 a.m.
People of all ages may participate and age group awards will be presented. Proceeds of the race will benefit Saint Martin’s Athletics. Parking is free.
“This is the second year we’ve held the Jingle Bell Run, but already the event has proven to be a wonderful way for the surrounding community to support the University while having a great time,” says Katie Wojke, interim vice president of institutional advancement at Saint Martin’s. “We’re confident it will remain an annual, holiday tradition for years to come!”
Registration includes chip timing by Accustat Sports Timing Inc., a race finisher long-sleeved t-shirt and a raffle entry (must be present to win).
Registration fees are as follows: preregistration (until Dec. 4) $35; military $30; high school and college students (with valid I.D.) $5; day-of registration $45; kids 8 and under free (no t-shirt or chip timer included). Additional t-shirts are available while supplies last.
The University’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee will be fundraising for the Make A Wish Foundation before and after the run, in conjunction with the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II. The SAAC is also encouraging participants to bring a canned food item to donate to a food drive the group is hosting throughout the day.
Submitted by Olympia School District
Tonight the Olympia School Board unanimously passed Resolution 520, which places a Technology and Safety Levy before voters on February 11, 2014. Olympia voters passed technology levies in 1994, 2000, 2006 and 2010. If passed, this levy would be a renewal of the measure passed in 2010, which will expire at the end of 2014. The renewed levy would run from 2015 through 2018.
If approved, the Technology and Safety Levy will help pay for up-to-date technology and key safety projects for Olympia School District students and staff. Among other things, the levy will fund:
The Olympia School District has spent much of the past year conducting a thorough review of its technology use and needs. It convened a Technology Advisory Committee and a separate Technology Think Tank, conducted forums to seek citizens’ feedback, surveyed staff about their use of technology in the classroom and across the district, and hired an outside evaluator to examine the district’s technology functions. District staff also evaluated the 15-year Facilities Master Plan to identify key safety projects the district could undertake right away. That work became the starting point for Resolution 520.
“This is a very well-thought-out, cost-effective levy request,” said Olympia School Board President Eileen Thomson. “After many months of diligent staff work, thorough review and a wide range of input, I am confident the request we have put before our community represents what our schools truly need in terms of technology and safety.”
If approved, the levy’s tax rate for the first year would be $.62 per $1,000 of assessed value, decreasing each year to $.34 per $1,000 by 2018. The owner of a $250,000 home would pay an average of about $9 a month, or $109 a year, for the levy. Combined with other school measures, the total projected tax rate would be $5.33 in 2015.
Submitted by Dr. Kelly Golob for Tumwater Chiropractic Center
What is the greatest gift you could give someone (or for that matter, yourself) this holiday season? How about the gift of Health?
No, we’re not suggesting you wrap up a health insurance card and put it under the tree for your significant other. While that may be a practical idea, it probably won’t win you many style points.
But not to worry, there is a better way to give someone (or yourself) a gift to get excited about that will also go a long way toward improving their Health: A Massage Therapy Gift Certificate.
Massage therapy has a number of proven benefits for overall health and can also be an effective treatment for a wide variety of injuries as well. Massage therapy will relieve stress (not that the holidays are ever stressful!), decrease pain, and make anyone feel more mobile. This is the season where many of us start to turn our eyes towards next year and think about how we might like it to be different than the last. Many of us will come up with new (or recycled) New Years’s Resolutions that have to do with our health, such as starting a regular exercise program, eating healthier, or finding better ways to manage stress. Massage therapy can be a great addition to these resolutions and help you feel better and make it easier to do all of the above.
Oftentimes when we start a new activity or exercise routine there is a normal amount of soreness and discomfort that may make it harder to stick to. Getting regular massages is a great way to keep those normal aches and pains from keeping you from being as active as you would like.
Our office has four highly experiences massage therapists whom are trained in many different therapeutic techniques to be able to offer each person the individualized treatment they need. And whether it is one Massage Gift Certificate for a stocking stuffer this year, or starting a monthly massage therapy program, we can help keep your health goals on track. If you want to make 2014 a healthier, happier, and more active year think about including massage therapy to help get you there.
Kelly Golob, D.C. is a chiropractor at Tumwater Chiropractic Center at 128 D St SW in Tumwater. Their clinic offers a variety of conservative and alternative treatments for musculoskeletal injuries and preventative wellness. They can be contacted at 360-570-9580 or online www.TumwaterChiroCenter.com or find them on Facebook.
Submitted by Signarama
Over the past two years, Olympia’s Signarama .has helped many businesses refresh their brands. It’s time for a role reversal as Signarama unveils its own rebranded look.
“We work with clients all the time to help them rebrand their businesses, including creating new signs, vehicle wraps and other ways to display an impactful brand change,” said Jeff Klingberg, local owner of Signarama in Olympia. “We know how important a company’s image is, which is why we decided to be one of the first Signarama locations in the country to rebrand our store.”
Signarama customers will see a fresh new logo along with a new tagline: “The Way to Grow Your Business,” which replaces “Where the World Goes For Signs.”
Signarama, the world’s largest sign franchise, provides a full range of comprehensive sign and graphic services to both the private and commercial segments of the community. The new tagline is meant to convey the company’s full range of capabilities and to remind customers of the personal attention and custom services Signarama offers.
Since opening, Signarama has been serving the local community with quality products and customer service in a constantly evolving market, offering a full range of comprehensive sign and graphic services, including impactful solutions from digital signs, vehicle wraps, banners, LED signs, to all traditional sign formats.
With brand recognition and local advertising becoming vitally important to small businesses, local entrepreneurs are increasingly relying on Signarama and its trained specialists who understand their unique advertising and marketing needs. Franchisees, like Klingberg, offer personal attention to the business needs of other owners within their communities.
Digital signs and the use of LEDs instead of neon represent some of the latest innovations in the industry. The commercial viability of LED lighting continues to appreciate because of its lower cost, efficiency and environmental benefits, while the digital sign market is expected to reach $13.8 billion in 2017, according to a study by Global Industry Analysts. The U.S. represents the largest regional market in the study.
Signarama is the only sign franchise that offers online design and purchase of signs, banners and more. The e-commerce platform not only enhances the customer experience but allows Signarama owners to remain open for online business 24/7. With state-of-the-art software, equipment, materials and service, Signarama has maintained its position as the industry leader and where local businesses turn for their messaging needs.
As the market leader in a $49 billion industry, Signarama has nearly 900 locations worldwide. The company expects to open 50 more locations through the end of 2013 and have more than 1,200 locations worldwide by the end of 2016.
By Leslie Merchant
Have you ever been the recipient of a random act of kindness? Going up to the counter to pay and discovering your tab has been taken care of or finding extra time on your parking meter? That one small deed can make such a world of difference in your day. Imagine what one small treat would mean to someone in need.
Several Thurston County organizations are hoping to inspire acts of kindness on behalf of local families who could use some help just getting through an ordinary day, much less the upcoming holidays. Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County (BGCTC) is one of several non-profits with ideas to help everyone spread a little joy in the coming weeks.
Adopting a family for the holidays is one act of kindness that makes our entire community a better place. And it is easier than ever, explains BGCTC Marketing Coordinator Christine Hoffman. “People can simply give money or they can shop for a specific family with a list provided by BGCTC. $100 per person in a family is the general suggestion, and people would be surprised to know that the money ends up going mostly towards the basics,” she says. Bills, underwear, bedding, and gas money are a few of the necessities that are in line before gifts are even added to the list.
Hoffman explains how many families find themselves in places they never imagined. She says most folks never expected that they would one day be on the receiving end of the line.
“Our program is a little different (from others in the community) because of the open communication we have with our families. Because we are a club, we can reach out to our members and it’s personal,” says Shellica Trevino, Lacey Branch Director of BGCTC. Trevino describes how, in one case, last year they had a young girl in their Torch Club program who volunteered with others despite the fact that her own family was in need. Inspiring people to give of themselves even during challenging times is the ultimate take away from solid community-centered programs.
“Thurston County is blessed abundantly with the support we receive,” says Trevino.
Trevino echoes the sentiments of other local organizations such as the Union Gospel Mission. Laurie Anderson, Assistant to the Director, says that she “can’t believe the generosity of this community. Our donors are so incredibly generous. They go over the top in many cases because they love to reach beyond the provided lists. Business offices, Christian schools, women’s groups, they all get together (to sponsor a family).” Clearly the joy of giving is almost more satisfying than the joy of receiving.
Anderson explains that despite the number of Thurston County organizations that provide holiday services, supporters are always needed and welcomed. “We really rely on call-ins because most of our families wouldn’t have Christmas without the help of the community. Once we serve our immediate families, we are able to move on to the graduates of our program,” explains Anderson. She adds that little things such as paper towels and toilet paper can really help ease the burden for a struggling family.
Thurston County has its fair share of folks who need a helping hand. Fortunately the number of people eager to help appears to rise with the need. Thirty-seven families alone were adopted through BGCTC last year.
The perfect gift comes in different forms for different people. Adopting a family through one of numerous Thurston County organizations is truly the ultimate gift for everybody in the community. Performing a random act of kindness might just be the perfect gift to give yourself this year.
For a list of organizations that provide holiday services, including Adopt-A-Family programs, please contact Sara Kukkonen with United Way of Thurston County or visit www.getconnected.unitedway-thurston.org.
By Gail Wood
The gift – a small toy pirate’s ship with a one-eyed pirate on the deck – said a lot about Ketchum, the principal at Northwest Christian High School.
Ketchum, who wears a black eye patch, welcomed both the students and the gag gift.
“It was fun,” Ketchum said. “It didn’t bother me. We laughed.”
That moment, Ketchum’s reaction, reveals the true Northwest Christian High School’s principal. His personality, his friendly, good-natured outlook, permitted that encounter. Those students wouldn’t have dared approach their principal if he were a stern, gruff taskmaster.
“He does have a great sense of humor and is easy to talk to,” said Larry Weber, superintendent at The Foundation Campus, which includes Northwest Christian High School.
Maybe what’s most surprising about Terry Ketchum, the son of a pastor, isn’t so much what he’s done – work as a missionary director in Haiti for 12 years and now as a principal. It’s what he’s not – a bitter man, angry at God.
In 2004, while Ketchum was the Regional Education Coordinator for the universities and colleges in the Caribbean region, he was diagnosed with cancer. A pastor noticed that Ketchum’s eye was red.
“The other eye wasn’t,” Ketchum said. “I just thought it was a blocked tear duct or something.”
It was cancer. His eye, eye socket and eventually a portion of his cheekbone were removed. After wearing a fake eye for several years, he opted for the black patch. He’s adjusted.
It’s Ketchum’s reaction that’s been his best testimony. In his darkest moment, his light, his Christian faith, shined bright.
“There are moments,” Ketchum said. “But I’m hoping God can use it.”
The cancer, the struggle and the loss, have changed him, giving him more insight to pain. He’s now more compassionate because he’s walked in the shoes of sorrow.
With perhaps a sharper sense of empathy as a result of cancer, Ketchum said he’s more sensitive in his role as a principal. While he wouldn’t say cancer should be a prerequisite to being a principal, it’s given him a different insight.
“Because I’ve had several years dealing with this,” Ketchum reflected about his cancer, “I’m able, on a different level, able to identify with (high school students). There’s still a neon sign over my doorway – Principal. Beware. So, I still have to deal with that.”
But that heavy hand, that disciplinarian voice, is not how he operates. Through humor and a carefully constructed image, there’s an open-door approach staff and students have with Ketchum. There are not many principals who have a banjo hanging on their office walls, or a pirate ship on their bookshelf.
“I love to have fun,” he said. “I love to engage with the person. This job is about people.”
Surprisingly, he said it’s not about books, grades and transcripts. Well, not entirely.
“It’s a lot more than head knowledge,” Ketchum said. “Transcripts. GPAs. SATs. Yes, they’re important. But that’s not the bottom line for me. We’re here for the whole person development.”
And that is a cooperative effort, involving teacher, administrator and parent.
“We’re here to come alongside with the parents,” Ketchum said. “We don’t try to do away with the parents here. We work with the parents. They’re the primary educators, according to God. We’re not.”
Besides teaching prayer in his Bible class, Ketchum employs students for it. The other day in class, Ketchum, who is in his fifth year at Northwest Christian, asked students to pray for him. That transparency, admitting a weakness and a need, was a good teaching point for that class for two reasons. It showed Ketchum’s reliance on prayer and it engaged the class in prayer.
“Prayer is crucial,” he said.
It’s been a circuitous journey for Ketchum. As a child, with his dad moving to different Nazarene churches to pastor, they lived in Utah, Nevada and then Washington, moving to Snoqualmie when he was in second grade. Then, in 1963, when he was in fifth grade, his family moved to Olympia.
At Olympia High School, he met the love of his life, Kathie. Eventually, they married while they were juniors at Northwest Nazarene College in Idaho. Terry remembers their first date.
“We went to a Seattle Symphony performance,” Ketchum said, then after a pause for effect, added with a chuckle, “With the whole school.”
Kathie, who teaches English literature at Northwest Christian, was presented the teacher of the year award last year. The Ketchum’s have been a double blessing for Northwest Christian.
When Weber first met Ketchum, he addressed him as Dr. Ketchum. “I did it out of respect,” Weber said. “He said, ‘No, it’s Terry.’ That shows me he’s a humble man.”
And that’s the type of leadership Ketchum has given, a roll-up-the-sleeves leadership. It’s not been a job for Ketchum. It’s been his passion.
“You can’t be in education if it’s just a job,” he said. “It’s not an 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. job. You do what you love doing. Primarily, you’re doing it for your love of Christ and the betterment of this generation and the impact this generation will have. I love these kids.”
Each day, Ketchum pulls out a class picture of one of the grades at his school and he prays for them.
“We don’t know when Christ is going to return,” Ketchum said. “We tell them that we’re praying for them. Until Christ does return, we’ve got their backs.”
By Lisa Herrick
A reference to “The Forest” can mean something very different this time of year. Not Capitol Forest. Not the Olympia National Forest. Rather, it is the captivating Christmas Forest, a five-day holiday festival that includes opportunities to view elaborately and sometimes whimsically decorated trees, participate in special events for all ages, shop for holiday gifts and decorations, and attend a black-tie gala auction.
“Christmas Forest is truly a holiday experience for all ages and whole families. The Forest offers something for everyone to enjoy while supporting the Providence St. Peter mission,” says Kelle Schalin, Special Events Manager for Providence St. Peter Foundation.
Mark your calendar for Events in the Forest: December 4-8
Christmas Forest opening day is Wednesday, December 4, 2013. This will be the first opportunity for public viewing of the trees and wreaths as well as an occasion to enjoy local musicians and dance groups performing on the public stage. Public viewing and entertainment continues throughout the five-day holiday festival with specific themes for each day. Thursday, December 5 is Senior Day Public Viewing, Saturday, December 7 is Kids’ Day, and Sunday, December 8 is Family Day. Raffle tickets and gift boutique shopping will be available on each day. Click here for specific times, admissions and entertainment schedules.
Christmas Forest also offers several special events including the fun Ladies Night Out, scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, December 4. Cristina Stormans thoroughly enjoys Ladies Night Out and says, “Ladies Night Out is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season. The event is a perfect blend of four things I enjoy: time with close friends, good food, shopping at the booths of local merchants and most importantly, support for the mission of Providence. I have already highlighted Wednesday, December 4 on my calendar!”
Another special event is the Silver Bells Breakfast on the morning of Thursday, December 5. The champagne breakfast is sponsored by Olympia Federal Savings. Jocelyn Wood, Development and Communications Manager for Providence St. Peter Foundation says, “Olympia Federal Savings has been a long-standing and critical partner with Christmas Forest, supporting the Providence mission in every way possible.” In addition to being the sponsor of Silver Bells breakfast, Olympia Federal goes above and beyond, with employees volunteering at the event and supplying the fun give-aways and beautiful centerpieces.
“Olympia Federal’s generosity exemplifies the Christmas Forest spirit of giving. They are truly a significant partner to our mission,” says Wood. Olympia Federal Savings recently supported a suite in St. Peter Hospital’s new Critical Care Unit and through Silver Bells Breakfast is now helping raise money for stroke care.
Friday, December 6 brings the glamorous and joyous Gala Dinner & Auction. “This really is the premiere holiday event of the season,” comments Schalin. “Typically gala tickets sell out quickly as there are many donors who generously support Providence while we auction the trees.” During the black tie affair, guests bid on beautiful, one-of-a-kind trees, wreaths and specialty packages.
Fund-A-Need: Cancer Survivorship Clinic
Christmas Forest is Providence St. Peter Foundation’s largest annual fundraising event. One of this year’s goals is to raise funds to establish a permanent Cancer Survivorship Clinic, designed to promote physical, psychological, spiritual, and social well being for those diagnosed and living with cancer.
The establishment of a permanent clinic will support patients from the moment of diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. Cobie Whitten, Psycho-Oncology Consultant, believes strongly in creating survivorship services for cancer patients and their families at all points along the cancer continuum. “We have such significant unmet needs in our community for cancer survivorship. With the improvements in detection and treatment we now need to create better services to care for the quality of life for survivors,” she says.
Christmas Forest has generated more than $8 million throughout its history to support the Providence mission of caring for the poor and vulnerable. Funds raised help provide life-saving medical equipment and compassionate programs such as No One Dies Alone, Hospice Respite and Comfort Care, and the Providence St. Peter Sexual Assault Clinic.
Funds from Christmas Forest also support Providence ministries in Southwest Washington including Providence St. Peter Hospital, Providence Mother Joseph Care Center, Providence Medical Group, Providence St. Francis House, and Providence SoundHomeCare and Hospice.
More than 300 community volunteers, 60 local businesses, and hundreds of individuals and professional groups have joined together to create the annual Christmas Forest.
All events will take place at the Red Lion Hotel at 2300 Evergreen Park Drive in Olympia.
For reservations or more information about any of the Christmas Forest events or public viewings, call 360.493.7981 or click here.
On Thanksgiving, Old School Pizzeria organized volunteers to feed hungry people. Volunteers made 56 pizzas in 2.5 hours, feeding about 100 people a steaming slice of free pizza.
Photo credits: Katie Eldridge, Panic Button Media
By Tom Rohrer
A year later, the final record was 0-16.
In an age where instant gratification is desired in athletics, Schumacher built a program the old fashioned way – with instruction, hard work and a consistent coaching philosophy.
Six years after taking the head coaching job, Schumacher led the Eagles to a 17 – 3 campaign this past season. Going along with the terrific record was a 1A Evergreen League Championship and a District IV Championship, the first in school history.
The Eagles qualified for the WIAA 1A State Tournament following their district championship, but ended up falling to Meridian 3-0 to end their season.
Regardless of the first round state tournament loss, 2013 was a season for the Eagles to remember.
“When we lost, it was disappointing for sure. This team believed they could win the state tournament, and the way we were peaking at the time, I thought we were too,” says Schumacher. “But in the locker room after, I heard some of the girls say ‘we were the first district champions. Keep your heads up and we will get it next year.’”
Next year, the Eagles will have to replace six seniors, three of which were the main offensive playmakers this season.
Schumacher says the trio of Brooke Goldsmith, Sydney Smythe, and Hannah Heelan not only put goals in the net or perfect passes on the feet of their teammate, but displayed leadership qualities that laid the foundation for the underclassman.
‘Those three along with Alyssa Sutherby were captains this year, and they did great job of showing the level of leadership that is expected of the younger girls,” says Schumacher. “They took control and I put a lot of responsibility on them. We had captains meetings every week and they knew how to handle problems if they came up. Honestly, they were a godsend.”
Unlike the other three co-captains, Sutherby’s focus was not on scoring goals, but preventing them.
“She was terrific all season, just a great athlete,” said Schumacher. “That’s a tough position to replace, and I think her loss will be big. She helped us win a lot of games.”
Schumacher was especially big in a pair of district playoff wins for the Eagles, one of which was a 3-1 defeat of previously undefeated Woodland High School. The second came in the district championship game against rival Rochester High School, eventually won by the Eagles in penalty kicks by a score of 3-2.
The championship victory over the Warriors was especially sweet for the Eagles, as they were defeated twice by Rochester in the regular season.
“The girls were really confident going into [the district championship game], especially since we had defeated Woodland,” Schumacher said. “The games were close in the season, so we knew we could play with them. We just came to play that day.”
While the loss of the six seniors will be difficult for Elma, there is a collection of young talent that will return in 2014.
Sutherby will be replaced by junior Macy Shumate, while Morgan Jump and standout athlete Natalie Grant will anchor the defense (Grant may also move to forward). Three contributing freshmen, Alisha Hook, Annie Cristelli and Peyton Elliot will be a year older and Elliot’s sister, Krista, will be a senior playmaker at midfield for the 2014 version of the Eagles.
Grant, a standout sprinter and basketball player, was one of Schumacher’s most versatile players this season.
“She was second in goals on the team in the first half of the season and then one of my main defenders went down. Natalie told me she had played defense in youth soccer and she made the switch for the rest of the year,” says Schumacher. “Not only is she a great athlete, but a great kid. She’s won the coaches award two years running and has a great attitude.”
Schumacher, who coached a majority of the 2013 Eagles team during their pre-high school playing days, says he has noticed more enthusiasm towards soccer in the community. This enthusiasm has led to youth coaches staying in constant contact with Schumacher and his coaching staff regarding how to prepare younger players for the rigors of high school competition.
“As long as you keep standards up and have consistency in the program, you will see things come to fruition,” said Schumacher, who is from Tacoma and attended Foss High School. “We have more fans, more buzz. It’s been a couple years in the making.”
Joining Schumacher on the coaching staff is a pair of former Elma players that the coach is very familiar with. The junior varsity coach is Schumacher’s oldest daughter, Kristy, while his youngest daughter Sarah is a varsity assistant.
“It’s very fulfilling as a father to work with my family, especially since the sport has taken a good portion of time in my life,” Schumacher said. “It really helps to have them involved and around.”
It’s clear that Schumacher has laid an exciting foundation for the Elma soccer program to build on. Davis Field, where the Elma Eagles have played for 80 years, will be torn down and replaced. Schumacher is hoping for a newly constructed facility with field-turf as a playing surface. That decision has yet to be made, but Schumacher, and the program will keep going forward.
“I think we have something special going here, and next year will be important in terms of how we handle the graduation of players,” said Schumacher. “If we just keep taking steps forward, good things will continue to happen.”
By Charlene Rubinstein
Perhaps you’ve been told to “Buy Local” or seen the posters around town. What does that mean exactly? Buy Local? And how do you buy art locally. It’s easier than you think. Olympia has a thriving arts and crafts community that cares passionately about making quality, memorable, handmade items. During November and December several opportunities to find that unique gift abound right here in our community.
Shanty Slater organizes Make Olympia. The group is behind the Fall and Spring Artswalk and the upcoming Lincoln Winter Market held on November 30. Shanty is excited to be part of an organization that encourages, supports and promotes small-scale crafters & artisans. Make Olympia is a great launching pad for new artists. “It’s a great thing for local people to sell and try out new things. There are lots of success stories that come out of our markets. Plus its a fun way to shop,” she explains.
Indeed. There’s something about walking around a market and being able to look right at the craftsperson, ask questions and connect. Items purchased in this particular manner have a deeper meaning. It includes a story and a face.
Local silversmith, Jenifer Thacher, has been making jewelry for about 20 years. Silversmithing is the transformation of metals into shapes. She’s been inspired by local markets and crafts shows and sees them as a perfect place to find something unique. “People come to the booth asking, ‘What is that?’ They can be educated about what I do and people are often amazed at what I’ve created,” says the jeweler. She does all the finishing work herself. “The final product is very important to me,” she says. This quality is often what distinguishes gifts bought from handmade craftspeople and artists.
Jenifer also sells her jewelry at Childhood’s End, a gallery in downtown Olympia. She’s impressed with the gallery’s longstanding commitment to selling handmade work by Northwest artisans versus imports. But this venue isn’t enough to sustain her. “I think there are a lot of local artists that go elsewhere to sell their work. There is so much talent in this area and they don’t have the support here financially to make a go at it,” she comments. For artists wanting to put their handwork out into the world, the online website Etsy has been invaluable. Etsy also has a local support group that meets once a week.
Clothing and accessories maker, Colleen McDonald, owner of Mercy Me Designs and BCharmer is realistic about the market limitations here in Olympia but does not let that compromise the quality of her work or commitment to community. She met with a financial advisor a couple years ago and after discussing her business plan he asked her when she would start putting her items in one of the chain department stores. But she wasn’t going to do that. “My goal isn’t to be a trillionaire. He didn’t understand. There’s this business model to be as rich as humanely possible. I’m a business woman who wants to earn a living but also wants to do something that feels good in my community and the world. I want to do something that brings joy to people,” she explains.
Colleen’s involvement with an organization like Make Olympia goes beyond her pocket book. She’s a part of every one of their markets. “They are supporting me as a person because I am keeping money in my community as much as possible. And I am donating my own money and goods inside the community. Keeping money in your community is healthy for your community and I’m invested in my customers. I have more incentive for good quality. We see each other around town!”
Olympia stores that feature handmade items made by locals:
Holiday marketplaces to find homemade goodies:
Make Olympia’s Lincoln Winter Market – November 30, 2013. 11 am – 5 pm.
The third annual Lincoln Winter Market will have over 60 vendors selling a huge variety of quality handmade goods created by our community and beyond. This is a public event, open to everyone, and free to attend. There will be hot food, baked goods and entertainment too. The event is at Lincoln Elementary School in Olympia.
Olympia Waldorf School’s Winter Faire – December 7, 2013. 11am – 3 pm.
The annual Winter Faire features local and handmade items from Northwest artisans. In addition to the market, the school is transformed into a winter wonderland with magical activities for the whole family, a hot lunch and delicious treats.
Duck the Malls – December 14, 2013. 11 am – 6 pm.
Now in its 11th year, Duck the Malls has become a holiday tradition and draws a huge crowd of community members wanting to shop locally, creatively, and alternatively for the holidays and support true craftsmanship. You can find the event at the historic Capitol Theater.