Submitted by Saint Martin’s University
The American Legion Band, the color guard from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 318 in Olympia and a commemorative tree-planting ceremony will be among the highlights of the inaugural Veteran’s Day Celebration at Saint Martin’s University, starting at 11:30 a.m. on November 10.
The University’s new Flag Pavilion, located at the base of the Grand Staircase outside Old Main and adjacent to the Jan Halliday Memorial Plaza, is the venue for the celebration, which will be hosted by the Saint Martin’s University Veterans Club. The event is free and open to the public.
“The focus of this Veterans Day celebration will be on gratitude — to our service members, our citizens and our nation,” says Fiona Ebbertt, a U.S. Army veteran, veterans club president and mathematics major at Saint Martin’s. ”We want to say ‘thank you’ to our veterans and citizens for always having each other’s backs.”
President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D., will be present to welcome attendees and introduce guest speaker David R. Spangler, Ph.D. Spangler spent 21 of his 23 years at Saint Martin’s as president, retiring in 2005. He was called out of retirement in 2008 to serve as interim president until Heynderickx was selected to fill the president’s post in September 2009.
During the ceremony, gratitude will also be formally expressed to Board of Trustees member and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Terence Monaghan ’62 and his wife, Mary Louise ’60, for the roles they played in establishing the Flag Pavilion. The Monaghans were touring the Lacey campus one day when Mrs. Monahan noticed there was no American flag present.
“She remarked that we needed to do something to get a flag on campus. So, I put pencil to pad and designed a flag pavilion,” recalls Monaghan, an engineer and retired president of Veco Engineering. With funding provided by the Monaghans, the pavilion was constructed by Saint Martin’s personnel under the supervision of Alan Tyler, the University director of facilities.
A formal dedication of the Flag Pavilion was held in February to recognize military veteran and active-duty students, alumni, faculty and staff, and members of the community, for their service to the country.
As part of the upcoming Veterans Day Celebration, an “Honor Tree” will be planted and attendees will be invited to tie yellow ribbons on the branches as a show of gratitude to a military service member, according to Ebbertt.
“The point of the tree is, we want to have a living memory that’s symbolic of the sacrifice and efforts of service members everywhere,” Ebbertt says.
A luncheon hosted by the Veterans Club in the Worthington Conference Center, located on campus, will follow the ceremony at 12:30 p.m. The luncheon is open to the public.
Submitted by Northwest Christian Private Schools
STEM Highlights at Northwest Christian High School (grades 9-12)
Ninth graders are immersed in applying what they are learning about physics and chemistry to real-world application. They use science knowledge and then think like engineers to solve problems.
A couple weeks ago the 9th grade Physical Science class was learning about density and using the density equation to determine what objects might float or not. Then they applied this to a challenge their teacher Mrs. Whittaker gave them: You have survived a plane crash deep in the Amazon. On your way to getting rescued, you come across a river. With your knowledge of the principles of density, mass and volume, design and build a raft to carry you, your fellow scientists, survival gear and precious specimen you’ve been gathering. The team whose raft can carry the greatest mass wins the challenge. Working with constraints of limited material, the challenge was on!
More recently, after studying about mixtures, the class had a new design challenge. Given a mixture of objects and a set of construction material, design and build a prototype system to physically separate out 3 of the components of the mixture.
But that’s not the only STEM highlights at NCHS:
learn additional techniques and more about how Biotechnology is used in industry and research as they go through their school year.
STEM Highlights at Community Christian Academy (K-8)
CCA Sixth grade is currently (September-November) working on a nine week interdisciplinary STEM study of Volcanoes, Earthquake and Natural Disasters.
Mrs. West and Mrs. Carrillo have taken two units of study on volcanoes and Earthquakes and weather from the sixth grade science curriculum and combined them into one study.
Students have been paired in research teams to explore and research the following: The Anatomy of a Volcano, Volcanic Hot Spots around the World, Types of Volcanic Eruptions, Volcanic Landscapes, Oceanic Volcanoes and Geologically Spreading Seas, Tectonic Collisions, Lava and Ash Composition, Thermal Springs and Geysers, and Volcanologists and the technology they use in the field. Research teams are learning how to represent information on these topics through visual information such as charts, graphs, diagrams, and cross section graphics.
The students have been allowed and encourage to bring any of their personal devices such as iPhones, iPads, laptops, tablets to class to use during research labs. Our students are learning visual literacy and its importance in 21st century communications.
To learn more of visit the Northwest Christian Private Schools call 360-493-ABCD or visit their website.
Submitted by South Puget Sound Community College
South Puget Sound Community College Vice President for Student Services Dr. Rhonda Coats is one of five honorees of the 2014 YWCA of Olympia Women of Achievement awards.
Coats, the Racial Justice Award winner, is being recognized for her work at SPSCC in areas of student access, retention, and success for students of color and other underrepresented students, as well as her efforts surrounding the Diversity and Equity Center at the college.
“I am humbled and feel blessed to be alive to receive it,” Coats, who overcame a health issue last year, said of the honor. “The other nominees are amazing women, and I am proud to be among the 2014 Women of Achievement.”
Coats, who also helped found the Faculty and Staff of Color Conference (now in its 19th year), said her work reflects the values she long held.
“People have to use their voices, their power and their influences to speak-up when they witness injustices happening to others,” Coats said. “This is how I live my life and what my husband and I have taught our four children to do.”
Coats will be honored, along with fellow recipients Rev. Marti Ensign, Lynn Grotsky, Dr. Leticia Nieto, and Christy Peters, at the 20th annual Women of Achievement gala at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 6 at the Red Lion Hotel Forest Ballroom in Olympia. For more information, contact Cherie Reeves Sperr at 360-352-0593 or email@example.com.
Submitted by Furniture Works
Microfiber is used in blends and mimic fabrics every day in the furniture industry. It’s an amazing material – softer than silk, with stain and insect repellent qualities. Many types of microfiber are available that now stand in for traditional fabrics like linen, silk and velvet. It’s now the standard for durability and pest control. One thing that many people don’t know is that it is a much finer fabric than silk. The standard for microfiber is that it must be less than 1 denier in diameter, smaller than a strand of silk. That’s why it feels softer. Because it’s a synthetic, it doesn’t stain or react so badly to chemicals like silk. It’s also so small dust mites and other pests can’t live in it, as their feet get caught and they die before having a chance to set up a home. This makes it perfect for allergy sufferers. Many other fabric choices are often made out of microfiber.
Baize was introduced to England in 1525. It is a coarse cross-weave cloth, sometimes worsted, sometimes slightly fuzzy. Originally it was made from wool and cotton, but today it is also made from synthetic microfibers. It is used for pocket billiards, blackjack and other gaming tables. Baize was often used to cover doors to separate servant quarters in upper class homes. It was also widely used in upholstery during the mid 1900’s, especially on modern designs. It is a little rough but wears well and holds its shape, so it is best suited to sleek, linear designs.
Top Grain Leather, Bicast Leather, Bonded Leather
What is the difference between these three types of leather? All of them are real leather, but only one of them has all of the qualities that make leather one of the most desirable fabrics available: top grain.
The hide of an animal is thick and is not usually used whole. It can be split into two or three horizontal slices. The side with the hair attached is called top grain. Top grain is the strongest, most beautiful part of the hide. It is very expensive in comparison to every other type of leather cut. It grows more beautiful with age when properly cleaned and conditioned on a regular basis. It is also biodegradable if discarded.
Bicast leather is made from the cheaper inner layers of a hide and is bonded with a layer of polyurethane. You are touching plastic when you sit in a bicast leather piece, but it is durable enough. It doesn’t have the luxurious aging properties of top grain, nor does it feel quite as soft.
Bonded leather is very durable, and it is a leather-fabric composite material. It’s cheaper than either bicast or top grain and is a remarkable fabric. Cheap bonded leather can peel or crack, so make sure you are buying from a reputable brand if you choose to go with bonded leather. It has a soft look vinyl can’t match. If you looking for the lowest cost, vinyl can be the best way to go as synthetics are underrated for strength and durability.
Synthetics have been with us for over 100 years and have shown time and time again that they are with us to stay. Vinyl is no exception, and although it leaves many wishing for more comfort, it is weatherproof, child and pet resistant, and gives the sleek look of leather for a fraction of the cost. Plastics have come a long way since the 70’s, and what fabric manufacturers know about the chemistry of plastic today aids them in developing extremely durable and attractive fabrics. As far as the difference between most leather pieces and vinyl is concerned – there isn’t one. Most low to mid range leather is coated with vinyl to protect it from common rips in cheaper grain anyway. A heavy duty vinyl is strong and warmer than leather.
Faille is another cloth often made from microfiber. One will sometimes hear the comment “It sort of resembles corduroy” when someone tries to describe faille’s very thin lines. It was made from silk originally and it gives off a bright sheen, which makes it especially attractive when it is used with lighter colors. Timeless and elegant, many sofas come through Furniture Works with faille fabric, in particular the raspberry colored “Emma” design from Porter International Designs, shown below.
Big fluffy piles of microfiber make up many of the corduroy couches on the market today, and it makes for a cozy and comfortable statement. It’s not common but it is available from most manufacturers in some form or another. It looks good with Western or Country style décor but blends in lighter shades with elegant and sophisticated Transitional settings.
It’s very rare to find a sofa made out of genuine suede, as it is very difficult to properly take care of. Microfiber suede is wildly popular, and many sofas come in a sueded microfiber. It leaves “marks” just like real suede, which makes it attractive to many people as they like the interesting effect. If this drives you nuts, stay away from sueded microfiber, and go with vinyl, baize or chenille instead.
This wonderful heavy fabric has a knitted appearance and is very durable. Depending on the pile, it may be sleek and fashionable, or plush and comfortable. This is a very common and popular fabric on a sofa and comes in many varieties. It is sometimes worsted and blended with multiple colors for a fantastic effect. It is warm, soft, and inviting, with an interesting texture that stands up to wear. Due to the accessible loops, it is not recommended for pets that dig or scratch.
Few upholstery pieces are made from pure linen today, but it is available as a microfiber blend. Linen is strong, holds its shape and has been valued for many thousands of years. It makes for a slick modern sofa with a softer feel than baize.
Miscellaneous other fabrics
Mohair, cotton duck, brocade, silk, velveteen, goatskin, wool and other fabrics have been used in upholstery for a many years but they are usually not seen today in new pieces. When hunting for a vintage sofa or chair, be careful to examine it carefully for stains or insects, which can be hard to remove. Because microfiber can replicate almost every type of fabric from the past, it is often worth it to recover a collectible piece.
402 Washington Street NE
Olympia, WA 98501
By Gail Wood
As a four-year starter who was named her conference’s freshman of the year, Saint Martin University’s Kristyn Ross has always been a go-to-player.
Need a game-winning spike? Go to Ross. Need help with your homework? Go to Ross.
Whether on the court or in the classroom, Ross has had the answer.
“She’s a battler,” said Kara Peterson, SMU’s head volleyball coach. “She’s always been someone we can rely on.”
Even as a freshman, Ross was already one of SMU’s top players. She averaged 3.83 kills per set, ranking her 41st nationally. She is SMU’s first conference freshman of the year winner in volleyball in school history. She was fourth in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference that year in kills with 340.
After leading her team in kills every season since her freshman season, Ross holds the school’s all-time record with 1,046 kill shots with just a few matches remaining. Her 28 kills at Montana State Billings earlier this season set a school record for one match, earning her SMU’s athlete of the week honors.
With a 3.7 GPA and with a knack for the spike at the net, Ross is a brainiac who is also an athlete. At Capital High School, Ross was a two-time 3A Narrows League MVP. With her knack for delivering in the clutch, Ross had the reputation in high school for being the hardest hitter in the area, if not the state.
Back in high school, Ross led the Cougars in kills, digs and aces, helping Capital win their fifth straight league title her senior year. She’s the all-time leader in kills at Capital, too. Her high school coach, Natalie Zukowski, called Ross a “once-in-a-lifetime player.”
“I love volleyball,” Ross said. “It’s been a big part of my life.”
She began playing volleyball in the fourth grade at the South Sound YMCA. At 5’10″, Ross was also an outstanding basketball player in high school. She loves the team aspect of volleyball. Naturally, the mental challenge of the sport appeals to Ross, who is the true definition of a student-athlete.
“You have to think about it a lot. It’s really strategic,” Ross said about volleyball. “It’s a lot more complicated than people think it is. People think all you have to do is get up and spike the ball. There’s so much more to it.”
There’s the serving, which is individual.
“That’s all on you,” Ross said “But you can’t touch the ball three times. In basketball you can dribble the ball down the court and shoot it. In volleyball, you can’t touch it twice in a row. So you have to rely on your team a lot.”
All along, from the days she a fourth grader playing volleyball and basketball, she’s also had two huge fans – her parents, Kim and John Ross. Even after moving to the Las Vegas area last June, Kim and John have been in the stands at SMU’s home matches, cheering for their daughter.
“She likes hanging out with her family,” Peterson said. “I think her family is a big source of protection and inspiration.”
With just a few matches left in her college career, Ross knows her days of leaping and slamming the ball to the floor to end another rally are nearing an end.
“I try not to think about it,” Ross said. “A lot of people ask me how I feel about this being my senior year. Well, I just don’t want to think about it. It makes me sad thinking about it. Volleyball has been my whole life. It’s weird to think not having volleyball around.”
Actually, volleyball hasn’t been Ross’ “whole” life. There’s been chemistry. Peterson chuckled as she told a story of Ross meeting a high school recruit last spring that was visiting on campus. Ross came to the school’s lunchroom to meet the recruit all excited, wearing a T-shirt she had just gotten from her chemistry class.
“She comes flying in and she’s wearing this T-shirt,” Peterson said, laughing at the memory. “She said, ‘Look at what I got in bio club.’ It was a T-shirt with DNA all over it. And she said, ‘Look, isn’t this cool.’”
That’s Ross being Ross. With ambitions to be a medical doctor, Ross is hardly a dumb jock, going to college just to play sports. She’s a student first, athlete second. She’s the president of her school’s biology club.
“She loves chemistry,” Peterson said. “She’s very academic.”
A year ago as a junior, Ross, wanting to graduate early, loaded up her class load with some challenging, upper-level chemistry and physics classes. Worried she was going to get a B in one of her classes, the work load weighed heavy.
“That sent her into a tailspin,” Peterson said. “She took all very hard classes during the volleyball season. It was a challenge. But she handled it very well.”
But that, Peterson will tell you, is just how Ross does things – to the best of her abilities.
By Mary Ellen Psaltis
It’s No-Shave November or “Movember,” a month to bring awareness to prostate cancer and prostate health. Jim Kiefert already has a beard and moustache. He also already has prostate cancer. He’s been raising his awareness of everything prostate for over 25 years. It’s time to join him. As a woman I don’t have a prostate gland, but I do have dear men in my life. Knowing about prostate cancer is everyone’s business.
For local resident Jim Kiefert, the journey began when he was having a routine physical exam. There was a newer test available called a PSA, which stands for Prostate-Specific Antigen. His wife, Mo, encouraged him to do it. The results were startling, as his level was high (30 instead of 4). Further tests uncovered prostate cancer. Though the doctor told him he had one to three years to live, Kiefert was enough of a mathematician to know that short side of a bell curve included survivors. “Somebody has to populate the mean,” he thought confidently.
His attitudes, life style and treatments have carried him far. Kiefert recently celebrated his 25th anniversary since being diagnosed. That is a third of his life. He’s still going strong.
The cancer diagnosis propelled Kiefert, a life-long educator, on a journey that continues to take him across the globe from Australia to Paris to Brussels and back across the U.S. He testifies in Washington, D.C. for the FDA as a patient representative. He works with the Department of Defense research team and is part of a special consortium dedicated to measuring health outcomes for men with advanced prostate cancer. Kiefert also leads an Us TOO education and support group. There’s more, but you get the idea.
Here are couple myths about prostate cancer:
Myth: Only old men get prostate cancer.
As with many myths, there can be grains of truth. Yes, old men do get it, but Kiefert knew a local man who died at 52. Though unusual, one man died at 18. Kiefert was diagnosed at age 50, but had he been tested 5 years sooner, it’s likely that that the earlier treatment would have left him cancer free. Options and outcomes are better the sooner the cancer is identified. Some men don’t do anything until they have bone pain. By then the cancer has dangerously advanced.
Myth: If I’m a man and I live long enough I’ll get prostate cancer, so why get a PSA test?
The PSA is a biomarker. It does not tell you have cancer or not. It’s suggested to have your first test done when you are 45 (or 40 if you have a family history or are African American). This provides you with a base line number to compare with subsequent to as you age. The number has significance, but more importantly it’s the progression or acceleration of the number.
At the time the PSA is measured, the doctor can also do a digital rectal exam (DRE). Yes, people make lots of jokes about this to dispel the discomfort. However, it allows the doctor to actually touch one side of the gland through the rectal tissue. Important information – I can understand that men aren’t clamoring for this examination, but these 2-3 minutes can save your life.
So – what’s the shaving/no shaving about?
When it all started in Australia, it was about people collecting sponsors to pay to shave off moustaches. The money went to prostate cancer research. As the idea moved across the world, it was still about raising money, but in certain places it was about growing the most magnificent moustache. For some, it’s just about leaving the razor in the drawer for a month. With regard to facial hair – you can do whatever you want.
What else can you do?
See how many bushy beards and marvelous moustaches you find this November. Become more prostate aware. Our college-aged son joined the beard-growers three Novembers ago and my husband also put his razor aside. It was a furry month. My husband still sports a handsome, nicely trimmed beard. We all learned about prostate health. To learn more about Us TOO nationally, click here.
Eat Well – Be Well
By Katie Hurley
When Olympia resident Jen Valdenegro submitted a recipe to a Today Show “Too Good to be Healthy” apple recipe contest, she knew the winners would be flown to New York to appear on the Today Show on the same day she was scheduled to leave on a trip to Hawaii. “But what are the chances?” she asked herself. When they called to tell her they were considering her recipe and to confirm that she was available to come to New York if selected, she said yes, still thinking, “But what are the chances?”
Apparently her chances were better than she thought. A week later, just 5 days before she was scheduled to leave for Hawaii, she got the call from the Today Show. Her Chicken and Apple Meatballs in Onion Apple Gravy recipe was a winner and she would be leaving for New York in a few days.
Valdenegro, who graduated from Seattle’s Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Program in 2013, created the recipe as a healthier version of one of her childhood favorites. The recipe features flavorful meatballs made with ground chicken and grated apple in a creamy gravy that is thickened with pureed apple. When the recipe got a thumbs up from her fiancé, Valdenegro submitted her recipe on the last day of the contest.
“It was a fabulous experience,” says Valdenegro of her appearance on the show. “Everyone was so helpful and nice, and they made it so easy.” Food stylists prepared her recipe while she was in hair and makeup and then in the green room mingling with other guests including Paula Abdul.
Joy Bauer, a nutritionist and the Today Show’s Nutrition and Fitness Editor, was impressed by Valdenegro’s light recipe. “This dish is only about 300 calories per serving,” says Bauer, “Is this unbelievable?!” After tasting the recipe, Today show co-host Tamron Hall declared, “This is amazing!” and Willie Geist called Valdenegro’s fiancé “a lucky man!”
After a quick 36-hour trip to New York, Valdenegro was able to continue on to Hawaii just a day later than originally planned. Just a regular day in the life of a celebrity chef.
By Kathryn Millhorn
This time of year can be overwhelming. The start of school, the death of summer, holidays, meetings, flu season, and winter darkness all weigh us down. This often reduces our world to a smaller, more manageable size. It’s tempting to let our burdens overshadow those who may need help but Desmond Tutu once said, “do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
The Crisis Clinic of Thurston and Mason Counties does just that, one phone call at a time. As their mission states, “we strive to empower people, especially those in crisis, through telephone intervention, and information and referral, every hour of the year. We strengthen the community by training Clinic volunteers and educating community groups in crisis intervention skills.”
Their dedicated volunteers staff phone lines 24 hours a day, all year round, for almost any need. Youth calls are answered seven days a week from 4:00 p.m. – midnight by youth volunteers; peers trained to offer help and guidance. In 2013 almost 8,000 calls were answered dealing with the painful issues of stress, frustration, fear, anxiety, and difficult decision-making.
Board President Kelly Olson remembers that the Clinic “answered our first call on December 20, 1972 in a dorm room at The Evergreen State College. The Crisis Clinic was a combining of several other community resources to create one place someone could call who was experiencing a mental or emotional crisis, as well as get information and referrals to community resources, such as assistance with food, shelter, medical, dental and other items.”
“Often when I think of our callers, I think of those that are struggling to just meet their basic needs on any given day, and for many callers that is true,” Olson continues. “However, this year in particular we have been painfully reminded of how mental illness and addiction crosses all social and economic boundaries. We recently saw our calls increase as we watched the whole world mourn for the loss of Robin Williams to suicide. Earlier this year we lost another talented individual, Philip Seymour Hoffman to the baffling disease of addiction. Our callers may not be Hollywood A-Listers, but their daily struggles are no different when we are talking about mental illness and addiction.”
The Clinic is much more than simply a suicide hotline, though that is very much a part of their scope. Says Olson, “the key service is providing immediate anonymous crisis intervention, helping a caller to de-escalate before their crisis escalates to something more serious. We provide a non-judgmental listening ear to those who need to talk, and we hold space for whatever it is they are going through. We also provide referrals to other agencies, such as emergency shelter, the food banks and where hot meals or served, low or free mental and medical assistance. Just about anything you can think of. We also recognize that there are very limited resources in the community and will talk with callers about the reality that there might not be a place for them to sleep tonight. We provided 3,338 referrals to 359 different community agencies/programs.”
Not only are the staffers volunteers, the Board are as well. Olson explained that in 2013 their volunteers logged 14,926 hours of service. One dedicated volunteer is CB Bowers. “I have been a volunteer in other organizations over the past years and I have always believed in giving something back. I decided I would be a good fit at the Crisis Clinic and started volunteering 16 years ago,” explains Bowers. “I was amazed at the abundance of resources available in the counties. I quickly learned that the Crisis Clinic offers not only resources, but support without judgment. I offer my ear and a caring voice and try to give the caller confirmation that they matter without giving advice. Sometimes it is difficult because I feel like I have the answers, however I have learned it is not my call; it is the callers. I enjoy my weekly shift and feel as though I have made a difference in someone’s life.”
Off the phones, the Clinic provides presentations to local middle and high schools, passes out informational literature at community events, and trains state agencies, organizations, and local businesses in communication skill-building. They have shared at the Olympia Farmers Market, Saint Martin’s University, Olympic College in Shelton, and many other locations.
How can you help? The Crisis Clinic team offers a multitude of options. On Friday November 14 they will be hosting their annual “Answer the Call” dinner and auction. Tickets are available online or by calling 360-586-2888 ext 108. This event will feature guest speakers, a salmon dinner, and fundraising auction.
Volunteers are also needed for the phone lines or to serve on the Clinic’s Board. Inquiries for this should be directed to staff director Nanci LaMusga at 360-586-2888 ext 103 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Other opportunities exist for event organizers, retirees, or community outreach as well.
Those in need of help can call the hotline 24/7: 360-586-2800. The youth help line is: 360-586-2777. Share these numbers; you never know who will thank you for it someday.
By Natasha Ashenhurst
Online shopping is convenient, relatively inexpensive and you can order those Christmas gifts in less than an hour while wearing your pajamas.
Take one step into Drees of Olympia and you’ll quickly discover what online shopping lacks: Drees engages the senses. It is both a destination and an experience. You can smell those amazing hand-milled French soaps; take a seat on a beautiful, custom-made couch while browsing through a stack of books you’re not likely to find anywhere else. You can feel the difference between the hand-towels or mix and match dinnerware patterns until you find a place-setting that is uniquely you. Chances are, if you browse long enough you’ll be offered a taste of fudge or a sample of what is considered the best olive oil produced in the United States.
Every product has a story and every product was chosen with extreme care.
And if you think that Drees is only for shoppers with an unlimited budget, read on. Drees has something for everyone, whether it is a wonderful bar of soap, candle, children’s book or a towel that will last for twenty years. Drees is especially helpful when you need a gift for someone that is difficult to buy for and loves quality over quantity.
“I will never buy an item for the store that I have not seen. I can’t trust a photo to show a product’s quality. I believe there are many products that people cannot make a good buying decision about without first seeing, sitting, smelling or feeling. They need to engage the senses to make a good decision,” said Ruthann Goularte, owner of Drees.
Ruthann is careful to hire staff who can help anyone find what they are looking for. Long-time customers know they can turn to Drees to help ‘wardrobe a table,’ find just the right piece for an awkward corner of the home, or find the perfect serving dish for an upcoming Thanksgiving feast.
Ruthann loves helping brides create their registry. “When I register a bride, I advise them not to buy a set of anything. Instead, I tell them to imagine you have a cupboard full of things you love every time you open it Everything in there works together, but not one element is the same. Rather it works due to a common color, shape or pattern,” she said.
“My intention is that we provide products that people want to keep. Something that will endure,” Ruthann continues.
It is the Drees commitment to quality, beauty and excellent service that has helped Drees thrive in Olympia for 85 years. And it is this wisdom that keeps customers coming back year after year. The things they buy at Drees last and delight over and over again.
An 85-Year Legacy in Olympia
In 1929 Jimmy Drees bought the Art and Paint store, adding framing, gifts and wallpaper. In fact, there are some homes in the South Capitol neighborhood that still boast Jimmy Drees paper on the walls, according to Ruthann.
In 1965 he sold the store to the John Cowan family, but after Mrs. Cowan became ill they looked for a buyer. Enter Ruthann.
Ruthann grew up in Olympia. She attended Saint Michael’s, and walked to her father’s shop, Panowicz Jewelers, every day after school. “I would visit shops as I walked to my dad’s, and my favorite shop was Drees,” she said.
Ruthann left Olympia to attend college and study fine arts, and ended up in Washington D.C. working as an aide at the Hirshhorn Museum. “One day my dad told me that Drees might be closing. He knew how much I loved the store. My dad asked me if I was interested in buying it,” she said.
Ruthann returned to Olympia and met with Cowan’s daughter. “It was one of those time and place situations where you know it is the right thing. I purchased the store in 1976,” she said.
At that time, Drees was located on 5th Avenue, where Radiance now operates. Under Ruthann’s ownership the store went through several transformations, including offering one of the first espresso counters in the region. “We drove to Seattle every other weekend and purchased Starbucks from the original store. We taught cooking classes. We sold a lot of kitchenware. Eventually we decided that we needed a larger space,” she recounted.
They moved to their present location at the corner of Legion and Washington in 1986, and Ruthann concentrated the business on what she loved best: gifts and furnishings. In 2010 Ruthann’s husband, David Bettencourt Goularte, a well-known interior designer with more than 40 years of experience, opened an interior design studio adjacent to Drees.
Secret of Success
For the past 38 years Ruthann has worked tirelessly, often not leaving the store until midnight, to make Drees the success that it is today. In the beginning, she would meet with Jimmy Drees every week to learn everything that she could from him about running the store. She said, “We both shared a love of the store. I thought he was magic because he knew so much. Jimmy would say, ‘You’ve gotta have merchant blood. You have to love the work that comes with it. You have to enjoy the people.’ I grew up in retail. You learn to create a life around your work. This is my livelihood. This work is my contribution to the community. I truly believe in the value of creating unique, creative endeavors that help make Olympia the jewel that it is.”
Join Drees on Thursday, Nov 6, from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. for an evening soiree celebrating 85 years. The celebration will continue with their Annual Holiday Open House Nov. 7 – 9.
524 Washington Street SE in downtown Olympia
Hours: Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
As the leaves begin to fall in earnest and the temperatures drop we enter into a season marked by holiday celebrations and gatherings. For many, this is a joyous season. But for those who are struggling through the life lived in grief, the impending holidays can loom threatening on the horizon.
People ask, “Are you ready for the holidays?” meaning, are the presents wrapped, the cookies baked? But when you are navigating the holiday season without someone you love with you for the first or fourth time, this question means something entirely different.
Joan Hitchens of Olympia-based Navigating Grief shares that the holidays present a special challenge for those who have experienced a loss. “There is an unfolding of loss throughout the season as holidays and traditions are observed throughout the fall and into the New Year,” explains Hitchens. Gathering to “give thanks” when you feel far from thankful or celebrating with others who embody the holiday word “merry” is difficult when all you feel is the great, giant hole in your life left by the person you have lost.
There are, however, ways to manage the holidays even while working through the grieving process. First, you must identify if you just want to be alone, or if wrapping others around you like a warm blanket is what you seek. It’s ok to need space and solace to find your way. But also accept that being around happy celebrations and cheerful families is ok as well.
Hitchens also encourages you consider to “retire” traditions that underscore the absence of someone who is gone. If your husband always carved the Christmas Eve Prime Rib, serve lasagna instead. If the gathering place was always at her house, let someone else host, or pick a brand new location. If your traditions bring you comfort, then by all means, keep them! Look at what works for you to maintain health, memories and your energy in each season. She also encourages a focus on self-care. Taking the time for a massage, a short get-away, or regular exercise can make all the difference in a busy and emotional season.
And above all else, seek support when you need it. Look for those whom you trust to share your emotions with. Write in a journal or join a support group. The challenge of the holidays is a universally difficulty for those dealing with loss and you need not go it alone.
For more ideas on Navigating Grief through the holidays, click here.
It's mid-December 1958 and the Stardust club has been hired to host a hurry-up wedding reception for a mysterious couple. It’s a race to beat the clock, further complicated by the arrival of a social worker looking for a fugitive from a foster home. And she’s pretty sure she’s looking in the right place.
But the show must go on, and the gang sings and dances some of the greatest rat pack and rock’n’roll songs of the era in their search for holiday magic. This is the nineteenth year of the South Sound’s Stardust Christmas tradition!
WHEN: November 28th-December 31st, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00PM, Sundays at 2:00PM (plus a 2:00PM matinee on Christmas Eve, and a special 7:00PM performance on New Year's Eve)
PRICE: General: $39, Senior/Military: $35, Student/Youth: $25, Rush tickets available at Box Office ½ hour before curtain
DEALS: Pay What You Can Night: December 3rd, Ladies’ Night Out: December 5th, Pride Night: December 12thGoogle Plus One Facebook Like