Support the school district levies, and visit Stillwaters

Our club is ready for the new year in supporting our children and community. I didn’t get my article in last month but it’s difficult to type when you are in a pool that’s 80 degrees in sunny Arizona. I will touch on a few things that we accomplished over the holiday period and then let you all know about our plans for 2018.

Past President Pat-Bennett Forman reports that our Santa workshop was a great success and was attended by around 50 children and 65 adults, with pictures taken with Santa. Keith Beebe was Santa and Jane Mac Mrs. Claus; other club members and the Kingston High School Key Club filled in as elves. Candy canes, hot cocoa, apple cider and cookies from Sweet Life Cakery were served to everyone’s delight. It’s always lots of fun and purely a family affair.

We had a couple of great guest speakers in January. Dr. Laurynn Evans, the North Kitsap School District superintendent, shared with us her strategy to improve an already successful school district. As superintendent, Evans knew levies would be needed in order to ensure quality learning takes place for all our students. She has visited almost all the schools in the district and talked with staff to ensure success in this effort. She wants to not only prepare students to learn, but help them to prepare themselves to learn. She is impressed with each school and their staff and how many teachers work into the night working with students on their own time.

Dr. Evans recommended all to go to to see the statistical breakdown of the proposed levies. The capital levy passed in 2001 needs to be renewed; our school district must be able to ensure the health, comfort and safety of students and staff. The school district needs to update classrooms and technology; many computers are out of date. The big message: ask everyone interested in our school district to make sure they vote.

We also had a visit from Naomi Maasberg, director of the Stillwaters Environmental Learning Center, and Joleen Palmer, program director. The presentation started with a short film produced for the Suquamish Tribe and narrated by Elder Marilyn Wandrey, emphasizing how our salt marshes were important in the past now and in the future. When the South Kingston Bridge was built in 1890, it trapped many of the salmon trying to get to the ocean; the replacement bridge recently built is allowing many salmon to make their trek to open water. We were also brought up to speed on the new bridge that is scheduled to open in spring, and how it will improve the local habitat. If you have never visited Stillwaters, you need to make it a destination.

We have many projects coming up in the next few months; once dates are secured, I will make sure the information is dispersed. We will be supporting food drives, food for kids, berry sales, and our Salmon Slam. We will be involved with Tiny Town during the Fourth of July celebration and recruiting new members. Our club is a busy one, but we all have fun supporting our children and other members of the community. You will too if you desire to get involved in our town, especially if you’re retired and hang out at the post office for fun.

I also would like to encourage our military neighbors who want to get involved come on down and see what we do. I reported to Bangor when they commissioned the base and before I even moved into my new home, I was approached by local leaders to get involved. I never regretted it — and neither will you.

We meet at 7 a.m. each Thursday at the Village Green Community Center and everyone is welcome to attend. If you want to learn more about Kiwanis and our club, contact our president, Rob Shoaf 907-306-7611; membership chairperson Jenn Menne, 360-626-3743; or me, 360-509-9752.

Have a great Kiwanis Day.

— Bob Lee writes Kingston Kiwanis for the Kingston Community News. Contact him at