Students at Discovery Elementary School in the Mukilteo School District recently collected teddy bears and other stuffed animals for Snohomish County Fire District 1 crews to give to children in emergency situations.

The Discovery PTA has been donating teddy bears to Fire District 1 for more than five years. Students presented the stuffed animals to firefighters from the nearby Mariner Fire Station, who visited the school with the ladder truck earlier this month.

Firefighters and emergency medical technicians carry teddy bears on fire engines and medic units to comfort children who are seen on emergency calls, said Leslie Hynes, public information officer for Fire District 1.

Food drive serves county families in need

Pinnacle Financial, Everett Silvertips Hockey and Volunteers of America Western Washington teamed up recently to help Snohomish County individuals and families in need.

More than 11,800 pounds of food and nearly $600 was collected through the drive. Food bank coordinators estimate the donation will provide almost 13,000 meals for children, families and seniors served through the Arlington, Everett, Lake Stevens, Marysville and Stanwood food banks.

The March 3 Silvertips hockey game marked the culmination of the annual food drive, which is coordinated by Pinnacle Financial of Everett.

That night, Silvertip fans were given the opportunity to contribute to a countywide effort that also included shoppers at the Evergreen Albertsons and Silver Lake Safeway, and Haggen grocery stores in Arlington, Lake Stevens, Marysville and Stanwood.

Also helping with the food drive were volunteers from the Holiday Inn in downtown Everett, Everett Central Lions Club and the Everett Assembly No. 9 of Rainbow Girls.

The recent month-long Operation Backpack community collection drive, sponsored by Soroptimist International of Marysville, resulted in a large donation to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department and the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force.

The service club’s project supplies the department with clothing and personal items for children removed from homes where drugs are present. Often, children removed from these homes cannot take anything with them because of possible contamination, said project coordinator Rietta Costa.

The goal of Operation Backpack was to provide children with backpacks filled with sweatpants, shirts, shoes, personal toiletries, snacks, water and toys and games. The community drive also netted more than $5,000 in cash donations, a portion of which was used to purchase additional backpacks and supplies.

Backpack items were collected in bins at businesses in Marysville, Smokey Point and Granite Falls. Also involved in the drive were students from Mountain View High School and Marysville Arts and Technology High School, as well as Marysville resident Christina Bunn’s church, and Edie and Greg Hamberlin of Granite Falls.

Piano students headed to state conference

Piano students of Snohomish County Music Teachers recently competed in Everett to play at the Washington State Music Teachers Conference to be held in June in Pullman.

Matthew Palumbo and Joshua Lim, both students of Judy Baker, and Anna Freedman, student of Gail Tremblay, will be representing the Snohomish County chapter at the conference.

Christopher Chalaka, a student of Tremblay; Stephanie Kwon, a student of Baker’s; and Eric McElroy, a student of Maria Sier’s, were picked as alternates. Honorable mentions went to Todd Hollenhorst, a student of Jane Campbell’s; Andrew Romanick, a student of Sier’s; and Rebecca Delacruz Gunderson, a student of Baker’s.

Everett Community College’s Tax Aide program recently hit a milestone. The program’s 15 volunteers have completed more than 230 tax returns, many more than anticipated, with total refunds of more than $275,000 to taxpayers.

The Tax Aide program is sponsored by the college’s accounting department and AARP. Five volunteers are from the community and eight are EvCC students. The program coordinator is college instructional technician Laura Little, with support from accounting instructor Pat Coughlin. All volunteer around four hours a week.

The free tax preparation program is offered to all, but primarily to middle- and low-income taxpayers, especially those ages 60 and older.

Tax clinics are offered 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through April 15 at Rainier Hall, Room 104, 2000 Tower St., Everett. To schedule a required appointment, call 425-388-9565. or e-mail

Spanish translators will be available to aid taxpayers on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Russian translators will be available on Saturdays. Taxpayers need to bring identification and all tax-related document.

The Sno-King chapter of Soroptimist International has given its $500 Violet Richardson Award to Aimee Barger, a senior at Shorewood High School in Shoreline.

The Sno-King club recognizes girls for their volunteer service to their communities and to the world.

The Edmonds-based service club, which contributes time and financial support to projects benefiting women and girls, also plans to give $500 to St. Luke Parish in Shoreline.

Barger, a church youth group volunteer, traveled with others from the parish to the Dominican Republic, where she helped reconstruct a medical clinic in a mountain village.

In addition to participating in the Violet Richardson awards program, Soroptimist International of Sno-King provides brochures on domestic violence community resources, supports local food banks, provides help for families in need and donates cancer awareness outreach materials for Stevens Healthcare.

For more information or to join the club, e-mail kathleen

Alison Douglas, a teacher at Weston High School in Arlington, recently packed up dozens of boxes of unused, unsold surplus books and sent them to a friend who is working at a school in Kenya.

The books helped fill the shelves of the Karunga Primary School and Community Library, which opened March 6 in the African country.

Arlington School Board President Kay Duskin commended Douglas’s efforts.

“Her dedication and perseverance in sending our surplus books will have an impact on many people for years to come,” Duskin said.

Douglas’s friend reported that at the library’s opening ceremony, each child in the school was able to check out a book.

The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians has awarded North County Fire and Emergency Medical Services $24,000 to help purchase life saving and safety equipment for the fire district.

The funds will go toward the purchase of a thermal-imaging camera, mobile data computer to be placed in a command unit, and two Life Pak 500 defibrillators for medical units.

“We have enjoyed working as a partner in community protection with the Stillaguamish Tribe. They have been very open in helping assist us with our goals of equipment improvements and community safety,” said Battalion Chief Christian Davis.

Mukilteo Kiwanis Club’s second annual pancake breakfast on March 10 raised money for its scholarships, the Snohomish County Youth Meth Summit and other programs for young people.

The club’s community service projects include serving weekly dinners at the Cocoon House shelter for teens in Everett and helping families in need with yard maintenance.

The club meets at 7:30 a.m. Tuesdays at the Harbour Pointe Golf Club, 11817 Harbour Pointe Blvd., in Mukilteo.

Dunn Lumber Hockey Club recently kicked off a 100-day fundraising and public awareness campaign, “Big Brothers on Ice,” for the benefit of youth participants of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Snohomish County. Their goal is to play 100 games in 100 days. Club members hope to raise $10,000 to support the 10 new Big Brothers they aim to recruit for waiting Little Brothers.

Most of the children on waiting lists with Big Brothers Big Sisters are boys and less than half of the adults who volunteer for the group are men, said a program spokesman.

Dunn Lumber Hockey Club plays its rival, The Wolves, at a game set for 7:45 p.m. March 29 at the Everett Events Center. For more information about Big Brother on Ice and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Snohomish County, go to or call 425.252.2227.

Snohomish County Toastmasters Club 690 recently congratulated three members for achieving club honors.

Scot McKee and Steve Torrence earned competent communicator status and club president Jay Lambert earned the advance communicator bronze award. The awards recognize completion of speeches and leadership roles within the club.

Club 690 welcomes new members at its meetings, 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays (except holidays) at the county campus in downtown Everett. More details are available at http://snohomish.

Snohomish student invited to conference

Sixth-grader Kelby Strohm is headed to Washington, D.C. He is the only student chosen to represent Washington state during a week-long conference at the World Leadership Forum, formerly known as the People to People Leadership Conference.

Kelby was nominated last year by his fifth-grade teacher at Penny Creek Elementary. Kelby is currently a sixth-grader at Gateway Middle School in the Everett school district. He is on the honor roll, turned out for cross-country, is a member of the Snohomish United Soccer Club and is active in his church. His parents are Roger and Jodi Strohm of Snohomish.

The World Leadership Forum is an international leadership program for young adults. It was established by President Eisenhower as a way to promote international good will.

County residents climb tower for leukemia society

Alex Wipf of Edmonds captured top honors among Snohomish County climbers at the 21st annual Big Climb for Leukemia on Sunday. Wipf was among 4,000 climbers to scale the 1,311 steps of Seattle’s Columbia Center at the event.

Wipf, 17, ran the stairs in 8 minutes, 51 seconds. The annual stair climb, one of fewer than 150 competitive skyscraper climbs worldwide, benefits The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Jacob Chek, 16, of Snohomish earned the second best time among local males with a time of 9 minutes, 14 seconds, followed closely by Brandon Dean, 15, of Edmonds with a 9:15 time. Laura Follis, 43, of Mill Creek was second among local women with a 11:32 time, while Camari Ferguson, 42, of Everett was third clocking a 13:32 finish.

Former logger Anders Jacobsen, 82, of Everett was one of three octogenarians in the stair climb on Sunday.

Jacobsen made the climb in just over 24 minutes. This was Jacobsen’s eighth climb up the Columbia Tower. He said trains for the event by climbing the eight-flight stairwell at Providence Everett Medical Center’s Colby Campus.

Edmonds native, volunteer wins academic honor

Bellevue Community College student Tom Harrington has been named to the 2007 All-Washington Academic Team. The team will be honored at ceremonies Thursday in Olympia.

Recognizing the best and brightest community and technical college students in the state, the All-Washington Academic Team is a project of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society and the American Association of Community Colleges.

A former intern for Rep. Dave Reichert and a member of Model U.N., Harrington plans a career in government or international service.

His extensive volunteer work – through Americorps, Rotaract, UNICEF, student government and Phi Theta Kappa, of which he is chapter co-president – has produced substantial results including books for schools in Africa, computers for schools in Bulgaria and support for hurricane victims and local food banks.

An Iraq war veteran, Harrington previously won the Horatio Alger Association Distinguished American Military Scholar Award.

He is a 2001 graduate of Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Each member of the All-Washington Academic Team receives $750 in scholarships funded by Northwest Education Loan Association (NELA) and KeyBank.

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