Waverly Beach Park Picnic Shelter

Waverlypicnicshelter1 (photo credit: Kirkland Parks Foundation)

Waverly Beach Park is moving right along with the construction of the new picnic shelter and installation of a new irrigation system, dock material and landscaping. Thanks to the Kirkland Parks Foundation and many donor citizens for making this project happen!  Completion is still slated for mid-June, just in time for summer and viewing those "It's a Small World"  4th of July fireworks. 

Kirkland's 4th of July: It's a Small World

Its a small world
The 4th of July Kirkland Parade planning team has been hard at work.  "It's a Small World" has been chosen as the theme for this year's event in honor of 50 years since the installation of the Disneyland "It's a Small World" exhibit. It is also the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney's passing. 

This annual event in Kirkland is one that has been cherished and is much anticipated each year. Lee Johnson Auto Family and Waste Management are big supporters, however, it really is a 'small world' and we the people of Kirkland need to raise $25-30,000 of funding to make it a world of laughter and not a world of tears this July. It's tax-deductible and personal, business or corporate sponsors can donate here or send a check to:

Celebrate Kirkland/KDA, 440 Central WAy, Kirkland, WA 98033

The Kirkland Blog is sending a check right now.  Can you?

Additional info on sponsorship, send a note to Barbie Collins Young of the KDA.  To learn more about the festivities of the day/fireworks or to join the oversight committee, email info@celebratekirkland.org .




Goodbyes and Congrats and Good Ideas

Quick and Dirty.  Just the way you like it.

Totem Lake..

Big 5 Sporting Goods- They were going to close on April 15th but just pushed back to June 15th.  It's a garage sale of random objects and heavily discounted 'treasures' in there.    I found super cute bathing suits for my girls for $10 each.  Things are spotty at best, and there will be no new inventory coming in, but what is there is marked down 25-50% off of the sale prices. You may or may not be feeling lucky? Hours and phone details here.

Denny's Pet World- Moved! They are now located at 13123 NE 124th St across from Toyota of Kirkland.  Phone/hours/map/animal fur here.

Trader Joe's- they are staying put until they move into the new space across the street perhaps next year sometime.  They plan to stay continuously open. And here's some useful TJ's info-- did you know that every day they hide a little green frog in the store? (stuffed, not real.  Check Denny's for real ones) Anyway.. it's brilliant  because when my kids are there they quietly scamper around searching for the frog while I shop in peace.  They win a little prize if they find him, which they always do because now they are clearly too old for this game but the employees don't seem to mind.

Waxing the City- Congratulations on their recent ONE year anniversary! Waxing the CIty is celebrating this milestone by doing something for others in our community by doing a clothing, supply, and hygiene drive for Youth Care thru the end of March.  Youth Care is a non profit designed to aid  homeless teens and young adults in Seattle. They have collection bins set up in the studio and are encouraging you to bring new or gently used clothing, school supplies or hygiene items with you for your next visit.  Sounds like a good reason to pop in for a wax...helllloooo spring break! (your first service is always 50% off). Details here.

Nourishing Network- Speaking of spring break, it's that time again, when many local elementary school children that typically rely on the free or reduced meal program at school and pantry packs during the weekends won't have enough to eat over the school break.  You can have a direct impact on helping some of these families by donating a box of food. Dropoffs are in 2 Kirkland locations on 3/31 and the sign up sheet and grocery list can be found here.  I usually give my children the grocery list and let them do the shopping and pack the boxes.  A learning opportunity indeed.

All You Need to Know Right Now

  Dog <---- he says  "thank you, Kirkland!"
The Kirkland Parks Foundation has successfully raised $3850 from the community to fund the purchase of a pet-friendly drinking fountain at David E. Brink Park on Lake Washington Blvd. Way to go! Expect to see the install this spring. This is the 5th successful local crowd-funding project the Kirkland Parks Foundation has worked on since its inception in April 2015.  Do you have an idea for a Kirkland Parks Project? Send them in here

Google appears to have a new search engine for kids called "Kiddle" that strives to present safe web sites that are kid-friendly and Kiddle-editor tested.  They also boast big thumbnails, a large arial font and do not collect any personally identifiable information. Brilliant! But they may have taken this to the extreme.  I asked one of my thirteen year olds what she would like to do an internet search on.  So when we asked Kiddle for the "fastest runner" it gave us the error message above: "It looks like your query contained some bad words!  Please try again."  Hmmmm.  Good thing I didn't ask Brady (10) or that search engine would have been really offended by some verbage of a Macklemore song he might ask for.  I tried the word "flowers" and "cupcakes"- same response. I even tried "Google self-driving car crash" and it didn't like that either.  Love the concept though.  Hope they work the bugs out.


Kirkland Art Walk- Second Fri of each month which means March 11th.  Downtown Kirkland from 5-8pm, go meander, listen to music and support the artists and make new friends.  Why wouldn't you?


Shamrock run knot
Don't drink too much at the Art Walk b/c the Kirkland Shamrock Run (5K) is the next day on 3/12 at 9am in downtown Kirkland. Register here ($40). Please wear a lot of ridiculous green stuff as I am easily entertained.

Rumor Alert:  Will we have some Frog Legs in Kirkland soon?  

Exciting: Little Brother is getting closer.  Like in the next 30-60 days closer. Oh yeah.


Things You (maybe) Didn't Know


Such as...

NorthwestMarlene (photo credit: NWU)

A Northwest University student took first place at the World Universities Debating Championships in Greece.  Kudos to Marlene Pierce for the big win.  I promise to never get in an argument with her.  Good news is now I know who to consult for advice on debating household chores with my children.

KirklandRotaryDonation (photo credit: Rotary Club of Kirkland)
The Rotary Club of Kirkland and its Foundation recently supported the World Bicycle Relief with a $5000 donation.  WBR supports citizens of developing countries gain increased mobility giving access to education, health care, employment, and basic necessities.  Many recipients are  young women with only their own feet for transportation.  Way to think globally, Rotary of Kirkland.

GoogleInsleeNest (photo credit: Google)
Governor Inslee and Congresswoman DelBene were in town to celebrate Google's expansion here that doubled its size to 375,000 square feet and spans four buildings. The Kirkland campus is home to engineering teams working on high profile Google products such as Hangouts, Cloud, Chrome and Ads.  The new space has features such as a human-size nest and skylight, hideaway ‘cave’ areas, offices, cafe and micro-kitchens, living roof deck, dog-friendly offices, cooking classes, and crepe-making room.  And of course they already had fitness, massage centers and a climbing wall.  I'm sending my application in right now because it just sounds fun to work there.  Maybe I can make their crepes or clean the nest.   Never mind that makes it sounds just like home.  But it is cool that Google is innovating for the planet and also for their employees and community- thanks for leading the way!

Kirkland Parks Foundation is Busy Fundraising to Improve our Parks

Here are two current projects for the Kirkland Parks Foundation that you might like to rally for..


Pet-friendly Water Fountain
Tell your dog about this one, and maybe you can spot Fluffy a few bucks to help with this project on Lake Washington Blvd.  The KPF has partnered with Juanita Bay Veterinary Hospital to raise funds to install a new pet-friendly drinking fountain on the boulevard.  That's right- it's not just about you, PEOPLE, pets get thirsty too. This new doggie fountain will have a fully-draining bowl and provide easy access to clean, safe water for your  pet.  The city will do all of the prep and installation, the KPF just needs to raise $3400 to make it happen.  Donations  over $500 or more will be recognized on a plaque.   Consult with your furry best friend and donate here if he likes the idea.


McAuliffe Park Learning Garden 

There is a generous donor out there that has challenged us to raise $612 , which they will match 3:1 (that's $2450 total!).  The deadline is December 7th. This funding goes towards completing this project that will help support sustainable food production and education for adults and children in our community.  Details on the project and the 'donate' button are here.

Summer Celebrations in Kirkland

This city loves to party.  Why wouldn't we?  It's gorgeous weather and our parks are waterfront and our people are FUN! So, let's meet up for some summertime celebrating----


Kirkland Uncorked
is THIS weekend July 17-19 in Marina Park.  There's a 21+ Tasting Garden ($25 advance, $30/door) and an all-ages Street Fair (free).  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you might want to walk, bus, bike, scooter, or teleport because parking cannot be fun on those days.  But there is some parking for those lucky 47 of you- tips on that and other details Uncorked can be found here.  Be ready for lots of wine and culinary delights and some celebrity chefs.

The hours for each of the days is here:

Kirkland Uncorked Tasting Garden Hours*:
Friday, July 17: 5pm-10pm
Saturday, July 18: 12pm-10pm
Sunday, July 19: 12pm-6pm

*Must be 21+ with valid ID

Kirkland Uncorked All-Ages Street Fair Hours:
Friday, July 17: 2pm-8pm
Saturday, July 18: 11am-8pm
Sunday, July 19: 11am-6pm

You can buy your tickets in advance online, at Fred Meyer or at The Grape Choice

If you look into your crystal ball you will also notice that you'll be attending Kirkland Summerfest of art, music, food and family fun on August 7th and 8th.   Planning and fundraising to pull off this effort is swiftly underway. 

Speaking of fundraising- congrats to the Kirkland Parks Foundation for achieving their fundraising goal for the Waverly Beach Park Picnic Shelter.  That project will start this fall with a targeted completion by summer of 2016.  Yay!  MORE waterfront park parties!  If you have ideas for how you think YOUR favorite Kirkland Park can be improved, the Kirkland Parks Foundation is ready to listen to your ideas. 

Goodwill Open in Juanita

GoodwillJuanita (3)
Did you know that Goodwill opened a Kirkland location in May where the old Albertson's used to be (9826 NE 132nd St.)?  For some reason when I walk into thrift stores like this I end up buying things I never knew that I needed.  It's a consistent phenomenon - maybe it's the garage-saler in me. Goodwill feels like a cleaner/more organized Value Village, but here's the cool thing.  Their mission is to put their proceeds towards providing free job training and education to those in need in the communities they serve. Insert warm fuzzies here. 

GoodwillJuanita (1)  <---please don't tell my son they have a used drum set for $80

Most items in the store have been donated and are gently used, but some things are new. New stuff=things that would be gnarly to buy used.  Underwear.  Socks.  You get my drift. If you drive around back, they have their own donation drop-off where somebody will take your things (everything but mattresses) and get you a tax receipt.  I was surprised there weren't more people in there since the air conditioning seemed to work great.  AND it was Wednesday SENIOR Discount Day. And bonus-- the books are in alphabetical order!

Goodwill Juanita Store hours:  Mon-Sat are 9-9 and they take donations 8-8 . On Sunday the store is 10-8 and donations 9-7.   425-823-7430. ~j


Kirkland Parks Foundation Fundraising for Waverly Beach Park

Waverly shelter
The Kirkland Parks Foundation is a new non-profit organization that fundraises for projects that will enhance Kirkland parks.   Think of it as a Kirkland Parks  "Kickstarter."  The proposal they are working on right now is to fund a new picnic shelter at Waverly Beach Park.  The total cost is $150,000, an ambitious first project for the foundation, but definitely doable if I know our park-goers.  The City of Kirkland and The Rotary Club have each pledged $50,000 already, so that leaves another $50,000 to raise within our community.  Would YOU enjoy a picnic shelter at Waverly?  There would be a couple of BBQ's and covered seating for 40+ people that could host birthday parties, family reunions, picnics, and other events.  Sounds fabulous to me.

As of today, they have met 22% of that goal with 61 more days of crowd-funding to go.  So check your wallet and decide quickly.  If you visit this park on occasion, or even if you don't....a small donation still supports the concept and proves that raising money for our parks this way can work.  Who knows, maybe the next concept will be in your neighborhood or favorite park?  You can suggest a future project here.  Donations are welcomed here and are tax-deductible.  Questions? Contact Sally Otten (sallyotten@kirklandparksfoundation.org), Excecutive Director, who is kindly donating 2 yrs of her time to this cause. ~j


Kirkland Community Rallies for Little Tiffany Faith

Tiffanyauction (4) Tiffanyauction (1)
Last Saturday night was the culmination of an amazing community effort for a special little girl named Tiffany Larson.  This happy and outgoing 7 year old Peter Kirk student that loves soccer, dancing and horseback riding was diagnosed in January with a medulloblastoma tumor on her brain.  It started with a 'whooshing' sound in her ear, which resulted in the tumor being identified on an ear canal CATscan. Things happened quickly from there.   Seattle Children's Hospital has been taking great care of her through her surgery to remove the tumor and then six grueling weeks of proton radiation and chemotherapy.  Now her little body is regaining strength to prepare for her upcoming year of 8 chemo sessions.  

Tiffany and her parents, Nathan and Malia, and her three sisters have been managing to stay strong and positive with the help of family and friends.  But everyone wanted to do more for them.  This is a family that has always been active in school and the community and reached out to help others, but is now thrown into an emotional tornado.  Not to mention, Tiffany's cost of care is staggering towards 7 figures with each week. So a group of moms got together with an idea and approached Nathan.  "We'd like to have a party at my house to benefit Tiffany," said Paisley Madison, who has a daughter in Tiffany's grade,  "Are you ok with that?"   Nathan struggles with this because, he says, "I'm used to being on the other side.  I get really emotional about it.  This is very humbling."

Tiffanyauction (3)   Tiffanyauction (2)  (thx to Kelley Balcomb-Bartok for  the photos) 

Paisley Madison, Megan Smiley, Sheryl Vincent, Jonnel Bowser, Rochelle Haberl, Storey Hahn, and Hae Sue Park become the superteam of auction planners that made this event happen with less than one month of planning.  Community interest soon outgrew a house party and so they moved the location to The Woodmark Hotel and auction item donations started pouring in. Family, friends, neighbors, teachers, and Kirkland businesses all had something to give for the cause.  LWHS students from the Beta Club volunteered their time doing check-in/out, food, and selling t-shirts and wristbands.  The super-fun band, Date Nite, volunteered their time as did the rockin' DJ, Mobile Celebrations. Kelley Balcomb-Bartok donated the photography. 

Everyone was asked to wear pink or purple since those are Tiffany's favorite colors.  There was even a signature Tiffany cocktail.  It was purple! But most importantly, there were 175 people in attendance that raised over $20,000 in support of the Larson family.  Standing in that room, I could feel the warmth, love and generosity.  It was amazing to witness how so many Kirkland people and Kirkland businesses could work together to make some magic happen.  I asked Nathan how he felt at the event and he said, "Oh my gosh, I was so wrapped up in my emotions.  I wanted to say something that night but nothing would come out of my mouth.  We are thankful to live in the community that we do.  I don't know how we can ever say thank you to so many people and organizations, but thank you.  From our hearts." 

If you are interested in contributing to Tiffany's medical bill fund, she has a GoFundMe site.   You can also sport a "Tiffany Strong" t-shirt around town if you like (pink, of course).  They are $20 and come in sizes youth large- adult 2XL or get a purple (youth) or blue (adult) wristband for $10 to show you are thinking about Tiffany.  Email Sheryl for those items at vincentfamilyfun@gmail.com

To follow Tiffany's progress, she has a Caring Bridge Site under Tiffany Faith Larson. I want to personally give kudos to the very long list of people that participated in this groundswell effort for Tiffany. It says a lot about Kirkland and why it's so easy to love living in this community.   #tiffanystrong