Brian Kerkvliet of Inspiration Farms demonstrates how to make seed balls at the Sept. 22 First Annual Whatcom SkillShare Fair. Warren Miller/Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald
Kate Clark reports that the first Whatcom SkillShare Faire was a success.
Nearly 600 people attended the Sept. 22 event. She said that with the overwhelmingly positive response from fairgoers, there will be a second SkillShare in 2013.
Attendees were able to attend hourly demonstrations and check out booths with information ranging from 4-H students on raising rabbits, to how to start a small business, or basic carpentry or gardening. Beekeeping was one of the most popular areas, as were the ongoing demonstrations of how to make a camp stove from a pop can, and how to use a scythe.
Youngsters lined up to try to milk a goat. The mini-anaerobic digester demonstration was another popular offering, Kate said.
Fair-goers crowded in to watch 89-year-old Erma Boothby show how to darn a sock. She said was surprised at the number of men and woman interested in her demonstration.
Volunteers and attendees were encouraged to wear a note on their back indicating what kind of skill they could teach at a moment's notice. Responses ranged from how to whistle with two fingers to how to tie knots.
Kate says organizers are hoping to expand the fair next time to include a blacksmith and more animal husbandry; and will be connecting with community elders to encourage more of them to share skills that younger generations have yet to learn.
DANCERS FIGHT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and throughout the month you may come across a flash mob of dancers wearing purple, according to Jessica Staten.
The local dancers plan performances to Gloria Gaynor's disco hit, "I Will Survive," in the streets, at grocery stores, on college campuses, and the Bellingham Farmer's Market.
Jessica says the group is made up men, women and children who wish to call attention to the problem of domestic violence, and the impact it has on families. They hope, through their dancing, to bring awareness and provide opportunities for discussion to the community.
Dancers will also hand out information about where to go for help.
The loose-knit group has received support from First Congregational Church, Bellingham SportsPlex, Amjay Screenprinting, choreographer and dance teacher Gayle Staker, Abby Staten, graphic designer Robin Albers, videographer Kevin Probasco and the YWCA.
STARKENBURG TO LEAD LIGHTHOUSE BOARD
Linda Starkenburg was selected president of the Lighthouse Mission's 2012 - 2013 board of directors at the mission's 89th annual meeting Sept. 25, according to Ron Buchinski, executive director of Lighthouse Mission Ministries.
Linda has served on the board since 2009 and succeeds Dave Buys, who will become the board vice-president. Arlis Bosman was selected as board secretary and Gary Haveman is board treasurer.
Longtime board members Ralph Lautenbach and Frank Vogel were recognized for their decades of volunteer service at the mission. Outgoing board treasurer John Barry was recognized for his service as well.
MOUNT BAKER GRAD WINS WITH U.S. TIMBER TEAM
Branden Sirguy was a member of the silver-medal winning U.S. team at the International Timbersports competition in Lillehammer, Norway, on Sept. 7 and 8, according to his aunt, Carolyn Jonson.
Branden, son of Martha and Gary Sirguy, grew up in the Deming area and is a graduate of Mount Baker High School and the University of Washington. He now lives near Port Angeles and works as a forester.
THREE AGENCIES SHARE GENEROUS BEQUEST
PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, Western Washington University and the Whatcom Community Foundation are sharing a $1.4 million bequest from the estate of Eugene H. and Angely L. Williams of Bellingham, according to a foundation press release.
Eugene died in 2010 and was preceded in death by his wife. The gifts are some of the largest unrestricted gifts in the history of the institutions.
"The Williams' essentially said to each of the recipient organizations, 'We trust you to put this gift to work in our community,'" said Whatcom Community Foundation President and CEO Mauri Ingram. "There is nothing more humbling than that." Ingram added, "It's also an extraordinarily powerful gift, for the community and the organization. This gift provides us the flexibility to plan for today and tomorrow. We are investing a portion of our gift in permanent endowments to benefit the community for the long term and putting some of it to work today. We are honored to be included among the medical center and the university as another trusted community institution."
Mark McCampbell, chief development officer for the PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation, was also moved by the Williams' trust in the three institutions. "I am constantly amazed by the spirit of philanthropy and the generosity of individuals. Those PeaceHealth serves often benefit from the thoughtful plans that others make in order to leave a legacy, to make their community a better place. This selfless expression of trust is a matter we take seriously. The best stewardship of this gift, the most effective way to help our community through the Williams' generosity, is to assure that world class health care is available. This gift helps us complete our new integrated Cancer Center, bringing all cancer patient care services together in one place for the first time here."
"We are grateful to the Williams' for including WWU in this generous gift," said Stephanie Bowers, executive director of Western Washington University Foundation. "Unrestricted gifts such as these are, for us, among the best kinds to have, because they're given in a spirit of trust and the confidence that Western will put them to the most appropriate use. In the current economic climate, unrestricted gifts can dramatically help us improve programs, address specific funding needs, and enrich student learning experiences across our campus."
FRIENDS AND FAMILY RECALL JASON BROCKMANN
Tammy Brockmann wrote me that the second annual Jason Brockmann balloon release was held Sept. 23 at Woodlawn Cemetery.
Jason would have turned 20 on Sept. 24 and friends and family gathered again on his birthday to remember him.
His mother said they recalled "the great person Jason was and his huge and positive impact to this community and beyond, eat chocolate cake (his favorite), squirt silly string, blow party horns, blow bubbles and sing the birthday song. Jason was such a loving, fun and special young man and he gave so much to so many."
The Meridian High School senior, who died after being hit by a truck, was an organ donor. His mother said 143 individuals across the U.S. and Mexico have benefited from his organ, tissue and bone donations.
Reach JULIE SHIRLEY at email@example.com or call 715-2261.