Miriam Reid of Richmond, B.C. sent in a nice "pay it forward" note:
"I hope that 'Samantha' reads your newspaper so that I can thank her for her overwhelming generosity to 4 complete strangers.
"My husband, daughter, grandson (age 3) and myself were eating at the Red Robin at Bellis Fair mall on Friday. We were finishing up when our server came and told us that the young woman with her son in a booth close to ours had paid for all of our meals. She had asked the server not to tell us until she was gone. We knew her name is Samantha because she was seated just ahead of us and that is the name that the hostess called when her table was ready. That's all we really know about this young woman other than the fact she was extremely generous and made the day of four visitors.
"We'll follow her lead and pay it forward. Thank you Samantha!"
RIDING CENTER MOURNS 'DUTCH TREAT'
Our friends at the Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center are mourning the loss of "Dutch Treat." The Dutch Warmblood horse, owned by Pat Holmes and Carrie Bieber, was 31 years old.
For the past 16 years, Dutch Treat "set the highest standard with her exemplary work ethic and personality, a true shining star in our program," according to a press release.
The horse was honored in 2012 with the Path International Region 9 Therapeutic Horse of the Year Award for her many years of service and talents.
"Throughout her life, Dutch Treat always performed to the best of her ability. She could do it all - dressage, jumping, Western pleasure; patient, kind and dependable therapeutic lesson horse; the leader of the pack. Several of our students have ridden Dutch Treat for 16 consecutive years and will truly miss her, as will all of us at Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center.
"All who knew her will never forget Dutch Treat, the gorgeous, big white mare. We are establishing a memorial fund in her honor, the Stride For Distinction Fund, to continue the standards of excellence and follow in Dutch Treat's hoofprints."
Go to nwtrc.org for memorial donations.
STUDENTS HONORED FOR SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, MATH
The Bellingham branch of the American Association of University Women honored 29 Whatcom County students for excellence in science, technology, and math May 11 at its High School Scholars Recognition Program. The event was held at the SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention.
The juniors, selected by their high schools, are:
Bellingham: Hannie McGarity, science; Chantelle Chen, technology; Ashley Spink, math;
Blaine: Sukhmani Gill, science; Alexis McElwain, technology; Olivia Olason, math;
Ferndale: Elise Wright, science; Alyssa Solari, technology; Taryn Knutson, math;
Lummi: Alina Tageant-Revey, math;
Lynden: Charlotte VanWerven, science; Harmeen Kaur, technology; Tricia Snydar, math;
Lynden Christian: Braelyn McClure, science; Courtney Hollander, technology; Jenny Sung, math;
Meridian: Kayla Ray, science; Candace Sturtevant, technology; Taylor Lunde, math;
Mount Baker: Nicole Boardman, science; Anna Koranda, math;
Nooksack Valley: Lindsay Hayes, science; Brianna Prink, technology; Taryn Tenkley, math;
Sehome: Monisha Gonzales, science; Melanie Cahill, math;
Squalicum: Kristin Smith, science; Aurora Leeson, technology; Meghan Lowry, math.
Sponsors of the event included BP Cherry Point Refinery, College of Sciences & Technology at WWU, and the SPARK Museum.
The group also is sending Kimberly Keay and Lauren Morales from Shuksan Middle School and Anna Row from Kulshan Middle School to Tech Trek camp at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, in July.
The $1,000 camp includes classes, fields trips, rotating labs and other activities focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
NEW COMMAND FOR BELLINGHAM SON
Bellingham-raised U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Brian Gilda was awarded a new command May 7, according to family neighbor Peggy Hinton.
Brian, 45, is the son of Robert and Karen Gilda and a 1986 graduate of Bellingham High School. His 23-year career has taken him to five continents, visiting Holland, South Africa, England and China along the way.
He is now the sector commander for Northern New England and based in South Portland, Maine.
CUB SCOUTS MAKE KITES FOR KIDS
Wolf Den 5 from Cub Scout Pack 4044 recently completed a community service project making kites for the Boys and Girls Club, according to den leader Jack Perram.
The scouts thought of the club because most of them play at least one of the sports the club sponsors.
Jill Reid attended a pack meeting to receive the kites from the kids and Jack says the kids were "positively beaming!"
At the event were: Dylan Cohoe, Jake Durfee, Jacob Sorenson, Elisha Foster, Kyan Fox, Atticus Goebel, Justin VanMale, Ethan Brimble, Trevor Jenks, Thomas Boyle, Trevor Walker, and den chief Isaac Ziebell.
ROTARY FUNDS WOMENCARE SHELTER
Bellingham's Womencare Shelter has received a $2,500 grant from the Bellingham Bay Rotary Club, according to a press release.
The grant will help house survivors of domestic violence,
"Without this generous contribution from the Bellingham Bay Rotary Club we would not have the discretionary dollars for items that domestic violence survivors, most of whom are homeless, need to set up a new home and start a new life: application fees, housing deposits, furniture and furnishings, food and clothing," said Sherl Hull-Cline, housing director at Womencare Shelter.
The Bellingham Bay Rotary Club awards grants through a competitive application and review process. Rotary president Dennis Archer said, "it is Brad Cornwall, chairman of the allocation committee, who really deserves the credit for the grant award. It goes without saying that there were many applicants and many stories which tugged at that committee's collective heart strings. So the fact that Womencare Shelter was one of the chosen grant recipients speaks volumes to me about WCS's management and mission; it is only the top achievers that get an allocation."
Womencare Shelter provides emergency confidential shelter and support services to survivors of domestic violence. Since the shelter began in 1979, more than 31,000 women and children have been served, according to interim executive director Peggy Zoro.
DAR HONORS WORK AT PICKETT HOUSE
The Chief Whatcom Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution has presented Edradine Hovde with the National Historic Preservation Award for her work in helping to preserve the Pickett House, according to Sharon Neem, club historian and librarian.
Edradine is a member of the local chapter of the Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington who maintain the house at 910 Bancroft St. in Bellingham. The home was originally built by General George Pickett of Civil War fame, and is the oldest documented wooden structure on its original site in the state. It's open for public tours on the second Sunday of each month from 1 - 4 p.m.
A check for $1,000 from the Chief Whatcom Chapter was also presented to Edradine to help with the home.
NEW LEADERS FOR LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
The League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County elected Jill Bernstein and Annette Holcomb co-presidents May 15, according to a press release.
Sheri Lambert will serve as first vice president and Amy Van Pelt will be secretary. All were previously board members. Elected to the board were Judy Corliss, Susan Mancuso, Donna Packer and Margot Schenet.
Jill is a retired criminal defense attorney and Annette is a former co-president of the Seattle/King County chapter and served four years on the state board of the League of Women Voters of Washington.
Annette said the group will sponsor several election forums and public meetings on issues that impact the community throughout the year. League members selected health care, funding for higher education, gun safety, and the deep water port development at Cherry Point as their top priorities for the next year.
FORMER RESIDENT HONORED BY STEEL GROUP
Mark Richards, a 1997 Bellingham High School graduate and the son of David and Ida Richards, was one of four authors recently honored by the American Iron and Steel Institute.
He co-authored a paper, "Effects of deformation behavior and processing temperature on the fatigue performance of deep-rolled medium carbon bar steels," that won the association's highest technical award, the 2013 Institute Medal, May 17.
Mark received his bachelor's degree from Colorado School of Mines in 2001 and his doctorate in metallurgy and materials engineering from that school in 2008.
He continued with a post doctoral position at the federal National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colo., and was employed at the EVRAZ steel mill in Pueblo, Colo., in 2012, according to his mother.
Ida added that Mark attributes his interest in science to his mentoring by Mrs. Beardsley from Bellingham High School.
WWU PROFESSOR WINS SCIENCE FOUNDATION GRANT
Western Washington University Assistant Professor of Chemistry John Gilbertson has been awarded a five-year, $470,000 Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation, according to a press release. The grant is for his research into breaking down greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and transforming them into useful compounds.
Associate Professor of Chemistry Greg O'Neil received a similar grant in 2012 for his research into the utilization of algae as a biofuel, and Janelle Leger of WWU's Applied Materials Science and Engineering Center won in 2011 for her work on the use of polymers in electronics.
Gilbertson and his students are investigating how to use cheap, Earth-abundant metals to transform the typically unreactive carbon dioxide molecule into useful chemicals and fuels, such as syngas and methanol, according to the release.
More from the university:
One practical application of Gilbertson's research is a parallel use of the existing Coal-to-Liquids process that turns coal into syngas; but Gilbertson's processes eliminate the need to use coal altogether.
"Coal to liquids is the formation of syngas, and ultimately diesel fuel, from the gasification of coal. Our process is similar to that except that we are using abundant and readily available carbon dioxide as our carbon source - replacing coal - to make syngas," he said.
Gas-to-Liquids technology, using the current boom on natural gas production in North America, also offers similar paths for Gilbertson and his researchers.
The research component of his award will fund two undergraduates and one graduate student per year as research assistants.
Besides the research component to the grant, the award also funds a curricular/outreach effort that Gilbertson is tentatively calling "Scientist Citizen;" Gilbertson will be working with a student team to produce and disseminate, through traditional and digital media outlets such as YouTube and public television, a series of videos focused on science-education topics of regional and national interest.
Out and About is published Mondays in The Bellingham Herald.
Reach Executive Editor Julie Shirley at 360-715-2261 or firstname.lastname@example.org.