Queen Anne Helpline seeking new board members

Queen Anne HelplineThe Queen Anne Helpline, our local non-profit that helps our neighbors in need, is looking for new members for its Board of Directors. To learn more about the Helpline, you can read our recent profile of the organization – and you’ve likely heard the Helpline mentioned in our posts on the annual Helpline Gala, the Christmas tree lot, and the Crown of Queen Anne Fun Run.

Here’s the information directly from the Queen Anne Helpline:

EXCITING OPPORTUNITY! Interested in working with a fun, dynamic, neighborhood based nonprofit? Queen Anne Helpline is a social service nonprofit providing financial and basic needs assistance to Queen Anne and Magnolia neighbors during times of hardship. We are currently accepting applications for a few rare openings on our Board of Directors. We are especially interested in individuals who represent diverse segments of the community, are passionate about nonprofit work and the Helpline’s mission specifically, and have expertise in communications, fundraising, or social services. It’s an exciting time to be part of the Helpline as we update our infrastructure, increase our community presence and continue to improve our services.

For more information about the Helpline or this opportunity please visit their web site, call 206.282.1540 or send them an email.

Parkour Visions Hosts Competition this Friday and Saturday, Competitors and Spectators Welcome

Parkour Visions has been communicating the benefits of effective parkour practice through teaching and community outreach since 2007, and they’re hosting a parkour competition in just a few days. If you’re interested in checking out their 10,000 square-foot gym at the northern base of Queen Anne on Nickerson, learning about parkour, watching competitors or competing, this is the week to do so. Parkour Visions is hosting an obstacle course competition for kids and adults this Friday and Saturday where each competitor runs three different timed courses. There are separate brackets for age and gender, with the winners logging the fastest times.

According to Parkour Visions:

“Parkour is the art of overcoming obstacles effectively and swiftly using only your body. Fundamentals include running, jumping, crawling, and climbing, in order to pass over, under, around, and through obstacles in the everyday world. Parkour offers a full-body workout to people at any level of experience or fitness; it improves our ability to move, increases our confidence, and changes how we see the world.”

Check out the video of last year’s competition to see what you can expect at the event:

Key Details:
– Where: Parkour Visions, 1210 W Nickerson St
– Adult Competition (14+) – Friday, Nov 16, 6pm-9pm
– Kids Competition (8-14) – Saturday, Nov 17, 5pm-8pm
– Competitor Fees: $20 members; $25 non-members; free to unlimited gym members — register here
– Spectators: FREE!

Parkour Visions reaches thousands of people per year through parkour academy classes, outreach to at-risk youth, special events, and private parties. If you’re interested in checking out what they do, you can attend the competition as a spectator for free.

Gates Foundation’s new campus “arms” open to welcome neighborhood and community

The Gates Foundation‘s new Lower Queen Anne campus opened to the public on Saturday, welcoming the community to the headquarters of one of the world’s largest charitable organizations.

Visitors formed a long, slow-moving line outside the entrance to go on self-guided tours held between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The tour was restricted to Levels one and two of the North Building, and included walks through the Atrium, Share Your Wish dining area, conference center, the outdoor park and the Grantee Fair. Organizations represented in the fair were: Mercy Corps; Landesa; PATH; Washington Global Health Alliance; State Board for Community and Technical Colleges; Seattle BioMed; College Success Foundation; Building Changes; Thrive by Five; and United Way of King County.

The $500 million, 12-acre site across from the Seattle Center was designed to resemble arms reaching out to “the world’s most vulnerable people.” The organization has spent more than $24.8 billion on different causes throughout the world, with most of that spent on global health initiatives, according to the Gates Foundation Website.

A private party celebrating the opening of the three-year construction project was held on the evening of June 2, with Bill and Melinda Gates in attendance.

The foundation’s staff was spread out in five leased buildings throughout the South Lake Union area, but they’ve been moving into the new campus since early May. About 1,200 people are currently working at the center.


Northwest Folklife gearing up, seeking volunteers

The Northwest Folklife festival, which will have a Bulgarian theme this year, may be two months away, but with the turning of winter to spring the annual Memorial Day Weekend celebration seems to be just around the corner. For those planning the festival, it is.

“This year we celebrate our 40th Anniversary Festival and have received a proclamation from the Mayor’s office that declares May 27th to 30th Northwest Folklife Weekend,” writes Folklife Community Engagement & Volunteer Coordinator Holly Decker.

Folklife, a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a mission to create “opportunities for individuals and communities of the Pacific Northwest to celebrate share and sustain the vitality of folk, ethnic and traditional arts for present and future generations,” is very much a product of the community, and relies on community members to keep itself going every year all while staying free for the public.

“Though many believe we are funded by the city because our Festival takes place on the Seattle Center campus, we receive very little city funding. The organization is able to sustain its self and have the Festival remain free to the public mostly in thanks to individual donors (financial support) and volunteers (approximately 800 volunteers),” says Decker. “Since this Festival, the nation’s largest free community arts festival takes place right here on Queen Anne, I thought, let’s get this community even more involved. Volunteer opportunities for people of all ages!”

This year Folklife is looking for volunteers to work at the festival, and help make preparations in the months leading up to Memorial Day Weekend. According to Decker, the festival accepts volunteers of all ages, though those under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The festival, which runs runs four days (May 27, 28, 29, 30), is in need of volunteers to fill shifts from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Volunteers are also needed to help set up and tear down the Festival the week before and the week after. There are no hour requirements for volunteers, and typical shifts range from 2.5 to 3 hours.

There are a number of position available, from volunteering as a Vera Gallery assistant, pre-festival merchant aide, office assistant, and “a bit of everything else in between,” Decker says. For a full list of available volunteer opportunities click here (.pdf).

“The area we need help in most is in our Greeter department. Greeters are the heart of our Festival. Greeters staff our entrances and make sure every patron is acknowledged while entering or exiting the Festival. Greeters hand out program guides to patrons and encourage them to make donations as they enter or exit the Festival. This position is for individuals who are friendly and embody the spirit of Folklife. A  typical Greeter shift is 2.5 hours and requires the ability to stand for a majority of the shift,” Decker says.

“A great new program we’ve introduced this year is entrance “sponsorship”. Northwest Folklife does not allow organizations to purchase booth space at our Festvial, but this year we are allowing community groups with similar mission statement to “sponsor” a Festival entrance for a day. That means they provide volunteers to work the entrances and in exchange are allowed to distribute outreach materials for their organization. This is also a great project for any groups who want to volunteer.”

Groups interested in volunteering at Folklife this year should contact Holly directly at holly@nwfolklife.org. Individuals who’d like to volunteer can go to www.nwfolklifefestival.org, click on the “Get Involved” tab and complete the online application.

All the Best Pet Care hosts doggy chow cook-off benefiting senior dog rescue group

The Upper Queen Anne All the Best Pet Care hosted an alternative, natural dog food feast called “Let Us Cook for Your Wolf” for Valentine’s Day on Monday evening. The event benefited Old Dog Haven, a group working to help Western Washington’s senior dog population through adoptions and senior dog placement.

Two guest chefs, All the Best owner Susan Moss and Julia Forbes, of “The Dog Talk Show“, specializing in canine cooking, served up a scrumptious dinner for Queen Anne’s dogs. The event only raised $110 dollars, but All the Best marketing coordinator Stella Brockbank says it was well worth it.

“So many cute faces attended,” she wrote. “Thanks to all our Queen Anne customers who attended this fun event for a great cause!”

Want to donate to or get involved with Old Dog Haven? Find out how here.

Non-profit seeks your input on Seattle.gov

If you’re one of our readers, chances are you’re fairly adept at getting around the Internet, and have at least probably dabbled in finding information through government web sites, especially Seattle.gov.

Knowledge as Power (KAP), a non-profit based in Seattle with a primary objective to empower politically engaged citizens, is running a Usability Study on Seattle.gov that wants to see how easy (or hard) that site is for people to navigate and to find the information they need/want. And they’ll give you $20 in Tippr credit.

KAP founder and executive director Sarah Schacht explains on her blog:

When I was approached by the Mayor’s office in March for ideas on open gov work that could be implemented across Seattle’s services, the first thing I pointed out was that our city, like many others, doesn’t really know what residents want from their government in terms of openness and online services. It would be important to do a usability study, and use the results to guide future redesigns’ prioritization. Problem was, there’s no money for that kind of work, especially in governments that are slashing staff and announcing doomsday budgets. So, I put my bargain-hunting to work, again, to help fuel the usability study.

So for less than $250 in KAP funds, this study will give Seattle’s Department of Information Technology (DoIT) and Mayor McGinn’s office a roadmap for improving Seattle.gov, based on the feedback of about 50 Seattle residents who will sit down for an hour (if you’re chosen after doing a short online survey). Let KAP tell you more:

Essentially we are looking for participants like you to sit in a room and let us takes notes as you browse for information on Seattle.gov. It’s as easy as that, and in return we will give you $20 in Tippr credit. (Tippr.com is a local Seattle company similar to Groupon, LivingSocial, etc. Your $20 credit gets you $40-$60 worth of Seattle goods.)

Right now we are looking for two specific groups of people:

1) People who use or have used Seattle.gov for a business purpose (e.g. perhaps you’re a startup and you have to use the website to find and apply for permits) and

2) Ordinary Citzens! We’re looking for people of every level computer competency to come in and test the website.

Come help your city — or at least its web site — work better. Fill out the short application page here.

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