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News Roundup -- Now, a wave of donations/Committees need bodies/Sing Out! honors MLK

Now, a wave of donations

Help from Bainbridge Island continues to roll in to victims of December’s Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, with more than $11,500 in checks and cash donated during Sunday’s “A Wave of Caring” concert.

Contributions by credit card and via the mail are still being tallied from the benefit concert at Bainbridge High, with proceeds going to the American Red Cross International Response Fund/Tsunami Relief.

A community choir of more than 200 adults, 60 students from Blakely School, and three dozen poets, soloists, musicians and songwriters lent their time and talents to the event, which included support from 70 volunteers.

“We are all so happy with the response of the community and want to thank the volunteers, performers and our neighbors and friends who came together to make a difference,” said Marijane Milton, one of the event’s organizers.

Other relief efforts involving Bainbridge Island include:

• Clear Path International, the nonprofit agency founded to aid land mine survivors in Southeast Asia, will send a container of hospital beds and mattresses to Chennai (formerly Madras) on the east coast of India, on Jan. 26.

The shipment is one of several that Clear Path hopes to send to the region to help rebuild the infrastructure of Channai, a fishing region devastated by the massive waves. Cement foundations are all that remain of most of the homes along the coast.

The beds are a donation from the Mennonite Retirement Community of Dallas, Ore., which will be received by India’s Help the Children agency.

• Island resident Peter Perry arrived in Sumatra on Sunday.

He is currently working and staying in a refugee camp in Meden providing shelter to 6,000, most of them children, said his wife Dea, who is helping coordinate his relief mission from the couple’s Bainbridge Island home.

He is working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and other local and foreign relief agencies, focusing on reconstruction.

Before leaving for his trip, Perry received a donation of $70,000 worth of generators and other tools from a Seattle firm, which will be sent to the region by container.

“Now is the time for the skull-duggery of dealing with all the stakeholders to get our stuff into the area without being stolen,” Peter Perry said in an email. “This will take a few days to arrange.”

In the meantime, Dea Perry said she will conduct a hand tool fund drive so that tools can be obtained to help villagers rebuild their homes. 

“Many doctors are leaving the area now as the critical part is over,” Dea Perry said, after communicating with her husband. “They are worn out, to say the least. Nurses are needed,” as are traveling medical teams to go into remote island villages.

• Coins That Care, a fund drive which has raised $18,266 in the past two weeks, with more than half coming from children in local schools.

“This has been another amazing week,” reported Nancy Quitslund, one of the fund’s organizers. By week’s end, the fund expects to receive another boost, this time from the local elementary schools.

“We have lugged hundreds of pounds of coins to the bank,” she noted. “Did you know that $75 in pennies weighs 45 pounds?”

Quitslund is asking that donors roll their coin collections, because counting and rolling the loose change has proven to be an extraordinary effort.

“If parents and children in individual elementary classrooms can take responsibility for rolling their collections, the work would still be daunting, but manageable,” she said.

Donations to Coins that Care are being distributed evenly to Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders and UNICEF. Donations may be made to any branch of American Marine Bank.

– Rhonda Parks Manville

Committees need bodies

The City of Bainbridge Island is seeking citizens for five volunteer committees and commissions. 

The Civil Service Commission handles entry-level and promotional interviews for city staff and is charged with merit selection and tenure. The commission also adopts rules and regulations for the police department and its full-time employees.

The Community Forestry Commission’s nine members serve three years developing and implementing a community forestry management plan. The commission serves as an advisory broad on urban forestry issues, holds public meetings and coordinates with local forest resource management agencies. 

The Design Review Board is composed of volunteers with design and construction expertise. The board advises the Planning Commission and the Dept. of Planning and Community Development on land use applications and can recommend changes to city design guidelines.

The Environmental Technical Advisory Committee supplies technical and scientific advice to the city on environmental issues and projects, including the Shoreline Management Update, Bainbridge Island Nearshore Assessment and the Critical Areas Ordinance. The city desires volunteers with experience in terrestrial, restoration and wetland ecology. 

The Harbor Commission consists of seven members who serve a term of three years administering anchoring and mooring in Eagle Harbor and other issues. 

The Non-motorized Trans­por­tation Committee advocates for pedestrian and bicycle improvements. The committee advises on funding for non-motorized transportation design, construction, promotions and education.

The Parking Advisory Committee consists of seven members who serve three-year terms advising city elected officials about downtown parking.

The Planning Commission consists of seven members who serve a term of four years stewarding the Comprehensive Plan. The commission also advises the planning director and holds public meetings on site plan applications. 

The Wetlands Advisory Committee’s five members review land use applications related to protective buffers, regulated wetlands and streams. 

Island residents interested in volunteering should fill out an application at www.ci.bainbridge-isl.wa.us, from City Hall or send a letter of interest to the mayor’s office.

Sing Out! honors MLK

Sing Out!, the singing extravaganza that honors the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., culminates in a concert at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Filipino American Hall on High School Road.

Featured is Pastor Patrinell Wright and the Total Experience Gospel Choir, supplemented by the sixth annual Interfaith MLK Jr. Memorial Choir.

Islanders can join the memorial choir by attending Wright’s traditional, gospel-style choir workshop – no sheet music involved – from 1-5 p.m. on the day of the concert. The public is invited to a soul food dinner (advanced tickets required) from 5-6 p.m., with the concert beginning at 7 p.m.

Wright, the choir’s founder/director, is one of the world’s foremost gospel singers and teachers. Her newest CD, “I’m So Glad! A spiritual reunion of Drums & Voices” was just released.

The 31-year-old choir toured Japan in October and completed its seventh holiday run of the musical Black Nativity at Seattle’s Intiman Theater.

Advance dinner or workshop/dinner/concert “package” tickets must be purchased by 6 p.m. today at Vern’s Winslow Drug, or call 842-2200. Concert tickets can be purchased at the door.

Admission to the concert or workshop is $12 for adults, $6 for students; dinner is $12 per person. The package admission for all events is $30 for adults, $20 for students. Scholarships may be available.

Proceeds benefit Helpline House, local nonprofits and the American Red Cross.

For information, call 842-4164.

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