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News Roundup -- Farm dinner for Katrina/Trying to be instrumental/$25K matching gift for steeple/Get ready for Homecoming/Mini-grant to grease wheels

Farm dinner for Katrina

Anne’s Flower Farm, a certified organic operation in Poulsbo, will host a farm dinner this weekend to raise money for the Red Cross and its Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

The dinner will take place at 5 p.m. on Sept. 25 under a tent at the farm.

“This is a great way to show our support as a community and have a fun evening on the farm,” said Cris Beattie, executive director of the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association.

Local farmers will donate produce for chefs from the Four Swallows, IslandWood, Mor Mor Bistro Bar and Molly Ward Gardens kitchens to use in preparing the menu. Jeannie Wood will provide dessert.

Raffles and a tent with live music from city harbormaster Tami Allen’s band, Les Femmes d’Enfer, will highlight the evening.

Tickets are $100 per person, payable to the Red Cross.

Directions to the farm are printed on the tickets. They may be purchased at the Berry Patch, Four Swallows, Mor Mor and Molly Ward.

Tickets also are available today (Saturday) at Anne’s Flower Farm stand at the Bainbridge Island Farmers Market.

About 80 tickets have been sold so far, toward a goal of 150, said Anne Weber, owner of the farm. A raffle and live auction will raise even more funds.

Weber said a family that lost everything because of Hurricane Katrina has been invited to the dinner. The family is staying with relatives in the area.

To donate raffle items, contact Weber at (360) 394-7754 or annesflowerfarm@aol.com.

—Rhona Schwartz

Trying to be instrumental

As a music teacher and performer, when watching the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Barbara Deering couldn’t help but think:

“What would I do in this situation if I lost my guitar? It’s my ability to teach and perform. I would want somebody to funnel instruments to (me) through community efforts.”

Deering, who owns the Deering Music retail store on Ericksen Avenue, is putting word to action with a drive called “Simply Instrumental” to help put instruments back into musicians’ hands.

She was among several who contacted MusiCares, an organization formed by the Recording Academy, asking if she could help collect replacement instruments for musicians.

The small organization to-date had focused on helping musicians with personal, medical and financial hardships, but agreed to help her.

“Even if they go back with less (of an instrument) than they had, they can begin to restore their own dignity,” Deering said.

She says the idea is similar to her motivation for opening a music store on the island: to help parents find affordable rental instruments for children wanting to study music.

Deering hopes that student-grade instruments collected might be given to children, as replacing a musical instrument is probably last on the list of things a parent would be looking for while trying to recover from the hurricane.

“For kids cut off from an activity that gives them a safe haven, playing an instrument is an appropriate distraction from that misery,” Deering said.

To donate an instrument or funds for shipping and repairs, contact Barbara Deering at deeringmusicco@yahoo.com. For more information about MusiCares, visit www.grammy.com/musicares.

– Tina Lieu

$25K matching gift for steeple

Islanders Robert and Jo Anne Hacker have fattened Eagle Harbor Congregational Church’s “Save Our Steeple” purse with a $25,000 matching gift, the church announced this week.

The Hackers will match contributions dollar-for-dollar until their $25,000 gift is reached. Matching will be based on donations received through Dec. 31.

The Hackers moved to Bainbridge from Seattle three years ago after selling the Hacker Group, their Bellevue direct response marketing company, to a subsidiary of Foote, Cone, Belding.

FCB is a global marketing and communications company.

The Hackers “immediately recognized the importance of the 109-year-old church as a cherished piece of the town and a great place to be involved.”

“I was raised Congregationalist and want to give back to a church that meant so much to me growing up,” said Jo Anne Hacker, who noted that they couldn’t raise money by singing and making clam chowder like supporters did in 1896. “I’m lousy at both.”

In 2004, a building inspector told church members that termites and dry rot had taken over the steeple, and the 60-foot tower and bell would fall down if nothing was done soon.

Church members raised more than $400,000 to renovate the church building, and now seek $125,000 from the island at large to repair the steeple and a pay for a new bell to be rung during community events.

To contribute to the SOS fund, send a check to Eagle Harbor Congregational Church, 105 Winslow Way W., Bainbridge Island, WA 98110. Write “SOS” on the memo line of the check.

—Rhona Schwartz

Get ready for Homecoming

Calling all Bainbridge High School alumni!

This year’s homecoming activities begin with an assembly at 10:15 a.m. on Sept. 30, followed by a reception and school tour from 5 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

Alumni will find special reserved seating at the 7 p.m. football game, when the Bearcats take on the Seattle Prep Panthers. The Homecoming Royalty presentation will take place at halftime.

Special homecoming honoree this year will be John “Bud” Hawk, who graduated BHS in 1943 and 1946 and is one of only 120 living Medal of Honor recipients, as well as a former longtime Kitsap County educator.

Hawk will be the guest of honor at the homecoming assembly, the alumni reception and the football game’s halftime ceremonies.

The Homecoming Dance will be held the following evening, from 8:30 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 1, in Paski Gym.

All high school alumni are encouraged to attend any or all of these events.

“We are exploring additional outreach activities and traditions that we hope will encourage all BHS alumni to maintain a connection with their high school, enhance the homecoming experience for our current students and, in the process, have some fun at BHS,” Peterson said.

For more information about homecoming, contact faculty member Michael Anderson at 780-1263 or email manderson@bainbridge.wednet.edu.

Mini-grant to grease wheels

Squeaky Wheels wants islanders’ ideas for promoting biking and other forms of non-motorized transportation.

The bicycle advocacy nonprofit announced a mini-grant of up to $300 to any resident or community group such as schools, clubs and youth organizations.

The group must be based on the island or active on the island.

Some ideas could include: offering a ride, demonstration or class; providing educational materials or resources; safety education, facilities and equipment; a neighborhood activity; an activity which encourages people to ride instead of drive; or promoting cycling as an essential part of our transportation system both present and future.

To apply, write up a summary of the idea with enough information to understand how the grant will be used along with a time frame, estimated budget and your name, address and contact information.

Applications should be submitted by Nov. 17 to Squeaky Wheels, 221 Winslow Way No. 307, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 or tresurer@squeakywheels.org.

For more information, email tresurer@squeakywheels.org or come to a Squeaky Wheels meeting, at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month at the Marge Williams Center on Winslow Way.

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