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Marysville Rotary dispenses $32,000 in funds to community service groups

Marysville Rotarians stand with representatives of the community service organizations that received $32,000 in funds between them from the Marysville Rotary Club on Feb. 16. Back row, from left, Marysville Rotary President Gayl Spilman, Kloz 4 Kidz co-founder Alyce Matson, Snohomish County Christmas House Director Jan Barrow, Housing Hope Regional Manager Nate Greenland and Executive Director Ed Petersen, and Marysville Rotary Community Service Board member Deirdre Kvangnes. Front row, from left, former Marysville Mayor Dennis Kendall, Marysville Boys & Girls Club Unit Director Bonnie Ramsey, and Scrub-a-Mutt co-founders Jennifer Ward and Elizabeth Woche. - Kirk Boxleitner
Marysville Rotarians stand with representatives of the community service organizations that received $32,000 in funds between them from the Marysville Rotary Club on Feb. 16. Back row, from left, Marysville Rotary President Gayl Spilman, Kloz 4 Kidz co-founder Alyce Matson, Snohomish County Christmas House Director Jan Barrow, Housing Hope Regional Manager Nate Greenland and Executive Director Ed Petersen, and Marysville Rotary Community Service Board member Deirdre Kvangnes. Front row, from left, former Marysville Mayor Dennis Kendall, Marysville Boys & Girls Club Unit Director Bonnie Ramsey, and Scrub-a-Mutt co-founders Jennifer Ward and Elizabeth Woche.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — The children of the Marysville community were among the biggest beneficiaries of the Marysville Rotary Club's $32,000 in donations to various service organizations.

Deirdre Kvangnes, Community Service Board member for the Marysville Rotary Club, presented checks to representatives of half a dozen different local groups on Feb. 16, starting with city of Marysville Parks and Recreation Director Jim Ballew.

"This is really your Easter egg hunt," Ballew said to the Marysville Rotarians about the annual event at Jennings Memorial Park, for which he received $1,000 from the Marysville Rotary Community Service Fund. "We really enjoy your participation in it each year. It's a good showcase of what the community can do when it works together, and we do need your help."

Jennifer Ward and Elizabeth Woche received a $1,000 check of their own from Kvangnes for Scrub-a-Mutt, which is the name of both the annual event and the year-round pet charity that Ward and Woche started together four years ago. Ward explained how their group uses the proceeds from their summer dog wash and other fundraisers throughout the year to help support Old Dog Haven, the Northwest Organization for Animal Help and the Everett Animal Shelter.

"Our first year, we washed 25 dogs," Ward said. "Last year, we washed 260 dogs at Strawberry Fields. This year, instead of using kiddy wading pools to wash the dogs, we're going to buy standing dog-washing tubs."

Kloz 4 Kidz co-founder Alyce Matson had already received $450 from the Marysville Rotary, so Kvangnes' check for $1,550 on Feb. 16 gave Matson an even $2,000 from Rotary for the nearly three-year-old children's clothing charity.

"It hurts to see children dressed in inadequate clothing," said Matson, who reported that Kloz 4 Kidz has served 1,080 children in the Marysville area since it opened in the portable building behind the Marysville United Methodist Church on Aug. 18, 2008. "It's harder for them to learn when they're cold and other children are making fun of them. Without the support of the community, it would have been very difficult for us to continue serving these children. As it is, we do a lot of careful shopping."

Jan Barrow thanked the Marysville Rotarians for their $3,000 check to Christmas House of Snohomish County, praising Rotary for possessing the foresight to donate that money during a time that might seem out of season for her group.

"We get all the best discounts and sale prices during this time of year," said Barrow, the director of Christmas House. "Because we're receiving it now, we can stretch your $3,000 donation to cover what would otherwise be $9,000 in retail costs to purchase toys."

Barrow credited Christmas House with serving 10,090 children, with last year's crew of 850 volunteers putting in 8,530 hours of work.

"That's why 99 percent of what's donated to us can go directly to the children," Barrow said.

Senior Services of Snohomish County did not have a representative at the Marysville Rotary Club's Feb. 16 meeting, but Kvangnes noted that $5,000 would be going to that organization as well.

Housing Hope not only received two grants for $2,500 each from Rotary for their Beachwood project in Marysville, but Larry Jubie, past governor of Rotary District 5050, also secured matching funds for both grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As such, Housing Hope Regional Manager Nate Greenland found himself receiving a total of $10,000 in funds from Rotary.

"You've helped bring hope to a lot of families," said Greenland, who pointed out that February marked Beachwood's 12th anniversary. "These are families who were homeless, some of them living out of their cars, and you've helped get them back on their feet."

The final donation also added up to $10,000, and went to Bonnie Ramsey and former Marysville Mayor Dennis Kendall on behalf of the Marysville Boys & Girls Club for its capital campaign.

Kendall spent several years in talks with state Legislators and Snohomish County Boys & Girls Clubs representatives alike to establish a Boys & Girls Club in Marysville, while Ramsey serves as the unit director for the Marysville Boys & Girls Club.

"I've run a lot of programs for Marysville kids," Ramsey said. "I've seen kids from church groups go on a lot of mission trips, but this is my mission, right here in Marysville, to be here for these kids."

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