Halloween in the ‘Hood 2019: West Hill Area Events

Happy Halloween, West Hill & surrounding communities!

Here’s your hyper-local events guide to the spookiest season. Check back for updates as they become available, and don’t hesitate to contact me if yourWest Hill area business or organization has a fun Halloween event you’d like to share with the community.

10/17: Run Scared 5K
Celebrate Halloween with a scary dash around Seward Park. Registration includes gender specific long sleeve tech shirt, fully supported course, free event photos, post-race treats including pumpkin bread and a candy corn tasting bar, costume contest for people and furry friends, gear check, a free pre-race treasure hunt, chip timing for accuracy, a free kids dash and tons of spooky fun. All while benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

10/27: Halloween Spooktacular
Free trick or treating at participating merchants with signs on their storefront (while supplies last), face painters and balloon makers located at the plaza across from Regal Cinemas. Hosted by The Landing in Renton.

10/28: WHCA Halloween Takeover
Annual Halloween party in the Lucky Dragonz event space at Skyway Park Bowl! Among many other fun surprises, this year will feature a Treat Trail, pumpkin decorating, photo booth and a Halloween-themed movie (Hocus Pocus) screening at 8pm. FREE entry, all ages. Hosted by West Hill Community Association.

10/31: BooBash at the Beach
Hosted by Rainier Beach Merchants Association.

11/1: 15th Annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration
This year’s theme is Perseverance – Power in Action: Voice! Vote! Venceremos! Perseverance is defined as “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”. We can make a difference and change by organizing our communities to get out the vote, registering to vote and to be counted in the 2020 census. This administration incited fear in our communities, scaring them away from the census, which will take away important funding from programs that help those in need. El Vez will be this year’s MC! We will also have performances by Folklore Tonatzin, Duo Finelli, Ceatl Tonalli, Chief Sealth Int’l High School and a Selena impersonator. Hosted by El Centro de la Raza.

Posted on October 9, 2019 at 10:59 pm
Don Koonce | Category: Community News & Information, Events | Tagged

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Melrose Grill in Downtown Renton

If you like a great steak, this place is a gem!

Dear friends: One of my favorite pastimes is trying out new restaurants with my husband Alan and other friends. This review is my way of sharing that with you as well. Enjoy!

Caution my vegetarian friends, this review is not for you!

Melrose grill is a steakhouse in downtown Renton. The atmosphere is casual and cozy, but the overall feel is high-end. You don’t have to dress up to go here, but you’ll feel like you are in a nice restaurant.

The building was established in 1901 and has hosted many businesses over that time, including a tavern and a card room during prohibition. Carefully restored, the building houses the original mirror-backed bar with its rich, dark woods. The walls showcase vintage photos that highlight the transitions this old building has gone through.

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Posted on September 30, 2019 at 12:50 am
Don Koonce | Category: Community News & Information, Restaurant Reviews

Windermere Teams Up with the Seahawks to #TackleHomelessness

Windermere is proud to partner with the Seattle Seahawks for the fourth season to help #TackleHomelessness. For every Seahawks home game defensive tackle, Windermere will donate $100 to Mary’s Place, whose mission is to help families on their journey out of homelessness. To date we’ve raised nearly $100,000 through our #TackleHomelessness campaign and we’re looking forward to raising even more for our friends at Mary’s Place!

Posted on September 4, 2019 at 6:30 am
Don Koonce | Category: Community News & Information, Local Giving Opportunities

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Renton’s Sansonina Ristorante Italiano

Alan & me at Sansonina with our friends Scott, Mark, & Laura, who was visiting from California.

Dear friends: One of my favorite pastimes is trying out new restaurants with my husband Alan and other friends. This review is my way of sharing that with you as well. Enjoy!

Sansonina Ristorante Italiano is a relatively new restaurant that was started by one of our favorite servers from another south end Italian restaurant. Fernando, who always makes you feel like family.

I always cut new restaurants some slack until they get into their groove with the service and the food, but  this wasn’t needed at Sansonina because the food and service were top notch from the very beginning.

“This is a new place that has the right balance of service, selection and mouth watering cuisine to make it well worth coming back! Intimate with nice tables and comfortable seating,” said one guest, Damien L. “Prawns are a nice start to the meal. You can tell they take pride in what they do.”

From our first visit on their second night open, and every subsequent visit–there’s been many–the service has been excellent, and the food amazing with fresh ingredients superbly combined for exceptional Italian food.

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Posted on July 29, 2019 at 12:30 am
Don Koonce | Category: Community News & Information, From Don, Restaurant Reviews

ProjectCool School Supply Drive

The simple beauty of Project Cool:

Every homeless student who receives a new backpack can walk into class with the same new tools and good supplies as their classmates, and not feel unprepared or embarrassed.

Project Cool helps hundreds of homeless schoolchildren each year. We give each child a sturdy new backpack filled with quality school supplies, books, toothbrushes, and more. We train school staff and social workers about supporting homeless students.

Get involved!

Project Cool for Back-to-School happens each year thanks to people like you. We welcome your help!

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Posted on July 12, 2019 at 12:35 am
Don Koonce | Category: Community News & Information, Events, Local Giving Opportunities

SAVE THE DATES: Events at Skyway Library

Skyway Library on West Hill is at it again with some of the best events featured this side of I-90. With everything from Play & Learn ongoing structured group sessions for the little ones, a Hip-Hop History and Self-Expression Music Workshop for those 12 and older, and Community Coffee Hour for all, there is no better place to meet your neighbors and experience something new than Skyway Library. Find a list of February events below.

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Posted on February 4, 2019 at 12:30 am
Don Koonce | Category: Community News & Information, Events

DID YOU KNOW? Treehouse Supports Youth in Foster Care & They Need Clothes

Dear friends,

Have you hear about Treehouse–Washington’s leading nonprofit organization addressing the academic and other essential support needs of youth in foster care? Treehouse helps more than 7,500 youth each year through programs that focus on their academic success, fulfill key material needs and provide important childhood experiences every child deserves, and they can always use donations of gently used clothing.

In fact, a lot of people don’t know that Treehouse accept adult’s clothes as well as kid’s clothes. They have an exchange arrangement with Goodwill in which Goodwill gives them two kid’s garments in exchange for one adult garment. I am happy to pick up your clothing donations and deliver them to Treehouse, just give me a shout.

More About Treehouse:

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Posted on January 14, 2019 at 12:30 am
Don Koonce | Category: Community News & Information, Local Giving Opportunities

West Hill Community Association to Host Winter Quarterly Meeting

In January, the West Hill Community Association (WHCA) will host its Winter Quarterly Meeting, a 90-minute community catch-up that promises to include “quickfire reports from a variety of interesting local groups,” a preview of upcoming local events and activities, information about the new King County Department of Local Services, and more.

WHCA is a nonprofit organization powered by volunteers elected by the very community it works for: the King County, Washington neighborhoods of Bryn Mawr, Campbell Hill, Earlington, Hilltop, Lakeridge, Panorama View, Skycrest and Skyway (situated between Renton, Tukwila and Seattle) known collectively as “West Hill.”

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Posted on December 27, 2018 at 12:30 am
Don Koonce | Category: Community News & Information

Food is Love: Rainier Valley Food Bank Needs YOU!

Photo/Rainier Valley Food Bank

Dear friends,

My office—Windermere Mount Baker Real Estate—is gearing up for our annual Winter Food Drive benefiting Rainier Valley Food Bank (RVFB), a South Seattle nonprofit dedicated to a hunger-free Rainier Valley, and we’d love your help.

Did you know?

  • In 2016, around 1 in 8 Washingtonians did not get enough food to meet their basic nutritional needs.
  • In the nation, Washington is firmly in the middle of the pack, ranking as the 25th hungriest state.
  • In Washington, the number of people living in poverty significantly decreased over the last year, but nonetheless, nearly 1 in 9 Washingtonians lived below the poverty line in 2016.
  • 1 in 5 kids in Washington state lives in a household that struggles to put food on the table.
  • 1 in 7 Washingtonians relies on SNAP (food stamps), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is severely threatened by budget cuts. Half of all people on SNAP are kids.
  • The majority of working-age Washingtonians who live in poverty are actively working or looking for work.
  • Since the start of the recession in 2008, Washington has cut more than $12 billion in discretionary spending from our state’s operating budget, all in the areas of public safety, higher education and basic needs services.
  • 1 in 6 Washingtonians relies on their local food bank.

You can bring your contributions (see list below) to the Windermere office (4919 S Genesee St., Seattle, WA 98118/206-725-7255) from January 21 through February 28, or contact me for pick-up.

In the meantime, Rainier Valley Food Bank (4205 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118) will happily accept your generous donations now. Thank you!

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Posted on December 13, 2018 at 12:30 am
Don Koonce | Category: Community News & Information, Events

SAVE THE DATE: ProjectCool School Supply Drive

The simple beauty of Project Cool:

Every homeless student who receives a new backpack can walk into class with the same new tools and good supplies as their classmates, and not feel unprepared or embarrassed.

Project Cool helps hundreds of homeless schoolchildren each year. We give each child a sturdy new backpack filled with quality school supplies, books, toothbrushes, and more. We train school staff and social workers about supporting homeless students, and much more.

You can help us fill students’ backpacks by purchasing supplies off of the Wish List!

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Posted on May 25, 2018 at 3:33 am
Don Koonce | Category: Community News & Information, Local Giving Opportunities