North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club
Aug. 14, 2023
            Aug. 21: Noon. Rotary lunch at Holmes Elementary School.  Program: Supply closet.
            Aug. 28: Noon lunch at the Bark. Speaker: Robb McCann, Catholic Charities.
            Sept. 4: No meeting; Labor Day Holiday.
Happy Buck$:
            John Mailliard was happy for an Alaskan cruise with family, especially a close-up photo of a young whale which surfaced very near to the ship.
            Ron Noble and wife Melody were happy that five children and 14 grandkids gathered at a reunion.
            Michelle Fossum was happy that a backpacking journey went well, despite toting a 40-pound backpack.
            Sheila Fritz is happy for an upcoming honeymoon, long delayed by Covid traveling, to Paris.
            Lenore and Bob Romney were happy for a family trip to Homer, Alaska, but disappointed that the only wildlife they saw were turkeys.
Wedding anniversaries in August: Bergmans, 12 years on Aug. 13; Romneys, 20 years on Aug. 16, and, Simers, 45 years on Aug. 19.
            Reminder: On Aug. 21, the club luncheon moves to Holmes Elementary at noon to help organize the school supply cabinets to get ready for the new school year opening.  Sandy Fink, who is coordinating the event said she needs to know who is attending to arrange for lunch.
 Needy youth can find clothes at the Closet
            “How do we say no?”
            That was the frequent response to the volunteers of the Teen & Kid Closet when a need arises for children and youth, especially those in foster care.
            At the Aug. 14 club luncheon Robyn Nance, anchor and reporter on KXLY-TV, talked about the need and the good response from donors in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.
            Nance, a Missouri native, came to Spokane in 1996 to KXLY.  She said a Florida story by Peter Jennings of ABC – a KXLY affiliate – talked about children’s clothing needs and in 2007 the idea morphed into the Teen & Kid Closet.
            The mission: “Every child is important and should feel that way.”
            The Closet opened in space shared with the Junior League in northeast Spokane, but the demand grew so the organization now has its own space at 307 E. Sprague.  A satellite office has been opened at Mead’s Northwood Middle School, in the Pittsburg Learning Center at 13120 N. Pittsburg.
            When lots of questions were asked, Nance said, “How do we say no?”
            And when people from Stevens County and North Idaho raised more questions, she again said, “How do we say no?”
            The Closet crew members require referrals from “an authority,” such as a social worker, teacher, counselor or physician.
            When a referral is submitted, the scheduler contacts the source and in a day or two tries to set a time for shopping.  Lists of items are provided, including drawings of items if English is a second language, Nance told the club.
            Items must be new or “gently used,” and underwear and socks must be new and in their packages, she said.
            The focus is youth in foster care or in poverty, she said. One of the volunteers is Sheila Fritz of Rotary North.
            Washington was some 11,000 kids in foster care and Spokane County alone lists 3,000 homeless kids, the Closet data show.
            The Closet have shopping hours 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of the month and 4-7 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the Month.
            Donations are accepted from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first Saturdays of the month.  Some items can be donated at First Interstate Bank branches.
            Items not suitable, such as deemed out of fashion for teens, are donated to other agencies.
            Nance said the Closet, through July this year, had 380 referrals and some $380,000 worth of clothing and shoes.
            One of the funding events, a 5K and 10K fun-run – Socktoberdash – is scheduled Oct. 21 in Mirabeau Park.  
Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink