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It’s toe-tapping fun that has been on Whidbey Island for 40 years, and members of the Whidbey Whirlers would like to share the pleasure of square dancing with anyone who’s willing to learn. “It’s fun set to music,” said square dance fan Harold Gates, 87.
Members of the Coupeville Elementary Leadership Club have had a great lesson in community service. The group helped organize a food drive in December for Gifts From the Heart Food Bank. This was the second year the fourth-and fifth- graders, who belong to the leadership club, took on the community service project. According to club supervisor and Coupeville Elementary teacher Jon Gabelein, students nearly doubled the amount of food collected last year and surpassed their goal for this year. “They did so well, they almost doubled the goal,” he said. “They collected 1,813 items this year. The goal was 1,500 for the school. Last year they collected 1,041 items.”
Kids have a unique way of looking at things. Some of their perspective has been captured in a new book, “Coupeville: Through the Eyes of its Children,” a collection of photographs taken by children of the Coupeville Boys and Girls Club. The project was the brainchild of Coupeville Boys and Girls Club Program Director Jo-Ellen Fischbach and was made possible by a grant from the Coupeville Festival Association. Fischbach said this was a great project for Coupeville kids to get involved with.
Members of the Coupeville School Board of Directors have appointed Glenda Merwine to fill the seat vacated last December by longtime school board member Carol Bishop. Merwine is a familiar face to many, having served as the principal of Coupeville Elementary School and as the Director of Student Learning for the Coupeville School District. She has spent her career in public education and told board members during a brief interview at Monday evening’s board meeting that she would relish a spot on the board.
Community and school spirit seem to come naturally for Coupeville High School senior Jai’Lysa Hoskins, 17. A good student, a good athlete and a good role model, Hoskins has been chosen as the Coupeville Boys and Girls Club’s first ever Youth of the Year.
With thanks to about 150 of Santa’s best helpers, the Readiness to Learn Foundation’s Holiday House projects provided gifts for 714 Whidbey Island children this holiday season. “We estimate upwards of $30,000 of toys, clothes and trees were donated by Whidbey residents as well as nearly $20,000 in monetary donations,” said Gail LaVassar, executive director of Readiness to Learn Foundation.
It’s never too late to learn or to share what you know. That’s the philosophy behind the Coupeville Community Education program. The school district offers classes for youth and adults three times a year, and the winter session is starting up in January.
Enjoy a dinner out, add an evening of music and dancing, mix in an optional overnight stay and you’ve got all the fixin’s for the first ever “Take a Bite out of Coupeville” New Year’s Eve celebration, set to take place from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at the Coupeville Rec Hall.
Aunt Thelma would be proud. Brett Rebischke-Smith has taken her old family recipe for bread and is hoping to turn it into some dough.
Ten gay couples became some of the first in Island County to take advantage of Washington’s new same-sex marriage laws Sunday when they tied the knot at a private ceremony in Langley. Officiated by Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conard, the weddings were held at the home of one of the nation’s most famous gay couples: Grethe Cammermeyer and Diane Divelbess. They were one of the couples who wed.
A new club at Coupeville High School has come in like a lion. Or perhaps Lion with a capital “L” would be more appropriate, since the Coupeville Lions Club is behind its creation. “This is the opportunity for students to engage in servicing the community, just like the Lions Club,” said John Kohlmann, Leo Club advisor and Coupeville Lion.
Coupeville third-grader Jonathan Carroll knows a thing or two about wishes and he’d like to share the joy this holiday season. Jonathan wants to help grant wishes for seriously or terminally ill children by helping to raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation and he hopes lots of people on Whidbey Island will join in the effort.
Members of the Coupeville School District Board of Directors were faced with a tough decision last week: who to choose as the student board member to serve for the next year. Two well-qualified applicants submitted cover letters, resumes and several letters of recommendation from staff and faculty members. They faced board members for a public job interview.
The Washington State Ferries’ vehicle reservation system is working as officials had hoped, decreasing traffic backups and dramatically dropping the rate of reservation “no-shows.” “Our main goal (with the reservation system) was to spread out the demand so we could manage more customers overall,” said Brian Churchwell, Vehicle Reservation System deputy program manager. “And the system caught on right away,” he continued. “With us offering 50 to 60 percent reservation availability this summer, all our reservation spaces filled up.”
The Coupeville School Board will be looking to fill a vacancy in January. At Monday’s board meeting at Coupeville Elementary School, board president Kathleen Anderson read a letter from at-large board member Carol Bishop, who submitted her resignation effective Dec. 15.
For the first time ever, Coupeville’s annual Christmas parade will have a grand marshal when it rolls down Main Street at 4 p.m. Saturday. While some argue the annual event just seems to magically come together each year, most understand it takes more than holiday magic to pull it off. Because of that, the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce – which is in charge of the Christmas parade now – has chosen longtime parade organizer Carol Thrailkill as the event’s first grand marshal.
This might be harvest season, but it’s never too early to think snow – snow people, that is. Lyla Snover, who has spent the past few years, along with her husband, Phil, creating many of the snow people that go on display throughout Coupeville each holiday season, is being honored this year by the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association for her contribution to the community.
Jack McPherson never intended to write a book, it just sort of happened. The longtime Coupeville resident recently self-published “One More Sunrise,” the story of two young military men with nothing in common but the bond they developed as prisoners of war in Vietnam. The book is fiction, although McPherson did draw on his experiences in Vietnam during his time in the Navy.
Garrett Arnold, the pastor of Living Hope Foursquare Church in Coupeville, suffered a spinal cord injury that will force him to use a wheelchair.
Fans of Lavender Wind Farm just off West Beach Road will soon have a new place to shop for the farm’s selection of lavender-infused goods.