Lifestyle

A safer place to play

Children benefit socially from playground time and stay fit through physical activity. At Crescent Harbor Elementary School, TIFFANY RAMEY is working with other PTA volunteers to procure new playground equipment to climb on, push and swing. She has four children in school there: EMILY, ALEXIA, JESSICA and JOSHUA. Her children, like all the others, need to stretch, run and play before returning to their desks, ready to pay attention.

At CHE, children play on rusty remnants of equipment from the 1970s. “Our kids deserve safe, modern equipment to play on,” said PTA president JANA RAYE, whose two children, ALEXANDRA and SEBASTIAN, are students at Crescent Harbor.

Everyone agrees there is a legitimate need, but fundraisers, even successful ones, earn but a small portion of the money needed, and with school district budget cuts and a new playground costing upwards of $20,000, they are starting to look at other options.

“We have looked into a special community contribution from the casino and our treasurer, JuLEE SMITH, is looking into getting a grant from ‘Lowe’s Toolbox for Education’ program. “It has taken over a year, but with help from the former Clover Valley Elementary PTA, we have finally raised the funds to move their rock wall to Crescent Harbor Elementary School. The rock wall became available when the Clover Valley School closed. Crescent Harbor almost doubled their student population due to the closure as well, so there is even more use on the little bit of equipment we do have,” said Ramey.

I think this would be an excellent community service project for some of our local organizations. Individuals can help by bringing their families to the Back to School Carnival sponsored by the PTA at the Blue Fox Drive-In, Friday, Sept. 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. Teachers will staff the games along with parents and Navy partners. The soon-to-open Hip Hop Bouncin’ will donate bounce houses and Nichols Brothers will provide a dunk tank. The Blue Fox Drive-In folks will open their doors and offer food, go-carts, arcade and train rides with a percentage of the proceeds going directly to the playground fund. Donations may be made payable to CHE PTA and brought or mailed to Crescent Harbor Elementary, 330 E. Crescent Harbor Rd., Oak Harbor, or call 279-5650.

Carnival Chairman REBECCA MEADOWS and Committee Member ANGELA THOMAS worked all summer to create games everyone can enjoy. Call Rebecca at 279-1932 or Angela at 969-5123 for carnival information. Find out how you can help by calling Raye at 929-1300 or Smith at 320-4747.

Tee Ball players return

LYDIA KAY HALVORSON, 6, and ABRAHAM PERRY HALVORSON, 4, represented the Central Whidbey Little League Tee Ball players when they attended the President’s Tee Ball Game on the South Lawn of the White House Sept. 7. “Their air fare was generously paid for by the Central Whidbey Little League organization,” said their dad, Navy Lt. Cmdr. DAN HALVORSON, noting the event honored Little Leaguers whose parents serve in the military. He is Operations Officer for Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10, at NAS Whidbey Island.

All four Halvorson kids, including JOHN MICHAEL, 10, and SARAH, 9, accompanied Dan and his wife LESLI. “Each of them got autographs from President GEORGE BUSH and John Michael even got to shake his hand,” Dan added. “The president stayed there for a long time, and LAURA BUSH came out briefly.” Lydia and Abraham didn’t play, but got to watch the game, take a tour of the White House, and attend an informal reception and luncheon at the nearby Marriott.

Before returning to their Coupeville home, the family visited the capitol’s historic monuments. “We home school our kids,” Dan added, “and as a Christian family, we work on our kids character and spend as much time as we can with each other.”

Abraham is at an age where he will play Tee-ball again, while Lydia moves up to the Rookies. The two were enthusiastic players on the Coupeville Black Wolves Tee Ball Team coached by Heidi Roberts and Annie Bell.

Take a gander at plein air

Winning paintings at the Plein Air Painters’ U.S. Open held Sept. 3 to 7 are expected to be downloaded soon at www.pleinairopen.com. Ninety-seven artists took part in the third annual event, held by the Coupeville Arts Center. Coupeville resident Mike Wise won best of show with his piece, “Ala Spit.” Best townscape went to Janis Kirstein with “Last Frame Ebey’s Bowl.” Best seascape was Jim Lamb’s “Beach at Deception Pass and best of Ebey’s Landing went to Donna Trent for “Harvesting at Ebey’s Prairie.” Best farmscape was awarded to Oak Harbor resident Marty Rogers for “Flower Power” and the Cole Gallery award went to Hulan Fleming for “Penn Cove.”

What’s news with you? Share your news with our readers. Write to me at HYPERLINK lifeonwhidbey@yahoo.com or call 675-6611.

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