Letters to the Editor

Sunrise makes wheels go ‘round

Thank you for your article “Wheels go round on Barrington Hill” in the Wednesday, Aug. 8, edition.

To gain some historical perspective to this special gravity car race for developmentally and physically challenged kids in our area, it is imperative to note that it was the then-fledgling Rotary Club of North Whidbey Island Sunrise who took over sponsorship of the Challenge Series when Puget Sound Energy ended its direct affiliation in 1992. However, the energy company remains a financial partner in this endeavor, along with countless other generous donors. This year, Sunrise Rotary (with only 25 members) raised more than $15,000.

One of our Rotary members, Kit Maret, an engineer with Puget Sound Energy, is actually the developer of the Challenge Series as it looks today. She worked in Issaquah with car maker Leo Finnegan to turn the event into a truly special experience for our special friends — complete with cheerleaders, clowns, speed monitors, free food, and the post-race medal ceremonies.

In Oak Harbor, Maret chaired this event for most of its 15-year history, enlisting the City of Oak Harbor Public Works Department to help with road closure, course set-up, car transport to the top of the hill, and, most importantly, stopping the kids at the bottom of the hill. Activities expanded to include volunteers from the police department, fire department, and Whidbey General Hospital’s EMS crew.

Obviously, the Challenge Series could not happen without the passion, time, and financial support of the entire community. We thank all of you for participating and invite those of you who haven’t experienced this fun morning to join us next year for Miles of Smiles!

Patti Daniel, secretary

Rotary Club of North Whidbey Island Sunrise

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