Irene Torres

Irene Torres

Interviews with offenders at the Washington Corrections Center for Women have been produced as a 30-minute video documentary about training to reenter the workforce after release from prison.

“Another Chance” has been selected to screen at the Gig Harbor Film Festival on Oct. 18 at the Galaxy Theater.

Maureen Reilly and her husband, Jim Reynolds, live in Vaughn and together run Seat of the Pants Productions as independent filmmakers.

Since 2001, they have produced short promotional and training videos for Kitsap Community Resources, the Navy shipyards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and an early-learning clip for the Bremerton School District.

In the spring of 2013, they were invited to film the Gig Harbor Rotary awards ceremony.

There they learned about the Rotary Re-Entry to Work program and decided to film it as a short documentary.

Reilly interviewed women at the prison in Purdy for nearly a month. When she heard of their fears, she realized that it was too much of a story for a six-minute video.

“They don’t know how to support themselves legally. They’re scared of being outside. This program gives them the confidence and support they need to survive,” Reilly said. 

She said she worried that the women would not want to appear on camera, but that the Rotarians have a good rapport with the offenders. Only the women who volunteered and were cleared by officials appear in the video.

Reilly said she would like to expand the story into a full 60-minute documentary to follow up with the women in the program. She wants to ask them how the classes helped them and how the Rotary scholarship fund made a difference.

“This is primarily Maureen’s project. She gets all the credit. She has managed all of the elements herself, and she’s done a great job. I am really proud of her,” Reynolds said.

The Gig Harbor Film Festival screened 42 films in 2012, and will show a similar number during the sixth annual festival Oct. 18-20 this year.

For tickets and information, call the office at (253) 851-3456.

View a trailer here: vimeo.com/74311548.

Thursday, 26 September 2013 07:00

PHS grad is making some waves in paracanoe racing

Lakebay’s Megan Blunk has the heart of a champion and the arms to prove it.

She won two silver medals during her first Paracanoe World Championships in Duisburg, Germany, on Aug. 28, and she has set her sights higher.

“It makes me just want to fight that much harder and win next time,” she said. 

Blunk competed in the Trunk and Arms (TA) classification. She came in second place in the women's K-1 and V-1 races. Her K-1 final finish time was 57.507, just half a second behind first place, Emma Wiggs of Great Britain. Improving on her K-1 heat, Blunk turned in a time of 1:10.838 in the V-1 final, 7.595 seconds behind Jeanette Chippington of Great Britain.

Alan Anderson, coach of the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak racing team, met Blunk about two years ago and was inspired by her drive.

“When I made the decision to add paracanoe to our program, it was my intention to help athletes with disabilities understand our sport and to perhaps give them something healthy and positive to do. I have realized that, working with Megan, it’s kind of the other way around –– she inspires all around her, including me, to be better,” Anderson said.

Blunk said she tries to put herself into uncomfortable situations so she can push herself.

She said it helps her to build confidence and make her stronger.

“When I was able-bodied, I wasn’t happy, but I slacked off and didn’t do anything to change it. Fighting to overcome disability has allowed me to feel like an athlete, and to know who I am.

“It feels really good because it shows me not to second-guess myself and if you just go as hard as you can, then you can accomplish your goals,” Blunk said.

Blunk’s teammate, Ann Yoshida, won the bronze medal in the women's V-1 Arms (A) direct final in 1:31.382, finished 25.754 seconds behind Chippington, the first-place finisher. Yoshida lives in Hillsboro, Ore. Vadim Kin, from Seattle, came in seventh during the V-1 A final.

Ryan Padilla, of Gig Harbor, completed in the men's K-1 A using aluminum braces to support his legs and straps to hold them still. The steering mechanism on his canoe allows him to adjust the rudder to counter side winds. Such modified equipment is typical of Class A paracanoeists, Anderson said.

The Nelo Viper 55 is the standard paracanoe and is designed according to International Canoe Federation Touring Specifications. 

According to Nelo, paracanoes are designed for stability and balance and weigh more than other canoes. Paddlers who can use only their arms could be vulnerable to the wind, so their boats have a lower the center of gravity and are heavier on the bottom.

All Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The Paralympics were started in 1948 as a small group of British World War II veterans and has become one of the largest international sporting events today. Paralympians strive for equal treatment with non disabled Olympic athletes, despite a large funding gap between the two events.

Blunk has returned to her study of psychology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she plays wheelchair basketball.

During the next two years, she will train for both basketball and paracanoe and try to qualify for the Paralympic summer games in 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where paracanoe will make its Olympic debut.

The U.S. paracanoe squad currently consists of nine paddlers, and “I am excited to be part of a pioneering effort,” Anderson said.

Wednesday, 01 May 2013 15:55

Popular KP winery is up for sale

Before it was Trillium Creek Winery, it was a tiny ad in the Tacoma newspaper that read: Three parcels of land totaling nearly 12 acres of blackberries, trees and possibilities.

Claude Gahard had been making raspberry and blackberry wines for 20 years before moving to the Key Peninsula in 1992. In 2000, just prior to planting their Pinot Noir vineyard, his wife Claudia told him: “You’re French, let’s make wine ...”

They did. It was educational and fun, and soon turned into a labor of love lifestyle.

“It was luck and divine guidance,” said Claudia Gahard. “We didn’t know they (the grapes) needed to be planted on a hillside.”

In the years before the first crop was harvested, the couple had designed and built their dream French farmhouse.

The two-bedroom home, complete with a den/office, features open-beam ceilings, hardwood floors, a brick fireplace and stainless steel appliances.

The happy-go-lucky duo added an Alsatian cottage tasting room, a rockery, a shop and a large underground wine cellar to the Home-area property.

Gahard continued his career as a commercial pilot while his wife worked on the property between his junkets with Continental Airlines, until he retired after 18 years of service.

Gahard said he met with Gerard Bentren from Bainbridge Island Winery for grape-growing and wine-making tips and contracted with Paul Burgess vineyards to purchase bulk Syrah, Merlot, Riesling, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties from Eastern Washington.

The winery buys between 30,000 and 50,000 pounds of grapes every year to make low sulfite (50 parts per million) wines. “There are no headaches and no hangovers,” Claudia Gahard added, “but you can’t store them on the top of your refrigerator.” 

She said the two of them are solid business partners. “Claude takes care of the inside and I take care of the outside.”

They met in a grocery store in Oak Harbor, where Claudia worked in public relations. She said the chemistry between them was “instant.” They will celebrate 35 years of marriage in September.

The Gahards have recently put the winery up for sale with Wilson Properties.

The couple plan to build a bed and breakfast winery in Lake Chelan after their granddaughter graduates from high school in two years. When it happens, they plan on being open during the summer months.

“I will deliver to my best customers,” Claude Gahard said.

Gahard said about half of his present customers have become good friends, most of whom prefer wines made in the French style. 

“This is a people business. It’s all about personal relationships,” he said. During tastings, he emphasizes wine and food pairings, in the French tradition.

“No matter how you feel when you come in, you leave happy,” Claudia Gahard said.

For information, call (253) 884-5746.

Earth-toned walls set the mood in the Serenity Salon and Spa.

It is a cozy place where clients are welcomed with tea or espresso and a smile.

Located on State Route 302 near Minter Creek, the building housed Collins gas station and garage in the 1920s. Later it served as a video store, then a pizza restaurant, and was purchased in the early 2000s by the owners of Ravensara –– a locally-owned coffee stand.

The popular salon leases the front section of the space. On April 5, the Serenity Salon celebrated 10 years of business at this location.

Co-owners Tracey Hasenbuhler-Oliveira and Rachelle Erdt hosted a Key Peninsula Business Association social to mark the occasion.

They want clients to know they will be open during upcoming road construction which will permanently block their current driveway. A new entry is being planned to allow vehicles to enter the parking lot from 118th Street, as a left turn lane is added at the intersection.

Serenity is a full-service salon for hair, nails and aesthetics.

They provide manicures, pedicures, and apply acrylic nails. They give haircuts and permanent waves, and apply hair coloring and foils. They also offer paraffin hand dips, and face and body waxing. Three pedicure chairs and a make-up station are set in a room off the main salon, offering a degree of quiet and privacy. To complement their services, the owners said they are looking for a massage therapist, either as an employee or to lease a station.

Hasenbuhler-Oliveira compounds bath salts and foot scrubs for use during pedicures. She is an artist who crafts jewelry.

Her Kruk-id Stitches line includes beaded earrings, necklaces, hair clips, beach glass pieces and rock hangers. She supports local artists, several of whom have work displayed for sale in the salon, along with her own creations. She also offers a line of aromatherapy calming scent pouches, as thoughtful last-minute gifts.

Both owners live on the Key Peninsula. Erdt has been in the beauty business for 25 years and is licensed for all services available at Serenity Salon. Stylist Corina Henry, a seven-year employee of the salon, lives in Gig Harbor near Fox Island. Tanya Ames travels to work from her home in Tacoma to style hair. Both are employees of the shop. They all take walk-in customers, subject to already-scheduled appointments. Clients who make four referrals are rewarded with a free haircut. Gift certificates are available.

To continue their anniversary special, they have agreed to take 20 percent off any hair service during the month of May. 

“We are all very thankful that we were able to get our voices heard within the state planning. We are thankful for the upcoming road improvements for the safety of our community. We are thankful that we will continue doing business on the Key Peninsula,” Hasenbuhler-Oliveira said.

For hours and information, call (253) 841-0009

In the three years Michelle Spruell has owned NNRI Consulting, Inc., she has helped more than 400 clients find work.

She operated the business out of her Lakebay home until it outgrew the space.

Last year, Spruell opened an office in Gig Harbor and hired more staff to meet the demands of being a state and federal employment vendor.

It is Spruell’s belief that employers are looking for a specific set of skills from job-seekers who match the skills necessary to perform a particular job.

“The good news is that most job-seekers posses these skills to some extent. We help them focus on their skills and match them to job announcements. The better news is that job-seekers with weaknesses in these areas can improve their skills through training, professional development or obtaining coaching/mentoring from someone who understands these skills,” said Spruell.

Once her clients understand the skills and characteristics most employers seek, they can tailor their job-search communication –– resume, cover letter and interview language –– to showcase how well their background aligns with common employer requirements, Spruell said.

As a woman-owned business with state and federal contracts, Spruell and her staff of 12 serve some 13 counties in Washington from Port Townsend to Portland. They help individuals who face barriers to employment such as disabilities, criminal histories, lack of experience or transitioning to a different career.

According to Dennis Funk, NNRI executive consultant, their company uses a holistic approach to employment.

“We focus on individuals and align them with the core values of the job market where they can fit. Spruell, herself, had a disability and was confined to a wheelchair during her school years. She understands discrimination and how it can affect confidence in a negative way,” Funk said.

Spruell said her company may be a for-profit, “but we serve people first.”

NNRI starts with “tangibles” in a career mapping workshop called the “The Hope Session.” The next step is goal exploration and setting realistic expectations. A third workshop is career development for targeting resumes, cover letters, creating portfolios and learning to decipher job announcements which focus on disclosure of barriers to employment.

Step four is professional interviewing. Clients practice one-on-one, group, panel, phone and videotaped interviews. They also feature “speed” interviews, where prospective employers gain efficiency by spending less time with more candidates to find the right fit.

The final phase is Networking 101, where the concept of social media, branding and professionalism are introduced. The sessions cover two to four days, and have a one-hour lunch break each day.

Some training cost can be defrayed by state and federal funding for work re-entry, veterans and disability programs, Spruell said.

NNRI offers some free workshops and 1- to 3-day “boot camp” sessions. They also offer job coaching and case-by-case consultations.

When the unemployment rate climbed to more than 11 percent, NNRI placed 58 percent of their clients who took the workshops in order.

“We make no guarantee, but it is our vision to help people who are being lost,” Spruell said.

NNRI Consulting, Inc. is named for Spruell’s daughters, Natasha Nichole and Rachel Irene.

For information, visit nnriconsultinginc.org or call (253) 514-6753. 

Another recent accident in the vicinity of the Wauna curves brought out road crews for shoulder repairs and gave drivers a glimpse of major roadwork slated for Key Peninsula’s highway in 2014.

Steve Fuchs, project engineer with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), said the highway has been identified as having many accidents.

He said the goal of the upcoming project is to increase safety by reducing the “frequency and severity of the accidents by reducing congestion.”

The $6.5 million “Key Peninsula Highway to Purdy Vicinity Safety and Congestion” project will be funded by the Transportation Partner Account.

Fuchs said there are two main intersections of focus. One is at 118th Avenue and SR-302, where the state will add left-turn lanes to try and reduce some of the major left-turn accidents. The other area of interest will be at the west end of the Purdy sand spit, at Goodrich Court and Goldman Drive, where they will also be adding left-turn lanes.

“We are trying to remove a lot of the fixed objects in the right of way –– mostly trees, so where we can (where wetlands aren’t present) we will remove trees so when people leave the roadway they aren’t wrapped around a tree,”  he said.

When construction delays start up next year, Fuchs said he is hopeful that drivers will be as patient as possible.

According to Fuchs, there are also plans to install six pullout areas on the shoulder where vehicles can clear the roadway to allow emergency vehicles to pass. Each pullout will be 120 feet long. 

The state does not have the budget to widen shoulders all along the 6.23-mile project, but Fuchs said the Legislature appropriated some money because they recognized the need to make some safety improvements.

“I think we have a very solid justification where we plan these improvements based off a roadway safety audit completed in 2009 in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration and the State Patrol,” he said. “We also did a speed survey and were able to reduce the speed from 50 to 45 mph.”

Fuchs plans to advertise the project near the end of this year, and construction will start in the spring. He said it’s a one-season job and construction should be done by fall 2014.

Fuchs attends Key Peninsula Community Council meetings for quarterly updates on state road projects.

For information, call (360) 570-6600. A full project description is available at wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr302/kphtopurdysafety/.

Tuesday, 05 February 2013 10:10

Of love, life and friendship

A Key Peninsula woman fights for her life and her best friends step up to help

 

By Irene Torres and Scott Turner, KP News

 

Last month, Amanda Messinger, 22, sat in the center of her St. Anthony hospital bed surrounded by her dad and best friends Jessica Skelton and Stephanie Hahn.

Amanda has all the support in the world, but what she needs most now is a gift from a complete stranger. A bilateral lung transplant is the only way to save her from the grip of cystic fibrosis (CF) –– a condition that threatens her young life.

Skelton and Hahn say they know what love is, and have put theirs into practice. Their “Pandamanda” fundraising campaign is all about love for their friend.

Because Messinger loves pandas, the two friends used a likeness of the bear when they designed T-shirts and bracelets to sell to help pay for her medications, a caregiver, breathing treatments and hospital travel expenses.

Messinger is no stranger to doctor appointments, especially at the University of Washington, where a lung transplant team is waiting for a matching donor.

In mid-October, doctors at the UW thought they had one. Messinger and her troop of friends and family traveled from her Key Peninsula home only to learn that the donor lungs would not expand. Messinger stayed in the hospital ICU for two days, disappointed, but still hopeful.

Messinger wants her community to understand what CF really is. She said most people are clueless when she explains it to them.

According to her dad, Mitch Messinger, CF is a genetic disease that attacks and scars the lungs. People with CF don’t absorb enzymes or nutrients, and most die of malnutrition, infections or other complications –– sometime before their 20s, he said.

Messinger grew up with her sister, who experienced the same disease and the routine of hospitalizations and medications and she watched her illness progress until her sister died.

During a recent hospital visit with his daughter, Mitch Messinger said he has been through a lifetime of pain, but insists he has hope and strength in his faith. He was told a cure for CF would be widely available in five years. He’s still waiting and fighting by his daughter’s side  –– 20 years later.

“She is the strongest, most caring person I know. She deserves a second chance with new lungs.

“I taught my kids to believe in God and life after death. I have to believe there is more to life than this. All you take with you is your love. Life is precious and too short to worry about the small stuff,” Mitch Messinger said.

He said he is grateful for her friends’ awareness and fundraising efforts.

“She’s their angel. I am so proud of her, all that she’s gone through, and what she’s fighting now. Maybe this is the purpose of her life, to reach out to people who can help her and other kids with CF,” he said.

Messinger said her friends are very close to her and understand her condition well.  Amanda

“The only ‘cure’ they’re offering is a lung transplant, and that’s a 50-50 shot,” said Skelton. “It’s sad that someone would have to die so that someone else could have a second chance at life.”

Skelton said that Messinger just wants to live and experience the world the way everyone else does.

“She has touched the hearts of many. ...I will do everything in my power to keep her here as long as possible,” she said.

Messinger’s friends have set up a few ways the public can help her cause.

Donations can be made in her name at any Kitsap Bank. Shirts and bracelets can be purchased by calling (253) 515-5847 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

To learn more about their fundraiser, visit facebook.com/PandamandaTransplantFundraiser.

To learn about cystic fibrosis visit, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Twjg7v-pTO4&feature=youtu.be.

When Greg Murphy’s father started his barbecue business in 1968, he told his son “It’s better to work for yourself, because you’re getting paid for what you do.” 

Years ago, Murph, as he’s called, had a 1965 Apache tent trailer up for sale.  Somebody stole the canvas around it’s shell and left him perplexed.

He came up an idea to convert it into a mobile barbecue pit, then landed a contract with King County ballparks for their food concessions, and got busy cooking –– following in his father’s footsteps. 

Since then, he said his Murph’s BBQ and Catering business has become a staple at the Puyallup Fair and at other venues throughout Western Washington, including Bumbershoot, Pridefest, Taste of Tacoma, and most recently at Key Peninsula’s Volunteer Park. 

Murphy expanded into Pierce County when the Seattle Super Sonics basketball team played in Tacoma during a remodel at the Key Arena.

He has owned a restaurant and a bar and grill, but says he doesn’t want all the responsibilities of being open seven days a week. 

Murphy loves sports, especially track and field; and has followed the Olympics since 1984. He attended the games in Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Greece, Italy, Beijing and Vancouver, British Columbia. Murph’s BBQ sponsors qualifying Olympic athletes and he has tickets for the 2014 games in Russia.

 “I’m a pinhead,” he said. “I make my money on barbecue and spend it on the Olympics.”

He has transformed the Volunteer Park concession stand into a football tailgate party with Seahawks memorabilia lining the walls.

“During (Seahawks) away games, we go outside, play football, get dirty, then come inside to watch the game and eat.” 

Murphy is a season-ticket holder for the Seattle team and attends home games. During the baseball season, he said he will be changing the concession décor.

He moved to the Key Peninsula a year ago.  He wanted something different and wanted to build on his name brand recognition; but found the Key Peninsula to be different than anyplace he’s ever lived or done business.

“It’s hard to market myself out here because I’m a special events and catering guy.” 

His menu includes the usual barbecue fare: turkey, chicken, ribs, pulled pork/chicken/beef sandwiches, sausages, hamburgers and hot dogs with side dishes.  

He’s joined the Key Peninsula Business Association and works with other businesses to meet their catering needs. 

In 2011, Murphy lent his expertise to the Key Fest fair and served as a working volunteer with a stand for roasted corn and pulled pork sandwiches.

During January, he plans to begin marketing “theme” parties, from the “usual to the unusual.” He said that he can feed between 20 and 1,000 people. “I’ve got wheels. I will come to you,” he said, smiling. 

For information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (253) 572-7374.

From the kitchen in one of the barns at Gentle Giant Meadows Ranch, Maureen Sikora loves to watch nature go by. “It’s like a painting that never gets finished,” she said.

About two years ago, Sikora, her husband (Greg Sikora) and the neighbors around their Lackey Road ranch, noticed something strange.

A Canada gosling was following Quest, their 19-hand Shire horse, everywhere he went.

When the horse walked, the gosling trailed. When Quest galloped, the gosling flew head-high to keep pace.

Maureen Sikora wrote about the strange pair on her ranch website blog –– a spot she keeps her family in England updated on her life and well-being.

During the summer, Sikora said Renee Riva, a children’s author, read her blog and asked if she could use her story for a book. Sikora said yes... .

Riva sent Sikora a draft, but Sikora said the story was not exactly as she remembered. Sikora then returned the copy back with her version of the true tale. Riva loved the writing and the two co-author the book and titled it “Gertie and Quest: A True Story.”

This is Sikora’s first book, and she said that her husband’s photography helps bring the words to life. The book is available now.

Nearly all of the animals at Gentle Giant have names and are well cared for, Sikora said.

Quest’s mother is named Lady. Quest’s full name is Bridie’s Bequest, after Sikora’s mother. Gertie the gosling was hatched on the ranch’s pond soon after a migrant pair of geese arrived to spend a summer on the Key Peninsula.

“We never hand-fed the geese. We never encouraged the relationship. When male geese arrived with their courtship moves, Gertie ignored them,” Sikora said.

Sikora said Gertie often focused her attention on Quest, who never seemed to mind. At the first hint of (2010) winter, Gertie flew away with her parents, but the Sikoras were not surprised to see her return in the spring. They are curious to know if she will return with her life-mate next year.

Sikora said she will donate copies of her 40-page, self-published hardback book to school libraries.

“I would like for children to be able to read the book, to see the pictures, and through the words, feel what it is like to see different species interact. I want them to feel the joy of watching nature and to be inspired by it. 

“I never thought of myself as an author, but this could be the start of a series. I enjoy the process; I just need to find the time to write.”

To view a video of Gertie and Quest, visit gentle-giant-meadows-ranch.com/foresaken-love.html.

The book can be purchased at gentelgiantmeadowranch.com or at amazon.com

Wednesday, 30 January 2013 12:20

A worthy KP cause: Angels Needed

The Angel Guild is a thrift store, tucked into an inconspicuous space in the Key Center Corral.

The impact the nonprofit and its volunteer angels have made on the Key Peninsula since its inception is substantial. As of December 2012, the total of proceeds from the sales of donated items stands at $1,010,458.

The Angel Guild has provided monies for grant funding for nearly every qualifying organization on the Key since its inception in1979.

A year ago, shop hours were expanded to open on Tuesdays. Since then, the average store income has increased by $1,700 per month. With that and the aging, illness and absence of some of their 40-50 regular workers, organization leaders have identified a need for more volunteer help.

A Saturday visit to the shop found two clerks at the counter and two workers in the sorting room.

Phyllis Henry and Betty Beal, two of those volunteers, both said they enjoy getting to meet the customers and socializing.

“It’s always exciting when someone finds the perfect bargain. And the price is always right,” Henry said.

Beal said she is surprised at the number of brand new items received, tags intact.

“It’s the mail orders that don’t fit. They are too much trouble to send back, so they donate them,” she said.  

Brand names like Coldwater Creek and Lands’ End are commonly found in the shop, they said. The volunteers who sort the donations set all prices and store policies don’t allow the clerks to change them.

Henry said that grandparents often come in with their grandkids and let them pick out a few toys for a quarter or 50 cents, and “everyone leaves happy.”

Nancy Korseck said she had shopped in the store so often, a clerk had suggested she should volunteer, so she did.

She finds the Angel Guild a good way “to help a lot of people.” Now she is in charge of the sorting room and works two days a week researching prices, evaluating items for sale and placing special items on eBay for auction or Amazon.com for sale. She said that some items need to reach an expanded market, outside the Key Peninsula. She recalled a McCoy cookie jar that sold for over $400 and a box of Wedgewood pattern dishes that were sold by the piece and brought in over $1,800.

Marlene Miles, who does the quality control from the shed behind the store, checks for soiling, working zippers, missing buttons, rehemmed items, rips and tears. Miles also oversees the adult puzzles and the children’s toy section and takes the dolls home to clean and dress them, and to fix their hair.

“People are surprised at how clean everything is. But most of it doesn’t come in that way. It can be discouraging,” Korseck said.

The Angels try to take in as many donations as they can, but due to federal regulations for baby furniture and factory recalls of certain brand appliances, those items cannot be accepted —“even if it looks brand new.”

A full-time paid coordinator, Carla Parkhurst, runs the store. There are volunteers dedicated specifically to testing the sewing machines, organizing craft materials, overseeing the books, managing the jewelry department, testing electronics and equipment, testing the bread machines by baking a loaf, and so on.

Shoes and purses that do not sell in the store are picked up by an individual who pays the Angel Guild a small amount for them. He then ships the items to third world countries.

Sorters can encounter surprises, not all of them pleasant. “The work is dirty and heavy,” Korseck said. “And those with allergies don’t come out here (to the shed).”

A finance committee meets monthly to review grant applications and make recommendations. “Our greatest need is for volunteers who take their time commitment seriously,” Treasurer Ann Nelson said via email.

The Angels only make grants to Key Peninsula organizations or activities that benefit the people on the Key Peninsula. They do not give to individuals, religious or political organizations. A list of grant recipients posted next to the door inside the store includes Mustard Seed Project, KP Community Services and Food Bank, KP Civic Center, Peninsula Light, Boy Scouts, KP Fire District and the KP Community Council, just to name a few.

Store vouchers are given to the needy through the KP Community Services and Children's Home Society. All donation requests must be mailed to P.O. Box 703 Vaughn, WA 98394. Donations are tax-deductible and receipts are available for that purpose.

These Angels may have retired from their paying careers but none of them has slowed in their commitment to community. They all work a minimum of 12 hours a month. All of them enjoy meeting other women who have the same interests and helping with customers. “It is fun. No day is the same,” Korseck said.

 For information, call (253) 884-9333.