Letters to the editor | Nov. 30 edition

Readers write in about Passport2Pain and VashonBePrepared.


Thanks to Vashon neighbors

The Vashon Island Rowing Club wants to extend its huge thanks and gratitude to the community for its gracious support of the 13th Annual Passport2Pain (P2P) bicycle ride held on Sept. 16. Rider feedback indicates it was another successful event.

This year we had 320 participants starting from Jensen Point riding over courses that ranged up to 80 miles and up to 10,000 feet of elevation gain. With 20 themed stops where riders got a stamp on their passport, food, fluids and a few chuckles, the event consumes a lot of volunteer resources. In fact, we tallied about 140 folks from the rowing club and community who came out to support the ride. That’s almost one volunteer for every two riders.

If you volunteered, we thank you very much.

Riders were greeted at the finish line with cowbell salutes, suitably zany entertainment from talented islanders Steffon Moody and Maria Glanz, and a taco bar catered by island business, La Isla — a favorite with riders (although after 80 miles most are not very picky). Also, this year we debuted five sets of limericks along the route for additional rider entertainment. Thank you, Windermere and John L Scott, who loaned us signboards for the day so that we could set up and take down the limericks quickly and easily.

Local businesses contributed over $10,000 in donations for the ride led by Sawbones/Pacific Research. With registration fees and merchandise sales and after expenses the club netted $29,000, from which $5,000 was shared with island charities: Vashon Food Bank, Vashon Youth and Family Services and the Interfaith Council for the Homeless. The balance of the proceeds will support the junior rowing program on the island.

In 2024 we are planning the 14th Annual P2P for Saturday, Sept. 14. Riders and volunteers, please mark your calendars.

Pat Call and Lindsay Tracy, 2023 P2P Co-chairs


Hail to the heroes

If you’re new to the island, it may soon dawn on you that, in the event of an emergency (earthquake, snow storm, wildfire, ferry disruptions, pandemics), we’re pretty isolated.

There’s a group on the island who figured that out years ago and they’ve won national awards for community preparedness. They are VashonBePrepared (VBP); you’ve seen regular Beachcomber articles written by long-time VBP volunteer Rick Wallace. Rick is also part of a small pack of heroes who broadcast emergency information on Voice of Vashon’s (VoV) 1650AM radio station.

Led by volunteer Luke McQuillin, VoV’s Emergency Alert Team monitors our ferry system, roads, fire department and more for information that may be vital to our daily life and potentially our very survival. When the team has a robust membership roster, no team member is overly taxed.

But right now, the team is short a few, and the remaining members are stretched a bit thin. I invite you to thank long-time Emergency Alert Team heroes, Michael Golen-Johnson, Rick Wallace, Jim Roy and Luke McQuillin. They’ve spent years telling you how to be safe, warm and relatively on time. Even better than thanking them — join them. It’s easy.

If you have a smartphone and internet service plus a spare five to 10 hours per month, you too can be an island hero. For details on how to join the team, email info@voiceofvashon.org and please include your email address and/or phone number. Your neighbors will be grateful.

Susan McCabe