Heritage Museum announces contest winners
By Ann Irish
For The Beachcomber
“Vashon is worthy of a poem!”
So explained budding poet Josie Reiling, one of the winners in the 2020 contest held by the Vashon Heritage Museum for 9- to 11-year-olds, or fourth and fifth graders, each year.
More students than ever participated in this year’s contest, so additional prizes were awarded. This year the museum presented two $100 first prizes, two $ 50-second prizes and two $25 third prizes.
A new category was also added: History Buff. The winners in this category showed a strong interest in history, and each received a copy of the illustrated book, “Vashon-Maury Island,” by local authors Bruce Haulman and Jean Cammon Findlay.
Nine students each received an Honorable Mention. Participants showed imagination and perseverance — especially important this year when the stay-home order has closed the library and the museum.
Because of the current restrictions on life, all the entries were submitted electronically. For the same reason, in lieu of a celebration party, winners were announced on the Museum’s website, vashonhistorymuseum.org, this week.
Leif McBennett and Miriam Casad won the 2020 Vashon Heritage Museum contest’s first prizes. McBennett produced a historical essay, “Vashon Strawberry Industry,” illustrated with color photographs.
He said this was the first time he had done a project which involved writing that included information he had gathered.
Casad described the Salmon Bake at St. Patrick’s Church in Dockton, and more recently, at St. John Vianney Catholic Church.
The second prizes went to Brendan Blower and Bennett Thorpe. Thorpe entered a stop-action video, made with Lego characters to represent Native Americans in a landscape including a longhouse, forest and beach. Blower presented historical details about the Dockton Dry Dock.
Antoinette Guy and Alexis Delgado each won a third prize. Guy presented an essay accompanied by a video collage about Maury Island’s flying saucer. Delgado’s entry included fascinating information about squid fishing and the Tramp Harbor Dock.
Future historians who won the History Buff prize are Emily Rock, Natasha Sullivan and Weston Dorr, who incorporated a lot of historical information as he wrote about Admiral James Vashon in a humorous way. Rock’s essay, “Horse Riding on Vashon,” painted a picture of this activity on the island, while Sullivan’s essay concentrated on the island’s history.
The following students earned honorable mentions. Grant Fitterer searched his memory to create his poem, “This Place,” and presented it on an abstractly painted background. Henry Jonasson drew his favorite birds of Vashon Island, the Northern Flicker, Anna’s Hummingbird, and Steller’s Jay.
Charlie Irish showed island historical scenes in a comic strip that including events long ago and today. Matilda Strain painted an orca in our waters against a dark sky. Maren Stern wrote a group of haikus in order to describe Vashon Island. Isaac Hobson explained how he came to live on this island.
Zoe Star D’Artell created her own aerial dance and chose its music to represent feelings about Vashon. Lucy Ahern wrote about “What Vashon means to me,” including experiences like drinking hot cider at the annual tree lighting.
Finally, Emi Odegard and Josie Reiling did a project together: They used lots of time on Zoom to consult with each other and jointly write the poem “Many Wonders All in One.”
Also participating were Sophia and Simon Lanphear. Simon’s project was an interview with the owner of Anu Rana’s tea shop and Sophia did a large poster on “The History of the Blue Heron.”
Students also told organizers how much they learned about their topics as well as how to create and complete a project. Bennett Thorpe said that he learned to have more patience, and Brendan Blower said that this was the first project that he had ever typed. Antoinette Guy had never done an actual site visit for a project before. Natasha Sullivan said the contest “was a nice way to get to know where I live a little better.” More than one student found out, as Leif said, “There’s not a lot on the web” about some topics.
The contest was sponsored by Thriftway, Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union, and 4Culture.
Ceremony to honor longtime Vashon educator
In keeping with the times, the Vashon Community Scholarship Foundation’s awards ceremony for graduating island high school seniors will be held online this year, at 6 p.m. Friday, May 27, via Facebook Live.
Emceed by ENJOY Productions and featuring nine presenters, practicing strict physical distancing, the awards ceremony will announce different cash scholarships for 98 graduates of the class of 2020.
The Vashon Community Scholarship Foundation, a nonprofit organization, was established in 1986 by a group of parents and other community members. It was formed to solicit and coordinate financial support from the community for graduating seniors who wished to continue their education and training. Since then, VCSF has doled out more than $2 million in scholarships.
One of the special awards presented on May 27 will honor longtime Vashon educator Cornelius Lopez.
This award, called “Making a Difference Now,” was created by the VCSF board in 2019 to recognize a community member who has made a significant contributor to the quality of island life. The inaugural prize honored Paul Cowell, a beloved island para-professional and musician.
This year, said VCSF board member Linda Mather, the award will recognize Lopez for his “creativity, commitment and belief that the self-esteem of his students is of equal importance to learning math concepts” and “his lifelong impact on the lives of many.”
Lopez, who celebrated his 80th birthday last October, has taught for almost six decades, including close to 50 years at McMurray Middle School.
There is still time, prior to the ceremony, to donate to the designated fund for the scholarship named in Lopez’s honor. To find out more, email email@example.com. To make general donations to VCSF, visit vashonscholarshipfoundation.org.
US Rowing announces would-be selection camp invitees
By Richard Parr
For The Beachcomber
Like every other athlete in America, the rowers at Burton Beach are missing their sport.
It’s been seven weeks since they last rowed on Quartermaster Harbor, but that hasn’t stopped them from training every day. A group of athletes have rowing machines at home and have been hitting it hard. And each weekday at 4 p.m., the athletes gather on Zoom and do an hour of body circuits, and have a general catch up with each other. Several college rowers have been dropping in to take part as well.
There’s also the “Saturday Challenge, where the athletes have a choice of workouts, ranging from the rowing machine to running, biking, and a fairly killer aerobic workout designed by two of BBRC’s youngest rowers, 8th graders Dexy Richmond and Caroline Barnes.
A couple of weeks back, five BBRC athletes competed in the Olympic Peninsula Rowing Club’s “Virtual Sasquatch Regatta,” the most from any club outside the hosts. A number of the athletes are planning on competing in the North West Virtual Regionals, which means another erg competition in mid-May, and if successful, they’ll progress to the National Virtual Championships in June. And sophomore Davis Kelly was invited by a group of Northwest rowers to join their team for the virtual “Fat Ergos” competition that is spread out over the month of May.
And although all of the on-water international regattas have been canceled, there was some good news for the small club. This week US Rowing has announced a list of people who would have been invited to national team selection camps had they been held, and current BBRC rowers Ros Belscheidt and Kate Kelly, along with Burton alumna Gabbie Graves, were listed as invitees to the Under 19 national team camp that would have been held in Connecticut this summer. Had they made the team, it would have been the third for Graves, the second for Kelly and the first for Belscheidt.
The number of BBRC invitees is the most out of the Pacific Northwest and is only equaled by Community Rowing in Boston across the country. The World Champs were to be held in Bled, Slovenia this August, and Belscheidt, who was heavily recruited by a number of colleges was philosophical about it. “Even though camp was not held this year, it was still validating to be named as one of the invitees and an honor to be chosen alongside the most talented U19 women in the country, including my brilliant teammate Kate Kelly. It’s still motivating, and we’ll just be working harder. And even though we won’t be able to compete, it’s a reminder that all the hard work we put in hasn’t been for nothing.”
Belscheidt will be a senior at Vashon High School this fall and has verbally committed to a scholarship offer from Duke University for the following year. Kelly will be attending the University of Virginia as a scholarship rower this autumn.
Sports plays a large part in so many of the lives of all Islanders, and it’s been a challenge to stay motivated, but the camaraderie showed by BBRC rowers since the club’s inception two and a half years ago continues. We’ll get through this, and obviously the most important thing is the health of our athletes, their families and our island community. We’ll take all the appropriate precautions, but we’ll be ready when we can finally hit the water again.
King County Parks readies for Dockton Pier renovation
King County Parks is issuing a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) for the repair and rehabilitation of the moorage and dock at Dockton Park, which has been closed to the public since March of last year. The DNS is available to view online at tinyurl.com/y8p43pzd.
Comments regarding the document are being accepted via email, writing, or telephone until 4:30 p.m. on May 21. Instructions for how to submit comments are available at the bottom of the document.
For additional project information, visit kingcountyparks.org/2019/06/11/dockton-park-dock-closure/.