Thursday, May 29, 2014

Way to GO Faith!!!!

Rainier Elementary School Playground Fund Drive

Faith & her mother, Ida, have almost reached their goal to extend the playground at Rainier Elementary School.  They've earned over $27,000, so far!!!  

The playground is scheduled to be built August 1, 2014.  


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Grow beyond today..........

RCC: Reap What You Grow

Did you know about RCC's summer program, Reap What you Grow? It's a FREE literacy enrichment program with an environmental focus. This will be our 3rd year and we've gotten many positive reviews so far!! It will run from June 23rd through July 17th, Monday through Thursday, 10 am to 2 pm. with a free lunch and snack. Led by RES staff, Joy McNealley and Debbie Ortmayer. Hurry we only have about 10 spaces left! Contact 446-9222 for more info.

Rainier High School's Senior Awards Night

Hi Lions!  

We're all invited to the Rainier High School's Senior Awards night!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Youth Forum Held In Rainier

By:  Linda J. Johnson

The South County Spring Youth Forum was held in the Rainier High School Commons last Wednesday.  Rainier Community Cares, Rainier Organization of caring Students, and the YWCA Girls for a Change put on this event.  This was the second forum held during this school year.  

State Senator Randi Becker, County Commissioner Sandra Romero, State Representative Graham Hunt from Orting and State Representative J.T. Wilcox from Yelm were on the panel who answered the RHS students questions.

The first student, a football player, asked about the size of their school lunches.  He gave an example of receiving only 4 chicken nuggets per lunch.  Some athletic students need to buy 2 or 3 lunches to get enough to eat. 

One panel member asked him about bringing his own lunch.  The student said didn’t want to do that, “Many of the students are on the free or reduced lunch program and that would make them stand out.” 

One of the panel members asked, “What if this is the only meal a student receives during the day?  That’s not enough food.” 

The audience was quiet until Tim Garchow spoke.  Tim said that the lunches are portion controlled.  The federal guidelines are so strict that even the noodles have to be weighed in order to comply.  The school district needs the federal reimbursement for the lunch program.  The panel members agreed to look into getting the portions increased.

The panel openly talked about how good bills go bad, not because senators and representatives don’t want to do the right thing.  It’s hard to draw a consensus, because everyone has different ideas of how to do the right thing.  Bills go from one committee to another; the House of Representative to the Senate.  It’s a long, arduous process.

Randi Becker talked about the “unintended consequences” of bills and laws.  She mentioned her phlebotomy bill.  “It was a good bill.”  Then it went to committee.  “They flubbed it, and flubbed it and they flubbed it again, until it got phlebotomized!” 

We were told where to find out how our senators and representatives vote, as well as to find information about our state government and services.

The students from Rainier ROCS and YMCA Girls for a Change,  made a presentation of their work to the panel  on “ Lets Draw the Line between Youth and Alcohol” a campaign to increase awareness of the harmful effects of alcohol on teens and what they are doing to make the community aware of the issues involved.

The forum lasted almost two hours with high school students asking questions.  The panel discussed everything from politics, to committees, consensus to mental health issues and academic achievement.  In the end, the panel explained how important it is for citizens to get involved in politics and community service, at the local level. 

A special thank you was given to Mayor Randy Schleis and the RHS staff and students for their help in making the forum successful.   

After the forum ended all of the representatives commented on how impressed they were with the turnout and student enthusiasm.  J.T. Wilcox was particularly impressed with the tough questions the students asked.  Graham Hunt, Sandra Romero & Randi Becker agreed and said they really enjoyed coming to Rainier.

REFC: The Heart of the Community

Last Wednesday, the staff at the Food Bank got together after work and had a special awards potluck to thank Dan Sweezy for everything he does for our community.  Even though Dan doesn’t live in Rainier, he’s the President of the Rainier Emergency Food Center.  He’s over 80 years old, yet drives to pick up food and deliver it to the food bank, regularly. 

He is devoted to serving people in need in Thurston County.  People come in casual clothing to pick up food in Rainier.  “They don’t wear suits and ties, or drive fancy automobiles.”  He said.  “The people we serve really need our help.”

I must admit, Dan runs a tight ship.  Nothing goes to waste.  If it isn’t fit for human consumption, it goes to pigs, chickens or heifers.  Thousands of people and animals are fed every month under his leadership and guidance. 

The Rainier Emergency Food Center is entirely staffed with volunteers.  Dozens of people serve the public; not one person is paid.  Some people go without, to buy gas to put in the van, so they can get food and supplies to serve the needy.  Others, like Dan, sell personal items to get the money to keep our food bank operational.  Through the dedication and devotion of the people at REFC they have become “The Heart of the Community.”