Kitsap likes its fundraisers outdoors, active

Bake sales are all well and good, but here in Kitsapland (and it’s safe to say the Northwest in general), we like to get double duty out of raising money for a worthy cause.

Upcoming are two events where you can get vigorous exercise in the fresh air while doing good. The first is the Jingle Bell Run, raising funds to combat juvenile arthritis, on Saturday in Port Orchard; the second on Dec. 14, is NewLife Kitsap’s Walk for Water, raising money to build wells in Africa, to be held on waterfronts in Port Orchard, Gig Harbor, Silverdale, Bainbridge Island and the Theler Wetlands in Belfair. Both require registration, and pre-registering is preferred. But you can jump on board with both events the morning of.

Both events raise awareness of of things most of us (I think it’s safe to say) take for granted.

Walk for Water
When it’s raining buckets here in the Northwest, like on July 4th, most of us probably don’t think, “Dang, I wish we had some more water around here.” Kitsap, which relies solely on rainfall to replenish its reservoirs and aquifers each year, has faced seasons where water conservation is encouraged. But we’re always able to turn on the tap for a drink of potable water or a bottle of water at the convenience store.

In contrast, many people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to clean water. The average African walks 5 miles a day for water, according to people at New Life who are organizing the Walk for Water. The journey is dangerous and most of the water gathered is unclean, causing illness and sometimes death, especially among young children.

Walk in the Light, a charity supported by NewLife in the Walk for Water, collects money to build wells and bring other forms of water purification to towns in Burkina Faso. Last year, reporter Josh Farley wrote about the organization, founded by Tom and Katy Cornell, who are also involved with NewLife. The couple, while attending Northwestern University in Kirkland, got to know a man from Burkina Faso, and so learned about the needs of people there.

In 2012, 80 people took part in the first Walk for Water in Kitsap County, treking 2 1/2 miles along the Silverdale waterfront with empty five-gallon jugs and other containers.
Screen shot 2013-12-06 at 9.21.07 AM
They filled them and lugged them back, getting a taste of what people (most women and children) must do each day. Lack of a clean water source is not only inconvenient and unhealthy, it robs people of the time to work, get an education and have a life, as the saying goes here in the U.S. The event has been expanded this year to several waterfront locations.

When: December 14; registration a 9:30 a.m.; walk starts at 10 a.m.
Where: Gig Harbor waterfront; Bainbridge waterfront Park; Silverdale waterfront; Port Orchard Westbay Center; Theler Community Center.
What: The length of the walk is 5 miles. Each person will be given a 5-gallon container to carry on the walk or bring your own.
Cost: $20 registration fee to receive a T-shirt and five-gallon container (fee waived if you skip the T-shirt and bring your own container); recommended donation of $100 to walk. Online registration through Dec. 12.

Jingle Bell Run
I ran into Sheila Cline the other day at MoonDogs (when I was covering that outrageous tip the restaurant received). Cline was busy preparing for the third annual Jingle Bell Run, an event she has captained since 2011, in support of her daughter Kinsey, who has juvenile arthritis. The 5K run/walk is part ofPort Orchard’s Festival of Chimes & Lights.

The Jingle Bell run is the signature event of the Arthritis Foundation. To get the organization on board with allowing the run in Port Orchard, Cline had to guarantee a minimum level of participation. No worries there; the run has exceeded expectations each year, involving more than 1,000 runners (some real serious types) and raising more than $50,000 annually for the organization.

Kinsey Cline has struggled with arthritis since she was 8. Now 13, she’s having a good year and able to regularly attend John Sedgwick Junior High School. That wasn’t always so. Last year, she missed a lot of school and experienced a lot of discomfort. Now on a new medication regime, Kinsey’s arthritis is well controlled.

As those with the disease know, it’s an ongoing battle to stay mobile. Something those participating in this year’s run/walk might consider as they trot (or clip) along Bay Street and Beach Drive.

Kinsey was the honoree at the first Jingle Bell Run. This year’s honoree is Linda Banks of Port Orchard who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis two years ago. Now 48, Banks was and is an athlete, and she finds that exercising and staying active helps reduce her arthritis symptoms.

A member of the Kitsap Tri-Babes, Banks has participated in many triathlons, and on her birthday in 2012, Banks completed an Ironman triathlon in Cour d’Alene, swimming in the choppy 58 degree lake, bicycling, and then running. Doctor’s have advised against her running for the time being, but Banks will participate by walking the 5K on Saturday.

A costume contest is at 12:30 p.m.; kids’ 1K at 1 p.m.,; 5K at 1:30 p.m.
Where: Port Orchard City Hall, 216 Prospect Street, Port Orchard
When: Dec. 7, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cost: Free – $30

3 thoughts on “Kitsap likes its fundraisers outdoors, active

  1. These are both worthy events. What is your point, Chris Henry? A lot of religious organizations do a lot of good work?

    Why don’t you address the presence of the Young Life organization in the South Kitsap School District? Some religious organizations do things they shouldn’t do. All it takes is ignorance and a complicit press.

    The link is an advertisement for their Friday morning meetings at Cedar Heights Junior High.

    Are you a feature writer or are you a reporter?

  2. Walleye – My point was that these are two events that involve vigorous outdoor activity.

    I will check on Young Life meeting during school hours and get back to you.

    Since the blog post was not about Young Life, I’m not sure what your comment about being a “feature writer or a reporter” is supposed to mean. Most of us reporters here at the Kitsap Sun write articles that would be classified as features (versus hard news) from time to time. There is a time and place for both formats.

    Chris Henry reporter

  3. Walleye – I heard back from Cedar Heights Principal Andrew Cain on the question of why WyldLife, which is part of the Christian organization Young Life, would be allowed to hold an event during school hours.

    The short answer is that the school brings in other organizations (like Master Gardeners) during school hours and, under the same principals of nondiscrimination that drive the separation of church and state, they cannot at the same time ban an organization with religious ties, as long as that organization doesn’t proselytize during school activities.

    This is an interesting topic that I’d like to explore further possibly as a future story. For now, here is the answer from Cain:

    Dear Chris,
    This is a great question and to adequately answer it please indulge me giving you a broader answer. Cedar Heights and the South Kitsap School District are committed to strong community partnerships in the effort to build the best possible school(s). This research informed commitment has led to us bringing in many outside groups such as 4H, the Master Gardeners, and Boy’s & Girl’s Club. Our acceptance of these community groups means that legally we are required to open our doors to all community groups as long as they honor the appropriate legal boundaries such as separation of Church and State.

    WyldLife is associated with Young Life, but when the Cedar Heights’ community members organizing the group approached me about providing a program for Cedar their commitment was to provide a program that teaches character based in kindness, empathy, and respect without any form of religious message. The intent of the program was to support our efforts to build a culture of kindness, empathy, & mutual respect as a complement to our other programs such as WEB, Rachel’s Challenge and Point Break. I have observed this program many times and have never had a complaint or observed them violate their commitment, but rather have observed a program that draws on average 100+ students a week to experience activities and a message that encourages them to live as I, and our community, would expect all Raindevils to live.

    Finally, to directly answer your question, we do believe that because Wyldlife is not promoting a religious message during the school day, and is providing a service that aligns with both the Cedar and the South Kitsap School District commitment to creating a stronger school(s), that there is sufficient separation between church and state.

    I hope this provides the clarity you were seeking. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need additional information or have follow-up questions.

    Andrew Cain, Ed.D., Principal
    Cedar Heights Jr. High
    Inspiring Excellence, Shaping Futures

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