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The Fremont Fun Club meets on Tuesdays
from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at HALE’S BREWERY
4301 Leary Way NW, Seattle WA 98107
Rotary club info Phone 206-632-0124

PROJECTS

Burke Gillman Trail Clean-up
Christmas Giving Tree
Computer Writing Project for BF Day
Fremont Fresh Art
Men's Shelter Library
Pet Dinosaurs
Reading Program for Homeless Kids
Soup Nights
Transportation For The Homeless


Burke Gillman Trail Clean-up

The Burke Gillman trail runs through Fremont.  You can ride your bike from Fremont to Redmond on this trail. The trail is special to us.  A four times a year we clean the trail from the Dinosaurs and work our way to Hales Brewery where we enjoy fellowship, pizza and beer. Just look for us wandering down the trail following the beer wagon.

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Christmas Giving Tree

UNIVERSITY VILLAGE
What's this Christmas Tree thing all about?  We reach out to all the good people who work with kids that don't have much and find out who wants and needs what. We then team up with the University Sunrise Rotary club and put a big Christmas tree in the University Village outdoor mall.  Then the magic starts.  Shoppers, often with their own children select the wish of a needy child from the giving tree.  The family buys the gift and brings it back to us.  We make sure all the goodies end up where they belong.

We have seen a lifetime of community service start when a child comes and selects another child's gift wish from the tree. Hey, this all takes work. Help us by taking on a two hour stint at the tree. Have your own kids? Bring them down. Show them what community service is all about.

LAST YEAR'S STORY
A family came by the tree to pick a gift request. Dad told the two children to find something on the request tree. The 10-year-old picked a bicycle request. Now this is where it gets weepy. Dad says, "This is expensive." The 10-year-old tells Dad that he will forego presents this year if Dad will buy the needy child a new bike. It gets better. The next night the 10-year-old proudly presents the bike to the Fremont Rotary and wants assurance that we will deliver the bike on Christmas Day! It was.

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Computer Writing Project for BF Day

We encourage creativity in our club.  We are not a bunch of stuffy business people. To promote the Fremont spirit, we host a writing project with area elementary schools.  The winner gets a refurbished computer. Most of us were not number one in our class. (Well Rex may have been.)   So, for us things like spelling don't count.  We look for creativity, need, and good heart. Our first winner was a bit challenged and a member of the special ed class.  Wow was that kid honored when he beat out "the regular classes."  We threw a pizza party for his class and gave out a bunch of certificates.  The newspaper even came out and took his picture.

We made a difference in a that child's life. Not only was he recognized for his creative spirit, but now has a computer to continue writing at home.

WHAT WE HAVE

  • Good ideas for writing contest
  • Members to judge the entrees
  • Schools that want to participate
WHAT WE NEED
  • Old slower Pentium based computers like 5 year old 70 or 90 MZ machines.  (486's are just too hard to put together a working package.)
  • Computer Guru to build up the machines to something that will do word processing and access the internet.
  • Computer person to go and spend a couple hours with the winner and show them how to work the thing.
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Fremont Fresh Art

The FREMONT FRESH ART AUCTION has been a part of the FREMONT OKTOBERFEST Festival in recent years. Produced by Sun In Seattle Productions, this event promotes art in the community and in schools, and raises funds for local projects for those in need. (Photo at left is from our last Fremont Fresh Art Event - Post-Intelligencer, Sunday June 16th, 2004)

After enjoying a few local brews and participating in the fun events of the day, people browse and watch artists of all genres rendering their impression of the sights and emotions of the day. Artists create their masterpieces from 10 am to 2 pm. Art lovers, beer lovers, friends and family are able to do more than view completed works of art, they have the unique opportunity to see a piece come into fruition right before their eyes! Our Live Art Auction follows at 2:30 PM. Spectators and participants bid on pieces they've seen created. Look for this FRESH event in 2005.

The Live Art Auction is held by the Fremont Rotary. 40% of the proceeds benefit the artist while 60% goes to the Fremont Rotary for a variety of communities projects including donations to kids in need at BF Day School, supplying books, food, and refurbished bikes for the local men's shelter, contributing books for homeless kids, and internationally by supporting clinics and a girls school in Mexico and Guatemala, as well as contributing to Rotary International effort of eradicating polio by the year 2005.

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Men's Shelter Library

There is a homeless shelter for men in Fremont.  It houses 50 men.  

These people have a variety of circumstances that put them in this situation.  Some are mentally ill, some are not.  Some have alcohol problems, some do not.  Some have substance abuse problems, some do not. And some have none of these problems. The Fremont Rotary club has always been literary bent.  After all, we are the arts capital of the Northwest.

So we came up with the idea of creating a library for these men.  The church the men sleep in has a large book shelf system.  But the only books they had were a few bibles left by the church.  Now we have nothing against the bibles, we just thought a good mystery or historical novel might be a nice addition to the shelter.

One gut-wrenching thing we learned was the shelter did not have a single dictionary when we took on the project.  Many of the "residents" take job applications and fill them out at the shelter. Without a dictionary they have no way to look up words they do not know how to spell. We were taken back when we thought about how difficult life would be without such a basic resource as a dictionary.

WHAT WE HAVE

  • A large book shelf at the shelter
  • About 100 books
WHAT WE NEED
  • Books of general interest
  • National Geographic magazines
  • and DICTIONARIES 

You really want to help?  Go buy a small pocket dictionary and let us give it to a resident. He could then take it with him on his daily job hunt. Feel free to write something inspirational in the cover if you're so inclined. This four buck charitable contribution of yours will do more to enhance someone's life than anything else you could do with this token amount of money.  Don't send money though, pick up a dictionary the next time you're at Barns and Noble.

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Pet Dinosaurs

Fremont outbid a whole bunch of other places to bring the wire Dinosaurs from the Science Center to their new home in Fremont (on the Corner of 34th Street, next to the Red Hook Brewery, along the Burt Gillman bike path). The Ivy Dinosaurs were sick - with the ivy "skin" dying off the metal frames when the City owned them. The Fremont Rotary Club researched the ivy issue, calling Disneyland and asking how their ivy critters are treated. The ivy was initially planted in moss beds in the structure.  Bad idea, says Mickey Mouse. The trick is to plant the ivy into the ground and let it grow up.

Our resident plant and flower expert Charles resolved this and brought in a great deal of ivy by pulling some strings.  He also found stickly pinchy plants for around the big green monsters to keep little people from getting hurt on the structures and protecting the ivy.

We even had the Mayor come out and dedicate the dinosaurs.  We all felt good when a BF Day student was honored for her story, "How the dinosaurs came to Fremont."  She wrote this story as part of our creative writing project and earned a computer for her efforts.

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Reading Program for Homeless Kids

We supply books for homeless kids at the BF Day school. Outgrow your books, send them to us.  We will find them a good home.

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Soup Nights

Held during past winter months, each Thursday night in Fremont, a different local restaurant opened its door and hosted an evening of food, entertainment, and art. We warmed those [chilly] winter nights with a hearty bowl of soup, crusty bread and light beverage, and brought light and cheer to the dark with friends and live entertainment. Each week a new restaurant hosted the event with a new theme and new entertainment. The cost was $10 with half the proceeds going to programs that feed local hungry families, and towards building and maintaining healthcare clinics in the Mayan Highlands of Guatemala. This event was inspired by a like event in the San Francisco Bay Area and was sponsored by the unique and entertaining Fremont Rotary to benefit the homeless and hungry in our world...

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Transportation for the Homeless

Imagine you want to work.  You are down on your luck and have no money.  Not even money for a bus token. How far could you walk to work?  A mile, maybe two. But if you had a good working bicycle, you could go what, maybe 5 miles?  This is over 75 square miles.

Why don't they just take the bus? Once you see the hard reality our homeless Fremont residents face you will want to help. Ok, you go to the labor ready day labor pool on Aurora at 6 in the morning.  Some days you find work, some days there isn't enough.  On a great day you get a job loading shingles off a roof into a dump truck for 8 hours.  Two days you get 4 hours of work each day helping a landscaper.  Two days that week you sit at the labor pool from 6 in the morning to 6 at night but don't get any work.

Your work week is done.  You did more physical labor than any of us do.  Labor ready gets 15 dollars an hour from the customer.  They pay our homeless person 8 bucks an hour.  The homeless worker made 128 dollars for the week. Taxes take 32 dollars, and the bank charges you $2.50 just to cash your check. You buy a pair of gloves for 6 bucks because the roofing is tearing the hell out of your hands. Now you're down to $87.50 (And you don't have health insurance).

Each work day you buy a cup of  coffee.  (We live in Seattle after all!) For lunch you go to Jack in the Box and get a Jumbo Jack, fries and a Jumbo coke for about 4 bucks. At 3pm you take a break, and buy a Dr. Pepper from the gas station next to the work site for $1.29.  After these work expenses our friend brings home a total of 56 bucks for the week.  That's just $8.00 a day to live on! 

The bus in our fair city costs $2.50 a day.  When you live on $8.00 a day, you can't afford $2.50 for bus tokens.  

Want to make a difference in someone's life?  Help with this project.

OUR VISION FOR THIS PROJECT
We collect up old but good bikes. We put about 35 to 50 bucks and a lot of hours into the bikes so a homeless person has transportation to work. 

First Case. The first bike in this project had an interesting beginning.  Driving from court, one of our lawyer members saw a trailer heading for the dump transfer station with a bike on top of the heap.  Our alert member followed the car to the dump and jumped out and asked if we could have the bike for our project.  We got the bike, a mid-range mountain bike.

Next we converted it from a complicated 18 speed to a simple one speed.  The good folks at Wright Brothers Bike Shop sold us 40 bucks worth of parts at cost.  (Buy your bike parts from them!) When the bike was done, it was given to a mentally ill person who is afraid to take the bus.  He goes to the clinic each day for his medicine 2.5 miles from where he sleeps. 

He is so poor that he was arrested last year for stealing a can of spaghetti to eat cold for dinner. If you were there when we gave him this gift, you would be inspired to take vacation time and put together a bike for someone. (Or at least adopt a bike and donate 35 dollars for parts for one.) He told us people don't usually do things nice for him and this was a very nice thing. He explained how much easier it would be to ride to the clinic rather than walk. He even called days later to thank us again for our kindness.

Positive Impact. A Second story is about a man in the shelter.  This is a hard working person, who gets up every day at 4 am.  He wants to be the first down at the dock so he will be picked up as a day laborer.  The bus does not run at 4 am, so he walks.  We met him at the shelter and gave him a mountain bike converted to a single speed. The local industrial fishing supply store gave us a piece of anchor chain so our friend can lock up the bike while he is working. He was very happy for the bike.

WHAT WE HAVE  

  • Volunteers who want to help.
  • A place to store the bikes
  • A bike shop to use tools.
  • Two experts. Todd "wrenched" before becoming a stock broker and Jessie is a world class cyclist.  We also have people like Russ who think most any bike repair can be done with vice grips.
HOW YOU CAN HELP  

Donate Bikes. We need good used mountain bikes, preferably old ones where the back wheel can move backwards and forwards.  Trek, Cannondale, Marin etc. and the bullet proof Schwins.  No Huffy or Murrys. (Our bike shop experts at Wright Brothers say cheap bikes are not dependable enough for daily transportation and are not worth all our "wrench time.") Also, buy your bike stuff from Wright Bros Cycle Works.

Adopt a bike. We need people to adopt a bike.  It takes 35 to 50 bucks to fix one up.  New break pads are 20 bucks, locks are 8 dollars, we need a chain, and every bike needs something special. Give a check for 35 dollars and you can name the bike.  (We will paint the bike name on for you. Something like the name of your dog, your favorite saying, or maybe even the name of some person you like, or even dislike.) Talk this up. Get others to adopt a bike.

FRIENDS OF THE PROJECT
We get support from Wright Bros Cycle Works on 219 North 36th Street in Fremont (206.633.5132).  Hey this is a real bike shop located in our own back yard.  They let us use the shop for free.  They also collect parts and bikes for us. Drop off bikes or parts and they will give you a receipt. They have a different gig.  Rather than stack new bikes right off the boat onto a big showroom, they help you keep your existing bike going.  Go see them to help you learn how to repair your own bike.  They give classes and for a flat fee let you use the bike shop.  It is an epic experience to use real bike tools at Wright Bros instead of a pair of vice grips and monkey wrench to fix your bike. 

We also get a lot of help from Recycled Cycles on Boat Street.  They give us hulks to use on the project.  They are also cool, hip dudes that don't want to see the landfills laden with old bikes and recycles them.

Surly
These guys are single speed bike experts.  Many of our bikes end up converted to single speeds to make them easy to maintain.  We learned a lot about single speed bikes from Surly so thought we would give them a special plug. Learn about single speed drive trains, riding up the Eiffel Tower on a single speed bike, and a lot of other single speed bike "spew" on the surly bike site. They sell single speed bike frames and a bunch of other stuff for the crazy bike riders who like bikes with only one gear.  Learn more about them at http://www.surlybikes.com
They helped us out by funding a front wheel, tire, tubes, break pads, handle bar and seat post needed for one of our project bikes. The bike is going to a Chechnya immigrant who has no car and no bike to get around.  Thanks Surly, and keep on SSing (Single Speeding). By the way, "Surly" is trade marked.

We even put a curse on the bikes.  Steal one, and you get the curse of the troll. 

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Fremont Fun Club Meets at 5:30 on Tuesdays at:
Hales Brewery
4301 Leary Way NW, Seattle WA 98107
P
hone 206-632-0124
Email -