O Bee Credit Union: People Helping People

Much has changed in the past few months, but one thing that will never change is O Bee’s commitment to the South Sound community. As a not-for-profit credit union, O Bee is guided by the principle of “people helping people.” After careful consultations with medical experts, O Bee has decided to reopen all of their Thurston County lobbies, including the Fern Hill lobby in Tacoma. The Point Ruston branch will also reopen in a few weeks, after some interior repairs are addressed. 

If you choose to visit one of the newly reopened branches, O Bee offers many usual services still available: deposits and withdrawals, check cashing, loan payments, cashier or counter checks, debit card printing, cash advances, and shared branching. Public restrooms, the coin machine, and coin exchange services are not currently available in-branch.

Beyond their usual services, O Bee has taken their motto of “people helping people” to the next level. O Bee noticed serious food bank shortages in the community that had been brought on by increased demand after the extended shelter-in-place mandate. To raise awareness for these shortages, and to provide a creative tool for managing stress, O Bee hosted the Color-for-Cash contest – an online coloring contest for adults with a total of $3,000 in cash prizes. Over 1,000 people entered, and six lucky south sound residents split the award money. O Bee matched the contest giveaway by donating $3,000 each to Thurston County Food Bank and Nourish Pierce County.

Family Support Center operates Pear Blossom Place, a 24/7 family shelter in Olympia. When COVID-19 was recognized as a national threat, they relocated some of the families they serve to the nearby Quality Inn Hotel to allow for more social distancing. On Friday, May 22, 2020, a fire broke out, the hotel was evacuated and later deemed a total loss. No one was injured, but 15 houseless families staying there lost everything. O Bee stepped in to help and donated $5,000 to purchase needed supplies.

To learn more about O Bee Credit Union, their services, or what they’re doing right now to help our community, visit their website.

Telehealth Options with Sound Family Medicine

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sound Family Medicine has created a variety of visit options for their patients. Everyone has different health statuses and comfort levels, and Sound Family Medicine wants to ensure each person has safe access to everyday care that they need. If you need to visit, Sound Family providers are ready and available to see patients in-office, over video or phone, or via car-side meetings.

Sound Family Medicine has worked hard to create a specialized telehealth platform for both their continuity clinics and our walk-in clinics. When you schedule a telehealth appointment, you’ll be visiting with the same Sound providers you know and trust. Working with health records and interacting with the providers will be the same as the in-person appointments we’re used to.

Whether you’re a new patient or a currently established patient with Sound Family Medicine, the telehealth platform is open for you. New patients must use the video visit option rather than the telephone visit, but the process is just as simple to be able to see a provider.

While the majority of needs can be quickly taken care of through a visit through the telehealth program, there are a few types of visits that can’t be treated virtually. These visits include:

  • Pregnancy-related visits
  • Physicals
  • Well child checks that require vaccination
  • Injuries with open wounds
  • STD testing 
  • Abdominal pain through our virtual care systems.

Appointments are required for all video visits. On the day of your visit, you will be contacted and provide with a room code for your video visit. If you do not have a scheduled appointment, you will not be visible to the Sound Family Medicine team members in the virtual waiting room.

Car-side visits are also a great option for many patients. Offered both through the continuity and walk-in clinics, a provider will come to your car for a consultation, allowing you to avoid the public exposure of an in-office visit. The car-side visit area has a walled canopy for privacy and bad weather, so your visit will be comfortable for both patient and provider. If your provider finds that you need lab work, or further evaluation, they may request that you do come into the clinic. 

Phone visits offer the chance to chat with your provider and are a great option for procedure follow-ups, medicine refills and simple questions. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact Sound Family Medicine at 253-848-5951.

Washington Center Awards 2020 Scholarship

Each year the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia Washington awards a scholarship to a graduating high school senior from Thurston County, who plans to study and pursue a career in the arts. The scholarship was endowed by former Washington Center Board President Sally Anacker, who believes the arts exist to enrich our lives. This year’s Anacker Scholar is Lovina Anderson, who will be graduating from Rochester High School in June.

As a 4.0 high-school student taking honors, AP and even Eastern Washington University classes, Lovina Anderson exemplifies leadership in her community, a commitment to hard work and a love of the arts. She has participated in musicals, theater and the school choir – serving as section leader, assistant director and class pianist. She has recently completed 18 original art pieces and has started working as a commissioned artist.

Lovina is very active in her local community. She has been a church choir pianist for four years, a Regional Youth Camp Leader and Stake Youth Council co-chair for the last two years. She has organized musical programs for a local nursing home and is currently the President of a student-run scholarship foundation that raises money to award a local student who shows a unique commitment to the arts.

The Washington Center was pleased to award Lovina Anderson with the 2020 Anacker scholarship and help support her plans of majoring in Music Education at Brigham Young University, as she dreams of becoming a choir and theater teacher at the high school level. “Each applicant demonstrated beautiful commitment to the arts and it is inspiring to get a glimpse into what the future looks like with these cultural ambassadors” said Washington Center Executive Director, Jill Barnes.

The Washington Center for the Performing Arts is a not-for-profit performance venue with a mission to inspire audiences and artists of all ages through live performances, enriching the vibrancy of our community. For more information about upcoming events please visit www.washingtoncenter.org

Connecting with French Celebrity Chef

Cooking legend Jacques Pépin has impressed culinary enthusiasts for years with his wisdom and years of experience as a celebrity chef. Born in 1935 in Bourg-en-Bresse, France, near Lyon, Pépin always found the kitchen to be a place of both comfort and excitement. He helped in his parent’s restaurant, Le Pélican, and subsequently worked in Paris, ultimately serving as personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle.

After moving to the United States in 1959, Pépin first worked at Le Pavillon, a historic French restaurant in New York City. Jacques Pépin has received 16 James Beard Foundation Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. For the past 30 years, Pépin has taught in the Culinary Arts Program at Boston University. His love for teaching and imparting knowledge is obvious.

“I want to give back the excitement and love of cooking. I also enjoy showing the kids that love and prosperity can come through the kitchen. We are now teaching technique and courses through video around the country,” says Pépin.

Lately, his work has focused on families and cooking. “One of the good things that came out of this pandemic is that families are now at home learning to cook and sitting down to share food together. Food and wine brings people together for conversations. It has forced us to get back to what is important,” says Pépin.

We look forward to welcoming Jacques Pépin and his extraordinary culinary knowledge to the Saint Martin’s Gala in 2021! For more information, visit Pépin’s website.


Private Education planning guide


Annie Wright School
827 N Tacoma Ave

Bellarmine Preparatory School
2300 S Washington St

Charles Wright Academy
7723 Chambers Creek Rd W

Life Christian School
1717 S Union Ave


All Saints Catholic School
504 2nd Street SW

Cascade Christian Schools
811 21st St E

Northwest Christian Academy
904 Shaw Rd

Gig Harbor

Gig Harbor Academy
6830 32nd St. NW

Harbor Montessori School
5414 Comte Dr NW

Lighthouse Christian School
3008 36th St. NW


Olympia Community School
114 20th Ave SE

Northwest Christian Academy
4710 Park Center Ave E

Nova Middle School
2020 22nd Ave SE

Summer Camps and Activities 2020

Cultivate your child’s inner chef, scientist, athlete and explorer. There is no better time than summer in the Pacific Northwest to introduce them to new activities, inspire independence, encourage team work and instill confidence. Luckily, there is no shortage of summer camps and other kid-friendly activities in our area that will help your young ones blossom. Visit the websites below for more information.

Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation has summer camps for every interest and age level. Choose from half-day, full-day or overnight camps ranging from a single day to the whole summer. Art, media, leadership, adventure and much more — there is something for everyone. olympiawa.gov/city-services/parks/recreation/Summer-Camps.aspx

Tumwater Parks and Recreation offers a full-day day camp for ages 6 to 12 and Tumwater Trippin’ Teen Camp for ages 12 to 17. Choose a week here and there or join them all summer! In addition to full-day camps, a variety of specialty camps will be offered – from sports to STEM to sailing. ci.tumwater.wa.us/parks

Annie Wright Schools Specialty camps for kids age 4 to grade 8, from ANY school. Camps runs June 15-August 14 and features all kinds of camps, including theatre, art, athletics and STEM. aw.org/summer

MetroParks Tacoma offers summer camps for kids of all ages. From nature camps, STEM camps, sports camps and more, you’re bound to find the perfect summer activity for your little one. metroparkstacoma.org/activities-and-sports/category/camps/summer-camps

YMCA Summer Day Camps hosts camps at locations all around the Pierce County area. Find programs for younger kids to let loose and have fun in a safe setting, or plan an overnight camp at a nearby lake for those pre-teens with a sense of adventure. ymcapkc.org/camp/summer-2020

Cascade Christian Schools’ Summer Thrive Programs are for campers ages 6 to 12, offering adventure day camps, STEM camps, and sports camps. cascadechristian.org/thrive

Tacoma Youth Symphony Organization presents the 4th of July Evergreen Music Festival. Orchestra and band students will hone their skills through large ensemble rehearsals and music theory classes guided by master teachers and more. tysamusic.org/evergreen-music-festival.html

PenMet Parks in Gig Harbor offers a variety of specialty camps for kids ages 3 to 18. With sail and kayaking camps, robotics and LEGO camps, theater, drawing and so much more, campers will never want summer to end. penmetparks.org

Wolf Camp and The Conservation College offers a one-of-a-kind experience in wilderness skill-building with specially trained instructors. Students ages 6 to 12 will learn wilderness survival, herbal medicine, wild foods, animal tracking, navigation and more. Locations in Puyallup and Lake Sammamish. wolfcollege.com/youth/summer-day-camps-for-kids/

Zestful Gardens Farm Summer Camp invites kids 4 to 14 to learn about and participate in organic farming in the Puyallup River Valley. Each day encourages creativity and curiosity through farm chores, such as harvesting fruits and vegetables, feeding animals, gathering eggs and activities in the garden. zestfulgardensfarm.wixsite.com/farmcamptacoma


Women on the Waterway

Thea Foss had a mind of her own, and the pioneer Norwegian immigrant became the model for dozens of women who work on the Tacoma waterway that bears her name.

Thea, born in 1857, arrived first in Minnesota, where she and Andrew married. By 1889 both had moved to Tacoma, where Andrew worked as a carpenter.

While Andrew was out of town on a job, Thea changed her life. She bought a boat for $5 from a disgruntled fisherman, repainted it and sold it for a profit. That was the start of her waterfront fleet of more than 200 rowboats and the genesis of Foss Launch and Tug, now known as Foss Maritime, one of the largest maritime enterprises in the Western United States.

Clare Petrich descended from a family of boatbuilders and marine enthusiasts in the Adriatic. In Tacoma, her father started Petrich Marine on the Thea Foss Waterway. Was Clare, the daughter of the family, invited to participate in the business? Not a chance.

When her father died, Clare returned to Tacoma from living in India, West Africa and Asia to help her mother.

“I knew nothing about the business,” she explained. “It was off-limits to girls.” But Clare had been a Sea Scout on the “Curtis,” and she was a determined learner. She met people on the waterfront, learned to work with the fishermen and got involved.

She wasn’t appointed to a vacancy on the port commission because she was a woman, and “that made me mad!” She ran for a spot on the commission in 1995 and was elected the first woman to serve in the position.

Julia Berg, Director of Education and Community Engagement for the Foss Waterway Seaport museum, came from a sailing family in Seattle, racing sailboats as a child—and usually the only female in the race. She always wanted to be a marine biologist and learned even with a master’s degree that creativity is a major factor in the job. She has lived, studied, and worked around the world and has found supportive women in the marine community as she fosters innovative marine science education at the museum.

Monique Valenzuela: Being first is a similar story theme for other women who work on the Waterway. In its 96 years of existence, Monique Valenzuela is the first woman director of the Tacoma Youth Marine Foundation on the Waterway. She didn’t grow up in a boating family but looked out on Commencement Bay and wondered how she could have access.

“The maritime industry was not a pathway open to me, not something I thought possible to a young woman—let alone one who is less than 5 ft. 4 in. tall!” she exclaimed. Now she serves up to 900 students a year—half young women—and delights in empowering the girls and watching them “find their own voice” as they work on the “Curtis” and the “Odyssey.”

These professionals in the marine industry offer encouragement to young women:

“Never give up. Find mentors. Make connections with people who are doing what you want to do. Volunteer.”

Julia Berg

“You don’t have to be tall and muscular. Use what you got! Women can use their smaller bodies as an advantage. On the sea we are all equal. The sea recognizes hard work, responsibility and dedication.”

Monique Valenzuela

“Get involved. Lots of opportunities exist in marketing, logistics, shipping. Want a good-paying job and variety? Take the challenging road to be part of the maritime industry.”

Clare Petrich

For Additional Information





The Lurana: Olympia’s New Development

Water views have a calming effect on the human psyche. Living in the Puget Sound affords us many opportunities to live with views of the water and now there will be one more in the heart of Olympia. Located on .6 acres at Percival Landing, one of Olympia’s three waterfront parks, the Lurana will be a welcome addition to the community.

Designed by Thomas Architecture Studios, the new mixed-use building was named for an early Olympia pioneer, Lurana Percival who, along with her husband Samuel, built the Percival Mansion in 1874. The new Lurana project will be home to a restaurant, ROW Seafood, and retail spaces with terraces extending to the boardwalk. The project will accommodate a large outdoor plaza adjacent to the boardwalk with extensive restaurant seating. Retailers will include Bittersweet Chocolate as well as office spaces.

Forty-four apartments, consisting of ten studios, twenty-eight 1-bedrooms and six 2-bedrooms are available at the Lurana for lease. With waterfront views of Budd Bay, the Olympic Mountains and the State’s Capitol Dome, this property is an excellent location for those wanting to be near a hub for gatherings and social interactions while being near the central business district of Olympia. Percival Landing includes a 0.9-mile boardwalk extending along the eastern shoreline of West Bay from the Fourth Avenue Bridge to Thurston Avenue making the area bustling and vibrant.

Developed by Urban Olympia LLC and its owner Walker John, the Lurana will join other recently completed projects from this same group in the downtown including 321 Lofts, Franklin Lofts, and Annie’s Flats. The developer currently has Westman Mill and Market Flats under construction in the area as well.


Saint Martin’s University Celebrates 125 Years

Saint Martin’s University started 125 years ago when a group of Catholic Benedictine monks from Saint John’s Abbey in Minnesota came West to found a school. In 1895, the first student traveled 25 miles by canoe, Angus McDonald, from Shelton. Saint Martin’s was started as an all-boys high school and then transitioned to a college in 1938, and later Saint Martin’s University in 2005.

The University’s 125th anniversary will be celebrated with community events over 18 months starting with Saint Martin’s Alumni Homecoming festivities now through May 2021. Saint Martin’s has served as the gathering place for the community by hosting events, athletic games and cultural events for over a century.

“It is a milestone for any organization to reach their 125thanniversary and very important for all to celebrate this achievement,” said Saint Martin’s University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D. “We see this 125th year as an opportunity to connect the Saint Martin’s family of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and abbey members with a renewed commitment to excellence. Personally, I find this achievement as an opportunity to re-energize the community around our distinctive mission of serving others.”

The University is now a vibrant campus with approximately 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students pursuing degrees. Saint Martin’s offers 29 majors and 11 graduate programs on its Lacey campus and its extended campus on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The campus has also continued expanding with the opening of a new $10.7 million science center in spring 2019 and another renovation of a $3.5 million nursing education center set to open fall 2020.

“We are so proud that our Saint Martin’s alumni go on to be engaged business and community leaders in the South Sound region and beyond,” said Genevieve Chan, vice president of marketing and communications. The University’s mission statement is: “Saint Martin’s University is a Catholic Benedictine institution of higher education that empowers students to pursue a lifetime of learning and accomplishment in all arenas of human endeavor. Saint Martin’s students learn to make a positive difference in their lives and in the lives of others through the interaction of faith, reason, and service. The University honors both the sacredness of the individual and the significance of community in the ongoing journey of becoming.”

Celebrate this milestone anniversary with the Saint Martin’s community by visiting the website at www.stmartin.edu/125 and on the University’s official social media channels.

For Additional Information

Saint Martin’s University



Bates Celebrates 80 Years of Changing Lives

Eighty years ago, technical education in Tacoma began in the basement of Hawthorne Elementary School. Today, Bates Technical College serves some 3,000 students on three campuses and it’s still growing.

“Our premier staff and faculty, coupled with our diverse and motivated student body, will allow us to enter into this anniversary year and beyond with renewed purpose and optimism,” said Dr. Lin Zhou, president. The college shows no sign of slowing down.

A new building at the downtown campus will open in 2021. The Center for Allied Health Education will provide in-demand health programs in high-tech facilities to train skilled employees for expanding health care needs.

Also planned is a fire service training center. It will allow the college to continue to offer comprehensive, quality, fire service training in a larger, updated facility.

Bates offers Associate in Applied Science degrees (AAS), certificates of competency and certificates of training in hundreds of career areas, Dr. Zhou explained as she reflected on the college’s role.

On September 4, 1940, the vocational education program opened in the Hawthorne basement on Tacoma’s east side in an area now known as the Dome District. The historic school was demolished in 1981, but the vocational institute established itself in central Tacoma.

In 1947, Tacoma School District hired L. H. Bates as the school’s director. Bates retired in 1969, and the institute was renamed to honor him: L. H. Bates Vocational Technical Institute. Vocational institutes were removed from local school district supervision in 1991.

Today Bates serves some 3,000 career training students and 10,000 more community members in programs such as continuing education, child studies, high school, and allied health. “Bates has provided members of the Tacoma community with a place to further their careers for 80 years,” Dr. Zhou said, “and we will continue to do so for many more.”

For Additional Information

Bates Technical College