Best of 2021 Celebration

Join the party as ShowCase Magazine celebrates the best that Puget Sound has to offer in 2021. The Best of ShowCase Magazine Party will be held on August 13th, 5:30-8:30pm, at the Lemay- America’s Car Museum in Tacoma.

Now that we are back on a roll, we are excited to congratulate all of our nominees in fifty-one categories, from Best Schools to Best Italian Dining to Best Real Estate Agent, and everyone in between!

The excitement began in March of 2021 when readers submitted online votes for their favorite business and organizations. Votes were tabulated, and top nominees are featured in the year’s most highly read ShowCase Magazine, where we announce the 2021 honorees. 

To attend the event, purchase your tickets here:  ShowCase Magazine Best of 2021 tickets

Proudly sponsored by:

bhgre_pacific_0616 tacoma_mall bmw-logo-white

Hardcastle AV

Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County: Youth Inspiring Youth

Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County inspire youth to realize their greatness. Boys & Girls Clubs fill the gap between school and home by providing a welcoming, positive, out-of-school environment. Kids and teens have fun, participate in life-changing programs, and build supportive relationships with peers and caring youth development professionals.

From homework help to tutoring, art to sports, and STEM activities to gaming, the Club experience prepares kids and teens for future success. By focusing Club activities on academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles, youth are better prepared to graduate from high school, have a plan for their futures, and thrive as adults.

Nearly 3,000 kids and teens find safety and support annually at Clubs in Lacey, Olympia, Rochester, Tenino, Tumwater, Yelm, and new this year, a second Lacey branch located in the Raj Manhas Activity Center (RMAC). Low membership fees and scholarships keep the Club accessible to youth who need them most, thanks to 76% of funding coming from generous individuals and community supporters.

Visit BGCTC.org or contact one of the seven Thurston County Club locations to see if the Club is the right choice for youth in your care:

Lacey Branch
360.438.6811
1105 Tracey LN SE
Lacey, WA 98503
Facebook: @LaceyBGCTC

Olympia Branch
360.556.3615
Jefferson Middle School
2200 Conger Ave NW
Olympia, WA 98502
Facebook: @OBGCTC

Rochester Branch
360.273.9397
10140 Hwy. 12 SW
Rochester, WA 98579
Facebook: @BGCTCRochesterRocks

Tenino Branch
360.810.3700
Tenino Elementary School
301 Old Highway 99 N
Tenino, WA 98589
Facebook: @BGCTCTenino

Tumwater Branch
360.570.8888
600 Israel Rd. SW
Tumwater, WA 98501
Facebook: @TBGCTC

Yelm Branch
360.956.0755
105 W Yelm Ave
Yelm, WA 98597
Facebook: @BGCTCYelm

NEW! RMAC Branch (Next to North Thurston HS)
360.888.6614
200 Sleater Kinney RD NE
Olympia, WA 98506
Facebook: @ @BGCTCRMAC

Washington Center for Performing Arts Launches Capital Campaign

The Washington Center for the Performing Arts announced last week at their annual Gala that they will be implementing the first comprehensive capital campaign since construction in 1985. With a goal of raising $8.6 million dollars to overhaul the many components that are at the heart of every theater, the campaign will touch every aspect of the Center’s interior.

Chaired by Alex and Tammy Bunn, the campaign is already 89% of the way to the goal, with over $7.6 million in commitments. With just a little under $1 million to raise, the Bunns are passionate about the facility. “The arts set children and adults up to pursue their dreams,” says Alex. “The Washington Center is an anchor in our community and shines as our region’s most treasured asset.” As a long-time board member and a past board president, Alex has a seasoned perspective on the Center and its needs.

Implemented in two phases, the improvements will be identified in two major categories as backstage and public spaces. Backstage improvements include lighting, sound, curtains and rigging.  All of these elements bring the theater to life for thousands of patrons every year. Public spaces will include 1,000 new seats, carpet, concessions remodel and interior design improvements, as well as infrastructure like HVAC and electrical upgrades.

Eager to ensure the interior of the Center matches the beautiful exterior which was renovated by the City of Olympia in 2014, Executive Director Jill Barnes believes the improvements will protect the community’s past investment and enhance how patrons feel when they walk through the doors. According to Barnes, “delivering a world-class experience is needed to maintain the highest level of quality in every aspect of the Center, from backstage and onstage, to our lobbies and concession areas.” She added, “We are proud to have the opportunity and support to preserve and care for the Washington Center for the Performing Arts like the cultural and community asset that it is.”

Barnes says the COVID-19 pandemic was a hurdle the campaign committee did not anticipate. “The shutdown due to the global pandemic has been devastating to the entire arts industry,” says Barnes. “The reopening of the Center is a true testament to the emotional power of the arts.”

She continues, “We ‘quietly’ embarked on a capital campaign several years ago. The pandemic added significant uncertainty and stress to an already herculean undertaking. The perseverance of staff, crew, and supporters during this time has been nothing short of miraculous. We know the full recovery of the arts may take years, and the possibility to recover in a fully renovated, state-of-the art venue made possible by this community fills me with hope and joy.”For more information about the Washington center, please visit www.washingtoncenter.org.

LoveOly Summer Fest This Year!

The Olympia Downtown Alliance is pleased to announce that they are launching a downtown street festival in historic Downtown Olympia that includes live music and performances, activities for kids and families, interactive art installations from local artists, local community groups, and a Biergarten featuring craft beer from 3 Magnets Brewing Co. and Well 80 Brewhouse. LoveOly Summer Fest 2021, presented by the City of Olympia, will take place every Saturday from July 10 to August 28, from noon to 6 pm.

The Olympia Film Society (OFS) has partnered with the Downtown Alliance to produce the headline acts for the festival on the Main Stage in the Entertainment Area, sponsored by Olympia Federal Savings. The Black Tones will kick off the summer concert series on Saturday, July 10.

Seattle-based rock ‘n’ roll band, The Black Tones welcomes audiences into their musical family every time they take the stage. Whether sharing an evening with the group as it opens for Weezer, Death Cab for Cutie, or Mavis Staples or rocking a late-night gig as the band headlines its own show (with mother and siblings in tow) at a prominent Emerald City venue, to know The Black Tones is to be a part of their extended sonic kin.

The Black Tones, which has already traversed the U.S. playing festivals in Nevada, Mississippi, and Oregon, and boasts their own hate group-fighting 8-bit video game will look to the new year with vigor, releasing a 7” on Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready’s record label in March. Undoubtedly, the band will pop up on the soundtrack to a family reunion near you.

Local support band Low Wires a new and unique PNW sound that includes members from the Dirty Birds and Residents Kings plus new indie sweethearts The Cavities featuring Harrison Hannon and Gabe Judd of Monk Flower.

Kent Market: Music, Shopping, and More, This Summer

With summer in full swing, so are our beloved community events, and Kent Station is excited to introduce a new one to the area this year! In partnership with the City of Kent and with Patty Villa, a professional market organizer, Kent Station will be hosting Kent Market– a night farmers market on Wednesday evenings from July 14 through August 25. The market will last from 4 to 8:30pm, with plenty of time to shop and visit before catching the sunset with friends after stands close down. The market vendors will line the main street through the downtown Kent shopping center.

“I am so excited about all of the things this market represents– partnership, food access, and community,” Kent Mayor Dana Ralph says.  “As we come out of the pandemic, it is important to find ways to get together again. The market will provide a gathering space, an opportunity for farmers to bring healthy food to market, and a fun, family evening at Kent Station.”

Patty Villa has organized farmers markets for 9 years and immediately got to work getting permits and signing up vendors. “I’m so pleased to have the opportunity to help develop a market for this location,” Villa says. “It will bring local people together with local producers in an informal, family friendly environment. The support shown so far from Kent Station, the City of Kent, and others has been terrific. I am hopeful that we will be able to provide a market experience that pleases the community and that they will come out to support the local small businesses that participate.” If you are a vendor or a sponsor interested in being part of the Kent Market, you are welcome to contact Patty via email at kentstationmarket@gmail.com.

“Downtown Kent is the place to be on Wednesday evenings this summer!” says Cynthia Boyd, Kent Station marketing manager. “We are beyond thrilled to be able to bring back our summer concerts after having to cancel them in 2020. The community can come out to enjoy free live music, peruse the market vendors and support Kent Station businesses. Partnering with the City of Kent and Patty Villa means that this market is set to be a huge success!”

Visit www.kentstation.com/kent-market for more details, including some exciting plans regarding including local non-profits in the market, and check back often as updates are added.

South Sound Private Schools

Tacoma

Annie Wright School
827 N Tacoma Ave
253.272.2216
aw.org

Bellarmine Preparatory School
2300 S Washington St
253.752.7701
bellarmineprep.org

Charles Wright School
7723 Chambers Creek Rd W
253.620.8300
charleswright.org

Life Christian School
1717 S Union Ave
253.756.5317
wherelifehappens.org

Puyallup

All Saints Elementary School
504 2nd Street SW
253.845.5025
allsaintspuyallup.org

Cascade Christian Schools
811 21st St E
253.841.1776
cascadechristian.org

Northwest Christian School
904 Shaw Rd
253.845.5722
nwchristianschool.org

Gig Harbor

Gig Harbor Academy
6830 32nd St NW
253.265.2150
gigharboracademy.org

Harbor Montessori
5414 Comte Dr NW
253.851.5722
harbormontessori.org

Lighthouse Christian School
3008 36th ST NW
253.858.5962
lcsschool.org

Lacey/Olympia

Olympia Community School
114 20th Ave SE
360-866-8047
olympiacommunityschool.org

Northwest Christian Academy
4710 Park Center Ave E
360.491.2966
ncslacey.org

Nova Middle School
2020 22nd Ave SE
360.491.7097
novaschool.org

Capitol City Honda: A Family Tradition

Kelly Leavesque, owner of Capitol City Honda, understands better than most what it means to do business in your hometown. According to Kelly, “It means your neighbors are buying from you and it is so important that they walk out of our dealership feeling great about their purchase. Our reputation depends upon it.”

At Capitol City Honda, that reputation was earned by Kelly’s father, Ed McCarroll, who opened the dealership in 1971. Impressed by the quality of the Honda motorcycles, Ed took a risk on a relatively new car brand to the US as a leap of faith. Through his industry knowledge of car sales and service, he built it into a thriving dealership, winning national awards from Honda.

Kelly purchased the dealership from her dad in 2017. Serving as the dealership manager since 2000, she and her husband Chris knew she was buying a legacy. The couple share the workload of running the dealership with Chris serving as General Manager and Kelly as the Principal and President.

With Ed McCarroll’s passing in June at the age of 94, the dealership where Ed had still kept an office is adjusting to a life without him. But Kelly learned from her dad that your reputation is built through relationships.

Like Ed, Kelly and Chris continue to build relationships through their support of the community. Whether it is the Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, or their newest commitment to 4 the Love Foundation that donated Thanksgiving meals to more than 500 local, school-age children, the couple picks charities in the most need.

A strong reputation with customers extends to their employees as well, with several of the staff at the dealership, including the office manager and sales manager, boasting a tenure of several decades. “Employee morale is important to us. It starts from the ground up. Customers feel that morale and it sets the tone for the store,” said Kelly.

Capitol City Honda
Olympia Auto Mall
2370 Carriage Loop SW, Olympia
800.594.2956
capitolcityhonda.com

BY LYNN CASTLE

Jump in the Y’s new pool!

The wait is finally over! The Shelton Family YMCA’s pool opens today Monday, June 28, just in time to beat the heat with a swim.  The swimming pool at the Shelton Family YMCA opens for business today. Volunteers and donors were invited to join a small Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 9:00 am immediately followed by regular pool operations at 10:00 am. Current COVID operating protocols require reservations for pool use. Reservations can be made on the YMCA of the USA: the Y

The Shelton Family YMCA pool is covered by an all-season tent for year-round use – the first of its kind in Mason County. The 1,600 square foot pool varies between 3 ½ and 5 feet deep, which is ideal for swim lessons, water exercise and recreational swimming! Swim lesson registration is NOW OPEN! The YMCA specializes in progressive, developmentally appropriate water safety and instruction and offers financial assistance to ensure ALL members of our community can access these life-saving programs. Swim lessons registration window opens 2 weeks prior to the first day of each session. Join today and get priority registration.
 About the Y. The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver lasting personal and social change. ymca.net

Lacey in Tune Returning This Summer

Just in time for summer, things are opening back up! We once again can attend beloved events that are often highlights of our year. The City of Lacey Parks, Culture & Recreation, along with presenting sponsor Chick-fil-A, is just as excited as you are to see the return of Lacey In Tune at Huntamer Park. It’s just not summer without this incredible series that is free for all to enjoy.

Starting July 6 and running through August 10, Tuesdays will be full of entertainment the entire family will love! The shows start at 6:30 p.m., giving you plenty of time to pick-up that barbecue to-go, grab some blankets or chairs, and head to the park. This year’s line up includes comedy acts, magic and music, including a Harry Potter-themed night you won’t want to miss! The well-known Jeff Evans will dazzle you with magic while Alex Zerbe will make you laugh until your sides hurt.

Children’s Entertainment Series

  • July 6: Alex Zerbe, zaniac comedy juggler
  • July 13: Eric Ode, original music for kids and families
  • July 20: Buck and Elizabeth, musical comedy and ventriloquism
  • July 27: Ruth and Emila, mom/daughter kid’s music duo
  • August 3: Tonks and Aurors, Harry Potter wizard’s rock
  • August 10: Jeff Evans, magic show

Need a break during your lunch hour? Head to Huntamer Park at 12 p.m. for Lacey In Tune’s summer concert series. From July 7 through August 11, you can get some fresh air, sunshine (hopefully!) and relax while listening to some amazing artists. Each week is a different genre, so you can experience everything from traditional jazz and Sinatra, to rock. “Every year we are excited to welcome back the Army National Guard Rock Band,” says Sieler. “Full Metal Racket has performed at our series every year since 2008! They are back again!”

Concert Series

  • July 7: Washington National Guard Patriot Brass, traditional jazz
  • July 14: Dueling Crooners, sounds of Sinatra and more
  • July 21: The Electrics, midtown to Maroon 5
  • July 28: Washington National Guard Full Metal Racket, rock band
  • August 4: Swantowne, variety of music
  • August 11: Dmitri Matheny, jazz: Stevie Wonder Songbook
Lacey in Tune Movies in the Park

If you are looking for a fun and inexpensive date night or family night, head to Lacey in Tune on Friday nights! Four fun films are planned for this summer that make for great outings with your kids, significant other, or friends. Lacey in Tune has a mix of classics and new favorites that everyone is sure to enjoy. And watching a movie under the stars at the park is an experience unlike any other. The movies are projected onto a giant, 18-foot-square screen that brings them to life. If you haven’t done it, this is your year! Movies start at 8 p.m. at Huntamer Park.  “While we wait for it to get dark enough, we have some fun games folks can play for a chance to win great prizes provided by our sponsors!”  shares Sieler.

Movies in the Park Series

  • July 16: “The Goonies “(PG)
  • July 23: “The Croods: A New Age” (PG)
  • July 30: “Wonder Woman 1984” (PG-13)
  • August 6: “Jumanji: The Next Level” (PG-13)

A Few Changes

While it’s amazing that things are returning to normal, we still have guidelines that must be followed. At this time, in Phase 3, the State requires events to follow certain COVID-19 safety measures including: masks worn by anyone over the age of 5, small group gatherings up to 15 people, which need to be 6 feet from other groups, and capacity limited to 50% of outdoor area, explains Sieler.

In order to follow these rules, Lacey in Tune will have free pre-registration that is required for entry. You can register on the City of Lacey website. “This allows us to update guests about any changes or reminders of rules, and be sure we don’t exceed capacity,” Sieler continues. “Governor Inslee has stated that on June 30 mandates and restrictions will be lifted, but at this time, we are not sure if that includes every aspect or not, so we are proceeding as if we continue in phase 3 because we don’t know specifics. Our hope is all things like crowd gathering limits will go away and all who want to come enjoy the shows can!”

In addition to state guidance, Lacey Parks, Culture & Recreation will also be following Thurston County Health Department guidance to the series.

Be sure to bring your own seating and blankets, and leave space between other parties. You are encouraged to bring your own food to enjoy, as currently no food vendors are committed. Check the Lacey In Tune webpage for updates as this may change. Otherwise, picnic baskets from home are great, or stop by one of our amazing local restaurants and grab something to go on your way to the park.

When you get to the park, be ready to check in at a welcome tent. Then look for the group circles marked out, choose a spot and get ready to be entertained! With good food, good company and great entertainment, Lacey In Tune is sure to make this summer one you will remember long after sweater season returns.

For more information and to register, visit the Lacey In Tune webpage.

Summer Camps of the South Sound

Photo by Anna Samoylova on Unsplash

For kids that have been cooped up most of this school year, one way to count down the days until summer is to start planning for summer camp. From hiking to canoeing to coding, summer camp offers many opportunities for adventures and for building new friendships. Programs have been adapted to ensure safe and healthy in-person learning environments this summer. Most camps are operating at a limited capacity, so plan ahead and make it a summer to remember.

Day Camps

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
pdza.org
Ages Vary
Let’s go to the zoo! Zoo campers participate in lively lessons about animals, ecosystem exploration,
creative crafts, and group games. These camps focus on fostering empathy and respect for wildlife.

Kitsap Forest Theater/
The Mountaineers Player

foresttheater.com
Grades K-4
Kitsap Forest Theater, located approximately seven miles west of downtown Bremerton, is one of the oldest outdoor theaters in the United States. This year’s outdoor summer program features art, singing, drama, play, hiking, exploring the forest, wildlife and creeks — and just plain fun.

Cascade Christian Schools THRIVE
Camps

cascadechristian.org
Grades K-8
This summer, THRIVE campers will experience adventures as they explore the theme of time travel. In addition, THRIVE offers sports clinics and camps, enrichment camps and STEM camps.

City of Olympia
olympiawa.gov
Ages 4-14
Do you want to get on the water? The City of Olympia offers beginning and advanced sailing. In addition, kids can explore multi-media art camp, yoga camp, and the annual favorite — Camp Olywahoo!

Other Day Camp options

Annie Wright Schools
aw.org
Grades 1-6

Metro Parks Tacoma: Tacoma Nature Center
metroparkstacoma.org
Ages 4-12

City of Puyallup
cityofpuyallup.org
Ages 5-12

Hands On Children’s Museum
hocm.org
Ages 3-10

Overnight Camp Options

For many kids, summer means attending traditional overnight camp—staying in cabins, singing around a campfire, and making friendships that can last a lifetime.

Tacoma Mountaineers
mountaineers.org
Ages vary
Campers will learn climbing, hiking, map and compass training, camp cooking, wilderness first aid, fire and shelter building, and learning about local geology and ecology. In addition to day camps, Tacoma Mountaineers also has two overnight camps at Mount Rainier (Tahoma).

Washington State University Extension 4-H Camps at Panhandle Lake
extension.wsu.edu
Campers spend the week enjoying a myriad of activities, including swimming, hiking, arts, music, cooking, and making new friends! Awaken to birds singing and fall asleep to the stars (or exhaustion).

Camp Gallagher in Lakebay
campgallagher.org
Grades 6-12
Situated on the sunny shores of Case Inlet in South Puget Sound, Camp Gallagher is a place where middle and high schoolers can embrace nature, friendship, adventure and stewardship in a truly spectacular setting.

HILLARY RYAN