Community Center Brings Tacoma’s Eastside Together

Metro Parks Tacoma. Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting at the Eastside Community Center.. Photos by Russ Carmack

A new addition to Tacoma’s Eastside neighborhood has been stirring up a lot of excitement. On Oct. 20, Metro Parks Tacoma welcomed the community to the newly constructed Eastside Community Center. Within the first month, more than 2,200 people became pass holders to access the 55,000-square-foot facility. The center includes a multiuse gymnasium, sound recording studio, social hall, culinary kitchen, weight room and cardio-fitness areas, and a large pool with a party room, lap lanes, diving board and hot tub/spa.

While the center’s amenities definitely warrant high marks, what’s more impressive is how this building is bringing a community together. During the design process, youth from the area participated in workshops, site visits and guided design brainstorming with industry professionals to provide input for the culinary kitchen and sound recording studio. With the building now complete, these youth can be proud of their influence, which led to the trendy wall color and comfy hangout couches in the sound recording studio.

Large hearts on the floor of the kitchen serve as a reminder that the kitchen is the heart of a home.

Matthew Etienne, one of the students who contributed to the process, could hardly contain his enthusiasm when he toured the building shortly before it opened. “It means so much—it’s such a big deal—it’s for everybody,” he said. “It really touches my heart to see that somebody actually cares about the Eastside, and about the kids.”

Partnerships with nonprofit groups are also helping to strengthen community bonds. Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound has been able to double the number of students it serves on the Eastside. Catholic Community Services uses the culinary kitchen to prepare and serve a nutritious and delicious lunch two days a week for seniors. Several other groups use the meeting spaces throughout the week to teach skills or provide services.

“We hope to become the hub of the Eastside,” said Ben Foster, the center’s supervisor. “This can be where everyone comes for business meetings, community events, health and fitness, or just to play. We want everyone to utilize it and feel welcome.”

JULIE LEYDELMEYER

For Additional Information

Eastside Community Center
1721 East 56th St, Tacoma
253.404.3990
metroparkstacoma.org/eastside
facebook.com/eastsidecommunitycenter

A Day of Pampering at Point Ruston

Situated on the picturesque Commencement Bay waterfront, Point Ruston is the perfect place for a day of pampering for your mom, your girlfriends or just yourself. Whether you have a special day to celebrate or just need a day to kick back and relax, you’ll find everything you could need nestled together in this growing resort-like destination.

Start your day by enjoying a mimosa and the stunning view at Wild-Fin American Grill. This Northwest original boasts a locally sourced menu and offers a terrific weekend brunch. After fueling up, get ready to explore some of the unique specialty shops. Blush, Purpose Boutique, and Rebels & Lovers are all stocked with this spring’s hottest fashion trends.

If you need to freshen up your home décor, don’t miss TREE. From modern and contemporary furniture, to rustic and vintage pieces sourced from around the world, there’s always something uniquely beautiful to see at TREE.

Get your afternoon coffee at Anthem or the Jewel Box, two adorable cafes with plenty of delicious treats. Enjoy a stroll along the walking path that connects Point Ruston to the waterfront parks all the way to Tacoma’s Old Town. Or stay put and take in a movie at Point Ruston’s Galaxy theaters.

Make sure to leave time to stop in for spa treatments at Pink Polish and The Intaglio Salon, where you can enjoy an exceptional manicure, pedicure or salon experience that will have you relaxed and looking fantastic.

Finally, take a quick peek at the farmers market stalls and pick up some tasty seasonal treats and a beautiful bouquet to grace your home and remind you of your delightful day at Point Ruston.

HILARY RYAN

For Additional Information

pointruston.com

Savings Made Simple: WA College Savings

In today’s world, where the price of a bachelor’s degree can rival that of a single-family home, having a 529 college savings plan can offer young parents peace of mind. It’s easy to enroll, either on your own or through a financial adviser, and once you’re signed up you can set up automatic contributions to fund the account. Your investment grows tax-free and won’t be taxed when you withdraw, as long as the money is used to pay for qualified education expenses.

Beyond the double benefit of tax-deferred investment growth combined with tax-free withdrawals for qualified expenses, there are a number of advantages to saving in a 529 account. A brand-new benefit as of January 1, 2018, is you can use 529s to save for private school tuition for kindergarten through 12th grade. This provides tax savings for parents who plan to send their kids to private school.

You can withdraw up to $10,000 per year, per student for this purpose. Additionally, you can set up an unlimited number of plans, and there are no rules on who the beneficiary can be. This means you can create an account for a relative, friend, or yourself. The gift of education is one that will open doors to a world of opportunity and is sure to last a lifetime.

For many new parents, receiving a college fund as a baby gift packs a stronger punch than a new toy or baby bib. “Giving the gift of higher education is really amazing,” says Lucas Minor, Interim WA529 Director. “An entire family can participate. When someone is saving for your child’s future and cares about your child’s success, it reduces barriers and encourages kids to grow up with the incentive and expectation to attend college.” When opened for a newborn baby, the account has 18 years to grow, with interest compounding on interest, making it an especially savvy present for money-minded gift-givers.

KELLY LENIHAN

Compare Washington 529 Plans

There are two types of 529 plans: prepaid tuition plans and education savings plans. Explore both options to find the right plan for you.

wastate529.wa.gov | 800.955.2318

GET 529 Prepaid Tuition Program

The GET prepaid tuition plan lets a saver or account holder purchase units or credits at participating colleges and universities (usually public and in-state) for future tuition and mandatory fees at current prices for the beneficiary. Enrollment through May 31, 2019.

get.wa.gov | 800.955.2318

DreamAhead 529 College Investment Plan

The DreamAhead education savings plan lets a saver open an investment account to save for the beneficiary’s future qualified higher education expenses—tuition, mandatory fees and room and board. Withdrawals from education savings plan accounts can generally be used at any college or university, including some non-U.S. colleges and universities.

dreamahead.wa.gov | 844.529.5845

Tacoma Art Museum’s New Wing is in Full Bloom this Spring

If you listen carefully you can almost hear the flowers opening on the life-size glass trees by Debora Moore that recently debuted at the Tacoma Art Museum. Commissioned last January for the opening of the new Benaroya Wing, these majestic art pieces are a fitting representation of the museum’s new and bold expansion embracing the medium of glass.

David Setford, TAM’s executive director, sees the new wing as a natural expression of the museum’s mission focusing on the art and artists of the Northwest. He notes that the museum has a longtime interest in glass. This is evidenced by the museum’s earliest glass exhibition in 1971, precisely when the glass scene was really getting hot.

Seattle glass aficionados Jack and Rebecca Benaroya selected the Tacoma museum to receive their collection of over 300 objects. The collection represents the finest achievements by important artists whose work tells the story of Northwest art and identity. The artwork joins the museum’s already robust glass collection. The Benaroya Collection will allow for a deeper reflection on the history and impact of glass in the region and beyond.

In addition, the collection places Tacoma Art Museum into an elite realm of museums with exceptional collections of studio glass. Tacoma, of course, has a longtime connection to the medium and a reputation as the epicenter for modern glass. The city is the birthplace of internationally revered artist Dale Chihuly, as well as the nationally acclaimed Hilltop Artists program. The Museum of Glass and numerous working hot shops also dot the city. Whether you are entranced by Moore’s glittering trees or inspired by classic Chihuly forms, TAM’s new wing will add another jewel to our region. It is sure to attract attention from across the country and around the world.

HILLARY RYAN

For Additional Information

tacomaartmuseum.org

Ladies’ Night Out – Providence Christmas Forest

The Christmas in the Forest Gala Dinner and Auction drew 300 attendees. Guests enjoyed the auctioneer John Curley, who is the co-host of the Tom and Curley Show on KIRO radio and former host of KING 5’s Evening Magazine.

More than $280,000 was raised during the Funda-Need portion of the gala, benefiting Providence hospice services. The entire Christmas in the Forest event ran for several days and raised just over $600,000 in total.

St. Martin’s University Gala International: Hawai`i and Pacific Islands

More than 600 alumni and friends attended the St. Martin’s Gala featuring chef Roy Yamaguchi, known throughout the world for his beautiful restaurants. Throughout the evening, chef Roy offered culinary demonstrations of the five-course gourmet dinner at the stage kitchen.

The menu included hamachi crudo with yuzu kosho aioli and white balsamic prawn burrata crostini; yukuri ahi tataki and matcha soba salad and king crab fennel and arugula salad; cilantro ginger halibut with king oyster mushrooms and seared baby bok choy; slowbraised beef short ribs; marble potatoes; and kale and multicolored Swiss chard.

Eachcourse was paired with specialty wines from sponsors Maryhill Winery, Stottle Winery, Cadaretta and Donedei.

The program included a live auction and the much-anticipated “Feed-a-Mind” paddle raise to generate scholarship funds for St. Martin’s students. The evening’s proceeds were $1.3 million in total.

50 Years of BMW Northwest

From a young age, Manfred Scharmach learned about work ethic and building a business from his father, Werner. “I started out playing around the repair shop on Saturdays,” recalled Scharmach. “As I got older, he put me to work with a broom and later washing cars.” The elder Scharmach, who was reported to be the best German car mechanic around, owned European Motor Service in Olympia. His reputation led to an invitation to become Olympia’s official BMW dealer and in 1968 the repair shop evolved to include a showroom.

Manfred continued learning from his father, working as a technician, in parts sales, and eventually vehicle sales, which is what he enjoyed most. “My dad and I got along great, and customers respected us because they recognized that we were technicians,” said Scharmach. The growing business relocated to Tacoma in 1979 and to its present location in Fife in 1988.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of BMW Northwest, making it one of the oldest BMW dealerships in the nation and the only original family-owned dealership remaining in Western Washington. The achievement was recently commemorated with the presentation of a Monument Award from BMW of North America. In addition, the dealership is celebrating by donating $50,000 to local non-profits chosen by BMW Northwest employees. The missions of a few of the recipient organizations include supporting military veterans, providing food for children and seniors, and sheltering homeless youth.

“I watched my father set an example for how to run a business, which centered on taking care of the customer,” reflected Scharmach. That focus remains strong today and is being passed on to a third generation. Scharmach’s daughter, Madeleine McEntyre, works on special projects for BMW Northwest and the family’s two MINI dealerships in Tacoma and Seattle.

Learn more about the history of BMW Northwest and the Scharmach family by visiting www.bmwnorthwest.com.

JULIE LEYDELMEYER

For more information:

BMW Northwest
4011 20th Street East
Tacoma, WA 98424
866-843-3706
visit www.bmwnorthwest.com

Doing Business with a Philanthropic Heart

Philanthropy isn’t as simple as monetary donations. At the core of philanthropic acts is a desire to improve the human condition—to make the world a better place. In Thurston and Mason counties, you need look no further than Olympia Federal Savings to find a local business with a philanthropic heart.

Oly Fed, as the financial institution is commonly called, believes in preserving, protecting and enhancing the community to improve quality of life. One way it achieves this is through its commitment to donate at least 5 percent of its revenue to local nonprofit organizations. For the last several years, it has reached 10 percent. In addition, its employees have logged countless hours volunteering their time and talents.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman recognized Oly Fed for its efforts by awarding it a 2017 National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion.

“Washington is fortunate to have so many caring companies that give back to their communities in a variety of ways,” Wyman said. “This awards program is a great way to recognize companies like Oly Fed that go above and beyond to make a difference.”

The strength of Oly Fed’s commitment to its philanthropic mission is rooted in each of its eight branches and more than 110 employees. Its innovative, people-first approach to business earned it a spot on Seattle Business magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, for the third year in a row.

Moreover, recent federal corporate tax reductions have allowed the organization to increase profit sharing for employees, raise its entry-level wage to $15 an hour, and add new positions to better meet customer needs.

“By making these changes and investments, our hope is that we continue to create a lasting legacy that has a positive impact for everyone,” says Lori Drummond, president and CEO of Olympia Federal Savings.

JULIE LEYDELMEYER

For Additional Information
Olympia Federal Savings
360.754.3400
olyfed.com

Exposing Children to Arts With a Matinee

What began as bringing kids to matinee performances at Federal Way Performing Arts and Events Center turned into a program dedicated to children engaging in art, called Arts 4 Youth.

“School-day matinées for students are quite common in performing arts centers,” says Kate Dorr, arts education coordinator for PAEC. “So it was a natural fit. On a larger scale, engaging students in the performing arts is good for their intellectual and emotional development, as well as the larger community’s development.”

Schools and individual students can sign themselves up. According to Dorr, PAEC’s Performing Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3), supports ticket price discounts and bus grants for schools that qualify, based on their free and reduced lunch percentage.

For the past year Dorr has been involved in the program, designing guides and programs for schools. “My background is in museum education and classroom teaching. I am a lifelong lover of—and child participant in—the performing arts.” Witnessing children’s excitement when they get to see a play is “truly heartwarming,” says Dorr. She adds that research reveals how participation in the arts encourages success in other areas of education. “Everyone deserves access to these benefits.

This year alone PAEC is offering nine matinee performances for schools. The shows include New Chinese Acrobats, Toying with Science, Mariachi Sol de México and more. Dorr notes that she’s created study guides for each show for teachers to use before and after they bring their students, as well as lesson plans and guides on theater arts and PAEC in general. These study guides and lesson plans can be found online at fwpaec.org.

The matinees offer an educational experience different from what happens in the classroom, says Dorr, and exposes them to a new art form. She hopes students who attend these matinees will have an emotional connection to what they see on stage and will have their intellectual curiosity stimulated. From such experiences, she says, students gain the knowledge that there is a wide variety of ways to express yourself.

JORDAN MARIE MCCAW

For Additional Information
Federal Way Performing Arts Center Arts 4 Youth
fwpaec.org/student-matinees

A Half-Century of High-Performance

For almost 50 years, Desco Audio and Video has been a one-stop shop for high-performance audio and video. Based in Olympia and serving Tacoma, Gig Harbor and surrounding areas, DescoAV provides custom home entertainment and smart home solutions.

DescoAV is a second-generation family-owned business. In 1969, two friends, Dick Scott and Gene DeRousie, discovered a shared passion for electronics and dedication to customer service. At that time Scott owned and operated a TV repair and rental shop at Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base. DeRousie was a technician with the phone company.

What started as a TV retail and repair shop has evolved over the years and remained at the cutting edge of technology. Today DescoAV takes the best of modern technology and creates custom audio-video systems to suit your unique home and business needs.

Scott is still active in the business he helped found, while his son Jeffrey Scott, now owner and vice president, manages the day-to-day operations. DeRousie retired in 1993 and died in 2014.

“We’re proud to continue to grow and to carve out our niche as a premier custom integration house,” said Jeffrey Scott. “Our passion for technology and the relationship we develop with our customers is what sets us apart. We do more than install AV systems. We make customers for life.”

DescoAV specializes in distributed audio and video systems—music and video that play throughout your house, cinema-quality home theater, smart home technology, security, and networking solutions.

According to Jeffrey Scott, his in-house design team will work with you to identify your needs and turn your wish list into reality. Desco makes the system easy to use, and all systems are backed by the highest level of technical support, giving you peace of mind.

DescoAV is a Certified Control4 showroom—one of just two in Washington state. You can visit its Olympia showroom and experience smart home living for yourself.

BETH GARSON

For Additional Information
Desco AV
descoav.com