CHAIRity Silent Auction

To support our neighbors, JayRay has launched the JayRay CHAIRity Silent Auction on May 26. Proceeds will benefit the PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED:COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, which grants dollars to organizations serving Pierce County’s most vulnerable populations. 

Chairs painted by six tacoma artists will be available to the highest bidders. An everyday dining chair has suddenly become something we all rely on while at home. For some, it has become an office. A classroom. Or,  a place to think. And far too many of our neighbors don’t know the comfort of having their own. 

Join JayRay’s CHAIRity Silent Auction on May 26. Proceeds will benefit the PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED:COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, which grants dollars to organizations serving Pierce County’s most vulnerable populations. 

Chairs painted by six tacoma artists will be available to the highest bidders. An everyday dining chair has suddenly become something we all rely on while at home. For some, it has become an office. A classroom. And far too many of our neighbors don’t know the comfort of having their own. 

Together, we can help.

Thank you to our talented commissioned artists including Angela Larsen / Lovesome Dove, Brandi LaPointe, Chris Sharp, Katie Johnson, Saiyare Refaei, and Tiffany Hammonds.

Bidding will be open from 9 a.m. PST on May 26  to 5 p.m. PST on June 1.


Tacoma Dome: Million Pounds of Potatoes giveaway tomorrow

With the closure of restaurants there is an abundance of potatoes and the Washington Potato Growers Association is shifting to help those in need by hosting “On the Road to a Million Pounds of Potatoes” with plans to host their largest potato giveaway to date this Thursday, May 14 at 11am. Approximately 200,000 pounds of potatoes will be available for giveaway in the Tacoma Dome parking lots G & F. Local volunteers from the Emergency Food Network will help with logistics and load the potatoes directly into vehicles.

 Ninety percent of all the potatoes grown in Washington State are sold to restaurants and other food service establishments. With so many restaurants closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, potato farmers have excess potatoes and are making them available for donation through these events. More than 320,000 pounds of potatoes have been distributed so far.

Food banks can also make arrangements with the Potato Commission to pick up a pallet for their local locations by calling 509-765-8845 or emailing All potatoes will be distributed on a first come first served basis.

Coloring for Cash and Community

O Bee plans to  donate $6,000 to local food banks as part of their Washington State Color-for-Cash contest. In the past weeks, food banks around Washington have seen an extraordinary increase in the demand for food and are in need of cash donations and volunteers. O Bee plans to draw awareness to this need with a coloring contest.

People who enter the Color-for-Cash contest will have a chance to win one of six cash prizes, from $750 to $250, totaling $3,000. O Bee will match the cash awards by donating $3,000 each to Thurston County and Pierce County Food Banks.

Community food bank

“The benefits of adult coloring books have been well established,” said Lee Wojnar, VP of Marketing at OBee Credit Union. “Coloring has been shown to have a relaxing and calming effect on the brain. We think now might be a good time for a bit of coloring,” he added with a smile.

The contest winners will be drawn randomly. “We’re not expecting a Picasso, we are just encouraging people to take a break from the distractions of these difficult times to calm their brains. As an incentive, we’re giving cash prizes too. It’s for a bit of fun,” said Wojnar.

Entrants may choose from six different coloring pages, each depicting a Washington-inspired scene, including whales, wine country and Mt. Rainier. Paul A. Lanquist, a Washington-based artist and illustrator, designed the coloring pages. The natural beauty of Washington is an important influence in his work. 

The Color-for-Cash contest begins Friday, April 24, 2020 at 1pm. Winners will be randomly drawn on Monday, June 1, 2020 at noon. Open to Washington state residents and O Bee members. For terms and conditions and to enter the contest, go to

Exercise Offers Health Benefits at Any Age

Most of us have heard the adage that it’s never too late to start exercising and reap the benefits of better health. Is that a myth or a fact? Two recently published investigational studies evaluated more than 315,000 Americans and 15,000 Britons. The studies confirmed the conclusion of past research: Adopting an exercise routine at any age improves your overall health and well-being.

In the American study, researchers were surprised by one of their findings. Participants who increased their physical activity in their 40s, 50s and into their early 60s enjoyed health benefits and a reduced risk of an early death as much as those who had maintained an exercise regimen throughout adulthood.

The British study found similar benefits for people into their late 70s. The researchers also concluded that substantial longevity benefits were gained by becoming more physically active regardless of past inactivity or health conditions, such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol or obesity.

Ready to get started exercising? The Cleveland Clinic recommends these steps:

See your doctor.

Get a physical exam to assess your current fitness level. Make sure you’re healthy enough to start picking up the pace.

Track your progress.

Use a pedometer or activity tracker to count your steps. Time your workouts with a stopwatch. Keep a journal to show how far you’ve come as you progress.

Start slow.

Begin all workouts with a warm-up and stretching.

Find the right fit.

Figure out what activities you enjoy. Create a balanced routine to include aerobics, strength training and balance exercises.


Evaluate whether your workouts are too little or too much. Take note of your fatigue level and your ability to lift and to walk distances.

Hydrate and eat a balanced diet.

Drink plenty of water every day. Plan meals and snacks that are high in fiber and well-balanced with “good” calories to fuel your body.


Heritage Distilling: Heroes in the fight

It is an understatement to say life over the past couple of months has changed. We have all been asked to alter our behaviors in an effort to keep each other safe and combat COVID-19. As the pandemic has grown in scope, we have seen businesses from every sector step up to help provide desperately needed medical supplies. In March, Heritage Distilling Co. joined the ranks of other notable businesses and announced plans to produce hand sanitizer at their distilleries across Washington.

“We have shifted our focus away from producing our flagship BSB-Brown Sugar Bourbon product into making hand sanitizer on a large scale for the public and hospitals, first responder and front line workers,” said Heritage Distilling Co. CEO Justin Stiefel. “Working to protect our communities is our number one focus right now.”

The pivot from making spirits to hand sanitizer required a shift in the production schedule. “We went from making vodkas, gins and whiskey to sanitizer” said Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer Hannah Hanley. “It’s the same basic premise, just different ingredients. We are now bottling 5 days a week, multiple shifts a day utilizing as much raw ingredients as we can source at this point.”

Heritage Distilling estimates they will be able to produce up to 15,000 gallons per month which is equal to 250,000, 8-ounce bottles of sanitizer. Orders for 750ml bottles can be placed online or purchased at tasting rooms in Seattle, Gig Harbor and Roslyn. Customers will be limited to two bottles each. Special pricing is available to all front line workers, including those in the healthcare industry, military, law enforcement, delivery and grocery employees, who present a valid ID.For more information on Heritage Distilling, including locations where you can purchase Heritage Distilling Hand Sanitizer, please visit by Andrea Lerum

Homeless Backpacks Needs Your Help

Red backpack standing isolated on white background

On a usual Friday,  Thurston County’s Homeless Backpacks assembles 600 bags of food and delivers them to the various buildings in Thurston County public school districts to feed at-risk children over the weekend.  Well, it is anything but usual with the Stay at Home orders created by the Covid-19 crisis. The numbers of bags needed with the crisis has skyrocketed to over a 1000. Coupled with the increased need with the changes to distribution and Homeless Backpacks is facing a major challenge.

    A challenge they intend to meet, but they need your help.  You can help by buying extra items when you are at the grocery store and dropping them by the Lacey Columbia Bank branch at 665 Woodland Square Loop SE.  Items most in need are canned pasta, chili, tuna, and individually wrapped snacks. If you would rather donate money, please visit the organization’s Facebook Page “Homeless Backpacks” or their website and click on Donate Now.  If you are a business and interested in being a bag sponsor for $1500, please contact them through these same sites.

    With the shortages of foods at many of our grocery stores, the challenges facing Homeless Backpacks now include increased prices on items they typically buy.  A bag that last month would run the organization about $8, now costs $9 because they are forced in some instances to buy more expensive brands. Their weekly budget to provide more bags has grown by more than $4200.  Now more than ever, this worthy organization needs your help.

Founded in 2006 with a mission of “Ending Homelessness One Face at a Time”.

Spend Time in Nature to Reduce Stress

Spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and boost feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Whatever you call it – forest bathing, ecotherapy, mindfulness in nature, green time or the wilderness cure — humans evolved in the great outdoors, and your brain benefits from a journey back to nature.

Get Out

Have you been feeling down lately, especially with Covid 19 concerns? A little sluggish, stressed out, or maybe wondering, “What’s life all about?” 

Here’s another question: How much time have you spent in nature lately?
The answer to these two questions might be more closely related than you’d think.
The modern way we live has changed radically from life in the savanna, but our brains have mostly stayed the same. We still have a deep connection with nature, and research shows that if we don’t nourish that bond despite our technological advancements, we may suffer in many ways.

Feel Better

If you’re able to, get back to nature to energize your mind and body.

Depressed: If you’re feeling blue, try going outside to green, natural spaces. A stroll in the woods has been shown to help combat depression, and even just the view of the forest from a hospital room helps patients who are feeling down. Head for the hills if you need a boost to your mood.

Stressed: Nature presents scenes that gently capture your attention instead of suddenly snatching it, calming your nerves instead of frazzling them.

Anxious: You probably know that exercise is good for your state of mind. But did you know that working out in nature helps to reduce anxiety, among other benefits, even more than going to an indoor gym? Consider hitting some trails to get the best mental bang for your buck.

Self-Involved: If you dwell on your problems and just can’t stop, a walk through a meadow might put the brakes on the thought train circling through your head. Research shows that a 90-minute walk in nature lowers activity in the part of the brain linked to negative rumination.

Fatigued: Are you constantly multitasking at work as you switch between customers and phone calls, or click from spreadsheets to presentations? Even at home, you might face a combination of kids, chores and devices vying for your attention. Your prefrontal cortex can only take so much distraction before it needs a recharge. Luckily, time in nature has been shown to restore mental abilities like short term memory and processing 3D images based on drawings.

Uninspired: Changing the scenery is a great way to get the creative juices flowing, and nature offers stimuli that you won’t find while staring at a screen. In one example, spending four days in nature improved problem-solving skills by 50%. If you haven’t found a way to tackle that next big project at work, or an obstacle that’s impeding your personal goals, try noodling on it in the great outdoors.7

Antisocial: Time in nature can help with your personal relationships, too. Natural beauty results in more prosocial behaviors, like generosity and empathy.

Disconnected: One of the most basic human needs is to feel that you belong and you’re part of a larger tribe. But studies show that this concept goes beyond human relationships alone. Time in nature results in a sense of belonging to the wider world that is vital for mental health.9

Angsty: At times, you might feel lost, and begin to wonder what life is all about. A dose of awe might remind you just how wondrous the world is. Nature provides trees that were hundreds of years old before you were even born, towering mountains that touch the clouds and a sky full of uncountable stars. When it comes to awe-inspiring awesomeness, nature leaves our jaws dropping and spines tingling, and rekindles the realization that we’re a tiny part of an incredible universe. What’s more powerful than that?

Consider seeing a mental health professional if your symptoms are serious, but if you’re feeling a tinge of any of the blues listed above, try something like:

  • Add a daily walk on a local hiking trail to your regimen.
  • Go on a bike ride around your neighborhood.

Content provided by the American Heart Association News

Tim Timmer at O Bee Credit Union

O Bee Credit Union is now home to Tim Timmer as the V.P. of Business Lending, a new department which is already being recognized for its contributions. Along with his dedicated team, Thierry Steuby and Leah Hontz, Tim has brought a new level of service and customer relations to O Bee. Tim endured a challenging upbringing, but it was one that ultimately set him on a path to success.

Tim had his share of challenges from early on. “Between the ages of 4 and 12, my family moved from Washington to Illinois, and then to Minnesota,” he says. “My father owned a restaurant but lost it during the farming crisis of 1984.” When Tim’s father abruptly passed away in 1993, Tim says frankly that he “had nowhere to live.” After being temporarily taken in by a friend’s parents, Tim finally found his calling as a personal bank teller for the US Bank.

Tim enjoyed building relationships with customers and eventually transitioned to South Sound Bank. “I had a great mentor in President and CEO Dan Yerrington,” he says. That’s also where he met his current business partners. “Leah and Thierry are a major reason I’ve been so successful; I couldn’t do it without them,” he adds. After Timberland acquired South Sound Bank in 2018, the team entered the O Bee family and have excelled since.

Just recently, they received a Top Partner Award for their work in the Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 program from Evergreen Business Capital. “The SBA is a great program that helps small business owners access business loans for real estate purchases with specialized rates and terms. Winning the award helps generate awareness for the program so we can help more of our members save money on terms and realize ownership of their business location,” Tim says. 

Tim is looking forward to a lot in 2020, from hiking and camping with his wife and son to raising awareness for homelessness and growing the Business Lending department at O Bee. He is a co-owner of Fresh Start Housing, a passion project that manages multiple properties to house the homeless. “We connect them to resources and provide a safe living environment with supervision and regulations that they have to live by,” he emphasized. “Our primary mission is to provide clean and sober, low barrier housing to individuals who are out of treatment, incarceration or mental evaluation. These are leading causes of homelessness and we feel we are doing our part to take a dent out.”

Tim and his team have quickly become part of the O Bee family, sharing their considerable talent, energy, and invaluable expertise. To learn more about the team or what they do, visit the O Bee website.

Tacoma Lutheran Redevelopment Project

Serving Pierce County for over 80 years, Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community is a not-for-profit Life Plan Community in North Tacoma. With the planned addition of three buildings filled with condos and apartments, the community is forging ahead on its challenge to continually evolve and modernize. The redevelopment’s goal is to meet the ever-changing needs of current residents, but also to ensure it is relevant for generations to come.

Pre-sale of the upscale condos and fully equipped apartments will begin in April of this year with an anticipated construction start date in fall of 2021. The two-year construction process will see the addition of new buildings, two condo buildings with 20 and 21 units respectively, and one three-story apartment building with 50 units. The upscale finishes on the condos will be complemented by the state-of-the art common areas and amenities already existing on the campus. The apartments will feature full modern kitchens and complete laundry facilities in each unit. Monthly apartment fees will include a meal plan in the community dining facility as well as access to all amenities and programs offered throughout the Life Plan Community.

As Pierce County’s largest Life Plan Community, Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community has the facilities to take residents through the various stages of their life. With Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Memory Care, the campus features services and amenities offered to enhance one’s lifestyle. There is a wellness and aquatic centers and an art center with ceramics, wood and textile projects. Plus, there are a wide variety of life enriching activities and programs available off campus like an excursion to the Seattle Symphony or visiting the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.

The community currently features 183 apartments and Six-Plex cottages that open into courtyards, 38 assisted living units, 14 memory apartments and 159 skilled nursing beds. The addition of 90+ upscale condos and apartments in the coming years will enhance the campus for years to come.

For Additional Information

Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community


Pacific Raceways: Celebrating 60 Years

This year marks 60 years of Pacific Raceways, the iconic motorsports facility in Kent where attendees experience some of the most exciting races in drag and road course, as well as enthusiast club events.

Known for its renowned 10-turn, 2.25-mile course, the track was opened in 1960 by Dan Fiorito Sr. and is now operated by his grandson Jason Fiorito. One thing that all drivers and media agreed upon right from the first year was that the track is “gorgeous.” The cozy feeling created by surrounding fir trees, foothills of Mount Rainier looming over the background of Turn 9, and the elevation losses and gains on the back portions create a very special feeling and makes the course as appealing as any in the states.

Now, after 60 legendary years, the iconic track is getting a few upgrades. Jason Fiorito is excited to share this new part of Pacific Raceways with the public. “We are thrilled to have a third-generation business celebrating 60 years of racing and innovation,” Fiorito says. “This year we will open the Pacific Innovation Center, which will pair motor racing with innovative technology and is on track to open this summer.”

The Pacific Innovation Center, which seeks to highlight “innovation companies and start-ups in the automotive industry,” is part of an expansion project begun in late 2018. These additions include a repaved raceway, 200,000 sq/ft of mixed space, garages, and upgraded concession facilities, along with the Pacific Innovation Center. They are scheduled for opening beginning summer 2020, which gives fans of the track an exciting change to anticipate.

The 2020 race schedule for Pacific Railways gives even more reason to look forward to what the track has in store. Races are set in which tens of thousands will frequent the same grounds where Mario Andretti won an incredible USAC race in 1969. As the celebration unfolds throughout 2020, Fiorito and his team also encourage fans and the public to share memorabilia that will be assembled and presented as a cumulative history of the track. Join in the camaraderie, history, and future of Pacific Raceways in its 60th year by visiting their website: or the track itself, at 31001 144th Ave SE, Kent, WA 98042.