Boeing Employees Choir Performs to Support Highline Music4Life

largeformal11-1024x570The Boeing Employees Choir will be featured at a special holiday concert on the evening of December 6th in Burien. The free public event is a benefit for the Highline Music4Life™ program and is sponsored in-part by 4Culture.

“The Boeing ambassadors of goodwill are a wonderful way to start the holiday season”, says event coordinator Julie Nelson of Windermere Real Estate and the Burien-White Center Rotary Club. “they have made five concert tours in Europe, one to Australia and New Zealand and will tour Scotland and Ireland in 2015.  We can enjoy them right here in Burien.”  Under the direction of Dr. David Chrysler, the concert begins at 7:30pm at the Lake Burien Prespyterian Church, located at 15003 14th Avenue SW in Burien. The choir sings approximately 20 concerts annually in a repertoire that spans Bach to Broadway. In case you’re a Boeing employee, retiree or family member, the choir is accepting applications from singers who might be interested in that Scotland/Ireland trip.

Highline Music4Life is the local organization that acquires “lovingly used” musical instruments, gets them repaired if needed, and provides them free of charge to Highline Public Schools for use by students of low income families. The program was created two years ago by the school board and is also sponsored by the Rotary clubs of Des Moines, Burien-White Center and SeaTac. “You don’t have to be a Rotarian to support Music4Life,” says David Endicott, the organization’s President / CEO. “All that’s necessary is that you understand the unique value that instrumental music plays in the life and education of a child.” More than 250 musical instruments have been acquired for Highline Schools’ kids.

Music4Life is supported in-part by grants from 4Culture, First Choice Health, Garvey Schubert Barer, the Highline Schools Foundation for Excellence, local Rotary clubs and other local community leaders.

Like Blues & Brews? Get On The Bus!

49527-250It’s almost here!  In case you weren’t aware – this Saturday (August 24th) is the 4th Annual Poverty Bay Blues & Brews Fest at the Des Moines Beach Park.  The weather looks good with a promise of sunshine and temperatures in the mid 70′s with 0% precipitation!

With four local notable Blues performers, such as Randy Oxford and Lisa Mann,  on the entertainment ticket and 12 handcrafted breweries featured like Airways and Big Al all placed together in the scenic Des Moines Beach Park- you are NOT going to want to miss this event!

Worried about parking and getting to the event this Saturday?  Worry no more!  There will be plenty of free parking at the marina and a free shuttle service will be available from noon to 8:30pm, as well.  See shuttle route in red below:


Shuttle Route 08-24-13

For more information about this event and to purchase tickets, go to


Poverty Bay Blues and Brews Festival rocks Des Moines Aug. 24

Annual event brings blues bands and microbrews to Des Moines Beach Park

422324_464265543605653_1656648265_nFour of the Northwest’s top blues bands will play at the 4th Annual Poverty Bay Blues and Brews Festival on the shores of Puget Sound. The event features tastings from 11 local microbreweries, plus hard cider and wine.

The festival benefits Highline Music4Life, which provides musical instruments to low-income students in Highline Public Schools. The event is organized by the Rotary Club of Des Moines.

The Stacy Jones Band returns to the festival again this year. The musical line-up also includes Portland-based vocalist/bassist Lisa Mann, the Coyote Kings with Mush Morgan, and the Randy Oxford Band.

Beer, wine, and hard cider will be available for purchase by the glass in addition to tastings. To compliment your beverage, Rotarians will be grilling up bratwurst and B&E’s famous tri tip.

“Great music, food, and drink with a view of the sunset over the water! What better way to spend an afternoon?” said festival co-chair Lisa Meinecke. “Plus you are supporting music education in our local schools.”

The festival runs noon until 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 24 at the Des Moines Beach Park. Tickets are available at, Airways Brewing Company, 99 Bottles, and B&E Meats. Admission is $25 in advance, $30 at the gate.

Free parking is available on-site. You must be 21 years old to attend.

A Local Des Moines Favorite Sponsors Blues & Brews Fest

Owner Jeff Green

Owner Jeff Green

For those of us who live or work in the Des Moines area, B&E Meats is a part of  our daily routine. Need to pick up baby back ribs for the grill? Just stop by B&E Meats. Copper River Salmon in season? Make a beeline to B&E Meats. Planning a special dinner party? Run in to B&E Meats and talk with one of their helpful butchers. For us Des Moines folks, B&E Meats is synonymous with words like selection, quality and excellence.

Not only  is B&E Meats a full service butcher with an incredible meats and seafood selection, they are also known for their incredible customer service.  One of their patrons had this to say in a recent review: “OMGOMGOMG doesn’t even begin to describe this place. They have the best looking, best tasting meats and seafood I’ve ever eaten. The prices are good and the customer service is OUTSTANDING. The staff treats you like you are their best customer! If I could give them 10 stars, I would.”

In a recent interview with the owner, Jeff Green, we talked about what makes B&E Meats so special. According to him, it’s really quite simple.  Quality, knowledge and heart. Jeff knows that consumers have lots of options. “Every customer we have shops at the big food chain stores and walks by the meat and seafood sections, but instead of buying their meat there, they choose to shop with us. They know that we have the best selection and we will work hard to satisfy them. I am humbled by their commitment  and trust in us.”

Jeff also talked frankly about his philosophy of hiring for the right fit.  “You can teach proper butchery skills, but you can’t teach a love of people and a general friendliness.  The people who come into B&E Meats are treated like family because they are. We know our customers on a first name basis and its common for us to talk with them about upcoming children soccer games, vacations and ask about their pets” he said with a smile, “It just part of the history and culture of caring at B&E Meats”.

And a long history it has been. In August of 1958, brothers Bob and Earl opened B&E Meats in Burien. Bob was only 19 years old and his brother was 24. With hard work and youthful charm and energy, they quickly built a thriving business. In 1975, the brothers purchased an existing market in Des Moines and opened their second location. In 1999, after nearly 40 years in the meat business, Bob and Earl retired and passed the business on to Jeff and his wife, Trisha. Under the couple’s careful and skillful hands, the business has continued to grow and in 2010 they opened a third store in Federal Way. Plans are now underway to open a new store in Newcastle at the end of August.

Jeff also has a long history of giving back to the community. For nine years he has served as a board member for Judson Park Retirement Community, served on a local school board at Christian Faith School and has sponsored events like the Poverty Bay Blues & Brews. This year is no exception. Jeff and his team will provide all of the Smoked Tri Tip Meat for the festival, which is expected to have over 1,000 participants in attendance.  “We’ve all heard the saying ‘Give until it hurts’, well, I don’t believe that.  It has never hurt to give.  We need to give back – it is a necessary part in the circle of life.  Giving back to the Rotary Club of Des Moines is easy, because I believe in its mission, it’s club members and the causes it funds like Highline Music4Life” remarked Jeff.

So the next time you stop by B&E Meats, make sure to thank Jeff and his team for all that they do to make Des Moines great.  And when you are at the 4th Annual Poverty Bay Blues & Brews, order one of their legendary mouth-watering Tri Tip sandwiches (you will be glad you did!).

If you haven’t been to B&E Meats, we think it’s time you made its acquaintance.


Des Moines Rotary Gets Their Parade on!

On Saturday, July 20th, the Rotary Club of Des Moines joined the fun at the Des Moines Waterland Parade!  The club partnered with the Mount Rainier High School Jazz Band directed by band leader, Mathew Montgomery.  The float was created to raise awareness for the upcoming 4th Annual  Poverty Bay Blues & Brews event, sponsored by Rotary Club of Des Moines, and Highline Music4Life, which is the primary reciepent of the proceeds from the Blues & Brews fest.  It was a great day to be out celebrating our beautiful city of Des Moines!  For more information about the Poverty Bay Blues & Brews, go to

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Rotary Club of Des Moines Celebrates Annual Scholarship Awards

Rotarian and Des Moines City Manager, Tony Piasecki presents scholarship to Natalie Welch

Rotarian and Des Moines City Manager, Tony Piasecki presents scholarship to Natalie Welch

This past week, the Des Moines Dollars for Scholars held their annual reception at the Yacht Club to recognize local students who were awarded scholarship money.  This annual event is the culmination of a process that matches local college-bound students with Des Moines-area organizations that provide scholarships.

The Rotary Club of Des Moines awarded academic scholarships to Natalie Welch of Mt. Rainier High School and Jonathan Mountford of Kennedy High School.

Des Moines Dollars for Scholars is a locally operated and supported, nonprofit, tax-exempt scholarship foundation. Operated by an all-volunteer Board of Directors, the purpose of Dollars for Scholars is to expand access to educational opportunities by involving and assisting our community in the support of students and in the encouragement of educational achievement.

Piasecki presents scholarship to Jonathan Mountford

Piasecki presents scholarship to Jonathan Mountford


Strike Up the Band: Highline Music4Life Receives Funding from Blues & Brews Festival

Dick Lee and David Endicott of Music4Life with Rotary Club of Des Moines Catherine Carbone-Rogers

Dick Lee and David Endicott of Music4Life with Rotary Club of Des Moines President Catherine Carbone-Rogers

On Wednesday, May 1st, the Rotary Club of Des Moines presented a check for $10,400 to David Endicottt and Dick Lee of Highline Music4Life (HM4L).  Proceeds were raised from the Poverty Bay Blues & Brews Fest in August 2012.  Since it’s inception in 2011, HM4L has purchased over 200 new and gently used musical instruments for students in the Highline School District! Thanks to this program, music is alive and well in our schools! David Endicott and Dick LeeHighline Music4Life acquires musical instruments, gets them repaired if needed, and donates them free of charge to Highline Public Schools for use by students of low income families.  The programis sponsored in-part by the Rotary clubs of Des Moines, Burien-White Center and SeaTac and the Highline Public Schools.   “You don’t have to be a Rotarian to support Music4Life,” says Endicott.  “All that’s necessary is that you understand the unique value that instrumental music plays in the total education of a child.”

Currently, 75 percent of all fifth and sixth grade students in Highline Public Schools who participate in instrumental music programs are from families that are income-eligible. The Highline Music4Life™ initiative intends to assist half that number.

Besides the Highline program, Music4Life also operates programs supporting Seattle Public Schools and Shoreline Schools.  The program acquires used instruments from the garages or attics of adults who understand that their highest and best use is to put them back into play.  With adequate resources, Music4Life can also buy new musical instruments for school districts.

Music4Life enjoys the support of notable music advocates and other community leaders.  Gerard Schwarz, world-renowned conductor laureate of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, endorsed the program, saying, “This wonderful program begins with children in elementary school at a time when, if they’re interested and talented in any way, they have the greatest chance of success. Many people tell me of the impact that direct knowledge of instrumental music has had on their lives. We intend to give this advantage to all our children.”

For more information about the Highline Music4Life and the Rotary Club of Des Moines, please visit and  Photo courtesy of  Lisa Meinecke, Public Image Chair.

Phil Swanberg Essay Contest Winners Announced!

IMG_1924On Wednesday, April 30th, Steve Swank, Community Service Chair of the Rotary Club of Des Moines, presented the Phil Swanberg Essay Award to three Pacific Middle School students!  The Phil Swanberg Essay Award Contest was created posthumously in honor of Phil Swanberg, who was a active member of the Rotary Club of Des Moines and instrumental in the development of this essay contest.  This is the fifteenth year the club has given out this illustrious award. Throughout the years, the club has received hundreds of essays from applicants who have written incredible and thoughtful essays which have touched on a number of topics, such as societal issues or personal experiences.  The winners are chosen  based on their ability to express their views in a clear and concise manner through their writing skills.

The recipients of this year’s award are as follows:
1st Place – Ruby Linde-Ginal
2nd Place – Coraima Toro-Raygoza
3rd Place – Cindy Chang

The success of the Phil Swanberg Essay Contest is also directly related to the continued effort and support which the Des Moines Rotary Club receives from the Eighth Grade Language Arts staff at Pacific Middle School.  For more information on the Rotary Club of Des Moines, please visit

Photo courtesy of Lisa Meinecke

Poverty Bay Wine Festival Raises Over $44,000!

860667_10151530997402152_382129209_oThe Rotary Club of Des Moines announced this week that over $44,000  was raised at the 9th Annual Poverty Bay Wine Festival, which was held at the Landmark Event Center March 1-3. 

Over 1,500 people attended the festival, and proceeds raised will be used to fund local community and international projects during the 2013-14 Rotary calendar year. Past projects funded include the 3rd Grade Dictionary Project, Des Moines Park & Recreation after school programs, Des Moines Food Bank, Highline Community College Scholarships,  and Northwest Harvest.

Thank you again for your support of the Rotary Club of Des Moines and for all that you do to make our community a better place to live and work.  We look forward to seeing you all at the 10th Annual Poverty Bay Wine Festival (February 28-March 2), which will also include the First Annual Poverty Bay Film Festival!

The Rotary Club would also like to extend a HUGE thanks to our Event Sponsors who partnered with us:

  • Powell Homes
  • Landmark Event Center
  • Waterland Blog

Their contribution and support was key to our success!

Photo courtesy of Lisa Meinecke, Public Image Chair.

My Experience at the 2013 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards

Leilamarie Martinez

Leilamarie Martinez

When I was first offered the opportunity to go the 2013 RYLA I was extremely excited, but as the event got nearer I became nervous since no one else from my school would be attending. With my palms sweating, teeth clenched, and holding my breath anxiously, I strolled up to the Pacific Lutheran University Olson Auditorium.  Before I was ready,  my mom pretty much kicked me out of the car along with my luggage and drove off leaving me overwhelmed and alone in front of the large building. Looking at me you wouldn’t be able to see the inner turmoil I was going through since I tried to remain expressionless. Numbly walking towards the door, insecure thoughts were racing through my brain like I’m not going to know anyone there, What if I look stupid, What if do something embarrassing like trip and fall on my face, What if I can’t make friends?! Taking a deep breath I yank the door open and freeze up. Everyone was huddled up in groups talking and my heart sank. I felt like it would be awkward to barge into a group uninvited, but before I had a chance think about it anymore, all the groups turned over to look at me. I wanted to cry. However, it was not because I was sad or scared. I wanted to cry because I was relieved. Every single face in the room had a smile on it. Although some of them looked exhausted, they still put on a very sincere smile. Then all of a sudden, I had groups of different people approaching me and asking me for my name then introducing themselves. They showed me where to check in and get my materials and did their best to make me feel welcomed. That’s when I knew that this weekend would be absolutely unforgettable.  Everyone had such a strong presence and it was easy to see why they were chosen to attend. During the RYLA, we all got very close through games, trust exercises, meals, and chatting. For the first time, I felt like if it was with these people, I could show my true self without any restraint because I knew I would be accepted without prejudice. That’s just how we were. It didn’t matter where you were from, what you believe in, what your goals were, or how talented you were. It didn’t change the fact that we were all there to learn, not just how to lead, but also how to connect with others, starting with each other. I know that during my time there, I have made lifelong friends that I trust completely. Not to mention that most of us live in different areas, some even live in different countries (like the exchange students). So, I feel like no matter where I go I will always have a friend I can rely on.

As for the actual content of the RYLA, there were many motivational speakers that moved our hearts. They taught us no matter what hardships we may face, there will always be a way to overcome them. Which sounds like just another overused motivational saying, but coming from them gave it a whole new meaning. For example, one of the most memorable speakers for me was the Vietnam War Veteran, Jim Martinson. He was drafted and lost both his legs and right index finger in the war. However, that did little to quell his passion for skiing. It had actually just motivated him to create something amazing that had not only changed his life, but many others’, the monoski. It is a ski for disabled people and his company continuously develops to be more effective and comfortable for its users. Mr. Martinson used his design and even won gold in the Paralympics in 2008. The way he followed his dream without giving up, despite the enormous hurdle he faced, was truly awe inspiring. I admire him and all the speakers at the RYLA. Each of them went through such difficult challenges, but came out of it as a better person. I can’t express how grateful I am to them for taking the time to teach us what they have learned. I hope that in the future I will be able to touch people the way they have touched me.

While I loved the speakers, as a teenager I can’t help but appreciate the fun quirks of the RYLA too. We played so many “games”. There were organized activities like the dance, skits, group puzzles, trust exercises (which were scary but fun) and there was recreational time. The very first night there was a speaker that did an interactive magic show, involving a bunny we could pet. Afterwards, a lot of us played in the gym with borrowed equipment, rather than sleeping (I’m a little sorry towards our poor counselors since we never wanted to sleep). The second day during the trust games, I was lifted up horizontally about 6 feet above the ground by six other teens. It was definitely terrifying, but afterwards I felt like I could trust them a bit more since they hadn’t dropped me. They also taught me how to play Ultimate Frisbee (although I think some of the more athletic guys had purposely let me get a couple of free goals) but during the game no one kept score so it was like we had all won. Many adults may think that our generation isn’t very kind or respectful, but if they were present at the RYLA I can guarantee that their views would change. I myself never thought that it would be possible to gather such a large group of kind, caring, respectful, young leaders in one place. The RYLA is truly something special and unique.

There is still so much that happened that I would like to share (I didn’t even get to talk about the food!), but then I may end up writing a novel. So, I kept it short with a few of my favorite memories even though they don’t do the actual RYLA justice, I hope it gives everyone a little insight on how awesome and ENTHUSIASTIC! it was(the word “enthusiastic” is a 2013 RYLA insider and anyone from the RYLA would not be able to read, hear, or say it without smiling).

I would like to sincerely thank the Rotary Club of Des Moines for sending me. How grateful I am cannot be fairly expressed by words. It was a once in a lifetime experience and opportunity. It brings tears to my eyes every time I think about the parting hour. I didn’t want to ever leave and I am not alone in this feeling. Many of us cried and exchanged contact info, even creating our own private page for 2013 RYLA attendees, in hopes of having a reunion in the near future. The RYLA is such a wonderful program, that I hope many more teens will receive the same opportunity I had. Again, thank you so much Des Moines Rotary!













Submitted by:  Leilamarie Martinez, Rotary Club of Des Moines Interact Student