North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Kiwanis clubs support SV Youth Project

 

Photo Courtesy of Janice Bauer

Snohomish County councilmember Ken Klein, left, Arlington Kiwanis secretary George Boulton, center, and Stilly Valley Little League president Greg Dunc, right, on Nov. 4 with a $6,700 check, donated by a collection of Kiwanis clubs.

The Stilly Valley Youth Project, which will improve multiple youth recreation options for kids in the area, received more than $6,000 from Kiwanis clubs from across the western U.S. and Canada.

The project seeks to expand the Arlington Boys & Girls Club, build a skate park in Darrington and provide a new park for the Stilly Valley Little League.

George Boulton, secretary of the Arlington Kiwanis, presented the check of a little more than $6,700 to Snohomish County councilmember Ken Klein, who has been leading the project, on Nov. 4 during an Arlington Kiwanis meeting.

"It isn't money we raised, but money that has been funneled through us," said Boulton.

The funds were "a result of compassion that the Kiwanis clubs in our district of Kiwanis, which includes Canada, northern California, Idaho," he said.

Many clubs reached out after the Oso landslide of March 22, 2014, said Boulton, and these donated funds were part of that outreach.

Ken Klein said it was after the landslide that he began the project. While meeting with Gov. Jay Inslee and local recreation officials they began to talk about ways to help kids recover.

"Is there a way we can pull together some funds that will be beneficial for all the kids throughout Snohomish County, and we kind of just started throwing out ideas really quick," said Klein.

Greg Dunc, president of the Stilly Valley Little League, suggested a field that could be used year round for local kids.

His league currently has 400 baseball players and 100 softball players.

"It's the sports when they're young that help develop them into fine young women and young men," said Dunc.

Officials there also discussed an expansion of the Arlington Boys & Girls Club.

"We talked about this building here [the Arlington Boys & Girls Club] and this building needs an extra gym because the community is growing greatly," said Klein.

A skate park that Darrington officials had been working toward also made the list

"It hasn't had the finances because they kind of get forgotten out there sometimes," said Klein.

A large part of the Stilly Valley Youth Project was funded in this year's state legislative budget, with the Arlington Boys & Girls Club receiving $1.5 million for a new gym and the Darrington park getting funded.

However only $200,000 was put aside for the fields, leaving the project about $542,000 short.

"We think we have a plan for getting there," said Klein.

The Kiwanis donation now joins other donations, like those of the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, that will help to finish the project.

"It spoke volumes to everybody and that's what drove this partnership and the idea that drove this. We're doing this for the kids and the community to help us all rebuild and respond to this terrible tragedy," he said.

 

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