Lifestyle

‘Taste of Washington’ benefits Kids’ Kloset

Shawn Smith is all smiles as he helps himself from the selection of fruits, vegetables and cheeses in the Menos’ kitchen during the ninth annual ‘Taste of Washington’ fundraiser for Kids’ Kloset on Aug. 24. - Kirk Boxleitner
Shawn Smith is all smiles as he helps himself from the selection of fruits, vegetables and cheeses in the Menos’ kitchen during the ninth annual ‘Taste of Washington’ fundraiser for Kids’ Kloset on Aug. 24.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — The ninth annual “Taste of Washington” fundraiser for the Arlington-based Kids’ Kloset returned to the home of John and Kimberly Meno, as the event’s 70-plus attendees donated through live and silent auctions on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 24.

Kids’ Kloset Board President Julie Morse reported that the auctions raised a gross of more than $25,000, with Kelly Lee of the Arlington-based Lee Auctioneering and Consulting once again stepping into the role of the zany auctioneer.

“Last year, we had 42 attendees and generated about $17,000,” Morse said. “Both the improved economy and the increased attendance really helped us this year, I think, and I’d estimate that at least 25 percent of our attendees had never attended the event before.”

Kids’ Kloset co-founder Kimberly Meno expressed her gratitude to the community for its generosity, which she noted has already been put to good use, since Kids’ Kloset started scheduling appointments with families in need as soon as the new school year started, and is already booked into October.

“Appointments are confidential, and we try not to schedule back-to-back appointments of families from the same school to ensure their privacy and dignity among their peers,” said Meno, who clarified that Kids’ Kloset serves not only students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches in the Arlington, Lakewood and Darrington school districts, but also their preschool siblings and any student in Early Childhood Education Assistance Programs. “And our volunteers continue to be the cornerstone of our organization. Anyone with an extra hour or two would receive instant gratification from volunteering at our well-maintained and organized site.”

Meno reiterated that Kids’ Kloset is still operating out of the basement of the old Arlington High School building at 135 S. French Ave., but added that its entrance has moved to the back of the building.

“Just ring the doorbell in the rear,” Meno said. “The Arlington School District has gone above and beyond to accommodate our volunteers and families with safe and secure access.”

As the winter approaches, Meno is especially conscious of the need for more coats, hats and gloves to keep kids from getting too cold.

“Church groups, Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, sports teams or anyone else looking to do some community service could hold collection drives for gloves, hats and coats for us this fall,” Meno said. “We always run short on cold-weather gear. Community donations continue to be the largest source of clothing items for our students to shop from. Whenever anyone cleans out their closets, we want Kids’ Kloset to be their first thought for where to donate those items.”

In addition to its new drop-off bin at the rear entrance of the old Arlington High School building, Kids’ Kloset has several other drop-off sites, including Julie’s Barbering & Styling, Sunshine Cleaners and Union Bank in downtown Arlington, as well as Ace Equipment Rentals and the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce offices in Smokey Point, and even the Lakewood schools.

For more information on Kids’ Kloset of Arlington, call 360-435-4875 or log onto www.arlingtonkidskloset.com.

 

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