Opinion

Where is the love? All around you, it turns out | Charity, giving and romance in the Valley

The winter can seem like a crummy time to live in the Valley. All this cold and rain. Even our snow days are rainy. The news can get you down—fire, crime, taxes, shoddy winter Olympics construction.

But before you really get down consider that there’s a lot of love that makes the Valley go round. With Valentine’s Day upon us, let me just chalk up the things that may brighten your heart, locally speaking.

Boxley’s big gift

Danny Kolke is a pretty unassuming guy. A musician and a collaborative type, he’s not really the kind of guy to sing his own praises. So folks who heard that Danny and his wife Robyn had turned their North Bend restaurant and jazz club, Boxley’s, over to their non-profit music education foundation might have shrugged it off as just a business thing.

But take one second and imagine the living history inside the historic McGrath Hotel. We’ve seen restaurants come and go—Easy Joe’s and Robertiello’s before it in the last few years. The Kolkes have realized their vision for a hopping, happening place that serves up regional and national artists while promoting local middle school and high school talent, talent that often gains college scholarships for jazz—and they do this every single week. The Kolkes, who won Business of the Year honors a year ago for their efforts in creating a cultural center in North Bend, realized that what they’ve built at Boxley’s goes beyond them. That personal love for music translates to big love for the community. Share that love—go over to Boxley’s on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening and cheer on the kids.

Love for the troops

Valley resident Suzy Cassidy and the American Legion Auxiliary are making sure that, this year, local veterans aren’t forgotten on Valentine’s day. They adopted a troop of 35 soldiers that will receive care packages with cards and useful items. You can get involved in these care package projects by contacting Suzy at suzy@chocolate2die4.com.

Date night in the Valley

Need something to do with your honey on Valentine’s Day? Give Valley Center Stage’s latest homegrown production a try. Talented local actors volunteer to make you, the audience, laugh, cry and cheer, and they deserve our support. For Valentine’s Day, they’re showing “Love Letters,” a story about a lifelong romance. Valley Center Stage is on 119 W. North Bend Way, up the stairs from Singletrack Cycles. Tickets are $17.

Helping the people that care

Life can be stressful for caregivers, the spouses and family members of adults of all ages who need deep, permanent care. They must devote much of their time to keeping their loved one healthy, something most of us take for granted. Sno-Valley Senior Center’s Adult Day Health program can help, with a support class aimed at those vital caregivers. A support group also meets on Thursdays, starting at 1 p.m. tomorrow. It costs you nothing to attend. If you care for a loved one in this Valley, you’re not alone. There are plenty of people who know what you are going through and want to help.

 

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