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A bunting they will go

In baseball, bunting serves best to advance a base-runner into scoring position.

In Sequim, buntings lace business fronts as a sign of respect for patriotic holidays.

The Kiwanis Club of Sequim-Dungeness has 180 buntings, red, white and blue half-circle flags, that hang from Carlsborg to the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce from Memorial Day to Veterans Day.

The flags project has been fronted by the Kiwanis Club longer than current members can remember.

Shell McGuire, Kiwanis member, said the bunting donations have increased each year for at least 20 years.

"Some people don't know that the banners are from us and not the city," said Sequim Kiwanis vice-president Joe Treece.

"I don't blame them for not knowing. We need to let people know about them."

All monies raised from bunting subscriptions go to Kiwanis' sponsored charities. Most donations are intended for children because of the Kiwanis' motto, "Serving the Children of the World."

A Kiwanis-sponsored camp for special-needs students was established 15 years ago by the Port Angeles, Port Townsend and Sequim clubs.

It is a 40-acre camp based in Chimacum for one month each summer.

"It was established to give these special campers a chance to have the true camping experience," Treece said.

Volunteers come from the peninsula and as far as Puyallup to help the campers ride horses, go swimming, make crafts and roast marshmallows over a campfire, McGuire said.

The Sequim Kiwanis members also purchased, for a fifth year, one book for each elementary student in Sequim.

"Many children do not have books of their own," McGuire said.

"They are plunked in front of the TV instead."

More than 1,300 books were purchased for kindergarten through fifth-grade students.

"It takes a coordinated effort from teachers, librarians and Kiwanis members to make it work," McGuire said.

"We encourage kids to exchange books to get more use out of each book."

Kiwanis also donates two $1,000 scholarships each year, one new and one continuing, for Sequim college students.

A poetry contest at Sequim Middle School is run by Kiwanis members and they donate about 20 bicycles a year to charitable organizations. Contributions are made yearly to several local nonprofit organizations.

An annual Christmas tree sale in the JCPenney's parking lot earns the club money for the year's programs, too. McGuire said they sell 300-350 trees each year.



Kiwanis background

The Kiwanis organization has more than 800,000 members serving in 90 countries.

Kiwanis' K-Kids, Builders Club, Key Club and Circle K work with 300,000 children annually.

Sequim-Dungeness Kiwanis was founded in October 1972 after being sponsored by the Port Angeles noon Kiwanis.

Sequim's club has 17 members.

"I came from a club of 100 members in California, but it wasn't as close as a smaller club like ours here," Treece said.

"We're small in numbers but we cover a lot of ground," McGuire said.

He walked most of the length of Washington Street

asking for sponsorship of buntings.

"We realized businesses have things to cut down on, so we'd rather have them donate something than not at all," Treece said.

Bunting prices were reduced from $50 to $40 this year.

Kiwanis Club of Sequim-Dungeness meetings are at noon on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at Paradise Restaurant, 703 N. Sequim Ave. The next meeting is June 25 and it is open to the public. Speakers from local organizations are featured at each meeting.

For questions on meeting times or buntings, call McGuire at 681-0805.

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