Whole Foods Gives a Taste Thanksgiving

This month one of our awesome partners, Whole Foods Market of Bellevue, invited us to be the recipients of their Taste of Thanksgiving event, which took place on November 6th at their store. For a $5 donation, attendees got a taste of seasonal samplings from their upcoming Thanksgiving items – nine delicious stations of food and beverages spread throughout the store. “Buy a plate, give a plate,” was the phrase Whole Foods team members used to explain how every dollar raised was going to be spent. 100% of last night’s proceeds will go to buying groceries for Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue’s Holiday Meal Program to feed local families in need this Thanksgiving!

We had the opportunity to set up a table at the event so attendees could get more information about our organization and hear about where their donation was going.  We are so grateful to everyone who came out to buy a plate. We saw some old friends and met lots of new friendly faces – it was a great time for all!

Huge thank you to Whole Foods Market of Bellevue for giving the gift of warm, delicious food to families in need this holiday season, and for being such incredible supporters of Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue! At the BGCB, we strive to make it possible for every kid who walks through our Clubhouse doors to have access to programs that will unleash their full potential now and in the future. We are so humbled by the support we receive from the partners in our community – partners who share our mission and help us turn our goals into reality.


Photo credit: Erin Downey: Whole Foods Marketing & Community Relations Team Leader

Photo credit: Erin Downey: Whole Foods Marketing & Community Relations Team Leader

Photo credit: Erin Downey: Whole Foods Marketing & Community Relations Team Leader

Photo credit: Erin Downey: Whole Foods Marketing & Community Relations Team Leader

Photo credit: Erin Downey: Whole Foods Marketing & Community Relations Team Leader

Photo credit: Erin Downey: Whole Foods Marketing & Community Relations Team Leader


Best quote of the night: “I started out buying one plate, but then I tried the food and saw where the money was going – and I had to go back and buy another for my husband!”



Big News….Our 1st Annual Merchant Campaign Has Begun!


We’re pleased to announce the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue Merchant Campaign, a push to open doors for more kids, more often! During the week of August 11th we’ve planned tons of fun events and promotions with all proceeds going directly back to the Club. Check out the schedule of events and jot down some of the fun things you’d like to get involved with. Many of the giving opportunities mentioned below are easy and only require you to go out to eat with the family or see a free movie!

Premier Partners: California Pizza Kitchen, Barnes & Noble, Taco Time, Rock Bottom Brewery, Bellevue Breakfast Club Rotary, T-Mobile and the Microsoft Store in Bellevue Mall have some sweet giving opportunities for YOU. Craving California Pizza Kitchen? Take friends and family for a bite during the week of August 11th. Be sure to mention BGCB, and 20% of your bill will go towards the Club! Barnes & Noble is also offering 20% of sales for the week of August 11th, so buy your summer reading books between August 11th-17th!

On August 12th spend the evening with us at Movies in the Park in Downtown Bellevue Park. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty will be showing and if you come out early you can participate in the Whole Foods “Family Challenge”! Movies in the Park will be donating school supplies and sports equipment to the Club, along with sharing a short Club video before the movie. The movie is free and starts at dusk, hope to see you there!

On August 16th our Club and the Detlef Schrempf Foundation will celebrate as beneficiaries of the annual Taste of Main (TOM) event held in Old Downtown Bellevue. TOM brings together food and wine merchants from all around Bellevue to share samples and giveaways. Buy a passport for $40 and 50% of sales come back to us!


On August 17th Taco Time will donate 50% of all sales to the Club. Rock Bottom Brewery is crafting a specialty batch of ale that will be tapped on August 21st with all proceeds going to the Club. Avid Macy’s shopper? Purchase a Macy’s Shop for a Cause ticket for $5, 100% of proceeds will be given to the Club and the ticket is worth 25% off your Macy’s purchase on August 23rd (applies to all Macy’s nationwide)!


Need a cheap summer activity? Regal Crossroad Cinema 8 runs a summer long promotion showing $1 kid-friendly movies every Tuesday and Wednesday morning! As one of our Patron Partners, Regal is providing five “Walking with Dinosaurs” encyclopedias for our kids to read during Nature Camp (Week 8 of Camp). Campers will then go see the Walking with Dinosaurs movie on August 13th and discuss what they’ve learned. Regal has provided us with a generous donation towards our campaign, so go show them support and head over to the Summer Regal Movie Express!

These are all of the promotions we have scheduled so far, but stay tuned for a full calendar of events! A big thanks to the Charles Schwab for their generous donation, along with Kobe, the Essential Baking Company, Oil & Vinegar, Bfit, Flywheel, UW Bookstore, Panera, Cummnis Chiropractic and Casa D’s Taqueria.

Your support is what helps our programs expand! Not yet involved, but are a local business owner/employee looking for some exposure? The Merchant Campaign is a great opportunity to get involved. Providing promotions that support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue is always a win-win. E-mail Michele Heffron at mheffron@bgcbellevue.org for more info. We can’t wait to COUNT YOU IN.

Taco Time Locations:

201 106th Avenue NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

Factoria Mall
3910 Factoria Blvd SE
Bellevue, WA 98006

Crossroads Mall
2001 156th Avenue NE
Belleuve, WA 98007

Regal Crossroads 8
1200 156th Ave. N.E.
Bellevue, WA 98008

Barnes & Noble
626 106th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA

595 106th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

THIS JUST IN: Last Wednesday Kids Ate Kale and Begged for Fruit

Our Cooking Camp had an extra special class last Wednesday. Whole Foods sponsored a day of smoothie making and nutrition education from Pat Herrick, Healthy Cooking Coach of the Bellevue Whole Foods Store for 15 years.





Pat had the kids engrossed during the smoothie making tutorial, telling them they would win a prize if they liked the kale, yogurt, grape, corn, strawberry smoothie. Just as she was about to announce the prize she turned the blender on high and mouthed something indiscernible over the roar of the blender. This went on for about five minutes, turning on the blender each time she “announced” the prize. The kids laughed hysterically.



There was never a shiny prize, but the kids won in knowledge and fun. Things like how to “strip kale”, why corn is good for your hair and skin, and how to make pudding with chia seeds and almond milk were covered during the workshop. By the end of the day kids were begging Pat to eat more of her concoctions.

“I’ve been involved with health and wellness forever, and love assuring that people have access to tools, resources, and information to empower themselves and enhance their experience in life.” Says Pat.

Visit Pat and the Bellevue Whole Foods team to receive a free piece of fruit, kids only! Don’t normally shop at WF? Check out their Whole Deals page complete with coupons, budget friendly recipes and money saving tips!  Whole Foods has also offered to provide free snacks during Summer Camp and that’s pretty awesome too!


More Kid Friendly Resources! https://www.wholekidsfoundation.org/kids-activities/better-bites/

Boys & Girls Club Refs Commemorated during Storm Game

Rich and Kerri Reynolds, parents of the Club, recently organized a fun filled night for 12 of our deserving referees at the Seattle Storm game. The night was meant to show appreciation for all their hard work and dedication to the Athletics Department.


Refs waiting to meet Storm players


Storm Court at Key Arena

Before the game, the announcer came through the loud speaker acknowledging the refs for their dedication to the youth of Bellevue. The announcement was followed by their names displayed on the score board and a loud applause from the crowd. Some of the highlights of the game included making a “fan tunnel” for the Storm players to run through, Doppler, the Mascot, silly stringing a brand new head of hair on a ref, and participating in a Q & A with Storm referees. During the Q&A, the Boys and Girls Clubs refs were curious to know the hardest part about refereeing professionally. The Storm refs agreed that the constant travel and time away from family was the toughest. The best part? Meeting all the players and coaches. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue thank all our hardworking referees, the Storm basketball crew, and parents Rich and Kerri Reynolds for making Staff Appreciation Night a success.


Silly String Wig

Doppler the Mascot


Seahawks Player Doug Baldwin Drops by Spiritwood for an Impromptu Q&A

A mixture of excitement and blues filled the air at Spiritwood Manor last Wednesday, the last day of Project Learn. The group would be on hiatus from seeing each other for the next three months during summer. Although some of the kids would be back in a couple of weeks for Summer Camp, others had plans to stay home with mom, attend summer school, or go on vacation. The last day at Spiritwood was spent face painting, gardening, BBQ-ing and cleaning up house. As everyone milled around the club, a surprise visitor came walking through the door…wide receiver Doug Baldwin from the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS!



The kids were thrilled and greeted him with hugs and high fives. Doug works out with a staff member at the club and offered to visit to talk about what it means to grow up and why it’s ok for boys to cry. Once everyone simmered down, the group went into a Q&A starting with, “Is anyone better than you?” and “Have you ever cried before?” Laughing under his breath, Doug quick wittedly answered their questions and finished off with an inspirational speech on the importance of education and working hard. When asked what the kids wanted to be when they grew up they answered with: singer, designer, artist, and professional athlete. In response to the hopeful professional athletes, Doug advised them to work hard to pursue their goal, but to work even harder in school.




“When I was growing up my uncle taught me about his toolbox of life and how the most important tool I can put in this toolbox of life is education.” His uncle encouraged him to be anything he wanted to be, teacher, doctor, lawyer, policeman, or athlete, and as long as he had the tool of education he would be successful. “It doesn’t matter where you come from, everyone has the option to do what they want but it takes hard work.” Stressing academic success is a huge priority at the Club and we appreciate Doug sharing the same vision.

As the Q&A came to an end, a whisper hesitantly came from the back of the room. “Can you play outside with us?” Unfortunately Doug had to leave, but we’re happy he made an appearance and for his commitment to inspiring our youth to BE GREAT!

Image Q&A Highlights

Q: “Do you have to do ballet to play football?”

A:  “No, but it does helps with balance and agility.”


Q: “Have you ever cried?”

A: “When I was younger I got hit really, really hard. It hurt and I teared up a little but I wouldn’t call it full out crying.” Grinning.


Q: “Is anybody better than you?”

A: “My pride won’t allow to me to say anyone is more skillful than me, some people might be faster, might be stronger. But in terms of technique, I’m the best.” He laughs.


Q: “Why do the Seahawks need you? “

A: “Dang I like that question”(Pause.) So the Seahawks don’t need anything- just food water and oxygen. They wanted me because I put in hard work they valued, they didn’t need anything. “


Q: “Do you like Dora the Explorer?”

A: “I won’t admit that because the adults are around.”

Creative Futures Start Here

Last Thursday, the Microsoft Store at Bellevue Square Mall showcased the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue’s finest digital artwork including music, movies, and photography. The Microsoft Store has been a champion sponsor of digital arts programs at the club for 4 years, funding 12 Clubhouses for kids from kindergarten to 12th grade.

The Digital Arts Festival awarded children based on age group for their best works in music making, photo editing, game design and stop motion video. The music making portion allowed the kids to use music making software to create an upbeat and inspiring song shedding light on how to stand up in the face of adversity. The photo illustration competition titled “Picture It-Inclusion Starts Here” challenged the kids to use digital photography to capture images they felt captured diversity and inclusion. Using digital illustration software, they created a collaged image of inclusion in action. The stop motion competition challenged the kids to create a video showing how one person or group can positively change the community. The underlying theme of the competition highlighted the importance of respect, inclusion and tolerance of their peers, and we think that’s pretty cool. Thanks again to The Microsoft Store at Bellevue Square for supporting us.



Congrats to Yitzel, winner of the Stop Motion Video portion for ages 6-9!

Keller Williams Realty Paint the Town Red & the Walls Blue

Since 2009, on the second Thursday of May, Keller Williams Realty participates in an annual giving day. Commonly known as RED Day (Renew-Energize-Donate), Keller Williams offices from Vietnam to Turkey, South Africa, Indonesia, and the US gather to spend a day off from the house-hustling grind and volunteer at local non-profits. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue are proud to have been chosen by Keller Williams for RED Day for the past 5 years.




This year, In their continued effort to “give where they live”, see slogan on t-shirt, the RED Day crew diligently rid the cracks of our sidewalk of weeds, mowed the lawn, painted the walls a vibrant blue, and even gutted the kitchen refrigerator. In addition to RED Day, Keller Williams has made an effort to stay involved year round. Last winter they sponsored families during our Adopt-a-Family drive, attended our fundraising luncheon, and even hosted a Holiday Choir tour for the holidays. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue appreciate the partnership shared with Keller Williams and are excited to see what’s next!