Scout Hall Rededicated
     A gift of $14k from the Smiley Charitable Foundation to the Kingston North Kitsap Rotary Club was designated as "seed money" to jump-start fundraising for resoration of the Scout Hall in Kingston.  Now, three-years in, the restoration was celebrated Saturday, Feb 12, neatly astride Feb 8, Scouting's official birthday. The project was fueled by donations from former scouts and interested locals, untold hours of donated labor, and in-kind donations of materials from local businesses.  The result is a to-the-studs renovation of a building originally built in the early 1960's.
     Troop 555 Scouts and Cub Pack 555 call this home.  In 2019, Kingston North Kitsap Rotary Club's Board took action to become a charter organization of the local Pack and Troop.  Rotarian Doug Hallock is the Club's charter partner representative.  Under his guidance, and that of local Scout leaders, a committee was formed to direct the renovation.  Hallock says "the outpouring of support for this project has been just amazing, people coming out of the woodwork to help." Here, Hallock speaks at the Feb 12 rededication event.
     The building is officially named the Robert P. Smiley Boy Scout Hall, honoring the namesake of the man primarily responsible for the original Scout cabin.  Smiley's son, Bob, spoke at the rededication ceremony, which was attended by more than one-hundred folks.
     Notably, the restored Scout Hall has been placed on the Washington State Heritage Registry.  Rotarian De' MacKinnon, of the Kingston Historical Society, spoke to the importance of such a designation.
     Being active in Scouts gets kids out of the house, to learn skills, experience the outdoors, and understand the value of service to their community, all while being part of an active, fun group.  Parents can go online to learn more at:  Or better yet, contact Kingston Scoutmaster John Strand (206-293-9528) for meeting information and to sign up for Scouts (John knows about Cubs and Boy Scouts - aka Scouts BSA - as girls are now welcome to join.  
Kingston Native Zooms Home
     Kingston native Annie Carl "zoomed" home with her Feb 2 presentation to the Kingston North Kitsap Rotary Club.  Annie is a proud former student of Rotarian De' MacKinnon.
     Born with a spinal column birth defect that required surgeries at ages two and twelve, Annie Carl took to books.  She is an author.  She is a bookseller.  After working in bookstores, and owning a bookstore in Bothell, she opened The Neverending Bookshop six years ago in the Edmonds village of Perrinville.  Along the way she pivoted from a traditional bookshop inventory to one of underrepresented authors.  According their website, "Neverending Bookshop is a new and used bookstore specializing in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Mystery, Young Adult and Children's books written by disabled, BIPOC, LBGTQIA+, and female authors.  We believe representation matters and are thrilled to be able to showcase writers from marginalized communities."  
     When asked about the unique trait of being both an author and bookstore owner, Carl said it wasn't that unusual, actually, and went on to point out several such author-owners.
Kitsap Homes of Compassion Update
     Scott Willard "zoomed" into the Kingston North Kitsap Noon Rotary Club's Jan 26 meeting.  Who's he?  The recently-appointed Executive Director of Kitsap Homes of Compassion.
     Scott reminded Rotarians the Kitsap Homes of Compassion (KHOP) rents multi-bedroom homes in Kitsap County, typically four-to-five bedrooms.  It then "rents" those bedrooms to folks who are, or are on the verge of, experiencing homelessness.  At monthly fees of $650-$700 per month, residents still don't cover all costs.  The goal of KHOP is to provide long term supportive housing for folks who may be employed but their incomes are such they cannot afford apartments or homes.  They currently operate 25 homes, with 110 bedrooms, including a home in Kingston that accommodates as many as five men.  
     Three needs were addressed:  volunteers, money, and wisdom.  According to Scott, "the future is to develop homes ourselves," which is why KHOP is in the process of purchasing the former Gorst Elementary, to develop it into fifty units of housing.  They have applied for state funding, etc., but the total cost will be $7m.  "Just housing is not enough, though, there is a need to provide support services, too," according to Willard.
     Volunteers are needed to work ten hours per week in various capacities.  Those interested can volunteer, or find more information, at

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