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Island briefs

Ready, set, Rotary Run March 20; Reporter seeks editorial board members; Community Fund accepting applications; Tax Aide from AARP; YFS changes hours

Ready, set, Rotary Run March 20

It's time to get ready for the 33rd annual Mercer Island Rotary Run. The run is scheduled for March 20. This year's theme, ``Early Detection is the Cure'' is to raise money and awareness about colon cancer. Runners and walkers are encouraged to form teams of five or more to raise money for colon cancer awareness through pledges and contributions and to train together.

The race is expected to draw as many as 3,500 runners and walkers. The race course is certified, meaning that runners can use the event to qualify for other races.

The annual Kids Dash for children ages 10 and younger also will be held. Virginia Mason Medical Center is sponsoring the half-marathon run and walk, and Swedish Medical Centers is sponsoring the 8k events. Rotary Club and its members is heading up the event, along with the City of Mercer Island, Farmers Insurance and the Susie Lindquist Mjelde Colon Cancer Coalition, REI, King 5 Television and the Mercer Island Reporter. For more information or to register, visit the Web site at www.ontherun.com/mihalf or call 236-5323, ext. 1920.

Reporter seeks editorial board members

The Mercer Island Reporter is looking for three people to replace outgoing editorial board members in March. Applications from those who have applied in the past will also be considered.

The editorial board is comprised of three community members, as well as Reporter publisher Catherine Shen and editor Stephen Weigand.

Members serve six-month terms. They must be residents of Mercer Island. Meetings are held twice a month at the Mercer Island Reporter office.

To apply, write a letter explaining your reasons for wanting to participate to: Mercer Island Reporter, P.O. Box 38, Mercer Island, WA 98040, or send it via e-mail to stephen.weigand@mi-reporter.com or to cshen@kingcountyjournal.com by Friday, February 18.

Scholarships available through Island Masonic Lodge

The Mercer Island Masonic Lodge will again provide two $1,000 scholarships to graduating Mercer Island High School students. One scholarship will go to a boy and the other will go to a girl. The scholarship may be used for the student's school of choice. The winners are determined on the basis of points awarded for scholastic achievement, community service, citizenship and evaluation of written responses. Scholarships are made and distributed without regard to race, creed, nationality, relationships to members of any Masonic organization, or other factors. The awards will be made at the senior awards night in June. The applications are available in the Mercer Island High School's Counseling Career Center. The deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 8. Please see counselor Mj Hillstrom for more information.

Community Fund accepting applications

The Mercer Island Community Fund is accepting grant applications from Island-based nonprofit organizations for funds to be awarded in February.

Grants are awarded throughout the year from proceeds of the annual fall fund-raising appeal. Mercer Island 501(c)3 organizations may obtain grant applications by contacting grants committee chairman Sue Ketcham at 232-8919. Applications are due Friday, Jan. 21.

The Fund considers applications from organizations that benefit the Mercer Island community in the following categories: (a) Arts and Culture, (b) Environment and Conservation, (c) Community Development, (d) Recreation, (e) Social Service, and (f) Health.

Tax Aide from AARP

Get a jump on preparing 2004 tax returns through Tax Aide, sponsored by the AARP, Tax Aide is a charitable, nonprofit program that offers free quality tax help from friendly, qualified professionals in the community. The confidential service helps individuals prepare tax returns and answer tax questions. Special attention is given to those individuals ages 60 and older.

To schedule an appointment, call the Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department at 236-3545. The annual tax assistance program will be held at the Mercer Island Library, 4400 88th Ave. S.E.

Appointments are available on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. beginning Thursday, Feb. 3, through Friday, April 15; and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. beginning Saturday, Feb. 5, through Saturday, April 9.

Since 1968, AARP Tax Aide has assisted more than 34 million taxpayers with filing their tax returns.

For more information, please contact the Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department at 236-3545, visit www.miparks.net or e-mail miparks@ci.mercer-island.wa.us

Online registration for Parks and Recreation programs and classes will be available starting Thursday, Jan. 20. To learn more or to register for classes, visit www.MyParksAndRecreation.com

The city had reported earlier that the go-live date would be Jan. 10.

Parks officials are excited to offer the new option to community members. To use the new method, customers can visit the Web site, where they will be able to view program choices and descriptions, log onto a secure page with an account number and password and then enter selections and pay. Confirmations will be e-mailed to customers.

The option has been in the works for more than four years, and is a cooperative project with eight cities in the Egov Alliance, which includes Bellevue, Bothell, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kirkland, Sammamish, Snoqualmie and Woodinville as well as Mercer Island.

Customers may still registering by phone at 236-3545; by fax at 236-3631 or by regular mail at 2040 84th Ave. S.E., Mercer Island, WA 98040.

YFS changes hours

Mercer Island Youth and Family Services has changed hours of operation at its offices in the Luther Burbank Administration building, 2040 84th Ave. S.E.

The department will now be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Other hours are available by appointment for counseling, food pantry use, confidential appointments and after-hours deliveries.

Anyone with questions is asked to call the department at 236-3525.

`Boot camp' instructors wanted

The Parks and Recreation Department is looking for certified personal or group fitness instructors who are interested in teaching ``community boot camp'' classes, a new fitness program for the department.

The five-week class will be held 6-7 a.m. Mondays through Fridays; an eight-hour training will be provided for instructors.

For more information, contact Diane Mortenson at 236-3590.

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