Eastside organizations receive Get Active Stay Active Grant

Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department, Stroum Jewish Community Center are among the awardees.

King County recently passed a supplemental budget that invests in a variety of county and community programs and services. Councilmember Claudia Balducci awarded Get Active Stay Active grants to 19 Eastside organizations in King County Council District 6.

“To me, a healthy community means people have access to things that contribute to their well being, like arts, culture, nature and physical activity,” Councilmember Balducci said in a press release. “By investing in these great community organizations, the King County Council is helping to provide opportunities to get outdoors, move and be healthy.”

The 2019-20 Get Active grants support 19 youth, senior, housing and cultural organizations across District 6. The Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department and the Stroum Jewish Community Center were both awarded the two-year grant.

The Parks and Recreation Department said it is using the grant to re-establish some of the youth and senior drop-in sports programs at the Mercer Island Community and Events Center. With the grant, the department is able to continue sports like badminton, pickleball and the fitness room.

“Without that money, we had canceled all those programs,” Community and Program Manager Diane Mortenson said. “The timing of this grant was exceptional. The month prior, we had put out a notice to participants and users that we were unable to hold those programs. We’re grateful and excited to have the [grant].”

The Get Active Stay Active Grant will also help pay staff members.

The Stroum Jewish Community Center (SJCC) will use the grant to fund its Rock Steady Boxing program.

The program is designed to help those with Parkinson’s disease. The class includes boxing, strength training, agility, balance and fine motor skills. According to the director of marketing and public relations John Shaffer, SJCC served some 30 individuals last year through the program, and the hope is to use the grant to increase the capacity of the current class. The goal is to serve more individuals in the community.

“This grant allows us to offer a very unique program that makes a difference in people’s lives every day,” Shaffer said. “It not only offers a class to help combat symptoms of this disease, it offers a community in which they can be a part of. That is really at the core of who we are at the J.”

Other Eastside organizations include Mercer Island High School, Bellevue College, city of Bellevue, India Association of Western Washington, city of Kirkland, Imagine Housing, tennis outreach programs, Redmond Senior Center and others.