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Rotary gives kids helping hand

A few years back, the Federal Way Noon Rotary Club got the idea to give Big Brothers Big Sisters of King and Pierce Counties a new home.

Since then, the club has raised and spent about $54,000 to help the organization relocate its headquarters to Federal Way and operate a mentoring program for students at Mark Twain Elementary School.

“It was just one of those impromptu things,” said Jack Butcher, a past president of the club who has worked with another past president, Phyllis Tellani, and current president Chuck Berglund on Rotary’s support of the program.

Butcher recalled that the club learned from then-mayor Ron Gintz that there was a chance Big Brothers Big Sisters would move from Tukwila to Federal Way. “I thought it was a great idea,” said Butcher.

The club agreed to give the organization $15,000 a year for three years, plus other donations. Club members also pitched in with locating and cleaning office space and arranging its lease.

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ School Base Program matches high school students with students at Mark Twain for one-on-one mentoring. The high schoolers earn community service credits that help with college-entrance requirements.

Volunteer information is available at 568-6990 (ext. 335) and www.bigsandlittles.org.

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