Always Something to See at the Thurston County Fair!

Guess who is turning 151 this year?

If you guessed a five-day, fun-packed, family outing known as the Thurston County Fair, then you are right! The dates for 2022 are July 27 to 31. The Fair will have all of the favorites, animals, carnivals, vendors, entertainment and the traditional tasty fair food.

“We have special discount days during the fair week–One Buck Wednesday admission will be $1 with a donation for the Thurston County Food bank and Tuesday is Kid’s Day with $2 admission for all kids under 18,” says Theresa Reid, Thurston County Fair’s manager. “We also serve many military families, so Friday is Military Day when all retired, active and reserve personnel and family members are only $2 per person.”

Located near Long Lake in Lacey, the fair is a pint-sized version of the Washington State Fair held later in September; many of the kids showing off their livestock will compete for a placement that will allow them to enter at state level. From pygmy goats to well-heeled golden retrievers, you can watch as the animals and their handlers strut their stuff in the presentation competitions. Children as young as 5 years old are allowed to enter the animal competition –they are called Cloverbuds. You can also catch the Thurston County Market Animal Sale on Saturday at 6pm.

Entertainment for 2022 includes Professor Bamboozle’s Magic Show, Reptile Isle with the Ring of Torti, and The Grizzly Artwork show and chainsaw carving competition. Community singers, dancers and bands will perform, along with all of the 4-H and FFA exhibitors showing their animals and projects. Other exhibits also on display include Home Arts, Quilts, Hobbies and Crafts, Fine Arts, Photography and Floral. So if you’ve taken up a new hobby since the start of the pandemic, this could be a good opportunity to learn from some award winners.

The Thurston County Fair has a history that goes back over 150 years, and was held at different locations such as the South Bay School and Grange, until settling in at the current fairgrounds in 1958. The Thurston County Fair continues to thrive and gives our community a place to celebrate, educate, create and support our local businesses!

For Additional Information
Thurston County Fair
thurstoncountyfair.org

HILLARY RYAN

Wa Center Announces Scholarship for the Arts

The winner of the 2022 Washington Center Anacker Scholarship for the Arts is Camille McLean. Camille is graduating from Olympia High School where she has served as concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra. She has also been involved in Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia for six years including being the concertmaster for the Conservatory Orchestra. Camille plays the violin and piano and hopes to major in violin performance and music education.

According to Camille’s Orchestra teacher, Joseph Dyvig, “Camille’s work ethic goes beyond the standard practice and preparation… she is always prepared for class, putting in extra work, and is always punctual and present.”

First awarded in 2014, the Washington Center Anacker Scholarship for the Arts recognizes, encourages, and supports a Thurston County Scholar’s study in the field of the arts. The scholarship was endowed by former Washington Center Board President Sally Anacker, who believes the arts exist to enrich our lives. “If the arts exist to enrich our lives… then the Washington Center’s mission must surely be not only to provide the various art forms but to nurture the pursuit of them in our young people,” said Anacker.

The Washington Center for the Performing Arts is a not-for-profit performance venue with a mission to inspire audiences and artists of all ages through live performances, enriching the vibrancy of our community.

2021-2022 Calendar of Events:  https://www.washingtoncenter.org/events/month/

Josh Deck New President and CEO at OlyFed

After more than 38 years with OlyFed, Lori Drummond will retire as the bank’s President and CEO on June 30. Promoted from within, like most of the team at OlyFed, Drummond started her career as the bank’s receptionist in 1984 and now leaves a remarkable legacy for the bank to continue to thrive as the go-to financial institution for local families and small businesses.

Named to succeed her as only the eighth President and CEO in the bank’s 115-year history is Josh Deck. Like his predecessor, Deck was promoted from within after serving as EVP and Chief Operating Officer. Deck started his career with the US Department of Treasury serving as a bank regulator, where he traveled the country conducting bank examinations to ensure the safety and soundness of financial institutions. Deck then joined OlyFed in 2011 as VP of Risk and Compliance Management.

“When my wife and I wanted to start a family and put down roots, I realized I needed a job that didn’t have me traveling each week and I wanted to use my skills by working with a community bank that shared my values. The South Sound was home and OlyFed was the perfect match,” said Deck. Attending Franklin Pierce High School in Pierce County, Deck was a standout baseball player who went on to pitch in college at William Penn University. Now, he enjoys golfing and coaching his own young sons’ teams in basketball, t-ball, and baseball in the local community where he lives and works.

According to Deck, “OlyFed has been a stable component of Olympia for over 115 years, investing in the same place our customers are invested. We strive to demonstrate our dedication to our community through volunteerism and philanthropic giving. We want to grow with our community and to continually
help improve our local quality of life.”

As part of their guiding values, OlyFed is committed to lifelong learning and promoting a different kind of business model that uses their resources to serve the needs of Thurston and Mason County.

For Additional Information
Olympia Federal
360.754.3400 or 800.865.3470
olyfed.com

BY LYNN CASTLE

Capitol City Honda: Reputation – A Family Tradition

Kelly Levesque, owner of Capitol City Honda, understands better than most what it means to do business in your hometown. According to Kelly, “It means your neighbors are buying from you and it is so important that they walk out of our dealership feeling great about their purchase. Our reputation depends upon it.”

At Capitol City Honda, that reputation was earned by Kelly’s father, Ed McCarroll, who opened the dealership in 1971. Impressed by the quality of the Honda motorcycles, Ed took a risk on a relatively new car brand to the US as a leap of faith. Through his industry knowledge of car sales and service, he built it into a thriving dealership, winning national awards from Honda.

Kelly purchased the dealership from her dad in 2017. Serving as the dealership manager since 2000, she and her husband Chris knew she was buying a legacy. The couple share the workload of running the dealership with Chris serving as General Manager and Kelly as the Principal and President.

With Ed McCarroll’s passing in June at the age of 94, the dealership where Ed had still kept an office is adjusting to a life without him. But Kelly learned from her dad that your reputation is built through relationships.

Like Ed, Kelly and Chris continue to build relationships through their support of the community. Whether it is the Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, or their newest commitment to Four the Love Foundation. This past holiday season Capitol City donated $10,000 to For the Love Foundation to support them in feeding 1,000 families in need. “Being able to give back to our community is one of the greatest joys of doing business in our hometown”, say Kelly Levesque.

A strong reputation with customers extends to their employees as well, with several of the staff at the dealership, including the office manager and sales manager, boasting a tenure of several decades. “Employee morale is important to us. It starts from the ground up. Customers feel that morale and it sets the tone for the store,” said Kelly.

Capitol City Honda
Olympia Auto Mall
2370 Carriage Loop SW, Olympia
800.594.2956
capitolcityhonda.com

BY LYNN CASTLE

Service and Convenience at the Heart of Light Dental Studios

We can all agree on the qualities for the ideal dental provider: round-the-clock service, entire-family bookings, empathetic service and affordable care. It’s nearly impossible to find a full combination of such attributes. But then there’s Light Dental Studios.

The dentist-owned company—with 22 locations in the Puget Sound—has customer service at the core of its mission.

“We try to treat people the way we would want to be treated,” says owner and CEO Dr. Steven Broughton, who bought his first office from a former dentist in 1997. “People say our practice feels like we’re all neighbors, like they’re just going down the street for friendly dental care.”

With hours from 7am to 7pm including Saturdays, doctors available 24/7, and entire-family, same-day care, Light Dental Studios has solutions patients need.

“We’re trying to make dentistry effortless by making it about our patients, not the dentists,” says Broughton. “Our schedule accommodates their schedule, not the other way around. Our doctors are always available, and almost all procedures are done in-house.”

Besides standard dental checkups, treatments and other services, Light Dental Studios offers on-site orthodontics, implants, surgeries and dentures. Children’s dental care is also offered. In fact, the offices frequently schedule care for entire families side-by-side on the same day to save time.

Light Dental Studios also gives back to the community at the annual South Sound Free Dental Day in May. That’s when the staff donates its time and skills to give away more than $150,000 worth of dental work—one filling or extraction—on a first come, first-served basis.

“We want patients to feel comfortable,” Broughton says. “Our first goal is to provide quality treatment at an affordable price.”

Broughton notes that Light Dental Studios will continue to add offices over the upcoming years in growing neighborhoods. Visit their website for updates or you can find them on Facebook and Instagram.

Light Dental Studios
lightdentalstudios.com

BY LEAH GROUT

Holy Lamb Organics−Natural Bedding Made Locally

Holy Lamb Organics has been making natural bedding products locally by hand in the small town of Oakville, Washington for 18 years. The South Sound community can access a “touch and feel” experience in Olympia. The company’s retail showrooms are the only all-natural bedding stores between Seattle and Portland, according to owners Jason and Mindy Schaefer.

The showroom is a great way for customers to experience the products. “We’re excited to be part of the downtown Olympia neighborhood – it is a great fit for our business,” says Mindy Schaefer.

Holy Lamb Organics’ manufacturing plant is located in what was once Oakville’s historic Little Bit General Store, which served the community in eastern Grays Harbor County for over 85 years. Built in 1902, the building also includes a showroom that is open to the public.

According to the Schaefers, Holy Lamb Organics bedding is handmade using the highest quality materials and forward-thinking design and innovation. Made in the USA, the products are natural and certified organic. The Schaefers add that replacing the bedding of an allergy sufferer with natural products can reduce or eliminate the effects of allergies.

Besides promoting health and well-being, the Schaefers’ vision is to strengthen the local economy using sustainable and ecological practices in their manufacturing and selling. “We bring distinctive, comfy, healthy goods to the marketplace without ever compromising our commitment to sustainability and the environment.”

The Schaefers’ showroom has become a welcome space for the community. They invite you to the showroom to experience the difference all-natural bedding offers.

Holy Lamb Organics
418 Washington St SE, Olympia, WA
holylamborganics.com

BY LEAH GROUT

10 Ways to Relax in Nature and Stress Less

Here are 10 relaxing nature activities that will rejuvenate your mind, from the simple to the life-changing.

  1. Savor the scenery.
    Movies beaming with CGI on 4K televisions dazzle our imaginations, but you won’t always find the most mind-blowing spectacles on a screen. When was the last time you got up early to watch the sunrise, or ventured to the nearest hilltop to watch it set? The scenery will mentally prepare you for a hectic morning, or help you de-stress after a busy day so you’re ready for the night.
  2. Wander the wilderness
    Walking is good for you, but not all walks are created equal. Cruising the urban streets doesn’t provide the same mental boost as hiking a local trail or feeling the sandy beach between your toes. You don’t have to have a specific destination in mind, either – your goal isn’t to hike a particular number of miles, but to aimlessly immerse yourself in the natural world around you. The Japanese call this “forest bathing” and it can rejuvenate a weary mind.
  3. Meditate on the music.
    And not the kind playing in your headphones. Leave your electronics behind and listen to the melodies nature has to offer: babbling brooks, bird songs, wind whistling through the trees and the scurrying of unseen animals through the canopy. It’s a lot more relaxing than the honking horns and text message alerts you’re used to, and it offers the opportunity to practice some meditative mindfulness in your tranquil surroundings.
  4. Get in shape.
    If you have fitness goals, there’s no better place to work on them than the great outdoors. Enjoy the fresh air while you go for a jog or walk, and reserve the treadmill for rainy days. (Although running on a misty day can feel great, and keep you cool.) Of course, you don’t have to cover a lot of ground to exercise. Many public parks have exercise stations where you can do stretches and calisthenics such as sit-ups or deep knee bends. Or consider tai chi, for exercise that benefits the mind and body.
  5. Pose in paradise.
    Yoga offers many physical benefits, like stretching the body and building core strength. It relaxes you, too. In fact, if you surround yourself with nature’s beauty, research shows you might up the flow of endorphins and take your yoga session to whole new levels. So try skipping the gym and make a park with a view your yoga studio.
  6. Study in the sunshine.
    If you have studying to do, or written material to digest, leave the fluorescent lights behind and read in the light of the blue sky overhead. Natural environments can enhance cognitive abilities, like memory and problem-solving. So if you want to retain more information for that big test at school or figure out how to win that important account at work, you might have a better shot surrounded by birds and trees, rather than fellow students and chatty coworkers.
  7. Pack a picnic.
    Load a basket with your favorite healthy goodies and have lunch among the flora and fauna. Bring some companions along – a picnic is the perfect way to spend quality time with friends and family without the distractions of the modern-day world. And nature makes socializing with other people easier, so it’s the perfect place to build stronger relationships with those you love.
  8. Go fish.
    Fishing puts you outside, near a body of water, and it rewards patience. All of those are good things. Better still, grab a young niece or nephew or grandchild, and teach them how to fish. Even if you don’t catch (and release) anything, you’ll both forge a treasured, lifelong memory. With a little luck, you reel in a perch that will grow into a marlin after multiple retellings of the story at family events.
  9. Look, up in the sky.
    Thousands of people who watch birds as a hobby are on to something: There’s a special thrill when you can recognize a bird by sight, or by its sound. Odds are, your local Audubon chapter offers free birding walks that are open to the public. Or, turn to the internet for free resources to help you identify the birds in your area. Either way, bird watching gives you the perfect excuse to relax in nature, with your head in the clouds. That’s a great way to fend off stress.
  10. Sleep beneath the stars.
    Now you’re getting serious. Why not disconnect entirely for a couple of days and make nature your home? Camping lets you get further away than a simple day trip allows. Or, if roughing it isn’t your style, consider glamping, where you can maintain some of the creature comforts you love, but still be away from it all. If you take your phone, use it for that cool star-gazing app (or emergencies, of course), but not for scrolling social media 24/7. Forget the Fear of Missing Out and try the Joy of Missing Out instead. #JOMO!

It’s great to get out and #movemore outside, but make sure you #relaxmore, too.

  • Start small by scheduling time with a friend to try one of the first three ideas. (They’re easy!)
  • Then, plan a bigger trip with your companions to go on a picnic or even a camping trip, as the outdoors become a bigger part of your life.

It’s time to stop reading and take a deep, calming breath in nature, so you can be Healthy for Good! Content provided by the American Heart Association

Washington’s Lottery: Where the Money Goes

When Washington’s Lottery was established in 1982, its purpose was to provide revenue for the State General Fund, which supports schools, human services programs, natural resources, and other government programs.

In 2000, voters approved an action for Washington’s Lottery proceeds to primarily benefit education. More than 20 years later, Washington’s Lottery continues to make a difference across Washington state as a proud financial supporter of several important education programs.

Since its inception, Washington’s Lottery has generated more than $4.5 billion for programs benefiting Washington. In fiscal year (FY) 2021 alone, Washington’s Lottery contributed a total of $229 million to its beneficiaries.

One education beneficiary Washington’s Lottery is especially proud to support is the Washington Opportunity Pathways Account (WOPA). In FY21, WOPA received more than $185 million from the Lottery.  

Of the WOPA funds, Washington’s Lottery provides enough money to pay college tuition for more than 18,000 Washington residents.  It also gives $40 million annually to the state’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), which provides critical services to more than 15,000 children at 440 locations across the state. That $40 million is an impactful investment for a program that has lasting positive effects on children, such as increased college enrollment, grade progression, and high school graduation.

Record sales in FY21 also allowed increased contributions to other beneficiaries of Washington’s Lottery, including $14.2 million to the Stadium and Exhibition Center Account (Lumen Field), $23.9 million to the General Fund, $4.7 million to the Economic Development Account, and revenue to combat problem gambling. 

Of course, sales for the Lottery in FY21 could not have been possible without its dedicated players and retailer partners. Last fiscal year alone, players collected $604 million in prizes, while retailers earned more than $47 million in annual sales commission. These earnings can have quite an effect on communities across the state, as winners tend to spend and invest money into their local communities, and Lottery sales often make a big difference for small merchants.

From children attending pre-school, to the student receiving a college grant, to the convenience store owner supporting their family, Washington’s Lottery continues to contribute to the well-being of others with its proceeds. When you play, the entire state benefits. Visit walottery.com for additional information. 

Koresh Dance Company comes to Olympia

The Washington Center for the Performing Arts will host the Koresh Dance Company at 7:30pm on Saturday, April 16 as they perform La Danse.   Led by its founder, Ronen (Roni) Koresh, an Israeli-born choreographer and artistic director, the company’s performance is a passionate and humorous interpretation of three 1910 Matisse paintings of the same name.

According to Koresh, “Matisse painted it three times, each one slightly different.  This performance reflects how I felt when I was looking at each of the paintings.”  The paintings depict a circle of light between five dancing people, but changes in colors used and positions of the dancers inspire different emotional reactions to them.

Showcasing emotional responses is what Koresh aims at.  Through his dance company, located in Philadelphia, Koresh strives to show humanity and relationships between one another.  “I am very invested in people, both communities and individuals, and I like to show our humanity,” he said recently.

La Danse will be performed by five women and five men from across the country, each one a professional dancer from the Koresh Dance Company.  Koresh describes the dancers as brilliant and technically superb which audiences around the world respond to with enthusiasm and joy.

The Koresh Dance Company tours the globe including Spain, Turkey, Israel, South Korea, Mexico and Guatemala. The April 16 event marks the second time the Koresh Dance Company has visited Olympia.  “I love the area and its beauty.  There are some places you just don’t forget,” said Koresh.

Local dance students can attend two levels of masterclasses from a Koresh Dance Company member for a small fee on the Friday night before the performance.The Washington Center for the Performing Arts is committed to providing a wide variety of entertainment and cultural activities for the residents of five counties in the South Sound. Located in the heart of the state Capital, the Center has a focus on performing arts that are unique to the region.  The Center presents its own season of nationally and internationally touring artists from a broad spectrum of genres and styles.

Tickets for the Koresh Dance Company performance on April 16th are available from $25-$57 at washingtoncenter.org/event/20-03-28-koresh-dance

Getting Settled into a New Home

After the last box is moved into your new home, you might think the hardest part of moving is over. And you’re right, but there are still things to take care of before you can relax completely.

Get Your Utilities Set Up

You don’t want to arrive at your new place late at night and find that the lights don’t work. Before you move, arrange for the utilities to be set up there. Make sure all of your services are up and running so you can check your electronics and appliances.

Check Major Appliances

If you moved major appliances, such as a range, dishwasher, washer or dryer, check to make sure nothing was damaged during the move. This is particularly important if the mover prepared your appliances for the move. Your insurance policy may have a limited time in which to make a claim. Since these are big-ticket items, you want to make sure they’re all working.

Check all Boxes and Furniture

Make sure all boxes and furniture arrived and that nothing is damaged. If you’re missing something or you find damage, contact the mover and your insurance company to submit a claim. It’s important to do this immediately after moving in or the insurance company may not reimburse you.

Save Receipts

Keep all receipts and documentation related to your move in one file and store the file in a safe, secure place. Make sure you have your bill of lading and payment receipt. You may be able to claim your move on your next tax return, and you’ll need all the necessary receipts to make your claim.

Make Sure You’re Getting Your Mail

Check with the post office about mail forwarding. Update all important files and documents with your new address and notify everyone who needs to know about your move.

BY KELLY LENIHAN