Northwest NEWS

February 1, 1999

Valley Special

Raffles benefit Valley pool and rec center

by Jeff Spencer, special to the Valley View

   CARNATION--The Valley Recreation Association (VRA) is continuing its effort to build a pool and recreational facility for local residents. The association, originally the Eastman-Rush Foundation, was formed over a dozen years ago after two local teens drowned in the Snoqualmie River in separate incidents.

   In a fund-raising raffle last month, eight-year-old Sam Thompson of Carnation won three Beanie Babies. "I was like, YIPPIE! I felt like I was winning a million dollars," said Sam in a recent interview. Sam decided to add "Hippity" and "Floppity" to his new collection of Beanie Babies. But Sam wanted to share the excitement of winning with his sister Emily, so he gave "Hoppity" to her.

   The raffle was held to raise general expense money for 1999 and to keep the VRA's mission in the public's mind--to build a swimming pool and recreation center in the Lower Snoqualmie Valley.

   Sam currently takes swimming lessons in Kirkland, but the Carnation Elementary student says it would be nice to have a swimming pool in Carnation or Duvall. His father agrees.

   The project is projected to cost around $6 million and needs major corporate and foundation money, along with strong public support, VRA board members say. Anyone interested in becoming involved in the effort can call 333-4254.