Giant Free Health Clinic – Oct. 23-26

More than 30 health, human service and civic organizations from across the State of Washington are joining together to produce a giant free health clinic, Oct. 23 – 26, in KeyArena at Seattle Center. In partnership with the humanitarian organization Remote Area Medical® (RAM), the four-day volunteer-driven clinic provides a full range of free dental, vision and medical care to underserved and vulnerable populations in the region.

RAM provides a generous amount of the required equipment, tools and supplies, as well as operational expertise, while the Host Community supplies the event venue, secures professional volunteers and interpreters, fundraises and brings organizational expertise to ensure the event is successful. The goal is to deliver free services to as many as 1,000 patients each day. This will require broad participation from the health community across Washington. Over upcoming months, the Host Community will seek qualified volunteers and interpreters for the clinic.

Organizing and implementing an event on this scale requires months of planning, hundreds of volunteers and dozens of actively engaged partners. It represents the serious dedication of a caring community to address healthcare issues at the local levels to positively impact the health of the region and raise awareness of the scale of those left out of the current healthcare system.

In addition to the clinic, a resource event called HealthFest, Oct. 25 – 26 in Seattle Center Armory, will offer members of the public information and services to stay healthy including real solutions ranging from health insurance navigation and enrollment to demonstrations of nutritional and fitness ideas, screenings and educational discussions.

More information on the Seattle/King County Clinic at KeyArena, as well as HealthFest in Seattle Center Armory, is available at:  Seattle Center Foundation or by calling 206 684-7200.  

Cherry Blossom Festival this Weekend!

Discover and experience the cultural roots and contemporary influences of Japan through live performances, visual arts, hands-on activities, foods and games at Seattle Center Festál:  Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival, 10 am – 5 pm, Friday, April 25 and 10 am – 6 pm, April 26 and 27, in Seattle Center Armory.

The festival was founded 39 years ago in appreciation of 1,000 cherry trees gifted to Seattle by Prime Minister Takeo Miki on behalf of the Japanese government in commemoration of the United States bicentennial. It is the first ethnic festival to be held at Seattle Center annually and the oldest in the Seattle Center Festál series.

This year’s visual feast includes Taiko drumming, artisan demonstrations and a theatrical stage production, Otokichi, which retells the story of Japanese shipwreck survivors, the first on Washington State’s soil. Farewell Shikata ga nai uses World War II as a visual backdrop for a dance/drama performance about heritage and justice for incarcerated Japanese Americans. As a special treat, Seattle Reign’s Naho Kawasumi will be in attendance at the festival. Naho is also a member of the 2013 gold medal Japan national Olympic women’s soccer team, and will return to Japan this summer to complete its 2014 season.

There will be a display on the third floor of Seattle Center Armory of Japan Foundation’s traveling exhibit, Passage to the Future:  Art from a New Generation in Japan, highlighting the talent of today’s Japanese and Japanese-American artisans.

Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival is presented by the Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival Committee, in conjunction with Seattle Center Festál. For more information, go to  or call 206 684-7200 to learn more about Seattle Center Festál and other outstanding public events offered at Seattle Center.

Special Whirl’n Happy Hour, April 17

Please join us tonight – and pass this message to your friends and colleagues,

April is Whirligig! time at Seattle Center, when kids bounce and slide on huge inflatable rides. Sounds fun, eh? We think so, and we see no reason for adults to be denied such abounding pleasure. So we’re commandeering a few of the Whirligig! rides for this month’s edition of Seattle’s Best Damn Happy Hour, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., TODAY, Thursday, April 17, in Seattle Center Armory.

And if the rides weren’t enough to re-connect happy hour attendees to their “inner child,” we are adding a HULA HOOP competition with thirst-quenching prizes.

The Happy Hour also offers game play, music by DJ Hitman, outstanding happy hour foods freshly prepared by Seattle Center Armory eateries and a fine line-up of specialty cocktails. There are also opportunities to win tickets to activities at Seattle Repertory Theatre, EMP Museum, Pacific Science Center, Pacific Northwest Ballet and KeyArena.

Entry to Seattle’s Best Damn Happy Hour is free. Attendees must be 21or older, and I.D. is required. Check online at for more information and a full list of food and drink specials or call 206 684-7200.


Free Jazz Concert, Noon, April 30

Seattle Center, in conjunction with Jazz In The City Concert Series, celebrates the 2014 United Nations International Day of Jazz with a special tribute to Seattle’s own jazz ambassador, Ernestine Anderson.

This free lunchtime concert, 12 p.m., Wednesday, April 30, in Seattle Center Armory, features some of Seattle’s finest jazz artists:  Debbie Cavitt, Tess Guerzon and pianist Deems Tsutakawa and his band.

International Day of Jazz, which highlights the diplomatic role of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization in uniting people in all corners of the globe through jazz, concludes Jazz Appreciation Month honoring the music that America gave to the world.

We hope you enjoy this rare musical mid-day respite. Bring a lunch or purchase from Armory eateries, featuring freshly prepared foods of the Northwest. More information is available at: or 206-684-7200.  

Irish Fest – Cultural IQ

Seattle Center Festal:  Irish Festival comes to Seattle Center this weekend, March 15-16, and features non-stop Irish music, singing and dancing, along with short films, lectures and Irish and Celtic products. Festival-goers may take in genealogy and Irish language workshops, cultural exhibits and more. Family-oriented activities include performances by amazing Irish musicians along with champion Irish step dancers from around the Pacific Northwest. Children are invited to enter the “Smilingest Irish Eyes Contest,” the “Most Irish-Looking Face Contest” and other activities in the Children’s Activities Center.

Artistic Director for the Festal series, Steve Sneed, has written a “Cultural IQ” about a fascinating connection between the Irish and the Choctaw Indians:

This is one of my favorite Cultural IQ stories. I first heard this story when I found out the Irish Festival was looking for a Grand Marshall for the Irish parade. They were considering a Native American Man. I was confused. Why a Native American man for an Irish parade? They said , “Well, haven’t you heard of the great potato famine in Ireland?” Yes, why? “Well, did you know that the Choctaw Indians donated money to help the Irish in 1847.” What! You mean to tell me, after the great trail of tears when the Choctaw nation was moved from their lands to reservation land in Oklahoma, they were able to have compassion on the Irish, in Ireland, who were starving and take donations for a total of $710.00 (todays value, a lot of money!) and send it to Ireland?

Nearly 150 years after the Great Potato Famine, a group of Irish people retraced the “Trail of Tears” walking from Oklahoma to Mississippi to repay the longstanding debt to the Choctaw Indian tribe. The Irish returned the favor, by publicizing the generosity of the Choctaw and by raising money for yet another famine relief effort — this one in Somalia, an East African nation racked with starvation.

Eight people from Ireland began the 500-mile trek from Broken Bow, Okla., to Nanih Waiya, Miss. — retracing, in reverse, the government-forced relocation of the tribe in 1831 from its homeland to what was then Indian Territory wilderness. Tens of thousands were moved. Nearly half died.

In 1847, midway through the Irish famine, a group of Choctaws collected $710 and sent it to help starving Irish men, women and children.

It had been just 16 years since the Choctaw people had experienced the trail of Tears, and they had faced starvation . . . . It was an amazing gesture. By today’s standards, it might be a million dollars. It illustrates how we are all one people bound together by circumstances we can all relate to.

Enhance your Cultural IQ and share with Family and Friends! See the video of  Irish Dancers