Valley View

Nonprofits rely on online fundraising in wake of virus

  • Written by Laura Guido
Sno-Valley Senior Center chef Jennifer Berg (background) and Thrift Store Manager Angie Hartung (foreground) prepare lunch. Courtesy photo


Sno-Valley Senior Center may have shuttered its doors, but staff members haven’t stopped serving the surrounding community despite its main sources of fundraising having been postponed or eliminated. 

That's why this year’s statewide online campaign GiveBig Washignton is particularly critical. 

As of May 10, the center had raised $9,818 through the annual drive to benefit nonprofits and charitable causes in the state. 

The funds go toward the senior center’s dining program, which serves about 45 meals per day according to Program Coordinator Kira Avery. There is also a social worker on staff contacting between 30 and 50 people each week and continuing grief support groups and caregiver support groups online, Avery said. 

Early May normally would’ve marked the center’s annual plant sale, which typically raises about $20,000 for the organization, she said. 

Although the center still needs monetary contributions, Avery said this year’s efforts through GiveBig Washington have helped fill a significant funding gap. 

The fundraiser also supported the efforts of Carnation Farms, a nonprofit growing operation that focuses on education. As of May 10, the organization had raised $1,570 through GiveBig Washington. 

Carnation Farms is considered essential under the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order and has kept its farm stand open seven days a week. Hand sanitizer and gloves are available for customers and staff, and the maximum capacity has been limited to 10 people for safety, according to the farm’s website. The farm also put in place a delivery service in the immediate area for those who cannot visit the stand. 

“We feel honored to be growing and providing local organic food for the community as well as educate new farmers to help transform the future of agriculture and food,” Interim Executive Director Nadja Wilson said in an email. 

Summer youth programs are canceled this year as well as other events and classes that would normally take place on the large property. However, Wilson told the Snoqualmie Valley Record recently that the Growing Farmers training program is going ahead and that keeping social distance would be manageable on the 818-acre property.

Several other local nonprofits have benefited from the GiveBig Washington fundraising effort, which raised money for more than 1,600 charities, according to its website. Although its main effort spanned May 5 and 6, the website will continue to accept donations until midnight on May 15. 

To donate or learn more, visit 

Encompass Rise & Thrive Breakfast now a virtual event

  • Written by By Colleen Lenahan, Encompass

NORTH BEND — For the safety of our community during the COVID-19 crisis, the fourth annual Encompass Rise & Thrive Breakfast on May 19 will now move to an all-virtual event.

The program, which runs from 9-9:35 a.m., will be hosted by Chris Cashman and feature video messages from Encompass families, Executive Director Nela Cumming, and keynote speaker Dr. Rebecca Partridge from Virginia Mason. 

Encompass supporters all over the world are invited to grab a cup of coffee and join us to learn more about Encompass and the importance of early intervention in child development.

Guests can use the link to register for the event in advance or log on the morning of May 19. Access to the virtual event is free, but there is a suggested donation of $100 during the program in support of Encompass programs for children and families.

The community is invited to show their solidarity with Encompass on social media leading up to the event. Share a picture of your family eating breakfast together on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the hashtag #RiseWithEncompass. Your picture could be featured onscreen during the event!

Learn more about the Encompass Rise & Thrive Breakfast at or visit the Encompass Special Events Facebook page. 

Encompass is a nonprofit that partners with families to build healthy foundations for children, providing early learning, pediatric therapy, and family enrichment for children of all abilities in the Snoqualmie, Issaquah, and eastside communities. With two locations in North Bend and one in Carnation, Encompass offers programs for children up to 8 years of age to help foster a community where all children thrive.

Lisa Yeager stays on as Sno-Valley Senior Center director

Small Lisa Yeager 2020Lisa Yeager, after having previously announced her intention to take another position elsewhere, has decided to stay on as director of the Sno-Valley Senior Center. 

“Covid-19 has ushered in lots of changes and created much uncertainty" Yeager said in an emailed statement.

"Anything that brings stability and continuity is welcome these days. With this in mind, I have decided to stay on as center director at the Sno Valley Senior Center. The center has lots of opportunities ahead to expand its reach into the community through the Veterans Seniors and Human Services Levy funding it received.  We have so much more we can offer our community. I’m glad to be part of it.”



Duvall resident serves in the Horn of Africa

  • Written by By Bob Kirkpatrick and Lt. Jennifer K. Cunningham
Shannon Llenza. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy


CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – U.S. Navy reserve Judge Advocate Gen. Cmdr. Shannon Llenza from Duvall had been deployed to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. 

Officially known as the Republic of Djibouti, the 8,958 square-mile country is strategically located near some of the world's busiest shipping lanes, controlling access to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. It serves as a key refueling and transshipment center and is the principal maritime port for imports from and exports to neighboring Ethiopia.

Camp Lemonnier is the only enduring U.S. military base on the continent of Africa. It provides, operates and sustains support of combat readiness and security of ships, aircraft, detachments, and personnel for regional and combatant command requirements. 

Llenza, who is also an attorney at Microsoft in Redmond, serves as the legal advisor to the base commanding officer, offering guidance regarding ethics, criminal justice, rules of engagement, and personnel and other legal matters. 

Llenza is a 1995 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and 2001 graduate of Marquette University Law School She credits her success in the Navy to her adopted hometown.

“The community of Duvall has really stepped up to help my family while I’m here,” Llenza said. “We have no other relatives in the area, and it takes a village to support a military family while a parent is deployed. We haven’t lived in Duvall long, but it’s been humbling how people have come together and helped when we needed them. It’s a great community and I’m so lucky to be a part of it.”

Llenza’s commanding officer, Capt. Ken Crowe, says she’s is among the many who play an important role in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness in the strategical seaports on the northeast coast of Africa.

“Camp Lemonnier is a key Navy base and a vital asset to the United States as our location in the Horn of Africa overlooks the world’s fourth busiest waterway,” Crowe said “A mission as critical as ours comes with a lot of responsibilities and challenges, but our military members and civilians work hard. I’m honored to serve alongside each and every one of them, including Commander Llenza.”

Llenza is the first person in her family to join the military. Her husband is a retired Navy veteran. Llenza said she’d be honored to see her children following in their footsteps.

“My dad influenced me to join the Navy after law school,” Llenza said. “The Navy has been good to me and if my kids want to join, I’d completely support them. I feel like being in the Navy has helped to provide my daughter with a strong female role model because she sees that women can do anything that men can do.”

Transportation Coalition looks to add services in Snoqualmie Valley

  • Written by Madeline Coats
The Snoqualmie Valley Transportation Coalition recently completed its five-year plan to improve transportation opportunities in the cities of Monroe, Duvall, Carnation, Fall City, Snoqualmie, North Bend and unincorporated King County. Snoqualmie Valley Transportation has already taken steps to increase transit services in the Valley. SVTC courtesy photo


A coalition of cities, counties, elected officials, community members and local organizations assembled to create more transit options for cities in the Snoqualmie Valley back in 2017. 

Over two years after forming, the Snoqualmie Valley Transportation Coalition (SVTC) completed its five-year transportation plan for the cities of Monroe, Duvall, Carnation, Fall City, Snoqualmie and North Bend. SVTC is staffed by Hopelink and receives funding through the Washington State Department of Transportation.   

“Our coalition is energized, and we have come together with a unified voice to bring transportation improvements to the Valley,” said M’Liss Moon, mobility coordinator at Hopelink and lead staff support for the transportation coalition. 

The five-year plan aims to improve transportation in both incorporated and unincorporated regions, while also supporting affordability, accessibility, and social equity for all riders. Priorities were identified as part of two assessment surveys completed by citizens in 2017 and 2019.

According to a news release, goals of the plan include expanded services on all days of the week and more rider connections to transit hubs in Redmond, Issaquah, Bellevue, Seattle and more. 

Survey respondents highlighted current inabilities to reach public transportation from their homes due to distance, safety and mobility, especially for older individuals and others trying to reach medical appointments. 

Other results indicated an overall lack of understanding for what services already exist. Many people suggested more communication about transit projects.

“This is a big deal. We are recognizing Snoqualmie Valley as the regional transit area that it is,” said Amy Biggs, director of Snoqualmie Valley Transportation. “This will be the plan for transportation improvements in the Valley through 2024. When the entire valley speaks together, we can have a big voice. We’re excited to start work on these important projects.” 

The transportation plan said Carnation residents highlighted a need for more frequent service by the Valley Shuttle and increased connections to Redmond transit centers. 

Citizens in Duvall called for “more westbound and northbound” connections, leading the coalition to plan a partnership with Snohomish County’s Community Transit. Survey participants advocated for the expansion and continuation of the Duvall-Monroe Shuttle, as stated in the plan.

Residents in unincorporated King County advocated for improved transit frequency on Ames Lake Road, Carnation Farms Road, Tolt River Road and Tolt Hill Road. A news release said the coalition is continuing to identify transportation solutions to connect unincorporated regions to city centers.