Fishline is made doubly happy thanks to Soroptimists’ donation

POULSBO — Fishline organizers knew a donation was coming their way this week from Soroptimists International of North Kitsap.

But Director Tricia Sullivan’s jaw dropped when Soroptimists president Carmen Hassold handed her a check for $2,000 — twice what she’d received from the club the previous year.

“This is such a generous donation,” she commented in surprise.

The donation from the club June 16 came from the net proceeds of the annual Soroptimists International of North Kitsap Garden Show. The local Soroptimists chapter, established in 1995, is fairly small with only about 18 members and the show its biggest event of the year.

For the last four years, Fishline has been the beneficiary of the garden show, which will mark its 10th anniversary in March 2005. In 2003, the show’s net proceeds enabled the group to give $1,000 to the non-profit. This year, the club was able to double that.

“Because of our sponsors and our vendors, it was successful and we had a great opportunity and a lot of fun,” Hassold said of this year’s garden show.

Fishline serves families in the North Kitsap School District area, reaching from Keyport to Hood Canal and back to Agate Pass. Sullivan said that since the Sept. 11, 2001, the non-profit has seen a steady 35 percent increase in clients for food, utility and even prescription assistance.

The annual donation from the Soroptimists has been used to buy backpacks and school supplies that are given to students of all ages in the NKSD and Sullivan said she plans to continue that trend. Last year, an estimated 400 students received school supplies and at least 300 are expected to make requests this year.

“It is so important that the youth have the proper things to get back to school,” Hassold said. “That money Fishline receives goes to help families in need. It’s not just the food but the amenities for our day-to-day living that we take for granted sometimes.”

With a fully-stocked backpack for a first grader costing about $40 and for a high schooler costing about $55, Sullivan said the increased donation from the Soroptimists will go a long way. She added that she hopes to spend a few hundred dollars of the donation helping supply children in need with milk money during the school year as well.

The Fishline donation is one of three major civic projects local Soroptimists take on each year. The others include supporting a young woman in Kenya through her secondary education and a scholarship fund that is still in the works.

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