Teens lead effort to make theater more accessible

Three Whidbey Island girls saw the problem: wheelchair and mobility-impaired access to Whidbey Children’s Theatre was difficult at best, according to a press release. Weather and time had worn the gravel path down.

Laci Pihlman, Julia Maher and Kalea Staats are members of the ninth-grade Cadette Girl Scouts of Western Washington Troop 43514, and they are women of action.

As part of achieving the Girl Scouts Silver Award, they assembled a team. The members included Steve Eley, who donated the concrete for the pathway, and Jim Honold of Mod Studio, who made the sign for the archway. They received financial support from the Rotary Club of Whidbey Westside and individual Rotarians in the amount of $2,500.

Rotarians Gwen Jones and John Joynt worked with the Scout team to help with planning and were on site to contribute labor during the actual construction.

“We were honored to be part of this project that improved our community and so proud of these young women” Kathy Rogers, president of the Rotary club of Whidbey Westside, said in the release.

By completing this project, Pihlman, Maher and Staats met the requirements to achieve their Silver Award, namely contributing a minimum of 50 hours of work and solving an important problem in the community. There are three parts to this project, two of which have now been completed. The girls would also like to add a vinyl “privacy screen” with youth-designed artwork to act as a private outdoor break room for the actors. Additional funds are required to take the project to completion.

Members from the Rotary Club of Whidbey Westside were present at Langley’s Whidbey Children’s Theatre as the three Girl Scouts unveiled their newly created pathway to the back entrance to the Children’s Theatre in order to make it safer, accessible and more welcoming.

Rotary members have long supported the community through a range of service projects. They have also supported Enso House, Days for Girls and Island Senior Resources. Rotary’s top priority is the global eradication of polio.

Visit Rotary.org and endpo lio.org for more about Rotary and its work to eradicate polio.

Visitors are welcome at Rotary Club of Whidbey Westside meetings: Mondays at 5 p.m. at Blooms Winery and 5511 Bistro, 5511 Freeland Ave., Freeland.

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