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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
December 9, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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December 9, 2009

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SECTION B THE ISSAQUAH PRESS ('' 0MMUNITY WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2009 Kicking the habit Toy drive ..... gives youth at 14,441 feet a better lssaquah man quits smoking for good after participating in Climb for Clean Air By David Hayes Issaquah Press reporter Jeff Rafuse had tried many times to quit smoking, something he picked up at age 15. Little did he know, all it would take to kick the habit is climb a 14,441-foot mountain. The 1998 Issaquah High School graduate learned of the American :ung Association's annual Climb :bl Clean Air through the KIRO radio program "The Run and Don Show." As tribute to a producer on the show suffering from lung cancer, Don O'Neil joined the climb of Mount Rainier, a fundraiser for the ALA. "He talked quite a bit about the climb, which motivated me a lit- fie to do it, too," said Rafuse, 29. "I'd been smoking on and off since I was 15 and had tried to quit with varying degrees of suc- cess." He felt the time, March 1, 2009, was right to quit for good, espe- cially ff he wanted to get in shape to reach the summit with other climbers. As a mortgage and loan officer, Rafuse was a pretty inactive guy. But with the help of family and around Issaquah, he kept away from the cancer sticks. Two to three times a week, he hit Tiger Mountain Trail, a short but steep climb that's ideal train- ing for conquering Mount Rainier's trail to the summit. A funny thing started to hap- pen on the way up -- Rafuse said his lung capacity grew and his waistline shrank. He said he fig_ ures he dropped as much as 30 pounds before the climb in July and he has kept most of it off since. This was also the first major fundraiser Rafuse attempted. Everyone participating had to bring in a guaranteed $4,000 for the AIA. Rafuse easily topped that summit, netting $4,600. He hopes to top that amount next year when he participates again, even though event organiz- ers have lowered the minimum in an effort to attract more partici- pants. Armed with all of the appropri- ate gear and his newfound lung PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED Jeff Rafuse, of Issaquah, is all smiles (above) after reaching the summit of Mount Rainier. At right, it was quite the struggle hiking to get there (sec- ond from left). capacity, Rafuse joined about 20 others on O'Neil's trip to the sum- mit of Mount Rainier July 24-26. He was surprised to learn that there are limited opportunities to turn around for those who dis- cover the trek is more than they anticipated. See CLIMB, Page S3 Liberty running back Kyle Ahrens t ains with hot yoga By Tila Pfarr Issaquah Press reporter Hot yoga. It's not just stretching in a comfortably warm room; it's a grueling workout in scorching :emperatures that climb past 100 teFees. Before the 2008 football sea- son, Liberty High School coaches encouraged their players to take up the activity, and about a dozen made the trip to Issaquah Hot Yoga to give it a try. "I was like, 'Wait, yoga?'" Lib- erty running back Kyle Ahrens recalled asking when head coach Steve Valach first suggested the activity. "It was definitely a workout," Ahrens said recalling his first trip to the studio. "We were definitely not expecting it to be as difficult as it was." Ahrens did yoga about once every two weeks during the foot- ball season and about once a month during the offseason. "It's a love/hate relationship with yoga," he said. "The amount you sweat is ridiculous." As the 2009 season began, Ahrens continued to hit the yoga studio, increasing his flexibility and improving his football game. "It definitely helps with flexibil- ity," he said, adding that it also increased his quickness. Between the 2008 and 2009 seasons, Ahrens' offense yards more than tripled and his aver- age yards per carry increased from 7.3 to 11.5. Ahrens also recorded a touchdown in the 2009 season. Ahrens said yoga also helps him avoid injuries. "It's definitely helped, just with not pulling hamstrings and stuff like that," he said. "It's helped keep me healthy." Ahrens said his favorite yoga positions are the headstand and the crow, where he balances him- self on his arms. He said he is also a fan of the corpse pose, where he gets to lay on the floor motionless. The corpse pose is performed at the end of each ses- sion. "It means yoga session's over and I can actually relax," he said See HOT YOGA, Page B3 Uberty High School running back Kyle Ahrens strikes the warrior pose, a classic yoga position at Issaquah Hot Yoga. Although the temperature soars past 100 degrees in the studio, Ahrens keeps his focus. BY TIM PFARR Christmas By Chantelle Lusebrink Issaquah Press reporter As you're making your list and checking it twice, save a few and Clothing Bank. It needs help this season to make the holidays bright for everyone in our community. To help, one local woman has set up a toy collection drive at eickering Barn from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Dec. 13 to help you spread the holiday cheer to local children. ' I love the work the food bank does," said Suzie Kuflik, a resi- dent and volunteer with Issaquah Valley Elementary School. "There are a lot of families taken care of through the food bank's program, but a lot more will need help closer to Christmas, and Christ- mas is all about the kids. "Not everyone can adopt an en- tire family, so I wanted to have a community-wide toy drive in- stead." This isn't the first community drive Kullik has organized. In the past few months, she and the school have organized a warm coat and clothing drive, and an es- sentials drive, which collected new underwear and socks and personal hygiene items, like shampoo, for the food and cloth- ing bank. "We live in a fairly affluent area and I think people don't realize that there are people in our com- munity that need help," Kuflik said. "They see Talus and our more affluent areas, but unless they go to the side streets, where there are huge apartment com- plexes, they don't have any idea of the real demographics of our downtown area." "We have a lot of people that care in this community," said Cherie Meier, executive director of the food and clothing bank. "We are very proud and feel very fortu- nate." So far, there haven't been any toys dropped off at the clothing bank, Meier said. "Everyone can give one toy or has something they can give," Ku- flik said. 'I really want the kids to See TOY DRIVE, Page B3 C ONTI{IBUTED Judy Rogers, Keltb Watts and Connie Fletcher (from left), of the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah, stand behind their work - the result of the club's annual community coat and shoe drive. Kiwanis Club coat and shoe drive is a success The Kiwanis Club of Is- saquah's annual community coat and shoe drive collected several hundred coats and more than 100 pairs of shoes and socks for the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. Community members dropped their donations off at The Issaquah Press, US Bank, Watts Properties, Foot Zone, Key Bank, REI and Starbucks during the month of November. Kiwanis Club volunteers then collected the donations for delivery to the clothing bank, where they are distrib- uted to needy individuals and families. Visit the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank at 179 First Ave. S.E. It's open from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Tuesdays through Thurs- days, and from 5-7 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month. Night of nibbles yields nearly $2,000 for food bank By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter A foodie fundraiser pulled in almost 600 pounds of food and $2,000 for the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank last month. Corks & Forks, organized by the Issaquah Highlands Wine and Cooking Club, brought to- gether 63 attendees Nov. 13 for high-end nibbles, wine and a good cause. More than a dozen local businesses donated to the event. Organizer Jen Jedda and her team staged the event after a suc- cessful Corks & Forks fundraiser held last year, when attendees raised $1,200 and donated more than 300 pounds of food to stock food bank shelves. Jedda said she believed the event could help the food pantry as the holiday season began and demand for donations climbs. "We were overwhelmed at the amount in [monetary] donations and food contributions for the food bank we collected, as we didn't know what to expect going into the evening" during the first event, Jedda wrote in an e-mail. "After the event, we received multiple re- quests to do it again." The event started as a way to bring together food and wine en- thusiasts to enjoy snacks and aid the food pantry. Jedda said the re- cent evening yielded $1,954 in monetary donations and 586 pounds of food contributions. "Any evening that involves unique and fun food, memorable wine and lively conversation with some of my favorite friends is hard to pinpoint a favorite part," she wrote. "Although I think the gen- PHOTOS BY DIANNE BRISBINE Above left, Jan Bennett (left) and Janls Grusz enjoy the Corks & Forks fundraiser organized to benefit the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. Above right, the event attracted about 60 people to Blakely Hall for appetizers and wine (below). eral feeling of community, and knowing we all came together as nei hbors to help neighbors, was a bi: )art of what made the evening so special for me." Jedda said her favorite nibble of the night was ginger chicken salad in a sesame cone. "I think that was a favorite of many, as our chef couldn't keep them stocked! she wrote. "They looked like little ice cream cones and were so delish. There were some pretty fantastic desserts, too!" The organizer said plans for the event blossomed from a raffle as businesses offered donations. "Once we had collected over 10 items, we changed our plan from a raffle to a silent auction, knowing we could raise more money for the food bank," Jedda wrote. "Going into the first event, we didn't real- ize the success it would be." She said the silent auction re- shaped the event -- and perhaps pulled in more money. "People had a fantastic time mingling with neighbors, nibbling on incredible apps, sipping great wine and playfully competing with friends for silent auction items," she wrote. Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www. issaquahpress, com.