Archive for the ‘Fundraisers’ Category

Maia Sparkman, seen during her high school track days, sets off for Zambia in April to join the Peace Corps. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Maia Sparkman is one of the great ones.

She was a phenomenal athlete, both at South Whidbey High School and then at Seattle University.

As a Falcon, she was a standout on the soccer pitch and a state meet medal-winning supernova in track and field, the sport she continued to pursue in college.

Now, during her prep days, I was much more combative with those who lived on the South end of the Island.

There was a moment, though, after finally listening to people wiser than myself, that I started reaching out to Falcon Nation with an olive branch, instead of swinging my computer keyboard wildly to and fro.

During that time, I wrote several feature stories on South Whidbey athletes, and Maia, showing her grace, agreed to be the first Falcon I wrote about.

In her answers to my questions, she showed herself to be highly-intelligent, very-focused, and a young woman with immense potential.

Maia didn’t have to talk to me, but she did, and I greatly appreciated it, both then and now.

Thursday night, one of my favorite former Coupeville athletes, Haley Sherman, posted a link to a GoFundMe for Maia, and, being curious, I popped over to check it out.

Once there, I discovered Ms. Sparkman has joined the Peace Corps and is off to Zambia in April to kick off a two-year adventure.

I also found that, after working two jobs after college to build up savings, she unfortunately fell prey to a scam which gutted those savings.

Her family and friends have come together to try and help Maia get back on her feet financially, and I hope the mission blossoms.

This young woman is one of the best and brightest Whidbey Island has produced during my time running Coupeville Sports, and how can you not want her to succeed when her goal in life is simply to help others?

So, take a moment, pop over to the link below to get more facts, and, if you can, hopefully help Maia, with financial aid, positive messages, or both.



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Michelle and Reese Cernick. (Photo by Helen Taylor)

Time for a little payback.

The Cernick family has contributed greatly to keep youth soccer going strong in Coupeville, with parents Reese and Michelle working as both coaches and league administrators.

The family also owns and operates Whidbey Pest Control, while children Chris, Autumn and Aurora are all current students at Coupeville High School.

A recent health scare landed Reese in the hospital for a week-plus, as doctors dealt with a potential bleed in his brain.

While he’s back home, and droppin’ hot memes on Facebook on a regular basis, he’s still very much in recovery mode and has not been able to return to work.

As the Cernick family works its way back, one way we can all help is by getting on the meal train started by family friend Lori Taylor.

Whether you’re up to contributing food, or can help out with gift cards to grocery stores such as Red Apple Prairie Center or Safeway, everything helps.

To jump on the train, pop over to:


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Do it, for the kids.

It’s a win-win.

Take part in the “Dine Out 4 Kids” program and you get tasty treats while Coupeville children reap a financial reward.

The program, which bounces around and is supported by numerous local eateries, touches down at the Front Street Grill this coming Monday, Jan. 14.

A portion of sales generated that day will be donated to the Community Foundation for Coupeville Public Schools.

That organization, which has been going strong since 1997, provides “an extra measure of support” to teachers and students, providing scholarships and grants.

One of those grants can be seen at work in this vintage video featuring a number of young students who went on to be top Wolf athletes and students in later years:


For more info on the Foundation, pop over to:



Disclaimer: I’m a big promoter of the Foundation and its work, which is why I’m running this article.

Front Street Grill does not advertise with me … but probably should. Just sayin’.

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Scott Stuurmans banks home a bucket during the 2015 Tom Roehl Roundball Classic. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

For the first time in years, there won’t be an alumni basketball tourney in Coupeville.

The Tom Roehl Roundball Classic, which grew from an all-Wolf event to a major hoops showdown pitting local teams against off-Island foes, has been called off a month before tip-off.

The 2018 tourney was originally set for Dec. 22.

Tournament organizer Noah Roehl released a statement Monday afternoon:

We are canceling the 2018 Tom Roehl Hoops tournament.

We may re-visit hosting at a later date in the spring and will re-evaluate for future years.

We are sorry to do this, but feel it’s in the best interest of folks involved in organizing the tournament and time commitments of all of us over the holidays.

The tournament is named in honor of Noah’s father, who was a highly-influential local coach for decades.

Tom Roehl was an assistant football coach for many years on Ron Bagby’s staff at Coupeville High School, while also running a very-successful youth basketball program.

After his death in 2003, the Roehl family launched football and basketball alumni games, which have generated considerable money for scholarships which are presented to local students annually.

While the football game was retired, the basketball tourney grew in popularity, as alumni teams like Red Pride and the Coupeville Cows vied with teams from Oak Harbor, South Whidbey, Seattle and beyond.

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“Dang it, the ‘stache stays, Sherry! In the words of ’70s rock gods ELO … It’s a livin’ thing; It’s a terrible thing to lose; It’s a given thing; What a terrible thing to lose.” (Photos by Ema Smith)

“Was I not clear on this, sir? I’m just sayin’, you give my friend here a free 7-Up and maybe you get to keep using all your fingers. Maybe.”

When she uses that strawberry shampoo.

There’s another side to the Coupeville Booster Club’s annual Crab Feed.

Sure, the event is the biggest fundraiser of the year, and sure, all that money helps drive Wolf athletics for another year.

Community members get to mingle, and all is good and well.

Unless you’re a crab!

Than it’s The Night of a Thousand Butter Pats, an urban legend crab moms pass down to scare their unruly children at bed time.

At least I’d like to think so.

One second you’re the first crab in your whole family to go to college. The next you’re headed to the big hot tub in the sky. Life comes at you fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

That moment when you realize the crabs didn’t volunteer.

“Get in the pot, crabs! The Strawberry Slammer has spoken!!”

“Hey there, little crab buddies, I’ll sneak you out of this joint. You can hide in my pot of butter. Of course I brought my own butter pot … does it look like this is my first time at the rodeo, skippy?”

“Pinch, pinch, lil’ crabbies. You all float down here.”

“Goodnight, sweet crab princes, and flights of angels sing thee to thy butter-encrusted rest.”

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