Gateway: Living

Gear Up event provides free clothing, supplies to Key Peninsula students

Rhonda Heath, left, and Crystal Palmer, center, help with Evergreen Elementary students Brian and Hailey Palmer check out new garments with the assistance of volunteer Pat Riley, right, at the annual Gig Harbor Kiwanis Club’s Gear Up for School event at Key Peninsula Middle School last month.
Rhonda Heath, left, and Crystal Palmer, center, help with Evergreen Elementary students Brian and Hailey Palmer check out new garments with the assistance of volunteer Pat Riley, right, at the annual Gig Harbor Kiwanis Club’s Gear Up for School event at Key Peninsula Middle School last month. Special to the Gateway

Gear Up for School, the Gig Harbor Kiwanis Club’s annual no-cost “department store” inside Key Peninsula Middle School, played to a large gathering of happy young recipients and their parents last month.

In addition to Kiwani volunteers making the event the great success it always is were others from Backpacks 4 Kids, Kohl’s and Lindquist Dental Clinic for Children.

Kiwanian Jeni Mallory advised that under the direction of Gear Up for School chairman and Kiwanian Denny Wardwell, there were 207 recipients from Key Peninsula schools Vaughn, Minter, Evergreen and KPMS and 13 students from Purdy Elementary.

Of these, 104 were girls and 103 boys, ages 5 to 14.

Approximately 25 volunteers worked at the event as well.

“We purchased shoes from Payless Shoes in Tacoma this year,” Mallory said.

Kiwanis partner Lindquist Dental Clinic for Children was on hand as it has been for several years, providing dental back-to-school supplies. Abbe Salk, director of community relations for the clinic, shared free toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss to all the youth in attendance while emphasizing the importance of taking care of one’s oral health.

“Those youth in need of a dental home received resource information about Lindquist Dental’s clinics, including Gig Harbor, where the clinic’s professional staff provides accessible, compassionate and effective dental care to Puget Sound children in need,” she said. “At LDCC, no child is turned away due to inability to pay.”

Find LDCC locations and other information at lindquistdental.org or asalk@lindquistdental.org.

For more about Kiwanis, call 253-691-7085 or email gigharborkiwanis@yahoo.com.

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