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The Issaquah Press





Wednesday August 15, 2012


By Tyler Hamke

London Olympic Stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies, and track and field events, including the women’s 800-meter and men’s 5,000-meter qualifying heats attended by the Hamkes on Aug. 8.

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY Local family experiences Olympic history in London

By Warren Kagarise London extinguished the Olympic flame in a glitzy, star-studded ceremony Aug. 12, after 16 days defined by milestones reached, records shattered and, for a local family, a golden opportunity to experience the 2012 Summer Olympics up close. Sue Hamke — joined by husband Kurt, daughter Jessica and son Tyler — left the Sammamish Plateau for London in early August. The family attended the Winter Olympics in 2002, 2006 and 2010, but London offered the Hamkes a chance to experience the Summer Olympics in a familiar setting. The family lived just outside the city from 200406, as the International Olympic Committee awarded the games to London and preparations for the event started in earnest. The games, clustered in futuristic venues constructed mostly in London’s East End, did not disappoint. “The amazing thing about the Olympics is seeing athletes from all over the world and how the crowd cheers for them all,” Sue Hamke recalled Aug. 12. The family, seated high in Olympic Stadium, watched Sarah Attar make history. “We saw the first woman ever allowed to compete in an Olympics from Saudi Arabia run in the 800 meters,” Hamke continued. “She finished well behind the See FAMILY,




Photos Contributed By Sue Hamke

Above middle, giant Olympic rings dangle from the Tower Bridge as a double-decker bus crosses the span. Above, athletes compete in a qualifying heat for the men’s 5,000-meter Aug. 8. At right, Jessica (from left), Tyler, Kurt and Sue Hamke hold a U.S. flag as the U.S. women’s volleyball team faces Turkey on Aug. 5. Below left, athletes from Korea and Hong Kong face off in a table tennis match. Below right, athletes race through the streets of London Page B3 during the women’s marathon Aug. 5.

Epic torch relay, basketball game define Olympics for local man By Warren Kagarise The action surrounding the 2012 Summer Olympics extended far beyond London. Kyle Haddad-Fonda experienced the Olympic Torch Relay in Oxford and later headed south to experience the games. (Haddad-Fonda’s parents live in Issaquah.) London Olympics organizers intended for the 70-day torch

relay to crisscross the United Kingdom in the run-up to the July 27 Opening Ceremony. In Oxford, Haddad-Fonda and a friend stood along St. Clement’s Street to see the torch speed past. “Seeing the torch itself was fairly anticlimactic, since it went by very fast, but it was fun to see the street lined with cheering peoSee EXPERIENCE, Page B3

Help seniors through volunteering, friendship By Katie Larsen “It’s the ability to keep people living independently and be in good shape being there,” Clair Petersky said. “Sometimes, it’s that extra help with volunteers that helps them to flourish.” Petersky is the executive director of Eastside Friends of Seniors, a local organization that provides seniors with volunteers who help transport them to medical appointments, shop and run errands, complete household chores and jobs, and provide information and referrals.

“It opens up just a fantastic friendship. They become an important part of your life. I love what I do right now.” — DeeAnn Maher Eastside Friends of Seniors volunteer

The service began in 1998 (It was then known as Faith in Action) and it now serves Issaquah, Sammamish and the Snoqualmie Valley. In Issaquah, there are 170 active clients and 31 active volunteers. The median age of clients is 82; the biggest age

group is 85 to 90 years old. “It’s really heartwarming to see how much our volunteers get from helping seniors in our community,” Petersky said. “I think we are definitely friends. I think we benefit the entire community.” There are a variety of ways to volunteer. To build

relationships with clients, volunteers are matched with people who need consistent help. There are also opportunities for group projects that take a full or half-day to complete, like cleaning up after storms or doing yard work. There are also volunteers who are just on-call to provide a service if they are available at a given time. Amanda Lin, a senior at the International Community School in Kirkland, is interning for the summer through Teens in PubSee SENIORS, Page B3

Community Bible Study marks its 10th year in a new location Community Bible Study celebrates its 10th year on the Sammamish Plateau this year. “We have been blessed to serve over 500 women in the Sammamish area since inception of this class in January 2003, and look forward to serving many new women and their children in the coming years,” Sue Wood, CBS teaching director, said. “It is so rewarding to see so many women of different denominations studying together. We focus on our similarities rather than our differences.”

The class will be moving this year to a new location — Faith United Methodist Church at 3924 Issaquah-Pine Lake Road — on a new day, Wednesdays, starting Sept. 12. The class is from 9:45-11:45 a.m. The Sammamish Plateau Community Bible Study also provides a caring children’s program for children from birth to kindergarten, but space will be limited. Learn more at sammamishplateau. or email Julie Guse at

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