Gail Benzler Joins Seattle Tennis and Education Foundation as Executive Director

Seattle Tennis and Education (STEF) is proud to announce Gail Benzler as its Executive Director. STEF, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in 2017, provides athletic conditioning, tennis training and educational enrichment to under-resourced youth in Seattle. STEF recognizes that not every child and not every family has access to quality schools, a top education and opportunities to play lifetime sports like tennis. STEF aims to help level the playing field for kids across the Seattle area. Benzler is a longtime Bellevue resident and the organization has plans to expand to the Eastside in 2019.

Seattle Tennis and Education Foundation

Seattle Tennis and Education (STEF) has announced that Gail Benzler has been named its Executive Director. STEF, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in 2017, provides athletic conditioning, tennis training and educational enrichment to under-resourced youth in Seattle. STEF recognizes that not every child and not every family has access to quality schools, a top education and opportunities to play lifetime sports like tennis. STEF aims to help level the playing field for kids across the Seattle area. Benzler is a longtime Bellevue resident and the organization has plans to expand to the Eastside in 2019.

Continue reading “Gail Benzler Joins Seattle Tennis and Education Foundation as Executive Director”

New parenting resource to kill summer camp planning pain

Tis the season to plan for your children’s summer camps! Those 10 long weeks to fill with thousands of programs out there, to many parents, summer camp planning is tedious, frustrating and time-consuming. It is truly a headache.6crickets.com logo

Here is why. Parents need to visit many camp providers’ websites, manually find programs that satisfy their children’s ages, interests, driving constraints, and schedules at each provider’s website. Often parents put together a spreadsheet to piece classes from different providers into a coherent schedule across the 10 weeks of the summer—that is quite a puzzle to solve. Once figuring out this schedule, a parent needs to go to each provider’s website to create an account and password and to fill out lengthy registration forms over and over again. This process can linger for weeks to finalize and is simply painful. Continue reading “New parenting resource to kill summer camp planning pain”

NFFTY – National Film Festival for Talented Youth – Celebrating and Showcasing the Best New Emerging Filmmakers from Around the World

NFFTY 2017 National Film Festival for Talented YouthThe largest and most influential festival for filmmakers ages 24 and under marks its 11th year with their biggest program yet with 257 films from 27 countries.

NFFTY, APRIL 27 – APRIL 30 IN SEATTLE, WA

NFFTY (pronounced “nifty”), National Film Festival for Talented Youth, has announced the complete schedule for its 11th festival, taking place April 27 – April 30, 2017 in Seattle.

The 2017 selections include 257 films from 27 countries, with filmmakers ranging from ages 6 through 24. NFFTY is also launching NFFTYX — NFFTY’s first foray into virtual reality and 360° and immersive storytelling that includes a 360° gallery, workshop and more.

“NFFTY showcases the world’s best new filmmakers and this year is no exception. Continue reading “NFFTY – National Film Festival for Talented Youth – Celebrating and Showcasing the Best New Emerging Filmmakers from Around the World”

6th Annual Lake to Lake Bike Ride in Bellevue June 3, 2017

Lake to Lake Bike Ride BellevueLake to Lake Bike Ride BellevueAn enjoyable, non-competitive recreational ride for the whole family.   Two unique loops; a mostly flat Greenbelt Loop flat 9-mile route; and the Lake Loop which is a more challenging 22-mile route.  Routes are about 80% on-road and 20% off-road (gravel).  The routes take riders to and through Bellevue’s award winning park system exploring hidden treasures of Bellevue.  Benefits the City of Bellevue youth camp scholarship fund.  Entry fees are low.  Participants receive a custom t-shirt.  Lots of goodies at post ride fest. 

Start and finish, Lake Hills Community Park 1200-164th Avenue SE, Bellevue, WA  98007 Ages 9 and up.  Volunteers are needed. 

Day of event registration opens at 8:00 am Continue reading “6th Annual Lake to Lake Bike Ride in Bellevue June 3, 2017”

Google Announces $165,000 Sponsorship for "Open Outdoors for Kids" Initiative

Google Campout KirklandOn Saturday, October 22, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined Google to announce a $165,000 sponsorship to the National Park Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids, an initiative that helps connect more kids to their national parks through fun and engaging activities. The announcement was made during a campout held on Google’s Kirkland campus together with the U.S. Department of the Interior and YMCA for 60 Seattle-area elementary students.

“On behalf of Interior, I want to thank Google for their generous donation to help fourth graders from disadvantaged communities experience the great outdoors,” said Secretary Jewell.  “Spending a day and night on the Cross Kirkland Corridor for these youngsters is a reminder that there are accessible public lands close by every community that enable family, friends and kids of all ages to enjoy nature. Experiences like we’re having today not only provide meaningful learning opportunities, but also plant seeds that will nurture future generations of outdoor stewards.” Continue reading “Google Announces $165,000 Sponsorship for "Open Outdoors for Kids" Initiative”

Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra Announces New Concert Season, Sponsored Again by Kennelly Keys Music

bellevue-youth-symphony-orchestra-bysoBellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra has announced its 2016–17 concert season theme, Creative Collaborations. The exchange of ideas and inspiration between music and other art forms down through the centuries has resulted in many exquisite compositions, and Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra is excited to share some of these with audiences this season.
Along with other delightful works, BYSO’s Masterworks I concert (coming up soon on November 6) will present music from West Side Story, a 20th-century retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Continue reading “Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra Announces New Concert Season, Sponsored Again by Kennelly Keys Music”

TGA Premier Youth Tennis Launches Second Seattle Chapter

TGA Premeir Youth Tennis logoOne of the leading activation models to develop and bring new tennis players into the sport, TGA Premier Youth Tennis (TGA), in partnership with the United States Tennis Association (USTA), continues its nationwide growth with the establishment of its second franchise in Seattle, WA.

Chandler Lewis, a recent graduate of the University of Washington and former head varsity tennis coach at Ballard High School, has partnered with current TGA of North Seattle director Brad Kirkpatrick to acquire the geographic rights to the east side of the Greater Seattle area.  Kirkpatrick brought the first TGA golf and tennis chapter to Seattle in 2013. The duo plans to expand the school and community based tennis programs in the cities of Bellevue, Redmond, Issaquah, Mercer Island and Sammamish.

“Having a team like Chandler and Brad working together to expand the TGA tennis programs in Seattle is very exciting,” Joshua Jacobs, TGA’s founder and CEO said. “Together they bring a passion and coaching experience that will not only increase tennis participation but also enrich the lives of youth in the community.”

Lewis had planned to attend law school next fall, but decided to put that on hold and pursue his passion of working with and coaching youth tennis. While applying for coaching jobs in the Seattle area he discovered TGA. He became a coach while he was still in college and quickly discovered the career opportunity that TGA presented.

“Despite my plan to attend law school next fall, I felt that there was no better time to match my passion with a wonderful career opportunity,” he said. “It is amazing at my age to be able to combine my passion for youth and tennis with business ownership. TGA is such a wonderful organization that makes tennis available and gives kids the opportunity to participate in the lifelong sport.”

TGA’s innovative school-based activation model and multi-level tennis enrichment curriculum was developed in partnership with the USTA just over three years ago. With tennis being one of the most played adult sports and least played by youth, TGA’s model is helping to bring new players into the sport as the baby boomer generation ages.

TGA, through its physical fitness and health components including the USTA’s “Lets Move” campaign, is helping fight childhood obesity. The innovative and unique program incorporates daily physical activity that helps to burn calories, improve motor skills, improve the immune system and create greater hand-eye coordination all while promoting life skills and sportsmanship. Parents see a myriad of benefits through having their children participate.

About TGA Premier Youth Tennis

TGA Premier Youth Tennis (TGA) is the leading school-based youth development model, and is in partnership with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to create new players and increase participation in the sport of tennis. Its innovative franchise business model, the only one of its kind in the tennis industry, has empowered entrepreneurs and tennis professionals nationwide at the grass roots level to activate thousands of youth (ages 3-13) in just over three years.

TGA introduces the sport in schools and community centers and supports the USTA’s “10-and-Under Tennis” initiative while transitioning the participants to USTA programs, tennis facilities and USPTA Professionals nationwide. The program has already activated over 17,000 youth tennis players and families across the country.

TGA is a national partner with the United States Tennis Association, Wilson Tennis, The President’s Challenge on Physical Fitness and the National Council of Youth Sports. TGA is also a national supporter of the Afterschool Alliance and Lights on Afterschool.

National Film Festival for Talented Youth to Return for 9th Year

National Film Festival for Talented Youth NFFTY 2015The National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY), the world’s largest and most influential film festival for emerging directors, showcasing work by filmmakers 24 and younger from around the globe, will return for its ninth consecutive year this April (23-26) in Seattle, WA.

In an effort to address the issue of gender inequality in film, the 2014 festival included the launch of the “Best Emerging Female Filmmaker” award, which was presented on Closing Night. This year’s event will continue to create opportunities where emerging female filmmakers can feel supported to pursue their passions as part of its overall mission to encourage and promote the world’s best new filmmakers. “Femme Finale” will close out the festival on April 26, highlighting the best from NFFTY 2015 Female Filmmakers.

Said NFFTY Managing Director Stefanie Malone, “In an industry where only 9% of directors and 25% of producers are women, NFFTY wants to provide opportunities where emerging female filmmakers can feel supported to pursue their passions.” The 2014 festival boasted 40% of films coming from female directors, something Malone would love to meet or exceed in 2015.

Founded by three then-teenagers Jesse Harris, Jocelyn R.C., and Kyle Seago in 2007, NFFTY (pronounced “nifty”) has since expanded its reach to an ever-growing number of young artists and audiences (of all ages).

Harris wrote and directed the feature film “Living Life” when he was 17, obtaining distribution for the film shortly after his graduation from high school. His success resulted in young filmmakers around the globe seeking his advice, including R.C., who expressed interest in helping to form a socially responsible youth arts organization.  Harris and R.C. teamed up with Seago, establishing the non-profit and holding a one-night “Kick Off” festival April 26, 2007.

Last year, the 2014 festival received a record-breaking 800 submissions all over the world. 214 films that represented 30 U.S. states and 15 countries were showcased at the festival, which was attended by more than 12,000 filmgoers.Festival programmers anticipate an all-time high for the 2015 number of submissions as NFFTY continues to represent the voice of this generation, with films covering all topics and genres, from compelling and provocative, to hilarious and uplifting.

The full lineup of 2015 festival films, galas, and panels will be announced in late March 2015.

More About NFFTY

NFFTY is the largest and most influential film festival in the world for emerging directors. NFFTY occurs each spring in Seattle and includes over 200 film screenings, panels, contests, parties and networking opportunities for young filmmakers. Young filmmakers from around the world submit feature-length and short films in narrative, documentary, animation, music video, experimental and action sport categories. Since its launch in 2007, NFFTY has screened films from 1,244 filmmakers from 38 countries, ranging in age from 7 – 22 years.  For updates and news on NFFTY 2015, visit www.NFFTY.org orwww.facebook.com/nffty.

Agilysys Donates Movie Tickets to Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Boys & Girls Club SignAgilysys, Inc. a provider of innovative information technology and hospitality software and services, is donating 500 AMC movie tickets to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in conjunction with its rGuest ™ ‘World Premiere’ product launch, held during HITEC 2014 in Los Angeles.

Each time a HITEC attendee visited the Agilysys booth and viewed the rGuest demo, a movie ticket donation was made. The tickets will be distributed among Boys & Girls Clubs located in most of the U.S. locations where Agilysys maintains an office — Atlanta; Bellevue, Wash.; Las Vegas; and Santa Barbara, Calif.

“We are grateful to Agilysys for giving our kids a fun and memorable experience,” said Carolyn Brown, executive director of Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara. “More than 60 percent of our members live at or below the poverty level, so it’s a treat for them to see a movie in a real theater.”

In the Las Vegas area, the movie tickets will be given to teen club members who helped raise approximately $20,000 for the organization by selling fireworks the week prior to the Fourth of July. “These dedicated young people worked very hard to raise money to help fund field trips, leadership events and programs for the coming year,” said Ken Rubeli, chief executive officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada. “A night at the movies will be a great reward for them as well as a way to show our appreciation for their efforts.”

“We are pleased to play a role in bringing happiness to some of the kids in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America,” said Michael Buckham-White, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Agilysys. “We are especially gratified to work with an organization that does so much to promote the welfare of children and teens in need, giving them a helping hand and enabling them to reach their full potential. Through this donation, we affirm our corporate commitment to giving back to the communities where we live and work and encourage our employees to do the same.”

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America have enabled young people in need to achieve great futures as productive and responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide, providing fun, friendship, caring adult mentors and high-impact youth development programs that emphasize academic success, healthy lifestyles, good character and citizenship. Boys & Girls Clubs of America is headquartered in Atlanta.

About Agilysys

Agilysys is a developer and marketer of proprietary enterprise software, services and solutions to the hospitality industry.