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‘Silent kickoff’ makes big noise on waterfront

Second-grade students from View Ridge Elementary School lead community and civic leaders in the Pledge of Alllegiance at the Kitsap Cares About Kids kickoff. - Photo by James Mange
Second-grade students from View Ridge Elementary School lead community and civic leaders in the Pledge of Alllegiance at the Kitsap Cares About Kids kickoff.
— image credit: Photo by James Mange

A new campaign, Kitsap Cares About Kids, made a big bang with a silent kickoff, pulling in a large gathering at the Kitsap Conference Center, Tuesday. More than a hundred community leaders from government, education, business, youth and community organizations came together to see what the noise is about.

“This is a silent kickoff,” said Patty Lent, former county commissioner and co-chair of the steering committee. “We want to get the leaders from all areas of our community involved. We want to get campaign committee volunteers to step forward from this group.”

The Kitsap Cares About Kids campaign is sponsored by the Commission of Children and Youth, and is a three-year community awareness and fund-raising program aimed at helping all of the organizations that use developmental assests to help youth. The goal is to motivate businesses, individuals and organizations to strengthen their relationships with youth.

“Our success will depend on how well we can coordinate and communicate,” Lent told the crowd. “We need relationships and resources, not just necesarily your money. It’s your leadership we’re asking for.”

“I believe it takes a village to raise a child,” Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman said at the kickoff. “I believe children are the conscience of a society. I believe a society that doesn’t care about its children is not a society we want to live in.”

Other members of the steering committee included Lisa Heaman (co-chair), principal of View Ridge Elementary, Deborah Howard of the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority, Cheryl Dale of Kids Discovery Museum, Joe Davalos, principal of Suquamish Elementary, Wendy Johnson of NW Collaborations, and Jackie Fojtik, Patrick Murphy, Gay Neal and Lee Reyes of the Kitsap County Commission on Children and Youth.

For information on how to be involved contact Johnson or Neal at (360) 337-4879. A Web site is being built at www.kitsapcaresaboutkids.org.

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