Sno-King Projects

 Sno-King Home | Projects | Honors | Social Activities | Newsletter


Bluebills Guide Blind Skiers

In late January, 2013, Bill and Chris Witzke guided blind cross-country skiers at the International Ski For Light Week at the Shanty Creek Resort, near Traverse City, Michigan. In spite of the challenging weather and terrain, Bill and Chris's skiers both placed third in their respective categories. We look forward to going to our sixth Ski For Light Week in Anchorage, Alaska, in February, 2014. The Puget Sound Ski For Light chapter meets at the Trollhagen Lodge at Stampede Pass six Saturdays every winter. We have about twenty blind skiers who attend regularly, and enjoy skiing on the extensive trail network in that area. More guides will be needed next winter and training is available to anyone who is interested in this rewarding volunteer activity. Contact Bill Witzke or John Drobnick for more information.

Chris and her skier Marilyn

Chris and her skier Marilyn, from Sacramento, waiting for start of 10K race.

Laura, Bill's skier

Bill's skier, Laura, from Wales, practicing on the 10K course

Laura,3rd Place:with Bill

Bill and and his skier, Laura, with her third place medal (under 57, totally blind category).

Chris with skier Marilyn, with her 3rd place medal

Chris and her skier, Marilyn, with her 3rd place medal (over 57, partially sighted category).


Alan Gale volunteers for the “Flying Heritage Collection” at Paine Field, Paul Allen’s collection of
airworthy Warbirds. Alan is in his 5th season spending 2 days a week as a Docent. There are 2 different planes
flown every other Saturday from Memorial Day until Labor Day.
Alan says: Though Paul owns the planes, we are actually “Friends of the Flying Heritage Collection”.
Here I am explaining the world’s only authentic airworthy FW-190A5 aircraft to a guest.

Alan Gale



What Goes Around Comes Around

Submitted by Rose Johnson, September 2012

Cold/rainy weather is right around the corner and that means many families and single homeless people will be in need of extra warmth on cold nights. There is nothing like a comfy colorful warm quilt to cuddle under. In the photo see Rose Johnson (Sno-King Bluebills) presenting 15 twin size quilts (one of many deliveries) to Lenora Bruce of St. Joseph’s House in Marysville, Wa. (Lenora is on the left and Rose is on the right).

Lenora & Rose Pix

This batch of quilts was made by Bluebill member Barbara Bell (see photo below). She has a knack of taking the myriad fabric selection and turning them into warm, comfy and colorful quilts. Barbara and her husband Walter (Boeing retiree) are mostly homebound now and she likes having the opportunity to be useful and to help others in the community.

Barbara & Quilts Pix

Lenora is a Boeing retiree and founder of St. Joseph’s (see photo of volunteers). They supply clothing and bedding to low income families and the homeless for no cost. Many donations of fabrics and yarn are given to St. Joseph’s and they end up at Sno-King’s Sew n Sew group.

photo of volunteers

The Sno-King Sew n Sews group was first started 2004 and it is here that a multitude of loving hands transform the donated supplies into quilts and other items. Up until today the group has made 310 large sized quilts and 230 baby quilts. The group not only makes quilts but sews pajamas, pants, Christmas stockings, pillows, baby afghans/layettes and supplied over 1,500 pairs of mittens, hats and scarves to over 20 different agencies.


Everett Salvation Army

Everett Salvation Army picture

Ever since 1999, through the dedicated leadership of Bob and Pat Colyer, Bluebills have brought Christmas cheer to individual children or whole families in the Adopt-A-Family program.  In addition, Bluebills have helped enroll individuals and families for the Salvation Army's Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets; have helped pack the baskets and then helped with the distribution of the baskets.  Everyone who takes part in these activities report that he or she finds them very rewarding and are eager to help each year.

Bill Witzke, Lee Thomas and Chris Witzke picture

Some other Sno-King members helping this year are Bill Witzke, Lee Thomas and Chris Witzke

 If you would like to participate contact Bob and Pat Colyer:
(425) 347-3572 or 

Bluebills support to Everett Public Schools Science Resource Center

“The Science Resource Center at Hawthorne Elementary is fortunate to have some regular, dedicated volunteers help manage the science kits used by students throughout the district. A devoted group of retired Boeing volunteers, called the Bluebills, work on a regular basis to refurbish and restock the science kits. They come each week to keep the science kits ready for rotation to the next group of students”. 

Science kits are distributed to over 300 public schools and include items such as bugs, sand and gravel, powders, seeds, beakers, funnels,  etc. that are used in science projects.

packing Science Kits
Sno-King Bluebills refurbishing/repacking science kits:  (left to right) are
Bill Otzen, John McCallum, Lee Thomas and Rose Johnson.

The Packing Crew
Clockwise:  Bill Otzen, Wanda Thomas, Lee Thomas, Joy, Rose Johnson, and Ilse Spang

Sno-King chapter owes much to Sno-King member, Lee Thomas, who coordinates and directs our chapter’s support of the Science Resource Center.  Shirley Maynard, who is Administrative Assistant at Everett Public Schools (Science Resource Center), comments: “The work that Sno-King Bluebills has done is beyond our expectations and we appreciate their help”.

Kopper Koil Winder

Thanks to our Science Resource Center leader, Lee Thomas, who invented and built an ingenious device for SRC. The task was to create short copper coils of wire, used in Everett Public Schools 9th grade Coordinated Science class. Students pass a magnet through a copper coil connected to a volt meter. The process creates an electro-magnetic field, and a volt meter connected to the ends of the coil registers a voltage. This shows the basic principles behind a generator. Previously the coils were wound by hand, by wrapping wire around a cylindrical tube. Lee saw the need for an improved process, went home and built a hand-crank machine to do the same thing. The old cumbersome process was abandoned, and SRC greatly appreciates Lee’s device.

Lee's Device View 1

Lee's Device view 2

  Notice  .......    Made in America ……..   GOOD WORK,  LEE !


The Result: Lots of copper coils.

The result:: Lots of copper coils

An Opportunity to be Inspired

By Bob Lee …. A former Sno-King Chapter president, now deceased, whose enthusiasm for this project promoted the chapter’s  involvement.

Think about this: after your morning coffee or tea or juice and a tasty morning snack, you settle back and watch a unique and personal reality show unfold right there before your eyes and you are one of the principal participants. You offer your attention, experience, and interest to the setting. In return you are accorded the respect and gratitude of a future doctor, or lawyer, or political leader, or scientist or engineer, or astronaut, or mechanic, or financier, or someone who will follow in the steps of your own career or life interest.

But this is REAL LIFE, not fantasy:  the Culminating Exhibition for a high school senior preparing for graduation.

Alan Gale (left) and the late Bob Lee talking to people about the Bluebills

Continued >

This is a national program, designed to prepare teenagers for their next step after graduation from high school. They may be headed to college or into the work force, but in either case their experience with you will give them a good start on learning to communicate with their new world.

Bluebills are in high demand to act as panelists at area high schools because of their experience, patience, and   understanding.

High School seniors are waiting for you to listen to their accomplishments and dreams!
If you have interest in participating in this rewarding activity to help High School Seniors, call Bob Krull, (360) 691-2210, for details.

Meet The Sno-King Mighty Movers

The Mighty Movers of Sno-King Chapter are determined Bluebills involved in moving folks around our neighborhood. Whatever time of day, rain or shine, they are there. They don't bang up furniture or break lamps. It's as if their own furniture is being moved.

For example, the Mighty Movers helped a fellow when his lifetime belongings had to be moved from a storage unit into a studio apartment. This move was a challenge as the lifetime belongings consisted of three rooms of stuff, amounting to more than 100 boxes and then some furniture. This involved two moves by Bluebills. The fellow needed time to rearrange the load from the first day delivery before the remainder of the stuff was delivered several days later.

Another example, one lady was moved from one assisted living building to another. Another client had to move from Marysville to Everett as the mobile home park she was living in was sold.

The movers assemble the bedroom set so the client can sleep well that first night, put away the fresh and frozen foods so it doesn't spoil, arrange the packed boxes and furniture in the proper rooms. Some moves are within a block and some are from one town to another. At times a move will take several days. The first day is generally to move the furniture from one location. The second day can be to hook up the appliances and complete other jobs.



The late Ed Bartels, one of the founders of the Mighty Movers, waiting for the next load to go. Ed's legacy is continued in the dedicated work of today's Sno-King Mighty Mover volunteers.

The area's social agencies refer their low income clients to Mighty Movers when they have no other resources. Occasionally Bluebills step in and do the packing and unpacking and at times will assist in getting the necessary agent paperwork completed. About 12 Bluebills are involved in Mighty Movers and they all wear other hats beside the moving hat, in other words they are busy people

-- story by Grady Sewell and Rose Johnson.

 If you are interested in Mighty Movers, call Lee Thomas, on (425) 334-7645



A Letter


Dear Bluebills,

Without your gracious help I don't know what else I would have done! You made my disabled and poor move a possibility and reality.

In late February a crew of five of your smiling guys kindly showed up at my storage unit and proceeded to exercise patience and careful handling of my things. It was getting late that day and they managed to move 80% of my belongings into my new apartment. But I still needed to sort through the last 20% of things in the back of the unit to select out what I was keeping and what was being donated to St. Vincent de Paul or being recycled. They took this into consideration and actually offered to return several days later and help me finish up my move on a second day! Wow.

Thanks to the Bluebills can-do-spirit and earnest patience with me and my complicated move, finally, the last box was out of my storage unit and into my new place. Despite my anxiety over moving and carefully moving works of art, the Bluebills were optimistic, calm and handled delicate items smoothly. I still can't believe everything went so well!

When I was out of options and my need was great, the Bluebills came through and I will always be thankful. Please keep doing what you're doing knowing that your generosity makes the impossible possible and literally changes lives.

Most Sincerely yours,
Vincent Booth
Seattle, WA



The 7CM7 at Imagine Children's Museum


See the early story at this page. Soon new photos will be added with an updated story.    



Bluebills Home Page | Mission | History | Chapters |Retiree Assistance | Solitaires | Accomplishments | Honors

date of this page version Jan 227, 2013 --hgg