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Hello folks,

Gwen will be airing archived shows through Thanksgiving. Tune in at the regular times – Monday’s 11am, Thursday 9am, Friday’s 4pm and Saturday’s at 7pm’s – Pacific Standard Time – for past shows on archives.  And, please log onto KWPA radio’s website’s podcast page to listen to podcasts.

Thank you for your support of Whidbey’s community radio station – KWPA!

Whidbey Giving Circle

Gwen was joined this week by Larry Lowry and Jody Watts of the Whidbey Giving Circle

Listen to Jody and Larry share with Gwen just what the Giving Circle is, what they do, and how you can get involved with this powerfully generous group of island residents.  People who do good work and have a good time doing it.

Re-broadcast of interview can be heard on

Thursday – April 7th at 9am

Friday – April 8th at 4pm

and Saturday April 9th at 7pm.

Tune in to 96.9fm around the Penn Cove of Whidbey


stream from anywhere you can connect to the internet at KWPA’s listen page.

The Whidbey Giving Circle is a community of Island County citizens who pool resources to support LGBTQ equality and young people on the island. Membership is open all who make a financial contribution of any size.  Annual gifts range from $15 to $5,000.  Every gift is powerful and earns the donor opportunities to vote on key Whidbey Giving Circle grants and scholarships.  Members are encouraged to help guide the annual grant and scholarship cycles by reviewing applications and working with a committee to determine annual awards.  Affiliated with Pride Foundation, the Whidbey Giving Circle began in 2007 and has since grown to nearly 70 members, providing approximately $20,000 of annual support to organizations, community leaders and students.

From September to January, the Whidbey Giving Circle hosts houseparties and educational sessions on the island to link community members and provide key opportunities to learn, socialize and make an annual membership commitment.  From February to June, both grants and scholarships are determined.  The group celebrates their investments and enjoys the sunshine together through an annual summer picnic.

Prior grantees include: Citizens Against Domestic & Sexual Abuse for their work to support LGBTQ youth across Whidbey Island and the Whidbey Children’s Theater for productions that address LGBT related issues and spur thoughtful conversation and learning within the community.  The Whidbey Giving Circle has provided 8 scholarships to student leaders.

Pride Foundation has invested over $20,000 in eleven organizations that serve Island counties LGBTQ community. Much of this funding comes from the Whidbey Giving Circle, a group of Island residents that come together every year to raise and distribute funds on Whidbey. In addition, numerous Pride Foundation scholars hail from this area.

Currently, grants to nonprofits (besides those made by the Whidbey Giving Circle) are made from Pride Foundation’s Cascadia cycle, which is administered in Seattle, WA. A key goal of Pride Foundation’s is to have an active Pride Regional Community established in this area, so all funding decisions are made at the local level. We have begun working towards this goal and will continue to update the community as we progress.

If you would like to learn more about getting involved with the Pride Foundation please send us an email or call us at 1-800-735-7287.

Available Grant: Whidbey Giving Circle
The Whidbey Giving Circle is accepting grant applications for organizations and programs on Whidbey Island that benefit LGBT youth or raise awareness.
Grant application must be postmarked by April 5, 2011. – Download the application
Unavailable Grant: Cascadia Grants – Grant application will be available in Summer 2011.

Joining Gwen on KWPA’s Whidbey Chat this week were Coupeville Lion’s President, Dennis Bullock and, member and “Zone Chairman” John Kohlmann, for an interview about the Coupeville Lions Club.

Anyone who has been to Coupeville has seen the big Lion’s emblem on Coupeville’s welcome sign at Hwy 525 and Main St.  But, do they know just how many lives and community projects they touched.  Dennis Bullock, sitting Coupeville Lions president and member John Kohlmann are just two of our island citizen’s who are members of just one of our 5 island Lions clubs.

With a membership of 112 – the Coupeville Lions is the larger of the 2 clubs in the central Whidbey area.  The other is Central Whidbey Lions with a smaller membership, but no less good work done.  Dennis and John say there are multiple clubs for multiple reasons – could be the meetings are on the wrong day for some one’s schedule so they choose to start another club to better fit theirs and others free hours.  None the less, it doesn’t matter, as these Lions said, all Lions Clubs are good Lions clubs.

The Coupeville Lions, in particular, hold the infamous Garage Sale people come from miles around to attend.  They also hold an annual Scholarship benefiting dinner and auction, where Gwen’s co-host on What’s Up Whidbey, Harry Anderson seems to always get the heritage turkey up for auction, and that’s just two of the big events Coupeville Lions maintain annually.

LISTEN to this interview for more!   AND contact the Coupeville Lions to inquire about their annual open house – if you’d like to find out about joining the club –  April 13th, 2011 at the Methodist Church in Coupeville.  YOU must make contact & have a Lion invite you to attend this event – per the limited number of seats available.

Contact information for the Coupeville Lions – PO Box 473, Coupeville, 98239 – 360-678-4105

Visit the Coupeville Lions website:

Coupeville Lions Calendar pdf.

Listen to this interview re-air on Thursday March 24th, 2011 at 9am & Friday, March 25th, 2011 at 4pm.  YOU can tune into 96.9fm around the Penn Cove area of Whidbey Island – OR listen through your computer at the KWPA listen page.

This interview will appear on the podcast page of KWPA in 30 days.

KWPA added 3 Whidbey Chat Farm Tour for Your Ears interviews to their site!

Visit & Listen, often, as more get loaded.


Listen to Peg Tennant – Farmer’s Market Manager – Oak Harbor and Coupeville


Listen to Wilbur and Julianna Purdue at Prairie Bottom Farm


Listen to Sarah Richards at Lavender Wind Farm


Thank you for your support of KWPA

Over the next couple of weeks – hopefully less – Whidbey Chat with Gwen Sam will be aired as a recorded show – stay tuned for day and time….

KWPA's little cabin studio is under the little roof jutting out from the wharf building. Shared with the Harbor Master - KWPA's studio is in a small island world with big island dreams. Stay tuned! ~ 96.9fm around Penn Cove now - and headed for Clinton to Deception Pass as soon as possible. Station can be heard - over an internet connection anywhere in the world. Thank you for your support.


KWPA will be doing maintainance on the transmitter and only airing recorded shows over the next couple of weeks. Show schedules will vary.

We will be LIVE again – as soon as possible.

Thank you for your support and keep listening

Photo Credit - Dorothea Lange - 1936

Continuing Gwen’s 2010 Writer’s Series, Larry Shafer, a long time member of the Whidbey Writer’s Group, joined Gwen and Whidbey Chat listeners Monday May 3, 2010.

A 76 year old semi-retired lawyer/judge, Larry was born smack dab in the middle of The Great Depression.  Like so many others, during the depression, Larry’s parents were migrant workers and were constantly on the move picking and packing produce up and down the west coast.  During his childhood Larry’s parents often farmed him out to strangers, finally abandoning him.  During that time he was orphaned for a year, until someone took him in.  Some years and many experiences later he would be reunited with his father.  As a young man his family life and living conditions were so often precarious, but with drive and ingenuity Larry would eventually attain a formal education, graduate from college, become a family man and go on building a life for himself and his own family.

At present Larry is working on a book, titled “Now I’m an Old Romantic”.   It is the story of his life and encompasses what he has learned, both formally and informally about The Great Depression, history, religion, government, war, music, literature, the amalgamation of self-reliance and luck, the significance of teaching, and people of all walks of life.  The excerpt Larry read, from the second chapter called “Faith and Grandpa Shafer”, was all together moving.  No doubt his writing and use of language is smooth, visual and emotionally pulling.

A long time resident, Larry lives and writes on Whidbey Island.  Widowed 11 years ago when his wife Jackie, the mother of his 3 children, died in the 40th year of their marriage, he now has 2 grandchildren and in a relationship a wonderful new life companion, a lovely lady named Dorothy.

An interesting hour – to say the least!  Listen to the replay of this interview Thursday – May 6 at 9am and/or Friday – May 7th at 4pm on 96.9FM in the central Whidbey area and worldwide over the internet from

Gwen and Whidbey Chat listeners extend their THANKS to LARRY for this wonderful interview.

THANKS to Dorothy Read for coming into KWPA’s studio to continue Whidbey Chat’s Whidbey Writers Group series.  Dorothy is a long time resident of the island, a former teacher and decade long member of the Whidbey Writers Group.

Dorothy shared with Gwen the benefits of being a long-term member of a writers group like Whidbey Writers, how fellow writers build relationships with each other through reading and critiquing each other, and how that enhances the processes and outcomes of her written word.  It was interesting to hear what inspires Dorothy’s writing, how she goes through the process of writing a piece from inception to finish. and finally the long arduous task of editing a manuscript, finding an agent and eventually a publisher.  

Dorothy also beautifully read an excerpt from her short story Busses, Trains and Taxicabs, published in the Rocking Chair Reader series Family Gatherings.

Dorothy’s most recent book, a memoir called End the Silence, as told by  Ilse Evenlijn Veere  Smit, is Ilse’s World War II experience in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) during the Japanese invasion and occupation.  Taking in excess of 5 yrs. to write End the Silence is a story of endurance, suffering and triumph.  If you know the history of what is now Indonesia – you know there must be tens of thousands of horrific and heroic stories attached to its occupation and eventual sovereignty.  Dorothy’s painstaking and years long work with Ilse, has resulted in a book that helps the reader understand the brutal, tragic and heroic aspects of a part of the world and WWII that many of us do not often hear about.  End the Silence details and honors Ilse’s life and that of the thousands who suffered and struggled along side her in those shocking and often untold times.  The book has gotten good comments from editors and is currently seeking a publisher. 

THANKS Dot!  It was a great interview!



August 2017
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