State Reps. Mike Chapman, right, and Steve Tharinger, center, serve lunch to children Tuesday at the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula while the club’s kitchen coordinator, Bree Daniels, left, waits to hand them more plates of food to pass out. (Conor Dowley/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

State Reps. Mike Chapman, right, and Steve Tharinger, center, serve lunch to children Tuesday at the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula while the club’s kitchen coordinator, Bree Daniels, left, waits to hand them more plates of food to pass out. (Conor Dowley/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Tharinger, Chapman serve lunch for Boys & Girls Club in Sequim

State representatives talk with kids, learn about summer food program

SEQUIM — State Reps. Steve Tharinger and Mike Chapman took a break out of their schedules Tuesday to see some of the younger residents of the 24th Legislative District: the children at the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula.

Tharinger and Chapman, both Democrats, came to the unit at 400 W. Fir St. to help serve more than 120 lunches and talk to the young club members over hot dogs and chocolate milk, all while learning about the summer food program the club runs each year.

“This is really a great program,” Chapman said of the summer food program, which serves more than 100 free meals each day at several sites around the Sequim community.

“This helps a lot of kids and families that need it. No kids should ever go hungry, and this helps to improve a lot of kids’ summers.”

Chapman, a Port Angeles resident who formerly served as president of the Boys & Girls Clubs board of directors, and Tharinger, a Port Townsend resident, were both contacted Monday by club Executive Director Mary Budke. She said they both gladly made the time to show up.

“I really appreciate them taking the effort to be here and spend time with these kids,” Budke said.

Both Tharinger and Chapman spent about half an hour sitting with the children and talking to them, both about their jobs and about their summers and getting ready to head back to school.

“These are some very impressive kids,” Tharinger said. “I talked to a couple of them who could do my job some day.”

The representatives got an opportunity to talk to all the youth in a brief assembly after lunch, where Chapman made sure to praise the staff of the club and Tharinger thanked the children for being so kind and welcoming to them.

“It really impresses me how this staff knows every child in here,” Tharinger said afterward.

“Not just their names, but enough to have a meaningful relationship with them. That’s so impactful, and so great for these kids.”

________

Conor Dowley is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at cdowley@sequimgazette.com.

State Reps. Mike Chapman, left, and Steve Tharinger, center, serve lunch to youth at the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula on Tuesday. (Conor Dowley/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

State Reps. Mike Chapman, left, and Steve Tharinger, center, serve lunch to youth at the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula on Tuesday. (Conor Dowley/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

State Reps. Steve Tharinger, second from right, and Mike Chapman, fifth from right, sit with unit director Dave Miller and numerous club youth at the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula on Tuesday. (Conor Dowley/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

State Reps. Steve Tharinger, second from right, and Mike Chapman, fifth from right, sit with unit director Dave Miller and numerous club youth at the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula on Tuesday. (Conor Dowley/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

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