Saturday, September 30, 2017

Soroptimists in Sedro-Woolley - The Walnut Tree Thrift Shop!

That quaint little thrift shop on Puget Street is a hive of activity almost every weekday.  Shoppers, donors, and Soroptimist volunteers generate some of the best bargains in Skagit County, and all for the good of our community. 
The Walnut Tree thrift shop has been a staple in Sedro-Woolley for 42 years (October 30, 1975); in its current location since 1994. 

“We are proud to own and operate a thriving business in Sedro-Woolley,” said Bev Riesland, current president.  “Our shop serves the community in many ways – as an outlet for donating items, as a thrift shopping opportunity, and using the proceeds for significant projects, including scholarships.”

Soroptimist International of Sedro-Woolley was chartered June 17, 1949 and remains a strong, growing, and busy club in the new millennium.  Currently with 56 members, the club taps the labor and expertise of all who belong.  “Many of our members have come to us because of the shop,” observed Riesland.  “They know that their time and effort will be well-used by the club and will result in direct benefits to the community.”

“We struggled, as many clubs do, with fundraising for our community projects until The Walnut Tree was opened in October 1975,” said Judy Johnson, past president of the Sedro-Woolley group.  “My mother, Bee Johnson, was president in 1975 and she was inspired by other clubs at a regional conference to start a Soroptimist thrift shop in Sedro-Woolley.  The first location was east of Liberty Bell Market on State Street, where there was a big walnut tree dropping nuts on the roof of the little building where the shop began, and that’s how The Walnut Tree got its name.”

Over the years, SI Sedro-Woolley has contributed funds to hundreds of local projects.  A few examples are:  Building Hammer Heritage Square, building the Sedro-Woolley Community Center, purchasing a hovercraft for Skagit Search and Rescue, contributing to all East County food banks, contributing to the Sedro-Woolley Senior Center and March for Meals, sponsoring mammograms for East County women through Citrine Health, contributing operating and program funds to the Sedro-Woolley Boys and Girls Club, and sponsoring Chamber of Commerce events.

“Our favorite project is probably awarding scholarships to Sedro-Woolley, State Street, and Concrete high school graduates,” said Anita Weidkamp, scholarship committee chair.  “It is so rewarding to help local young people get started on their higher education.” 

Shop proceeds are also directed to Soroptimist International’s signature projects around the world.  The organization’s mission statement, “Improving the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment,” reflects the focus on lifting women out of poverty and into financial independence. 

“Live Your Dream” Awards are available to adult women who are heads of household and are pursuing higher education to improve their skills and employment prospects.


The Walnut Tree thrift shop is located at 713 Puget Street in Sedro-Woolley.  Visit our Facebook page for shopping hours, donation hours, and updated information. 



Soroptimist International has 76,000 members in 120 countries.  There are five clubs in Skagit County; three clubs operate thrift shops.  The coined word, “Soroptimist” means “Best for Women”.  Visit for more information.


Live Your Dream Award - deadline November 15, 2017

The Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards program has been helping women around the world since 1972.  This program provides cash grants to women who are working to better their lives through additional schooling and skills training.
YOU are eligible to apply if you are:
*A woman with primary financial responsibility for yourself and your dependents.
*Attending an undergraduate degree program or a vocational skills training program.
*Have a financial need.

For information about applying for the Soroptimist Live Your Dream: Education & Training Award program, please contact:

Soroptimist International of Sedro-Woolley
Kacy Johnson - Chairman
email -


Deadline is November 15, 2017.

The amount of the Club Award is a minimum of $1,000.00.

Applications are also available at The Walnut Tree Thrift Shop at 713 Puget in Sedro-Woolley.  Ask the cashier for one!

Friday, August 26, 2016

2016 Continuing Education Scholarship Winners!

These college students have each been awarded a $2,000 Continuing Education Scholarship from SI Sedro-Woolley:

Tori Barnes
Sara Helms
Briley Jones
Joshua Jordan
Timmy Moser
Rachel Olson
Janelle Rose
Alec Solemslie
Carly Stewart
Emily Van Liew

Congratulations to them all!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

SI Sedro-Woolley rocks our new year!

The Soroptimist new year begins on July 1!  Our new officers and committee chairs are gearing up for great things in the 2016-2017 Soroptimist year.  Officers are:

President:  Dawna Bennett
Vice President:  Bev Riesland
Recording Secretary:  Judy Olson
Corresponding Secretary:  Caroll Raczkowski
Treasurer: Dona Cowan
Assistant Treasurer:  Lisa Janicki
Board Member:  Suzann Henggeler
Board Member:  Kacy Johnson
Board Member:  Pat Hammond

We recently awarded our annual "continuing education scholarships" to deserving local students who are currently attending college.  Watch for the official announcement with names, soon!

We're also planning an end-of-summer blowout picnic on September 8th! 

Our thrift shop, The Walnut Tree, continues to astound us with donors and shoppers.  We'll celebrate our 41st year in business this October.  Our all-volunteer staff works SO HARD to provide great bargains and to raise funds for local projects.  Thanks to everyone who helps us make this possible!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Saturday of Service - March 7, 2015!

Every year, Soroptimists all over the world participate in Saturday of Service, held on the Saturday closest to International Women's Day.  This year, International Women's Day is Sunday, March 8th!  So our observation of Saturday of Service will be on March 7th.

Traditionally, we open The Walnut Tree thrift shop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and all pre-tax proceeds from sales during this time will be donated to our local WIC (Women, Infants, Children) agency. 

We also gather donations of baby products - diapers and wipes as well as other items - and take them to WIC. 

This is a fun day!  Our members enjoy working together and our customers get an extra day to shop with us!

So come out to The Walnut Tree and support one of our most valuable local projects.  We are always happy to see you at the shop, but this will be a very special event!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Walnut Tree begins late hours on Thursdays!!

Big news!  The Walnut Tree Thrift Shop will now be open until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays, starting November 6, 2014!

Our customers are asking for "after work" shopping hours and we hear them!  So The Walnut Tree will be happy to greet you from 12 noon until 8 p.m. on Thursday evenings.  Our other hours will remain the same, Mondays from 12 noon until 6 and Fridays from 12 noon until 4.

We have special sale days from time to time, so check back her or "like" us on Facebook and keep up with what's going on!

Right now, we are getting started with the holiday season with fun Thanksgiving and Christmas items.  We'll also be putting out "glitter wear" that we've been saving for your holiday party needs.  Be beautiful for bargain prices at The Walnut Tree!

Friday, July 11, 2014

New Soroptimist year begins!

Congrats to Hank Schmidt and her team of new officers as we begin the Soroptimist year!

Thanks to Anita Weidkamp for a very successful year of her presidency.  We appreciate all of the hard work done by everyone. 

The hats and pigtails are just a little bit of fun for our installation.  But the smiles are genuine!