Bellevue residents Nathan Hemphill and Jonathan Newman, both age 16, put together a team this year to compete in the Big Climb for Leukemia and Lymphoma. They called their group Seattle Stride and made the 1,311-step climb up the Columbia Center on Sunday, March 21.
Nathan completed the climb in under 15 minutes. “It’s not that bad,” he says, adding that he’s athletic, but didn’t do anything specific to prepare for this fundraising activity.
Both Newport High School students have done the climb before, on teams sponsored by Jonathan’s father, Nolan Newman, and his company, Newman Dierst Hales (CPAs). They formed their own team this year when raising money for cancer research became more personal. Nathan’s cousin, Sara Flash, daughter of Rabbi Allison and Ed Flash, was diagnosed in October with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. (Sara is doing fine and went back to school in March.)
“[Jonathan and I] had been doing the climb for a bunch of years,” explains Nathan. “This year my cousin was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma…We had talked about it a little bit before but that sort of sealed the deal…we decided to have our own team.”
Team Seattle Stride consisted of 50 members — 47 of whom made it to the top — and raised more than $6,000. Many team members were young people from the Jewish community, kids the boys knew from BBYO, Hebrew High, Camp Solomon Schechter, Temple B’nai Torah, Herzl Ner Tamid and friends of the Flash family from Temple Beth Am.
Nathan is the son of Cynthia Flash Hemphill, who sits on the JTNews board, and Dan Hemphill of Bellevue and Jonathan’s mom is Pat Newman.
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The Washington State Heritage Center exhibit, Washington’s First Women In Government, can be seen in the lobby of the office of the Secretary of State in Olympia through the end of this year. Former state insurance commissioner Deborah Senn represents the Jewish community in this show featuring 14 women who were the first to hold various governing roles in our state.
Not Jewish, but of some interest is Reba Hurn, our first female state senator. The well-traveled Hurn visited Israel while it was in the throes of becoming a state. A friend of Nathan Straus, the department store maven and philanthropist, she worked with him on some of his charity projects.
A smaller related exhibit, First Washington Women in Law, is displayed in the Supreme Court building through the end of this month. Former justice Bobbe Bridge represents our community in that one.
If there are other members of the Jewish community in either exhibit, please let me know.
Both exhibits can be viewed during regular office hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.–5 p.m.. Special weekend tours can be arranged at 360-902-4171 or visit www.sos.wa.gov/heritage for more information.