Old-fashioned “Grazing in Graham” proves to be a huge success


by Bruce A. Smith 

At the end of May, the Graham Business Association held its first “revival” of an old tradition, the Grazing in Graham shin-dig that – unlike the past two years – was closed to the public.

 As such, the Grazing was a schmoozing and networking affair with hors d’oeuvres on the side that allowed new businesses to showcase their products and services while long-standing members renewed old acquaintanceships.

 The recent attempts to involve the public became enmeshed in a tangle of public health and food concerns, so the GBA went back to its old ways of getting to know each other.

GBA President Toby DelGado and Betty Backstrom, Director of the Pierce County Fair.

The Graham Business Association is the meeting ground for more than just the businesses of the area, and perhaps a third of the participants were from the social, political and educational part of our community.  In attendance was Jay Brower of the Bethel School District; Carol Wright, Executive Director of the Graham-Kapowsin Community Council; and local govermental leaders such as the newly-redistricted State Representative Gary Alexander (R-2nd LD) and Pierce County Councilmember Tim Farrell, who is running for the county’s Assessor-Treasurer position.

Tim Farrell, Pierce County Councilmember, currently running for County Assessor-Treasurer. 

Each member is given a few minutes to introduce themselves and their wares, and the GBA welcomed newcomers, such as Richard Wills, who described his fascinating new take on physical therapy as an orthopedic massage therapist.

 “It’s just amazing what this guy can do,” said Carol Wright afterwards, describing Wills’ “Toe Clinic” and his relief of arthritis and other pains.  Wills also has a mobile clinic and can travel to his patients.

 The splendid Vivacé Choral also had a booth and touted their upcoming concert at the Kilworth Chapel on the campus of the University of Puget Sound. 

 The Vivacé Choral is a community song group that has an international reputation, and not only does it deliver top-notch traditional and contemporary choral music, but it also integrates the generations of Graham superbly.  Youngsters and teens are mentored by the adults of the group and interwoven into the repertoire in a stylish manner.

 Another newbie was Michelle Frink, who introduced her Essential Oils business, “dōTERRA.”  As proof of the efficacy of her treatments, Michelle, a mother of three kids, said that her two youngest children have never needed any other medications of any kind, no matter what their illness, bang-ups or scrapes.

 “Never!” she told the Mountain News.

 Michelle said her oils were especially effective for fevers and the symptoms of allergies.  She also touted the services of her doctor husband, Michael Frink, DC, a chiropractor in Spanaway for the past nineteen years.

 Regarding politics, candidate Farrell refrained from any substantive discussion of the current Assessor-Treasurer, Dale Washam. 

 Washam is currently embattled with his employees and their union, taxpayers, and the Pierce County Council, which is seeking to curtail the county’s contributions to Washam’s hefty – and growing – legal bill.

 One of the core issues driving the kafuffle with Washam is how to inspect and assess the 330,000 properties in Pierce County so that everyone pays a fair and equal share.

 Washam is a true-believer in sending an assessor in person to each property, but his predecessor Ken Madsen attempted to streamline the process with technology.  Other counties in Washington have done similarly, and Farrell champions continuing that process, utilizing a combination of physical inspections with a technology called “geo-coded tracking” whereby inspectors utilize a system of iPads that are connected to a photographic database.

 “Implementing this technology will require another conversation with the state legislature, (which crafts the statutes that determine how A-Ts do their job),” said Farrell, “but we will all benefit from getting accurate data.  That’s my foremost goal.”

Photo Gallery:

S&W’s Walt Maass, with his wife at the Grazing in Graham last month


Michelle Frink, with her Essentail Oils of DoTerra.


Richard Wills, offering mobile orthopedic massage therapy


Vivace Choral’s Vanessa Parker and a youthful singer touted the benefits of this superb choral group


Regis and Nancy, owners of the Pet Ponderosa, dog kennel and spa.


Carol Wright of the GKCC


Dede, from the Bethel School District, announced that the Bethel Learning Center, a community center being built adjacent to Bethel Junior High, will open in October, 2012


Jeremy Caukins, Head of Apple Physical Therapy’s Graham clinic

©  2012 Mountain News-WA

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