Call Eastside's Symphony of Gardens Tour a shining example. The tour, organized by the Bellevue Philharmonic League, won a Silver Award...

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Call Eastside’s Symphony of Gardens Tour a shining example. The tour, organized by the Bellevue Philharmonic League, won a Silver Award from the American Symphony Orchestra League. Philharmonic board president Dale Miller goes to Nashville, Tenn., next week to accept the honor.

Miller’s wife, Kari, should also get an award just for staying home with the kids. The Woodinville couple have six children.

“Kari does all the work,” Miller said.

Garden-tour credit also goes to Beth McCaslin of Kirkland. She chairs the event.

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This year’s self-guided tour on July 1 features gardens in Newport Shores, Clyde Hill and on Mercer Island. Tickets are $25 per person and include a refreshment and entertainment stop at the Bellevue Botanical Garden.

For more information or to order tickets, go to or call 425-455-4171.

Winning smiles

Eastside kids have spoken — or rather, voted.

They liked “Reading + Rover = Smiles All Over.”

Students at Woodmoor Elementary in Woodinville and Rose Hill Elementary in Kirkland had the final vote to pick a slogan for the Reading with Rover literacy program. More than 100 slogans were submitted.

Reading with Rover pairs trained dogs with children struggling to read. The child reads aloud to the dog, building confidence and reducing stress.

“I can see why 67 percent of the kids chose this slogan,” said Becky Bishop, of Woodinville. “It makes me smile.”

She founded the nonprofit national program, which is featured this month in the George Lucas Foundation magazine, Edutopia (

The money man

By day, Adam Cornell, a Woodinville High School graduate, prosecutes drug cases in federal court. He’s a special assistant U.S. attorney. In his spare time, the Edmonds resident works for kids.

Cornell did the fund-a-need appeal at the recent Northwest Children’s Fund auction. He doesn’t do fancy speeches. Cornell just talks about his childhood, when he cycled through numerous foster homes before being adopted. The former Kirkland Boys & Girls Club (and National Boys & Girls Club) Youth of the Year had the audience in tears.

Afterward, people donated $96,000 to help abused children. The benefit at Bellevue’s Westin Hotel raised more than $375,000.

Dance routine

Jennifer Porter has been named the artistic director of Ballet Bellevue. Porter is a former dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

One last grin

The Academy of Canine Behavior in Woodinville offers a full range of services — puppy classes, boarding, grooming and dog-obedience camps. It’s so impressive that the ongoing joke from pleased pet owners is, “Do you take kids?”

Under one condition, according to a sign in the lobby. It reads:

“Pets Welcome / Children Must Be Leashed.”

Sherry Grindeland: 206-515-5633 or

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