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Local chapter of Rainbow Girls make a difference

Rainbow Girls, from front to back are Michaela Rehm (at sewing machine), Alyssa Cunningham, Lindsey Young (on end of table), at other side of table: Kendra Cunningham, Jessica Burbridge, Evelyn Yielding, in back row: Lynne Young, Sarah Kerbs, Desirea Ross

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For some local military daughters, encouraging citizenship is a basic fundamental. However, it stems not only from their patriotic lineage, but also from their membership in the Rainbow Girls, a global service sorority that was founded in 1922.

The girls of Faith Assembly #145 gathered on national Make A Difference Day (Saturday, October 23) to make sturdy, lined fabric covers for journals that will be given to the next of kin of fallen soldiers and airmen from Joint Base Lewis McChord by the Survivor Outreach Services, which is housed in the Family Resource Center on JBLM Main. All the resources were donated from local stores and after four hours of work the girls were not done with the 22 they'd set out to complete, so a secondary meeting has been planned.

"Everyone in our jurisdiction is encouraged to participate in Make A Difference Day each year. Due to many of our members having parents in the military we wanted to focus on that and devote our time and service to them again," said 16 year-old Michaela Rehm, who is the Grand Patriotism Officer for the Washington/Idaho jurisdiction of Rainbow Girls.

In years past, the group has held fundraising breakfasts to purchase toys for Santa's Castle and also hosted free dinners for Veterans, which with include a patriotic honor ceremony.

Rehm, who has been involved for the past four years, is a junior at Lakes High School in Lakewood and resides on JBLM with her mom, Andrea Terialles, her three brothers and her stepfather, Sgt. Albert Terialles, who serves with the 47th Combat Support Hospital.

"I think it is the best kept secret out there," Michaela confided. "It has given me confidence and I've had a chance to develop leadership skills."

The Faith Assembly currently has 15 members, at least half of which are military dependents, and meets in Parkland. Meetings are typically held twice a month in addition to completing service projects and other activities.

"My choice is to be an involved parent," said Andrea, who serves on the Rainbow Advisory Board. "Plus I love to watch the progress these girls make - they turn into gracious, giving young women that truly contribute to the community."

Since Rainbow Girls is a worldwide organization, there are jurisdictions almost everywhere there's a military base. Girls aged 11 to 20 are eligible and membership is open to young women of all faiths, regardless of race, creed, color or national origin.

"The nature of our specific assembly is that we have military families coming in and out and we are used to the transition," Andrea said. "I think knowing that about our group may make it a place where the girls can form friendships easier and the parents don't have to be concerned about any bad influences."

Those interested in joining the Faith Assembly group specifically can call the Assistant Mother Advisor, Venita Soderquist, (253) 691-5528. Other information about the local Rainbow Girls can be found at

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