Seattle Police Officer Denise
  • E.S.
  • Seattle Police Officer Denise "Cookie" Bouldin, left, thanks a Patty Murray donor who offered support yesterday.
Everywhere you look: Big, impossible-to-solve problems that cost us all a tremendous amount of money.

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Except right here. Here is a problem that is, in the scheme of things, incredibly easy and cheap to solve.

Seattle Police Officer Denise "Cookie" Bouldin needs a few thousand dollars to keep running a program in the Rainier Valley that uses chess to steer kids away from violence and into smart decision-making.

This is, by all accounts, a great and necessary program. Mayor Mike McGinn has attended Detective Cookie's Chess Club to show his support for her work, and yesterday Senator Patty Murray honored Detective Cookie with a "Golden Tennis Shoes" award at a packed downtown Seattle fundraiser—only to have Detective Cookie get up and, in her acceptance speech, announce through tears that the program will have to end this summer due to lack of funding.

I wrote yesterday about Detective Cookie's heartbreaking speech and the reaction it generated among the crowd of Patty Murray donors. Obama strategist David Axelrod, who was in attendance, encouraged people to step up and help save the chess program now. So did Murray. And many of the Democratic donors in attendance did just that. (I watched Oddfellows owner Linda Derschang cut a check on the spot.)

"I am so touched by the kindness of people," Detective Cookie told me last night by e-mail. She said she wasn't expecting the reaction she received ("not at all"), but left the Patty Murray event with over $2,100 in donations.

It's deeply appreciated. "I thank Senator Patty Murray and her supporters for the love towards my chess club," Detective Cookie told me.

But it's not enough. To keep the program running this summer, Detective Cookie needs a total of $6,000. And then there's the question of how to keep the program running long-term. But for now, for this summer, all she needs is a total of $6,000—which, after the donations she received yesterday, is down to about $3,900.

Read this if you still don't understand what the fuss is about, and then, if you're moved to help, here's the information from Detective Cookie on how to donate to keep her program going:

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Donations can be made on behalf of Detective Cookie's Urban Youth Chess Club to the Seattle Neighborhood Group.

Mailing address: 1810 East Yesler Way, Seattle, Wa. 98122.

Phone: 206-323-9666.

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