Dr. Ted Kadet, OD has been a volunteer Boy Scout leader of Troop 419 for 20 years.

Dr. Ted Kadet, OD, a volunteer Boy Scout leader of Troop 419

When asked, “What would you say to people who want to “give back” but don’t know where to start?” here is his reply. “Adopt the ATTITUDE of taking and giving back. Give up on the idea that you will get back from the same people you give to. No “tit for tat”. People have made a major shift in my life that I can never repay. Maybe I can be an influence or instrumental in making positive change in someone else’s life to balance that.
Everyone has something to give. When you find a group or activity that you connect with to volunteer in some way, go for it!”

Lisa Knopp, Vision Therapist at Hope Clinic Bellevue, interviews Dr. Ted Kadet at Hope Clinic about “Giving Back”

LK: What got you interested in volunteering in the first place?
Dr K: I look at it this way….You take, and you give back. You offer service to a community, and invite others to participate. We all take from the community: we use the roads, government services, fire and police protection. We become stronger when we give back to counterbalance what we take. We adopt an ATTITUDE of giving and taking.

LK: What are the first experiences you remember as a volunteer?
Dr K: I volunteered in community service in my high school, through clubs like the Honor Society and Student Government projects. The biggest early step was when I opened my practice in 1967 in Issaquah. What better way to become acquainted with the community than to volunteer? I worked with the Jaycees which offers leadership training programs, planning and executing; the Lions Club, which has always been involved in supporting vision through their eye bank for corneal transplants, and collecting old eyeglasses for re-using in 3rd world countries. When you have your own kids, you volunteer in their activities, like when my son was in Boy Scouts, and coaching sports.

A history with Boy Scouts

LK: You have a long history with the Boy Scouts. What have you done with them?
Dr K: I was an active parent with my son. When he quit scouting I let it go. I came back in when my wife’s Special Needs son came along. A Special Needs troop was set up, and I have been the Scoutmaster for 13 years. I am also an old Summer Camp counselor, so I play ukulele and sing at Boy Scout Camp.

LK: What is the role of the Scoutmaster?
Dr K: Scouts is about Leadership Training. Often a boy enters at 11 and stays until 18, working up the ranks through service. By 15-17, boys lead the troop as Senior Patrol Leaders. They get experience providing leadership and motivating the troop. With the Special Needs troop, adults run the meetings. Our troop has men in their 40’s and our youngest is 13. The focus is on providing fellowship, socialization, being successful with projects and getting rewarded. Just like with Special Olympics, it allows those with continued Special Needs to be successful at something and get rewarded.

Dr. Ted Kadet Works with Special Olympics

LK: What have you done with Special Olympics?
Dr K: It started with our son. I had gotten away from skiing much when I lived on Whidbey Island. Moving back to Seattle, I could get back into skiing. I signed him up for ski lessons through “Outdoors for All”, offering programs for those with Special Needs and Physical Challenges. They offer skiing, rock climbing, camping, boating, cycling, and other outdoor programs. That led to joining the Skihawks Ski Team, affiliated with Special Olympics. I am a coach to an athlete about 25 years old on the autism spectrum, and my son is an athlete. We compete with other Special Olympics ski teams.

LK: Special Olympics has Winter and Summer Games, right?
Dr K: Yes. We participate in the Winter Games and do the same races as the pros do: Giant Slalom, Slalom and Downhill Skiing. We don’t care about winning or losing. The athletes want to do their best, want to win, but if they don’t they are happy for who wins. During the Summer Games, I work with the Healthy Eyes Program sponsored by the Lions Club and Special Olympics. Two hundred athletes are given Vision Exams, and receive free glasses if needed that day, made on site. I also help with a Track and Field team through West Seattle High School.

LK: Do you have a favorite memory of your volunteering experiences?
Dr K: One would have to be the Special Olympics dances, held in an airplane hangar at Joint Base Lewis McChord AFB. There have been as many as 25,000 people attending (parents, family and friends), and they bring in Hair, Nails and Makeup specialists to help the athletes get “gussied up”. Athletes are brought in by bus, and you can imagine the interactions that are so fun to watch. It’s fun to be part of ‘em……it’s really a hoot!

Dr. Kadet “gives back” to the community through Hope Clinic by offering FREE FUNCTIONAL VISION SCREENINGS in Tacoma, Silverdale and Bellevue Hope Clinics. You can schedule one online or by calling 425-462-7800 today.

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