Monthly Gathering – December `23

Amanda Strombon at kitchen counter with fresh fruits and vegetables

Members and guests welcome! Sunday, December 17th @ 6:30pm

Our December speaker is Amanda Strombom, president of the non-profit Vegetarians of Washington. In her presentation, Amanda will talk about why a plant-based (or vegan) diet helps prevent, and in some cases treat, many diseases. She’ll introduce you to the basic principles that underlie the healthfulness of this way of eating and she’ll give you some tips on how to gradually change your diet. She’ll make some suggestions for healthy eating over the holidays, and be happy to answer your questions. 

Amanda Strombom has been president of the non-profit Vegetarians of Washington for 22 years. She first went vegetarian while living in Malaysia from 1995-1997, motivated by health reasons. After moving to the United States, she learned more about the wider benefits of a vegetarian diet, and started volunteering for a vegetarian non-profit. A few years later, she, along with another member, Stewart Rose, decided to form their own nonprofit, and Vegetarians of Washington was born.

The annual vegetarian food festival, Vegfest, is the largest event that they run. For 19 years, this was held at the Seattle Center and attracted many thousands of veg-interested attendees to learn from chefs and doctors, to get free health checks, and to sample from hundreds of different food products. In May of this year, for the first time since Covid, the event was held at the Puyallup Fairgrounds.

In addition to Vegfest, monthly vegan catered dinners offer an opportunity to enjoy the food and connect with the community; free online health and cooking classes help people change their diets; a monthly newsletter and two websites – one for the general public ( and one for medical professionals ( – plus several books, both for the general public and for medical professionals have been published; and over 35 professional level health articles have been published in medical journals. All this serves to educate and inspire people to move toward a plant-based diet, for the benefit of their health, for the environment and for the sake of the animals.

Event starts at 6:30, presentation begins at 7.

Regional Gathering Gaming

Traditionally gaming at a regional gathering opens when the event opens and closes at the very end of the weekend; our Emerald City RG is inline with that tradition.

The game room will have a host available to help you find something interesting or provide you with an escape room packet to try with a team. Looking for players? Show up and see who else has similar interestes to yours. Have a game you’ve been wanting to try out, bring it with you, many Mensans are enthusastic about trying new games (even ones not quite published yet).

Emerald City RG Schedule 2023

All items subject to change. Don’t forget to also check out the tours page for add on options.

    • 2pm Chocolate Tasting Tour (offsite add on)
    • 3pm Registration & Gaming Open
    • 3:30pm Mead Tasting Tour (offsite add on)
    • 6pm Welcome Reception and RG Kickoff
    • 6:30pm Page Ahead Book Drive Launch; Kasi Walker
    • 7:30pm Ask A Genealogist; Janice M. Sellers
    • 8pm Registration Closes
    • 9pm Evening Games (Escape Room Mission 1) & Hospitality
    • 7am Virtual 5k
    • 8am Registration Opens
    • 8am – 10am Breakfast (self-host)
    • 9am – 11am Mensa Admission Test, Cascade 4 (details & pre-register)
    • 9am – 10am Shakespeare; Richard Smiley
    • 10am – 11:30am Youth Bridge and Bridge for You; Al Bender, Rui Gong
    • 11:30am – 1:30pm Lunch
    • 1:30 – 3pm Meadmaking in the Pacific Northwest; Erik Newquist, Jarl Jon Oppegaard, Brandon ‘Cozmo’ Walters
    • 3 – 4:30pm How Mensa Foundation Unleashes Intelligence; Michelle Rakshys, Charlie Steinhice, Jennifer Wise
    • 4:30 – 6pm Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge; Angela Kokinakos
    • 6 – 7pm Meet the AMC Reception; Jon Gruebele, Tracey Guice, Lori Norris, Charlie Steinhice 
    • 7pm Registration Closes
    • 7 – 9pm Gala Dinner; Charlie Steinhice (add on)
    • 9:30pm Evening Games (Escape Rooms) and Hospitality
    • 8 – 9am Registration Open
    • 9 – 11am Volunteer Brunch, From Wall Street to Fourth Street; Tracey Guice (add on)
    • 11am – 12pm Games and Goodbye or Local Group LDW

RG Tours

The tours offered at our RG are located in the Westfield Southcenter Mall area. Our hotel participates in a free shuttle to the mall, so if you’re up for some walking, you will be able to join even if you didn’t bring a car to the hotel. Advanced registration required. More information about the shuttle here. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more complete travel directions.

Seattle Chocolate Factory

For just $12 you get to taste your way through their flagship store. We’re offering this tour at 2pm on Friday before the RG officially starts. The factory is located at 1180 Andover Park West, 1.2 miles south of the mall shuttle drop off. (24 minute walk or 11 minutes by metro bus). The tour does involve stairs, and attendees must be at least six years old to participate. NOTE: due to lack of interest the charter bus option has been cancelled.

pink trays on a wite table being filled with chololate by a person wearing a white coat and blue latex gloves

Mead Tour ~ two venues for the price of transportation

Friday, March 17, 3:30 pm

Oppegaard Meadery/Bloodmoon Meadworks

Viking Mead with a modern twist. Oppegaard Meadery creates an amazing variety of Mead using a wide range of both common and rare ingredients. Honey is always the main ingredient, but also expect to find fruit, spices, hops, herbs, and even tea leaves in the unique Meads they craft. Their tasting room, which is kid and dog friendly, is located within a mile of the Westfield Southcenter Mall.

Contrivance Wine & Meadery

Small batch hand-crafted mead and premium wines are available for tasting at their steampunk-themed tasting room. This venue, which can accommodate 20 people, is kid and dog friendly and within a mile of the Westfield Southcenter mall.

Tickets for the Mead Tour are free but limited to 50 people. Charter bus transportation has been cancelled due to lack of interest.

Transportation options by tour:

Seattle Chocolate Factory, March 17

1. Uber, taxi or rideshare

2. Take the free 1:05 hotel shuttle to Southcenter. From there take #150 bus to Andover Park W & Midland Dr. Walk south on Andover Park W towards Midland to 1180 Andover Park W.

3. Take the free 1:05 hotel shuttle to Southcenter.  Walk or uber, taxi or rideshare 1.2 miles from Southcenter to 1180 Andover Park W.

Return option is reverse instructions. Catch the 2:20 or 3:20 shuttle back from Southcenter between JOEY Southcenter and Duke’s Seafood.

Mead Tour

1. Uber, taxi or rideshare

2. Take the free 3:05 hotel shuttle to Southcenter. From there take the F Line bus to Strander Blvd and Andover Park E. Walk W on Strander to Andover E. Turn left on Andover Park E. Turn left. Arrive 600 Industry Drive.

3. Take the free 3:05 shuttle. Walk (~15 min) or uber or taxi or rideshare from Southcenter.

Return option is reverse instructions. Catch the 6:20 (last) shuttle back from Southcenter between JOEY Southcenter and Duke’s Seafood. Sometimes leaves as late as 6:30.

RG Tickets 2023

Tickets include Friday reception, Saturday lunch, Saturday reception, and six beverage tickets. Minors must be accompanied by a paying adult. $10 surcharge for non-members. By purchasing a ticket you agree to abide by the policies for the event. Online ticket purchases will be available until March 15th.

Online ticket sales have ended. Limited tickets available at the door.

Tour tickets can still be purchased through noon Friday.

  • Supporter Ticket – Glinda the Good. This VIP level ticket includes the beverage add-on package and hotel parking. $220.00
  • Adult Ticket, online purchase available until 03/15/2023. $155.00
  • Youth Ticket, age 10 – 17 $65.00
  • Child Ticket, age 9 and younger FREE
  • Add-on drink package. Purchase additional drink tickets for use at the bar. $50.00
  • Saturday Only, if you are unable to attend for all three days. Includes Saturday lunch, reception, and four drink tickets. $130.00

Non-member surcharge. If you are not a current Mensa member there is an additional $10.00 fee.

Meal Tickets

Gala Dinner; Saturday, March 18, 7 – 9pm, $65

Dinner is a plated meal that includes a choice of: Tomato Bisque, Grilled Chicken Breast w black garlic cream. Vegan soup and entree provided when ordered in advance. All meals include Ancient Grains Pilaf (V), Roasted baby carrots (V), and Garlic Broccolini (V). Dessert is New York Cheesecake. Also provided, Starbucks coffee and TEALEAVES tea.

The dinner keynote speaker is Charlie Steinhice, a lifelong resident of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Mensa member for more than 20 years, was appointed AMC Director of Science & Education in 2020. He joined the Mensa Foundation Board of Trustees in 2016 and currently serves as President.

Volunteer Brunch From Wall Street to Fourth Street; Sunday, March 19, 9am, $35

Brunch includes a choice of: applewood smoked bacon, sausage link, turkey sausage patty, scrambled cage free eggs, seasoned red potatoes with peppers & onions, family style pastry basket, butter & jam, fresh chilled orange juice, Starbucks coffee and TEALEAVES tea.

The brunch keynote speaker is Tracey Guice, Vice Chair, Region 8, American Mensa.

As of 2/12/2023 there will be a 10% fee charged on all cancellations. After 2/28/2023 no refunds will be granted.

Back to RG main page

RG Policies

As of November 2022, Emerald City RG is requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all attendees. Masks are optional. These requirements are subject to change as the public health conditions change in Washington.

Attendees may request registration changes through February 12, 2023, after which point a 10% processing fee per item will be charged. Tickets are unable to be cancelled as of March 1, 2023, but may be transferrred using the transfer form which is available on request. A transfer fee may apply.

RG Code of Conduct

(Mensa of Western Washingtion Actions Still in Effect)

Mensa of Western Washington (“MWW”) has an obligation to protect attendees at its Regional Gathering from predation, harassment, and intimidation.

Accordingly, personal attacks or harassment are not permitted. This includes touching another event attendee or member of the hotel staff without permission. Personal attacks and harassment shall be deemed to be such if they would offend a reasonable person, or disturb the sense of dignity of a reasonable person. It shall not be a defense that the remarks were meant in jest, or the touching was well intentioned, if the offended party communicates in a manner that would be clear to a reasonable person that the jests or touching are unwelcome, and the offensive remarks or touching are not immediately stopped.

Illegal, destructive, or hazardous conduct is also not permitted.

Complaints regarding violations of this code of conduct from either the person being harmed, or from bystanders witnessing offensive behavior, should be made to the Regional Gathering Chair or Hotel staff. You share in the responsibility of enforcing this code of conduct.

The Regional Gathering Chair reserves the right to ask anyone to leave at any time without refund for violation of the foregoing, and may assign this right to any of his or her fellow Regional Gathering committee members.

Regional Gathering attendees are also bound by the rules of the hotel and all applicable laws.

Penalties will range from warnings and temporary or permanent removal from the Regional Gathering up to such other penalties as may be available through the local, regional and national bylaws, and Washington State and Federal law.

Event Guide

Due to the pandemic, many of these events are on hiatus until the regular hosts are more comfortable. Please review the calendar page for public events and the events listing in the members only section (Mensa Connect) for scheduled activities.

This page contains a list of events that members in Mensa of Western Washington enjoy in addition to the Annual, Regional, and Monthly Gatherings listed on the Gatherings page of this website. They include regularly scheduled events such as Meetups, special interest groups (SIGs), TGIFs, regular lunches or dinners, movie nights, and games nights.

  • NONMEMBERS: You can use this sample list to learn about some activities that members of our local group enjoy. It does not display names of hosts or their contact information. The Monthly Gathering is the exception because it is open to the public. The location and time of the Monthly Gathering are shown on the calendar page of this website.
  • MEMBERS: This list provides examples for nonmembers to learn what kinds of activities we enjoy. It might not contain the most up-to-date information. For a complete and accurate schedule, including contact information, addresses, changes to the schedule, and possible additional events, see the Event Section of Mensa Connect.

Special interest groups (SIGs)

Women’s Bathroom SIG (WoSIG) meets on the first Sunday of every month at 2:00 pm. This is a forum for adult women to discuss issues of interest to them. A theme is chosen in advance for each discussion. Absolute confidentiality is required. Seems like an odd name for an interest group? There’s a funny story behind the name!

Metaphysics, Occult & Parapsychology (MOP SIG) meets at 6:00 pm in Magnolia. Metaphysics, the occult, and parapsychology cover a vast array of topics and delve into subjects that have collective appeal: learn some history, glean techniques, and identify resources for continued education and practice. We welcome seekers and open minds.

Science & Technology (SaTSIG) Meets every third Friday at 7:00 pm in Lake Forest Park. The scope includes science subjects and technology subjects such as artificial intelligence and robotics. Science is not a body of knowledge, but an approach to answer questions. Today’s science is grappling with several big questions. What is the unseen 95% of matter and energy? What is consciousness? Are we alone in the universe?

M’Odyssey (Formerly WIGWAG) meets at various times to visit interesting locations around Puget Sound. WIGWAG stands for “Where I’d Go With A Group.” People didn’t get the acronym so it was changed to M’Odyssey to reflect the adventurous nature of the group. Previous adventures have been to Mt. St. Helens, the Rhododendron Gardens, Ft. Lewis, and various other scenic walks, hikes, or attractions.

Chocoholics SIG meets at various times, usually every other month for adventures in chocolate tasting. A few of the past meetups have been tours of Theo Chocolate, Bakery Nouveau, Vavako Chocolate, and Fran’s Chocolates.

Clever Shots SIG meets the last Saturday of every month. This is a sport shooting SIG that typically, but not always, meets at the Kenmore Shooting Ranges..

GaySig Seattle meets on the last Sunday each month for a fabulous brunch and salon-style conversation. Current members, prospects and allies are all welcome..

Restaurant Adventures SIG usually meets on the second Saturday of each month for a dinner out in the greater Seattle area. The purpose is, of course, not only social, but also to explore the different culinary delights of the area. Some past adventures included: Café Turko, Café Flora, Royal India, Ma’Ono Chicken & Whiskey, Capitol Cider, and Crawfish House.


Wendy Hutchinson TGIF meets every Friday at 5:30 pm in Ballard.

West Sound TGIF meets every other Friday at 7:00 pm.

South Sound TGIF meets on the second Fridays of the month in downtown Olympia for Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine in a very pleasant atmosphere.

Snohomish County TGIF meets every Friday at 5:30 pm.

Bellingham TGIF meets every second Friday of the month at 5:00 pm. In a friendly bar with good prices and good food.

Lunches and dinners

Port Townsend Lunch Bunch meets on the first and third Saturday of each month at 1:00 pm.

Gordon W. Hackbarth Memorial Lunch Bunch meets on the first Wednesday of the month at noon. Guaranteed good conversation and good food.

Sears Region Lunch meets on the second Wednesday of each month at noon.

Eastside Dinner meets on the second Thursday of each month 6:30 pm.

Edmonds Lunch meets on the third Wednesday of each month from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Whidbey Island Monthly Dinner meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:00 pm for casual dinner and conversation, spouse/significant other welcome.

Jenefer Huntoon Memorial Lunch Bunch meets on the fourth and fifth Wednesdays of each month at noon to enjoy delicious salads, soups and Neapolitan foods.

Gaming events

Games Night North meets every second Saturday of each month at 7:30 pm to socialize and play tabletop board games and cards. Hosts alternate between Lynnwood and Edmonds.

Games Night East meets every fourth Saturday of even-numbered months at 7:30 pm in Woodinville to socialize and play tabletop board games and cards. All ages are welcome.

Games Night South meets on the fourth Saturday of odd-numbered months at 7:30 pm in Renton to socialize and play tabletop board games and cards.

Fair Game meets monthly on various days at various public places (bars/restaurants) around the greater Seattle area at 6:30 pm. This group is for ages 21 and older. Admission is free, however participants are encouraged to make a donation to their choice of charities selected by the event host and to support the establishment where the event is hosted. Our purpose: (i) raising money for charity, (ii) recruiting new members for Mensa of Western Washington, (iii) networking amongst gaming industry professionals and aficionados, and (iv) having fun playing tabletop games.

Movie nights

Eastside Mensa Movie Night  meets every second Friday at 7:30 alternating between in-person in Kirkland or online. Each month has a different theme. Attendees reccomend films and vote on which movie to watch.

Seattle Mensa Movie Night meets on the last Friday of each month at 7:30 pm in a private home near the Seattle Center. Each month has a different theme, and attendees bring films and vote on which movie to watch.

Gifted Children & Youth events

1st Thursdays meets at 6:00 pm for dinner in Wings Café and afterwards tours the Museum of Flight. Neither children nor parents need to be Mensa members. Parking is free.

3rd Thursdays meets at 5:30 pm at Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, WA.

MWW Policy Documents

Mensa of Western Washington is subject to the constitution of Mensa, the bylaws of American Mensa, Ltd., and resolutions adopted by the American Mensa Committee (AMC). In addition, we are governed by the local MWW bylaws written and approved by the MWW Steering Committee, American Mensa, and a vote of the MWW members. In addition, MWW is subject to Standing Orders or Actions Still in Effect (ASIEs), which need only the approval of the SteerCom.

The Local Group Charter codifies the relationship between the Local Group and American Mensa Ltd., establishing rights and responsibilities of each entity.

Below you will find links to the MWW bylaws, ASIEs, and MWW Charter. After opening the link members will need to log in to view the content.

Bylaws of Mensa of Western Washington

MWW bylaws consist of the following: Name and purpose, Membership, Officers and duties, Meetings, Elections, Amendments, Parliamentary procedures and rules of order.

The latest version of our bylaws went into effect on November 4, 2013.

To download a pdf file containing the bylaws, open this link MWW Bylaws.

In this latest version, the local Bylaws Committee revised the format and rewrote several sections to reflect the way we do things differently — such as having officers take office in April rather than January — and, they changed the titles of the following offices:

  • Local Secretary (LocSec) was changed to President.
  • 1st Vice-Secretary was changed to 1st Vice-President
  • 2nd Vice-Secretary was changed to 2nd Vice-President

 Actions Still in Effect (ASIEs)

The MWW list of ASIEs is maintained to keep it current by adding newly adopted actions and removing ASIEs that have been superseded or rendered obsolete. To download a pdf file containing our current list, open this link MWW ASIEs.

MWW Charter

To download a pdf file containing the Charter of Mensa of Western Washington, open this link MWW Charter.

More About Our Regional Gatherings

While American Mensa is broken into “regions,” each encompassing multiple Local Groups, an RG is actually the gathering of a Local Group — perhaps annually or biennially . In this sense, a true “Regional Gathering” of all the local groups that fall within a designated American Mensa region does not exist. Also, please note not all Local Groups hold an RG.

Confusing, eh?

Every year or two (sometimes less often), MWW hosts or co-hosts a Regional Gathering. In 2011, instead of hosting a Regional Gathering, we were pleased to co-host the Annual Gathering with Oregon Mensa.

Our most recent Regional Gatherings were:

  • 2017, Emerald City Regional Gathering, Return to Oz @ DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport
  • 2018 Emerald City RG, Where Magic Can Happen @ Red Lion Hotel, Bellevue, WA
  • 2021, Emerald City Regional Gathering, Find the Emerald Lining in a virtual (online) format

The 2023 Emerald City Regional Gathering, at the Rainbow’s End will be @ the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport. Visit the RG page for more information.

We hope to see you there!

Online Options

Scholarships for Youth

Distance/online Learning or Virtual Schools

These links are from the Gifted Children’s Handbook from American Mensa. The text is from the respective sites.

The Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY) at Stanford University is a continuing project dedicated to developing and offering multimedia computer-based distance-learning courses.

Since 1994 Clonlara School has provided online accredited high school courses for homeschoolers.

Johns Hopkins Distance Education for K-6, SCAT or PLUS scores are needed for grades 2–6. Students in 7th and 8th grade must take the SAT-I and achieve qualifying scores to remain eligible for CTY courses.

K12® Virtual Academies combine the best elements of homeschooling—flexibility and individual instruction—with the support and accountability of a public or private school.

Texas Tech University offers educational programs to a variety of learners such as K-12 and college students, professionals, and those seeking lifelong learning opportunities.

The links above are provided as informational resources and in no way indicate an endorsement of or any particular partnership with any organization. Mensa of Western Washington is not responsible for the content of any of the linked Web sites; this includes updates to or availability of linked sites and the accuracy, reliability or helpfulness of the information on these sites.