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Monday, December 9, 2002 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Jean Godden / Times staff columnist

Holiday spirit alive at eateries

'Tis the season for good deeds. And thank goodness there are so many selfless acts that it's impossible to include more than a few worthy examples:

To celebrate Canlis restaurant's 52nd birthday, Chris and Alice Canlis invited 30 nursing-home residents to dinner. Last week's party included wine, flowers, presents and memories. One 91-year-old remembered Canlis as the place where she became engaged. Another woman said she was one of Canlis' first waitresses. She said, "I remember your dad (the late Peter Canlis). You're not as loud as he was."

• The Shanty Cafe, a lunch-counter eatery on Elliott Avenue W., has a tradition dating back 11 years to a former owner, big-hearted Jackie Philbrick. She always set aside one day for a benefit lunch with celebrity waiters serving French dips and donations going to Northwest Harvest. The Shanty's new owners, Ginger Crowley and Theresa Schmitzer, will continue the tradition from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow.

• The Green Lake Bar and Grill will hold a benefit dinner from 5-10 p.m. Wednesday, with 50 percent of sales going to the University District Food Bank, where supplies are low. The restaurant is no stranger to such events. A fund-raiser held after the Sept. 11 attacks raised $4,000 in one evening.

Pet watch: Democratic committeewoman Karen Marchioro and her husband Jeff Smith plan to ring in the New Year in London as pet sitters. They'll be pampering the five cats that share a home with Rachelle Valladares, incoming president of Democrats Abroad.

Before she leaves, Marchioro has to find someone to tend her menagerie: one dog, one cat and two parrots. Whatever happened to the old saw about Republicans having pets and Democrats having babies?

Bye-bye bivalve: Beware of mild-mannered reporters. Last week, Seattle Times tech writer Brier Dudley won the McCormick's Fish House Oyster Challenge, dispatching six oysters in 4.32 seconds. Spectators described Dudley's no-hands technique as "part Hoover, part anteater."

Dudley defeated three Seattle Seahawks: Marcus Bell, Isaiah Washington and Rian Lindell. KIRO-AM's Brian Davis posted the second-best time of 5.80 seconds.

Bob watching: Seattle, the town that opted out of 2012 Olympics competition, may end up hosting Olympic athletes after all. Bob Walsh, who engineered the 1990 Goodwill Games, wants to bring the Special Olympics National Championships to Seattle in 2006.

"Marketing" magazine's Larry Coffman reports Walsh has assembled a committee to put a bid together by the Jan. 17, 2003, deadline. Coffman writes: "Like a Phoenix from the ashes, Seattle's erstwhile sporting-events magnet (sic) has arisen to spearhead a drive... "

Bridge outage: Atlas Foods' Peter Levy responds to reports about the collapse of the Brooklyn Bridge replica hanging from his restaurant's ceiling. Levy says the incident may blow his plan to offer the bridge to Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels as a viable alternative to the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Jean Godden: 206-464-8300 or jgodden@seattletimes.com.

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