Volunteer Spotlight: Clayton Aquariums

FindingNemoDid you know that a fish tank can be good for your health? Researchers have shown that watching fish swimming in an aquarium eases stress. It can also reduce your blood pressure, help with insomnia, and promote calm in children with hyperactivity disorders. It may even have an effect on pain, as dental patients who watched an aquarium reported feeling less pain after procedures than those without aquariums.

It should come as no surprise then that we have two fish tanks at the House. They contain a variety of colorful saltwater fish, including the ever-popular “Nemo” or clownfish.  Not only are they a fun focal point for kids and adults alike, but they are also a peaceful spot in the House for those who need a quiet escape. Local business, Clayton Aquariums graciously donated the tanks and provides routine service for us. Our aquarium in the original house has been there since the early 1980s, shortly after the house opened.

Steve Clayton, owner of Clayton Aquariums, is a dedicated philanthropist. He has been giving back to the local community for years, and provided fish tanks to over 25 hospitals in the local area, including Seattle Children’s Hospital . Most recently, he provided tanks for an organization helping transition former inmates to civilian life and the Northwest Evergreen Hospice.

Clayton began taking care of other people’s fish tanks when he was just 14. His mom would take Clayton and his older brother around town to service fishtanks and the business was born. After graduating from the University of Washington, Clayton joined the Navy; even while at sea on a huge military ship, he took care of another officer’s 10 gallon tank! After returning from service in Vietnam, he went right back to the aquarium trade. Currently, the business is the largest aquarium service company in America.

Since families here are under incredible stress, the health benefits of the aquariums are reaped on a daily basis. Thank you to Steve and his team for the incredible generosity.

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At Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska, we support seriously ill children and their families. At the Seattle House, we provide a "home-away-from-home" to help families through a difficult time. We also provide a van service for families staying in Anchorage while their children receive medical care. Our IRS tax number or EIN is: 91-1061043.

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