Breakfast at the Village Green - Apirl 26,2017
Attended by more than 150 supporters, the event was both a celebration of the first 12 months of operation and a fundraiser to help close the remaining funding gap.
Village Green Foundation Board Chair, Mary McClure, welcomed the guests, thanked the sponsors: Kitsap Bank, Borrowed Kitchen Bakery and Market Fresh and introduced the Reverend Floyd Jones of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe who gave a blessing.
Some of the statistics shared helped tell the story of how the Center has become known as the Heart of Kingston:
· 10,400 hot meals served to Boys & Girls Club members
· 1,080 Meals on Wheels lunches served to low income seniors
· Housed the homeless 51 nights as part of the Severe Weather Shelter
· July blood drive had a record 52 donors
· Library circulation up 46% in first 3 months
· 30 volunteers staff the front desk
· 1,700 visitors in March (not including Boys & Girls Club and library patrons)
Opening speaker, two-term Bremerton Mayor, Cary Bozeman spoke of the magnitude of the achievement, stating, “This type of legacy project does not just happen. It takes vision, leadership and dedication. This building will serve the community for the next 200 years.”
The keynote speaker, Snohomish County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and 1990 Boys & Girls Clubs of America Youth of the Year, Adam Cornell, captivated the room with his remarks. A product of the Foster Care system, twice orphaned (his adoptive father committed suicide) then adopted as a young adult, Adam met the President of the United States in the oval office as national Youth of the Year. He later went to law school, served in the Peace Corps and dedicated his life to public service as a prosecuting attorney. He said, “I am not a self-made man. I am here because people helped me along the way.” He went on to argue that the American Dream is about more than achieving success it is about giving back.
When Adam asked the guests to consider a thoughtful gift to help close the $591,000 Village Green funding gap – they took heart, raising an inspiring $66,500 dollars. This came on the heels of an announcement that in the past two weeks four local families came forward to collectively contribute $200,000.
The metaphor of a marathon was used more than once during the program. With $524,500 left to raise of the $9.1M goal, we are in the final mile of the Village Green marathon. As we had always imagined, the people of Kingston are joining hands intent on crossing the finish line together.
Saturday, April 30th at 2:00 p.m. more than 300 people gathered to tour the new Village Green Community Center. The American flag was raised for the first time, to cheers & applause, signally it was time to enter the building for the dedication. Guests were directed into the large banquet room with south facing windows looking out to Apple Tree Cove. Board President Mary McClure introduced the Gordon Elementary Choir and following their performance a video depicting the long journey that led to this day of the dedication. She expanded on the mission that has guided the Board - to Build a place that connects and stregthens the community.
Dave Wetter, Vice President for the Village Green Foundation Board and project manager for the construction, shared highlights of the projet and recognized the many people he worked with on the building team including high priase for Tim Ryan Construction. Bobbie Moore followed Dave sharing the history of the project from it's inception and the many obsticles overcome along the way.
The dedication was followed by cake and self-guided tours.
Intergenerational Baking Contest Friday February 12th - kids, families and seniors gathered at Martha & Mary Senior Apartments on the Village Green campus to taste and judge the delicous cookie baking results. The winners were Debbie Hill's granddaughters Sarah and Ema who made lemon snickerdoodles. This is the type of intergeneral programs you will see offered in the new center.
Village Green Community Center Officially Breaks Ground
On Sunday May 3rd an estimated 300 people gathered at the base of the beloved Camper Down Elm at the Village Green to officially kick-off the construction of the long anticipated Village Green Community Center. The weather was perfect, the crowd was in high spirits and speeches were filled with heart, humility and gratitude.
Clint Boxman masterfully served as emcee recapping milestones during the 14 year journey and highlighting the “game changer” contributions along the way. Board President, Mary McClure said it has been one of the most inspiring personal and professional experience of her life. The crowd cheered and applauded with the mention of each of the recent gifts that have come in since announcing the groundbreaking, including a million dollar anonymous gift from a local family as a match for the remaining $1M left to raise.
Comments were shared by elected officials - Congressman Derek Kilmer, State Senator Christine Rolfes, State Representative Sherry Appleton and Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder - who all were instrumental in helping secure government funding.
Program partner representatives Jill Jean, Kitsap Regional Library; Bill Tsoukalas, Boys & Girls Club; and Jo Ann Cratty, Senior Center, expressed that in the end it will be the dynamic programs that will bring the center to life. Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year Ben Pirtle summed it up best when he said, “The center will be awesome for everybody!”
Clint introduced Suquamish Tribal Council member Leonard Forsman acknowledging the legendary impact of the $100,000 check from the Tribal Council presented at the first Pie in the Park event. Leonard spoke of the location of the center on ancestral land and the importance of serving the full spectrum of community members from elders to youth. He then presented another check for $5,000.
To give people a sense of the scale and orientation of the building, Board member and project manager Dave Wetter walked across the graded site providing a virtual tour of the new building.
The most sustained applause came when Clint introduced MPD President, Village Green Board member and chief evangelist, Bobbie Moore. She said, “One of the key reasons this project is happening is because no one is seeking the credit.” She spoke of the early donors and the new recruits stressing all gifts are needed in order to get to our goal of having no debt by the ribbon cutting in March. Inspired by Bobbie’s comments, I was handed a $10,000 check from an anonymous donor.
Following the ceremony everyone streamed down to the picnic pavilion for apple pie prepared by countless volunteers - because that’s what we do in Kingston.
Village Green Cider Press
On October 14th the skies cleared and sun and families came out for the 6th annual Cider Press at the Village Green. Apples were efficiently washed, chopped and pressed.
Kids swarmed around the smallest of the 3 apple presses. They quickly got the hang of it and refused to leave their posts even when tempted to go play on the swings. "I have a job," said six year old Dillion. "I am going to remember this day forever!"
Hundreds of apples were first hand chopped then ground and squeeed by the old fashioned apples presses - all powered by hand. Families came by car, bycicle and on foot. The Boys & Girls Clubs arrived with fanfare and ready to work. Teens from the high school were also well represented throughout the afternoon.
People gathered; music played; and kids laughed - just another day at the Village Green Park. A special thanks to George & Sandy Morgan for leading the charge on this year's event!
Pie in the Park raises $45,000!
On August 21st people of all ages came by car, bike and on foot to enjoy the warm summer evening and the 6th annual Pie in the Park.
It was a night for breaking records – we had a record crowd, numbering nearly 300 people; the world record for the most ever paid for a single pie at an action was smashed when Tania & Antoine Issa paid $5,000 for a Gluten-free Peach Rhubarb with Pecan Crumble pie. Most notable in the record department was raising $45,000 for the new community center. This is a 157% increase over last year!
We spiced up the event from past years adding a silent auction (get-a ways, wine and one of a kind items) and raise a paddle that raised nearly $20,000. Here is a link to a video that captures the fun: http://video214.com/play/0PDMCd0zSGCfcp6lG411WQ/s/dark
Now you might be thinking – Wow – I am sorry I missed it, or I wish I had not been outbid on that pie. Well, I have good news. We are still short of our audacious $50K internal goal set by our most enthusiastic team members. So, if you want to increase your gift or make a gift to help us reach our goal we will deliver you a pie for any gift of $250 or more. Of course any and all gifts are welcome.