Nonprofit Notebook

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Whatcom Community Foundation receives
$1 million grant

Whatcom Community Foundation (WCF), a not-for-profit with the mission of connecting people who care with causes that matter, has received a $1 million grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The Packard Foundation granted this award in recognition of the impact WCF has made on the Whatcom County community in its 11-year history and its confidence in WCF’s plans for the future. Funds will support the foundation’s ongoing efforts to strengthen local not-for-profit services and enhance the community’s quality of life.

The $1 million grant will be used to support ongoing foundation services by creating a Foundation Services endowment and providing funds for current work to build WCF’s capacity.


Center earns national accreditation

Bellingham Childcare & Learning Center (BCLC) is among the first early childhood programs to earn accreditation under the revised program standards and criteria from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The program received NAEYC accreditation after an on-site visit by the association’s assessors, who ensured the BCLC program meets the 10 NAEYC program standards.

More than 11,000 programs, serving one million young children, are currently accredited by NAEYC.

In partnership with the community, the BCLC provides childcare to families of all income levels, helping low-income families become self-sufficient.


Jeopardy! winner returns for Literacy Council trivia bee

Ken Jennings, 74-time winner of Jeopardy!, will once again participate in the Whatcom Literacy Council’s Trivia Bee on March 29. The 12th Annual Trivia Bee is the Literacy Council’s annual spring fundraiser. This year Jennings will be available for Trivia Bee teams to purchase as a “lifeline.” This means a team can request to use him if they don’t know the answer to one of the trivia questions.

More than 30 teams, sponsored by local businesses, will compete and Dave Walker of KAFE Radio will host. The evening will begin with a silent auction offering more than 200 items. The events will take place at Bellingham High School. Bidding for the auction will begin at 6 p.m. and the trivia bee will start promptly at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available at Village Books and at the door.


KidsFest auction

The 29th annual KidsFest auction will be held “Under the Big Top” this year on April 19. The Bellingham Boys & Girls Club will erect a circus tent to house a live auction and gourmet dinner served by Emerald Bay Events, which teamed up with the KidsFest Committee to put on the event. John Keister, a comedian and host of the local comedy program “Almost Live!” will star as the ring master of ceremonies.

KidsFest is expected to raise $150,000 this year. All proceeds go to support programs and services for the 3,700 members of the Bellingham Boys & Girls Club. This event is a major part of the club’s annual operating budget.

Tickets are available now for $75 each.


United Way lobbies for increased funding

United Way representatives lobbied recently to increase state funding for the 2-1-1 system by $750,000. The system, which is a telephone number that connects individuals to health and human services in their community, reached 1,196 Whatcom County residents in the past year. That is a 58.4 percent increase from the 755 residents reached in 2006.

The requested funding is in addition to the $1 million already appropriated to the system and is just one item on the United Way of Washington State lobbying agenda, which includes the support of bills that will address homelessness and educational quality for low-income families.

The budget will be drafted in the next week and the budget request will be determined March 13.


ConocoPhillips gives technical college $50,000 grant

ConocoPhillips gave a grant of $50,000 to Bellingham Technical College to fund scholarships and help construct a pilot manufacturing plant for the college’s process technology degree program.

The ConocoPhillips donation will provide four complete scholarships, with a recruiting focus on qualified candidates from the Lummi Nation, for students who enroll in Bellingham Technical College’s two-year associate of applied science degree in process technology. The goal is to identify two qualified scholarship candidates for each of the next two academic years.


Wal-Mart donates to local organizations

The Bellingham Wal-Mart recently made donations to three local organizations and a holiday event.

The Bellingham Wal-Mart, with grants from the Wal-Mart Foundation, awarded $5,000 to the local branch of the Salvation Army, $2,000 to Lydia Place and $1,000 to the Mount Baker Chapter of the American Red Cross. The store also donated $1,500 to the “Shop with a Cop” event, pairing local law-enforcement personnel with 56 children from low-income families so they could buy gifts for themselves and their families.


United Way recruiting fund distribution volunteers

The United Way of Whatcom County is looking for 50 to 70 volunteers to determine how funds should be allocated to dozens of local human service programs. Volunteers are asked donate approximately 25 hours of their time to attend meetings held during business hours. Volunteers’ responsibilities will include visiting agencies and working with local nonprofits to solve problems where they occur.

The time commitment begins in April and ends in late May. For more information, call (360) 733-8670.

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