Nonprofit Notebook, February 2009

Items for Nonprofit Notebook need to be received by the 15th of the month prior to publication.


Brooks Manufacturing donates $1,250 to Independent Colleges

Brooks Manufacturing made a donation of $1,250 to the Independent Colleges of Washington (ICW) for 2008. Since 1996, Brooks has donated more than $11,000 to ICW.

ICW is an association of 10 private, nonprofit colleges in Washington that exists to expand opportunity and choice for students by promoting the value and vitality of high-quality, academically rigorous independent higher education by broadening access through enhanced student aid. One hundred percent of all funds raised by ICW go directly to help students.

The 10 colleges in the ICW association confer 25 percent of the bachelor’s and higher degrees earned in Washington state, yet they receive less than 2 percent of the state’s higher education budget in the form of financial aid given to students.

ICW’s associated colleges are Gonzaga University, Heritage University, Pacific Lutheran University, Saint Martin’s University, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University, University of Puget Sound, Walla Walla University, Whitman College and Whitworth University.


Center for Local Self Reliance receives parks grant

The Center for Local Self Reliance (CLSR), a new community-building organization in Bellingham, has received a grant of $1,000 from the Whatcom Parks and Recreation Foundation. CLSR is working with the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department to restore the caretaker’s house and gardens at Fairhaven Park’s former rose garden. CLSR will restore the house and use it as a community educational center focusing on self-reliance skills. The lawns will be turned into demonstration gardens, where community members may learn about growing vegetables, tree fruits, nuts, berries and medicinal plants. The grant will be used to build a wheel-chair ramp to make the house handicap accessible.

CLSR also recently received grants from the Whatcom Educational Credit Union and the Community Food Co-op. WECU’s donation will go toward a liability insurance policy, and the Co-op donation is earmarked for producing brochures to assist in fundraising efforts.


Womencare Shelter to host Starry Night Gala benefit

Womencare Shelter is gearing up for its fifth annual Starry Night Gala and benefit auction to be held on March 7 from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club. Tickets are $55 per person. Money raised will help support the domestic violence services that Womencare Shelter provides for women and children in Whatcom County. Local businesses wishing to donate items for the auction may do so by contacting Executive Director Kirsten Hammer (360) 671-8539.


Annual Boys and Girls Club Auction to be held June 20

The 21st annual Boys and Girls Club auction will be held on June 20, in the Big White Tent at Pioneer Park. Last year the event hosted 650 people and raised $245,000.

The Ferndale Boys & Girls Club auction is a casual and much spirited event and is catered by the Silver Reef Casino. The event will be held in a 20,000 square foot white tent with more than 6,000 white twinkle lights and will be emceed by Sonny Sixkiller, one of the top-rated quarterbacks in the history of Washington football. Sixkiller was bestowed his highest honor by being inducted into the University of Washington Football Hall of Fame in 1985. To this day he still holds several Husky passing records set more than 35 years ago.

This event has sold out the last two years, so early reservations are encouraged. Auction proceeds support the club’s day-to-day operations.

Reservations are now being accepted at (360) 384-0753 or by visiting


Volunteer Management 101 training offered

Whatcom Volunteer Center is offering Volunteer Management 101, training for people who do or would like to work with volunteers. Volunteer Management 101 will be held on Thursday and Friday, March 5 and 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Whatcom Volunteer Center at 725 N. State Street in Bellingham.

In this training, participants will learn to build an effective volunteer program for their nonprofit organization. This two-day workshop will help volunteer managers learn to recruit, retain, and recognize volunteers who want to help an organization achieve its goals. Participants will examine other volunteer programs’ effective practices and get their own program off to a great start or learn to enhance their existing program.

The $100 workshop fee includes lunch. People with special dietary needs should bring a sack lunch. This workshop is appropriate for nonprofits large and small. Registration is limited. To register, call the WVC at 734-3055.


Food Co-op announces Community Shopping Days recipients

The Community Food Co-op, Bellingham’s natural cooperative grocer, announced their 2009 Community Shopping Days (CSD) recipients. Through this program, deserving local organizations receive 2 percent of the Co-op’s sales on the third Saturday of their designated month. The program donated between $1,000 and $1,800 to each of 12 local groups in 2008.

In 2009, the Community Food Co-op’s CSD program will support the following local organizations: GRADS Teen Parent Program, Community-to-Community Development, LAW Advocates, Food To Bank On, Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth, United for National Health Care, Children’s Cooperative Preschool, Womencare Shelter, Chuckanut Conservancy, Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, Leadership Whatcom and Home Port Learning Center.

The Co-op’s board of directors chooses 12 local organizations with a focus on food and sustainable agriculture, peace and human rights, ecological issues, education, health and well-being, and community health and social justice.


Ski to Sea call for volunteers

The Ski to Sea Festival is just around the corner, and in need of volunteers. More than 800 volunteers are needed to help at the festival this year. Volunteers can select which area they would like to help at, including all major race legs, Junior and Grand Parades, race timing, the finish line in Marine Park or working with the Bellingham Chamber office to ensure all racer packets are complete. All volunteers will receive an official 2009 Ski to Sea T-shirt for their participation.

Individuals interested in volunteering at the 2009 Ski to Sea Festival can fill out the volunteer form online at In order to get a T-shirt, all applications must be filled out and turned in by May 8. For questions, contact Chelsea Dier at (360) 734-1330 or visit the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry located at 119 N. Commercial St., Suite 110.


Food Pavilion, Cost Cutter, Market Stores raise money for food banks

For the 10th consecutive year, The Markets (formerly Brown & Cole Stores) have participated in the nationwide holiday food bank drive, Food For All. This year, more than $17,000 was raised among the company’s 20 supermarkets in Washington. In Whatcom County, these include Food Pavilion stores in Bellingham and Lynden, Cost Cutter in Blaine, Ferndale and Bellingham, plus The Market at Everson.

In Whatcom County, the following food-based charities received donations of more than $4,095: Nooksack Valley Food Bank, Bellingham Food Bank, Blue Skies for Children, Lighthouse Mission, Ferndale Food Bank, Southside Food Bank and the Blaine Food Bank.

More than $165,000 has been raised since offering its customers and employees the option of making a holiday donation to the hungry through a checkstand donation. This year’s campaign ran from mid-November through New Year’s Day.

The Markets also offer an ongoing donation bag program for local food banks and animal shelters. The program, called Helpful Harvest and Helping Paws, features prepacked bags of nonperishable items purchased and then donated to the organizations listed above in Whatcom County, as well as the Whatcom Humane Society.


WCC awarded $1.8 million grant to train nurses

Whatcom Community College has been awarded a $1.8 million grant from the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration to develop Transitions to RN, aimed at providing greater access to Whatcom’s nursing programs for rural and underrepresented adults, incumbent workers and retired registered nurses.

There is currently a nationwide shortage of trained nurses, and demand for registered nurses (RNs) in northwest Washington state is expected to increase an additional 27 percent by 2012. The Transitions program will increase capacity for both the RN and the nurse assistant programs at WCC. Whatcom is known for its successful nurse training programs; last year, graduates passed the national licensing exam with a 100 percent pass rate.

The three-year grant will fund online and hybrid (classroom and online) the Associate in Science – Nursing degree and and nursing assistant courses; the development and implementation of the Encore Alliance of Registered Nurses initiative to engage retired nurses in supporting nursing students; in-person and online faculty professional development; and online student resources, including tutoring, academic advising, and library databases.


BP Cherry Point Refinery gives $50,000 to the local Red Cross

BP Cherry Point Refinery presented a check to the Mt. Baker Chapter of the American Red Cross for $50,000 in support of local Red Cross disaster relief.

The Mt. Baker Chapter is challenged every year to raise 100 percent of their operating budget through local support. During times when large countywide disasters are not happening, small disasters such as home fires still occur on average four times a month. These home fires are devastating to the families involved and without the aid of the Red Cross many of the families would become homeless or find themselves in financial ruins.


Banner Bank donates $2,500 to Kulshan Community Land Trust

Banner Bank donated $2,500 to the Kulshan Community Land Trust (KulshanCLT), to support their mission to strengthen the community by holding land in trust for permanently affordable homeownership and by offering financial and educational services to people of limited means. Banner Bank’s senior vice president and division manager, Bruce Clawson and real estate loan officer Josh Martin presented the check to KulshanCLT development director Jill Clark on Jan. 23 at KulshanCLT’s first new home project, Matthei Place, in Bellingham. Since 2005 Banner Bank has contributed $12,500 to KulshanCLT.

The donation from Banner Bank enables KulshanCLT to expand their programs and services to more low-to-moderate income first-time homebuyers throughout Whatcom County. This will result in increased homeownership rates among homebuyers whose incomes are below 80 percent of area median income.


Liberty Tax Service to donate to riding center

Business owners Jeff Thompson and Tim Dugan of Liberty Tax Service will be donating $20 to Bellingham’s Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center (NWTRC) for every tax return done in their Ferndale and Bellingham offices March 1 through March 12. NWTRC is a nonprofit therapeutic riding center established in Bellingham in 1993 providing vital therapeutic riding sessions to people of all ages with a wide range of disabilities.


Boundary Bay Friday Night Late Shows to contribute to charity

Boundary Bay Brewery has made a new commitment to turn their Friday Night Late Shows into fundraising opportunities for local charities. In 2007, the brewery began hosting weekly Late Shows that feature the best of local and regional music. Now, the shows will be held every other week and will benefit nonprofits as well as the local music scene. Boundary has a long history of supporting community nonprofits through events like the annual Cribbage Tournament organized to benefit the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center and the Inauguration Party held this year to benefit the Bellingham Food Bank. Janet Lightner, general manager for Boundary Bay Brewery, sees this as just another way to give back to the community.

The first fundraising show will be March 6, featuring Jack Conte, and will benefit Amy’s Place, a local nonprofit organization that serves as a drop-in center for the homeless and struggling youth of Bellingham.

Every other Friday night, a different local nonprofit will be at the receiving end of the money raised by the $4 cover price for the Boundary Bay Late Show. Nonprofits who need fundraising should contact Janet Lightner at (360) 647-5593 or by filling out the comment card on the contact page of Boundary’s Web site (


Young Professonals donate to Arthritis Foundation

The Whatcom Young Professionals, a division of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce, donated more than $350 to the Arthritis Foundation during the December Jingle Bell Run. Members of the organization supported the event through participation and fundraising. The Young Professional’s mission is to provide an opportunity to make connections, strengthen relationship, and build local business in an effort to develop a stronger community. For more information about the Whatcom Young Professionals, visit


United Way of Whatcom County makes flood relief contribution

The United Way of Whatcom County has joined the BP Cherry Point Refinery and contributed $9,000 in emergency funding to support local Red Cross flood relief efforts in Whatcom County.

The Mount Baker Chapter responded to this flood relief using 138 skilled disaster volunteers and eight staff members who provided shelter services, mobile feeding, disaster assessment, client casework, health services, staffing and distribution of flood relief items.

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