Nonprofit Notebook

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Marilyn F. Nold Scholarship established for university students

The Nold family and Bellingham’s Madrona Bay Real Estate Investments established an annual scholarship in October to provide housing assistance to WWU students. Named in memory of elementary school teacher Marilyn F. Nold, the scholarship will pay a student’s rent for three academic quarters while he or she pursues teacher certification through the Woodring College of Education at WWU.

The first recipient of the scholarship, Renato M. Rongcal Jr., is a senior who plans to teach elementary classes in Bellingham and pursue a master’s degree in English. Recipients will be selected by Woodring College and the Nold family.


Golf tournament benefits local children’s charity

Law firm Chmelik Sitkin & Davis P.S. held their ninth annual Charity Invitational Golf Tournament on Sept. 14 at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club. This year the tournament supported the Blue Skies for Children organization. Past charities have included YWCA’s Transitional Housing Program, the Bridgett Collins House, and the Northwest Burn Foundation.

Whatcom County Fire District No. 2, captained by Chief Dave Ralston, defeated last year’s champion, Dawson Construction.

Generous contributions from the golfers and friends of the law firm raised $17,500 for Blue Skies for Children.

“Over the years, this tournament is an opportunity for our staff, our clients and our friends to join together and give back to our community,” Frank Chmelik said. “Blue Skies for Children has a real need for support this year – we are all glad we can help meet that need.”


WECU Donates $11,850 to local nonprofits in third quarter

Whatcom Educational Credit Union recently donated to the following local nonprofits:

  • $1,000 to the Alzheimer Society of Washington for Project Lifesaver.
  • $1,000 to the Assistance League of Bellingham for Operation School Bell.
  • $1,000 to the Bellingham Food Bank for the Food Bank Farm.
  • $500 to Friends of Ferndale Orchestra for the Ferndale Concert Series.
  • $1,000 to Interfaith Coalition for the Friendly Visitors Program.
  • $1,250 to the Interfaith Community Health Center for the Dental Clinic- Mobile Dental Program.
  • $2,000 to Old Town Christian Ministries for Amy’s Place.
  • $1,000 to the Rainbow Center to purchase a washing machine.
  • $1,000 to The Jazz Project Ticket Endowment Program providing free student/senior tickets to The Jazz Project performances.
  • $500 to Vietnam Veterans of America for their “Salute to Veterans” fundraiser.
  • $1,600 to Whatcom County Library System to support their new library card campaign aimed at grade 9 students.

The Social Responsibility Committee oversees WECU’s monetary donations and participation in volunteer projects. The committee supports education, health and community-related projects, actively seeking those that address acute community concerns such as violence, homelessness and drug abuse. Requests for monetary donations must be made through an application process. The next deadline is Dec. 17.


The Bellingham Festival of Music is back

The Bellingham Festival of Music will return in 2008 after a one-year hiatus. The festival operated for 15 years before it was cancelled in 2007 due to a fiscal shortfall.

Under the leadership of Thomas Little, the chairman of the festival’s board of directors, and Michael Palmer, the festival’s artistic director, the festival will take place July 5 to July 20. Palmer plans to host the critically acclaimed classical music that has been synonymous with the event in the past. Western Washington University and the White Salmon Lodge at Mount Baker will provide venues for the orchestral and chamber music concerts.


Mount Baker Theatre receives Washington State grant

As a recipient of a Washington State Arts Commission grant, the Mount Baker Theatre will receive $13,500 to support its 2007 and 2008 seasons. It is the first WSAC grant awarded to the theater and the theater’s director, Thea Kleiber, said the WSAC grant is a feather in the theater’s cap. It is a grant only awarded to nonprofit institutions that are established mainstays of the community.

“This is a statewide stamp of approval acknowledging that the programs we present to this community are of the highest artistic quality, and the theater staff and board are running a tight ship,” said Kleiber. “Our state arts commissioners have taken notice.”

In the past year, Mount Baker Theatre has strengthened its commitment to the community by establishing an innovative Studio Theatre series, forging new ties with students, teachers, and parents through its education program and entering into partnerships with Western Washington University’s drama and journalism departments. The theater plans to make vital upgrades to its sound system, electrical system, and heating and air conditioning systems.


Mother Baby Center to host auction on Nov. 16

Mother Baby Center is holding its Celebration of Life! auction and dinner at 6 p.m. on Nov. 16 at the Bellingham Golf & Country Club. Proceeds will benefit Mother Baby Center efforts to increase public awareness of their services to the community. The center is a nonprofit agency providing health and support services to pregnant and postpartum women, their babies and their families in Whatcom County.

Auction sponsors are Cityview Mortgage Professionals, St. Joseph Hospital, Robinson Hardwood, Along Comes a Baby, Life Insurance Consultants, CCg Inc., Tom Flattery Attorney at Law, Michael Business Machines, King Nissan Volvo, Dawson Construction and Cascade Dafo.

The auction will feature a silent and live auction, sit-down dinner, “dessert dash” and special musical entertainment by talented local high school students featuring Jordan Phelps. Tickets are $50 per person or $360 for a table of eight if reserved in advance.


Business Bank has partnered with Whatcom, Skagit nonprofits

Business Bank has partnered with 12 nonprofit organizations in Skagit and Whatcom County for its A Time to Give campaign.

Business Bank is donating $25 to a local charity organization for each new account opened during November.


Northwest Youth Services celebrates 31 years

Northwest Youth Services, a Bellingham nonprofit agency serving northwest Washington, will celebrate the 31st year of helping runaway, homeless, abused, neglected and other at-risk youth during its So That Each Child May Thrive dinner Nov. 16 at the Hotel Bellwether.

The event will highlight the agency’s success over the past year and feature guest-speaker James Bible, attorney at law and president of the NAACP’s Seattle chapter. Bible worked with the Whatcom County juvenile justice system prior to achieving success and he will bring his own family’s story to bear on the evening’s theme. Tickets for the dinner event are $60 per person.


CH2M HILL announces its United Way campaign

Kicking off its United Way campaign Oct. 24, CH2M HILL is hoping to raise $100,000 for the organization. Formerly known as VECO, CH2M HILL plans to maintain its long history of support for United Way.

“We’re a bigger, stronger company this year and that will be reflected in our campaign,” Vice President Pat Hudgens said.

The $100,000 campaign goal is a 40 percent increase from last year’s total. CH2M HILL is confident they can reach this mark because they see a bright future for the engineering business. CH2M HILL will add 25 cents to every dollar pledged by its employees.


Life Chiropractic supports Bellingham food bank

Life Chiropractic’s October food drive generated more than 1,200 pounds of food for the Bellingham Food Bank. Dr. Ryan Hummel of Life Chiropractic in Bellingham said other local businesses supported the effort by providing prizes for a drawing.

“We appreciate the donations made by our patients and fellow businesses,” Hummel said. “We will continue to organize events that help families in need in our community.”


AGC awards Blaine High School

Blaine High School received an award from the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Washington for its effort to promote careers in construction.

The school received $500 for winning a Build Your Future Contest as part of National Construction Careers Week in October. Blaine students designed a poster highlighting construction careers after visiting a local construction company. State Representative Kelli Linville will present the check to the Blaine Students at a special celebration on Nov. 9.

“Workforce development in our area is one of the major challenges contractors face,” said Steve Isenhart, vice president of Tiger Construction and an AGC northern district representative. “The poster created by the kids at Blaine captures the fact that there are plenty of great jobs out there for young motivated people who want to make good money and have rewarding careers in construction.”


Big Brothers Big Sisters gets large educational grant

The Department of Education awarded a $182,000 grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Washington in October. The grant will be used to expand the already successful School Buddies Program for five area schools. The organization partnered with the Bellingham and Ferndale school districts to serve fourth through eighth graders at Shuksan and Whatcom middle schools in Bellingham and Horizon Middle School and Eagleridge and Central elementary schools in Ferndale.

Youth (Littles) enrolled in the program will be matched with a mentor (Big) who will meet with the youth one hour each week to shoot hoops, play board games, read books, make scrapbooks and do other fun activities. Big Brothers and Big Sisters help these children reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships.


Community Food Drive sets new record

Thanks to the generosity of local residents and businesses, the 13th annual Community Food Drive collected more than 185,000 pounds of food and basic household items. The donations set a new record by surpassing last year’s record of 167,000 pounds.

The food drive was sponsored by Industrial Credit Union, Haggen stores and the radio stations KGMI, KPUG, KAFE and KISM. Donations will be distributed among nine food banks in Whatcom County.

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