Nonprofit Notebook

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Fifth Annual Soup For Shelter raises money
for youth programs

The Fifth Annual Soup for Shelter, held at Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro on Sept. 6, raised money in support of the Northwest Youth Services programs that help youth and families in need in Whatcom and Skagit counties.

Participating vendors included Fiamma Burger, The Northside Restaurant, Mount Bakery, Avenue Breads, Brandywine Kitchen, Ciao Thyme, Caffe Adagio, and more.

Some of the competition winners were Pastazza, Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen, and Billy McHale’s for their dishes selected by judges and community members.

The next Soup for Shelter will take place Saturday, May 16 2009 at the Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro from 4-to-8 p.m. in the beer garden.


Chmelik Sitkin & Davis Golf Tournament raises
more than $18,000

Chmelik Sitkin & Davis, a regional Northwest Washington law firm based in Bellingham, raised more than $18,000 for its 10th annual charitable golf tournament on Sept. 19. The funds were raised from the tournament participants as well as the firm’s clients and will support Blue Skies for Children’s goal of helping homeless, low-income and foster children in Whatcom County

Each year the firm hosts a golf tournament at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club and invites clients from Northwest Washington to donate to a selected charity.

Blue Skies and Chmelik Sitkin & Davis have partnered together for the past two years.

More than $125,000 has been raised for a variety of local charities over the last 10 years through the firm’s annual golf tournament.


Emerald Bay Events helps raise $186,000 for
Boys & Girls Clubs

Emerald Bay Events and the Boys & Girls Club of Whatcom County worked together to raise funds for the club’s new facility on the VIP Campaign Cruise through Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands.

Emerald Bay Events helped raise $186,000 by local residents and all funds were donated to the Ferndale club. Construction for the new facility is scheduled to begin in February 2009.

For more information about Emerald Bay Events, call 738-7342 or visit the Web site

The Campaign for Kids is a $4.5 million capital development campaign aiming to build a new Ferndale Boys & Girls Club in Pioneer Park and fund small capital projects at the Bellingham, Lummi Island, Lynden and Blaine branches. The Boys & Girls Club of Whatcom County is still actively looking for donations to fulfill its campaign goal. For more information, contact Christine Destry at 738-3808.


Village Books, High School Grads to be honored

Village Books owners Chuck and Dee Robinson and Sehome High School graduates Anders Crabo and Colin Flynn will accept awards for their exceptional efforts at the National Philanthropy Day awards luncheon.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Washington Chapter will sponsor the annual luncheon, celebrating its 20th year at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. The Robinsons will be accepting the award in the outstanding small business category, Crabo and Flynn in the outstanding youth category.

The Robinsons of Village Books have connected individuals and causes through the store’s newsletter, book signings and fundraising events in support of numerous nonprofit organizations.

Flynn and Crabo spent 15 days during the summer of 2007 biking 1,200 miles throughout the state to raise money for an endowment fund they established at the Whatcom Community Foundation. With a goal to strengthen the bond between high school students and their community through charitable giving, the pair created the Bellingham Youth Philanthropy Project and raised $14,000.

Luncheon tickets may be purchased through Whatcom Community Foundation. For more information, contact the Foundation at 671-6463.


Helping Paws, Helpful Harvest create care packages
for needy

Cost Cutter, Food Pavilion and Everson Market are participating in Helpful Harvest care packages for the needy in Whatcom County.

Each store has set up a pre-packed bag of non-perishable food items, such as spaghetti, peanut butter and macaroni and cheese. For $10, a customer can add the cost of a care package at checkout.

The stores give the bags to the Bellingham Food Bank, Lighthouse Mission, Nooksack Valley Food Bank, Ferndale Food Bank, Blaine Food Bank, Southside Food Bank and Project Hope. The program is intended to run year-round.

Helping Paws care packages have been established in all the stores for dogs and cats. Both contain food items for canines and felines as well as treats. Donations go to the Whatcom Humane Society.

Care packages are displayed along store center aisles for easy visibility.


Local builders association gives back to community

The Building Industry Association of Whatcom County held its annual charity golf tournament this August and raised a donation of $10,000 for the Opportunity Council of Whatcom & Skagit Counties.

The Opportunity Council is a private local nonprofit human services community action agency serving the homeless and low-income families and individuals. Their goal is to help people become self-sufficient, and they help with school supplies, home weather control, food, shelter and support. They partner with other local nonprofits to build a better community.

This was the 14th year for the golf tournament and the fourth year the builders association has teamed up with the Opportunity Council. For more information on how to get involved, contact Diana Bailey at 671-4247.


Blue Skies for Children to host 8th annual dinner,
charity auction

Blue Skies for Children’s 8th Annual Dinner and Charity Auction will be held Nov. 8 at St. Luke’s Health and Education Center. Doors open at 5 p.m.

The event will over an evening of dinner, raffles, and silent and live auctions. Mike Kent from KGMI will emcee the event. All proceeds will benefit Blue Skies for Children.

For more information or for tickets call 756-6710.


ConocoPhillips donates $5,000 to Opportunity Council

The Opportunity Council has received a contribution of $5,000 from ConocoPhillips Ferndale Refinery. The contribution will help the Opportunity Council continue to provide human services for families who are low-income or in emergency situations.

Opportunity Council services include homeless housing, community voice mail and school support for children in homeless families.

The Opportunity Council is a private, nonprofit community action agency serving San Juan Island and Whatcom County.


KulshanCLT celebrates 9th anniversary at Nov. 7 event

Kulshan Community Land Trust will celebrate its 9th anniversary with a party at The Leopold Ballroom on Friday, Nov. 7, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Community members who are interested in learning more about Kulshan’s affordable homeownership projects and programs are welcome to join members, homeowners and supporters for the event. The party is free for Kulshan members and children under 12 years of age accompanied by an adult.

Tickets are $15 per person for non-members and may be purchased at the Community Food Co-op and at the door. The annual celebration is sponsored by The Leopold and the Community Food Co-op.

The celebration will include refreshments by Ciao Thyme Catering, the Mount Bakery, Boundary Bay Brewery and Bellewood Acres, along with old world gypsy swing music by Bar Tabac. Children’s art activities will be offered as well, along with a performance of members of the Dream Science Circus.


Mother Baby Center holds annual live and silent auction

The Mother Baby Center is planning to hold its Annual Live and Silent Auction to support mothers and babies of Whatcom County on Friday, Nov. 7, at 6 p.m. The event will take place at Fox Hall in the Hampton Inn.

For more information and ticket purchases, contact 647-1544 ext. 10 or visit online at Hors d’oeurvres and no host bar tickets are $35 per person.


Elks Lodge presents Bagrow with BBQ for veterans

The Bellingham Elks Lodge Americanism chairperson, Kathy Bergman, has presented the Fisher House Manager, Cecile Bagrow, with a new BBQ for veterans and families staying at the Fisher House in Seattle.

The event, which took place on Oct. 3, was a joint effort of Home Depot Foundation and Bellingham Elks.

The VA Puget Sound Fisher House has 21 suites for veterans and families to stay while the veterans are receiving care at the Puget Sound Health Care System. For more information on the Fisher House or how to make donations, visit


Sterling employees help food bank’s littlest clients

Sterling Life Insurance Company employees have donated 329 units of infant formulas, beginners’ baby foods, rice cereal and juices as well as $910.35 in a food drive to benefit the Food 4 Tots program of the Bellingham Food Bank.

During the month of September, food donations were accepted by volunteers throughout Sterling’s buildings and were displayed in a playpen in the main lobby. Fundraisers including jeans days and a traveling ice cream cart contributed the substantial cash donation.

Sterling’s corporate matching gift program will match the cash, which will raise the total to $1820.

Last year Whatcom County food banks served 7,500 clients under the age of 2. However, food adequate to meet the needs of the community’s babies is scarce. Each month, the food bank needs 750 units of baby foods and formula or $2,500 to meet the demand.


Old Town Christian Ministries announces
annual campaign

Old Town Christian Ministries announces its annual campaign to raise funding for its Youth Drop In Center, Amy’s Place. Youths, volunteers and staff will be calling on the business community, individuals, and corporations to donate so the center can continue to provide service to underserved, vulnerable youths in Whatcom County.

Amy’s Place has helped more than 610 different youths since the center began in 2006. Youths have returned to the center more than 3,350 times for services and support. This is the only center of its kind in Whatcom County.

Amy’s Place provides 13- to 21-year-olds with a safe place to go to receive a hot meal, necessities such as clothing toiletries, and an alternative to hanging out on the streets.


Businesses support “100 Years of Challenge and Change”

In a new book, local author Lynne Masland notes the crucial support the business community has given to service organizations since the founding of the Bellingham YWCA in 1907.

Her “100 Years of Challenge and Change” will be released at a reception Nov. 13 in the YWCA from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Masland’s history traces the impact on Whatcom County women of the suffrage movement, the Great Depression, two World Wars, the tumultuous 1960s, and the surge of women’s employment from the 1970s to the present.

Supporters of the book include ConocoPhillips Ferndale Refinery, which matched in full a Washington Women’s History Consortium grant, as well as WECU and Bellingham Sunrise Rotary with in-kind support from Lithtex NW and Credo Graphics of Mount Vernon.

All proceeds from book sales will support the YWCA transitional housing program for women in crisis that helps more than 100 women a year achieve new lives. For information call 734-4820 or e-mail


24-hour exercise fundraiser to help homeless

The “Sweat 24: Helping Whatcom County’s Hungry & Homeless” is a 24-hour fundraiser to raise money and collect donations for the Bellingham Food Bank and Lighthouse Mission that will take this November.

Individuals pay $25 per hour and teams fill the entire 24 hours with their teammates playing tennis, riding, and indoor cycling or working out. The fundraiser starts Friday, Nov. 21, at 6 p.m. and ends Saturday, Nov. 22, at 6 p.m.

There are “Sweat Point” challenges with prizes given out every hour, as well as a silent auction with benefits for the charities. Register by Nov. 14 to guarantee a T-shirt.

Participants are encouraged to collect pledges for the charities with the overall goal of raising $10,000 and fundraising prizes for the top individual and team. The event is sponsored by and held at the Bellingham Tennis Club and Fairhaven Fitness.

For more information, contact Robin Robertson at (360) 733-5050 or visit


Community food drive surpasses goal for local
food banks

Whatcom County has donated a record total of 206,000 pounds of food and basic household items during the 14th-annual Community Food Drive, conducted Oct. 13-17.

The donations surpass last year’s record of 186,000 pounds and bring the Community Food Drive’s cumulative total to more than 1 million pounds. The Community Food Drive was sponsored by Industrial Credit Union, Haggen stores and the Cascade Radio Group stations KGMI, KPUG, KBAI, KAFE and KISM.

Food banks in Whatcom County are now receiving approximately 20,000 visits per month and distributing an average of 350,000 pounds of food each month. At this pace, more than 4 million pounds of food will be distributed this year.

Donations to the Community Food Drive will be distributed among the Bellingham Food Bank, Blaine Food Bank, Everson-Nooksack Food Bank, Ferndale Food Bank, Foothills Food Bank, Lummi Tribal Food Bank, Nooksack Tribal Food Bank, Point Roberts Food Bank, Project Hope (Lynden) and Salvation Army (Bellingham).

For more information, visit


SPIE supports breast cancer research in lab, gallery

SPIE is active in supporting breast cancer research through support of a local art show marking Breast Cancer Awareness Month and through advancing breakthrough research in technical forms around the world and in its publications.

SPIE, a nonprofit optics and photonics society, is among contributors supporting the annual “Reaching for the Light” breast cancer awareness exhibit at Blue Horse Gallery. Works by local and regional artists are on display in the Bellingham gallery through Oct. 31. The society also supports staff volunteers who participate in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life fundraiser each July.


Room2Think supports Womencare

Room2Think, Bellingham’s only full service, creative meeting space, hosted Womencare Shelter’s “Empowerment Through Art” exhibition and benefit Oct. 10 during the Downtown Art Walk.

Womencare Shelter’s board of directors, staff and volunteers held the art exhibit and benefit to observe October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The event also raised funds through private donations and the sale of Womencare’s custom blend of coffee. All proceeds went toward Womencare services and programs.

The art exhibit, in Room2Think’s Think Big room, showcased work from local artists in addition to raising awareness about domestic violence issues. Roome2Think’s Focus room held an interactive, community art project focusing on positive, empowering female images and messaging.


KeyBank Viking Night Auction raises $150,000
for scholarships

The 19th annual Viking Night at Western Washington University Sept. 18 raised nearly $150,000 for athletic scholarships.

Viking Night, which featured both silent and live auctions, a catered dinner and local entertainment, was held in Carver Gym. More than 500 community members attended the event. KeyBank has been title sponsor of Viking Night for more than 10 years.

Over the 19-year history of Viking Night, nearly $1 million has been raised to provide student-athletes the opportunity to achieve their academic and athletic aspirations.

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