Columbia Bank turns 20, gives $10,000 to Tacoma Youth Symphony

Staff writerJanuary 8, 2014 

In celebration, Tacoma-based Columbia Bank on Wednesday announced the recipients of $20,000 in grants honoring its 20thanniversary.

The grand prize of $10,000 goes to Tacoma Youth Symphony Association, an organization that has provided music education to nearly one million students since 1963. Washington State Smile Partners, a nonprofit that provides affordable oral health services for low-income children and seniors, and Family Building Blocks,a private child-abuse and neglect protection agency, have each received $5,000.

Last November and December, community members were encouraged to nominate nonprofit organizations throughout the area in order to find three deserving groups, said a Columbia release Wednesday. More than 2,600 nominations were received from individuals throughout Washington and Oregon. The winning organizations were selected by a Columbia Bank committee based on need, commitment to community and other critical factors.

“We were thrilled and overwhelmed with the incredible response to our anniversary campaign,” said Columbia President and CEO Melanie Dressel. “In addition to these three wonderful organizations receiving this special donation, we look forward to continuing our commitment to support our communities throughout the markets we serve.”

As one of the largest youth orchestras in the United States, Tacoma Youth Symphony Association offers orchestras, seasonal music camps and festivals, private lessons and classes, as well as educational sponsorships for children and youth around the Puget Sound. The organization hosts upwards of 75 performances each year and reached more than 30,000 people in 2013.

“These gracious funds will allow us to expand and reach even more students from under-served communities,” said Dr. Loma Cobbs, executive director of the TYSA. “Our organization works to expose classical music to children, frequently for the very first time. Being able to provide children a free opportunity to learn and experience music - well that’s the greatest thing we could ever do for a community. We cannot thank Columbia Bank enough for this support.”

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