Members of the Altrusa Club of Gig Harbor and the Boys and Girls Club gathered around a very special bonfire last week.
The clubs tossed the mortgage for the kitchen at the Cheney Branch of the Boys and Girls Club into the fire to celebrate paying off the $100,000 that the club committed to raise for the project.
“It was a big commitment for a small group like Altrusa,” Altrusa president Jan Hohman said.
The two organizations gathered at Hohman’s home around a fire to burn the mortgage.
The kitchen was the first project for Altrusa after setting up a nonprofit foundation to help local children. Encouraged by then-Mayor Gretchen Wilbert, the club took on the kitchen project. The Boys and Girls Club branch opened in 2009.
It’s taken 10 years to raise the money for the kitchen, with the club’s main fundraiser being the Holiday Tour of Homes each December, which originally started 20 years ago.
Now that the kitchen fundraiser has been completed, Altrusa is looking for more ways to support the Boys and Girls Club. It announced plans to use the kitchen for a summer lunch program after handing the final $10,000 payment to David Grenier, board member at the Boys and Girls Club of South Puget Sound.
Altrusa wants to help children who go without lunch in the summer when reduced or free lunch is not available at school.
The cost of a summer lunch program is about $24,000, and Altrusa is hoping to raise “a significant portion” of that money at a spring event, according to a press release.