Gateway: Living

Altrusa of Gig Harbor Club, foundation report expanded support for local children

Gig Harbor Altrusa members raised nearly $12,000 at this year’s Empty Bowls event in February.
Gig Harbor Altrusa members raised nearly $12,000 at this year’s Empty Bowls event in February. Staff file, 2016

Altrusa of Gig Harbor’s Club and its associated foundation released a report last week detailing the funds granted through its work with local programs and projects that benefited children and their families in 2017.

“We want the community to know that we are excellent stewards of the funds this generous community has entrusted us with,” Sharon Baker, president of the organizations, said in a release. “Through the efforts of our women who have worked so hard this year, nearly $17,000 has been contributed to four local organizations, all of whom serve our community’s children.”

The beneficiaries of the grants issues by Altrusa Foundation in 2017 included:

▪ The Boys and Girls Club Summer Lunch Program: $7,429 for children who qualify for free or reduced price lunch.

▪ The Red Barn for after-school meals: $4,500 and additional $500 for an outdoor cooking grill.

▪ Food Backpacks For Kids: $2,500 for food for its summer lunch programs.

▪ Peninsula Youth Orchestra: $2,000 for scholarships.

Baker noted that the funds were raised primarily through two events.

Empty Bowls, which happened in February, pulled together a large partnership of pottery artists, restaurants and sponsors such as Peninsula Light, DPI Print, Umpqua Bank and Orca Design Group, to raise nearly $12,000. Additional funds for this project were a result of a surplus from the previous year’s Empty Bowls event.

Painted Violins, a new event which happened in June, featured stringed instruments that were converted to works of art by local artists and sold online at auction. This effort garnered approximately $5,000.

“Altrusa began its efforts to address the needs of the children in our community in 2001 by forming a foundation with just nine club members and a pledge of $100,000 to equip the yet-to-be-built Boys & Girls Club with a commercial grade community kitchen,” Baker said. “When that promise was fulfilled in 2014, the foundation worked with their club to use that kitchen to feed hungry kids, and on the way have developed amazing partnerships in the community to expand our efforts. We want to sincerely thank those partners for their support.”

Baker noted that the third annual Empty Bowls event will happen Feb. 17 at the Boys & Girls Club, and more information will be available on the organization’s website, and on Facebook.