In a report published in spring, the Kitsap Community Foundation described the newly opened Village Green Community Center this way: “This is one of the most visually stunning, passionately envisioned, and lovingly created examples of a community working together to make life better.”
It’s a thoughtful and accurate description, but even though the building is complete — bustling with daily visitors to the library, Boys &Girls Club and senior center — it is not yet fully paid for.
Two years ago, based on rising construction costs and the risk of losing committed dollars and campaign momentum, the Village Green Foundation Board made the difficult decision to begin construction before all the money had been raised, trusting the community would unify to see the fundraising through.
We have just under a million dollars left to raise. To put that into context (and despite what some thought possible), more than $8 million has been raised. That feat represents more than a decade of tireless fundraising and selfless sacrifice.
Like most grand campaigns, this one has been led by a small band of neighbors who were driven by the vision to deliver on the promise of a community center to address pressing needs of the region.
At times, it must have felt like they were under siege as new challenges continued to emerge. Throughout history, societies have fared best when they have been connected by a common purpose when the collective was required to overcome adversity.
In his book “Tribe,” New York Times bestselling author Sebastian Junger writes, “The beauty and the tragedy of the modern world is that it eliminates many situations that require people to demonstrate a commitment to the collective good.” Astounding advancements in technology, science and medicine have left us less reliant on each other. The Village Green has brought people together.
We have set Dec. 31 to close the funding gap. On Nov. 17, The Point Casino hosts the Autumn Harvest Charity Dinner &Auction in support of the cause. The Kingston Friends of the Library have contributed an additional $15,000 (from selling used books), bringing their total campaign contributions to $91,710.
Grant requests have been written to area foundations and businesses and local families are considering adding to their already significant early investments in the project.
Lend your support to your neighbors and community. It is the Kingston ethic. Philanthropy is an expression of our values: “… a community working together to make life better.”
Our work is not yet done.