Village Green Year in Review | Village Green Update

As 2017 draws to a close, we at the Village Green Foundation are counting our blessings.

We’re grateful for the progress made in our campaign to retire the remaining debt on the Village Green Community Center. We’re pleased to see that the Village Green is having such a broad and positive impact on the community, and we’re enthusiastic about the possibilities for the future.

We’re thankful for the myriad donors, volunteers and visitors already participating, and excited about the many ways there are for everyone to get involved in this “new heart of Kingston.”

Through the end of October, $475,000 had been contributed in 2017 to the Village Green capital campaign. This amount includes a grant of $25,000 from Ben B. Cheney Foundation, $327,000 in gifts and pledges from individuals and local businesses, $110,000 from fundraisers, and $13,000 from the Great Give and other matching programs. Since the effort began, we’ve raised about 96 percent of the project’s $9.1 million cost.

These numbers do not include a wonderful gift we just learned about late November. An anonymous donor has offered to match up to $100,000 in additional donations. Because of this generous match, every new gift to the Village Green Foundation is doubled. Your year-end donations will be twice as effective. New pledges are included in the match, too; sign-up to give monthly or annually, and those dollars will double as well.

Our mission has been “to build a place that connects and strengthens community.” The center is indeed that place, meeting and exceeding our expectations daily! When you participate in events at the Village Green (including at the Kingston branch of Kitsap Regional Library), you will be contributing to statistics like the following sampling from September 2017. In that month alone: 4,274 people visited the library; 1,253 people participated in meetings and events; 40 kids were daily served at Boys & Girls Club (60 in the summer); 119 people participated in other activities, such as pickleball, community acupuncture, bridge, and Meals on Wheels; and 304 people joined some exercise class. These exercise classes include chair yoga, arthritis exercise, and SAIL (Stay Active and Independent for Life), tai chi, and Qi Gong. In case you think any of these are exclusively for seniors, think again — anyone 18 and older can participate. They are all designed to help you stay fit and strong so that, at any age, you can get the most out of life. Check them out in the Village Green Community Center print newsletter, on online at www.myvillagegreen.org. Or call the center’s reception desk at 360- 297-1263.

Most of what happens in the building depends on volunteer efforts. Stop by and complete a volunteer application form; after a background check, you’ll be cleared to help staff the front desk, show newcomers around the center, help out at the Severe Weather Shelter (which served 107 people over 39 nights last winter), or learn about countless other ways to be involved.

If you haven’t seen our Village Green Community Center already, stop by. Take a tour. Volunteer. Sign up for a class. Visit the library. Give. Help strengthen and build community. Be counted as one of our blessings. Be a part of the new heart of Kingston.

— Bobbie Moore is a member of the Village Green Foundation board of directors. Email elliottmoore@comcast.net.

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