Whatcom Community Foundation recently announced more than $163,000 in funding to support 29 local projects. Funding was made possible by community donations, Foundation Fund holders and a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Included in the grants is support for Brigid Collins Family Support Center for improving classroom performance and academic achievement for children with adverse childhood experiences; ReUse Works, to develop its Jobs From Waste program; Whatcom County Council on Aging, supporting their sustainability for Bellingham Senior Nutrition Program; Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association for Liam Wood Fly Fishers and River Guardians, a community fly fishing class focused beyond fishing to include conservation, restoration, stream ecology, community-building and stewardship.
Additionally, Lummi Nation School received funds to develop a Young Native Women Empowerment program; The Jazz Project for its Piano Liberation Organization, a program in which pianos are rescued and restored and placed with first-time piano students and families in need; and to Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center, for the Stable Home Mediation Program to aid homeowners in foreclosure.
Funding also will enable Lynden Heritage Foundation to provide the Alaska Canadian Highway Trip Through Time web-based game that will give players an opportunity to travel the Al Can Highway.
Other grants went to Columbia Legal Services, The Bellingham Public School Foundation, Whatcom Parks and Recreation Foundation, ARC of Whatcom County, Northwest Youth Services, FutureWise Whatcom, Animals as Natural Therapy, Project Homeless Connect, Western Foundation, Whatcom Literacy Council, Center for Local Self-Reliance, 4th Corner Fly Fishers, South Fork Valley Community Association, Blue Skies for Children, People For Puget Sound, Bellingham Festival of Music, Whatcom Museum Foundation, Whatcom Poetry Series, Marianne's House, and Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center.
Whatcom Community Foundation has received gifts of more than $22 million from more than 4,300 donors in its 16-year history, and now holds 172 funds to benefit nonprofit activities in Whatcom County. Foundation assets at the end of fiscal year 2012 totaled more than $15 million.
WESTERN HONORS OUTSTANDING STUDENTS
Whatcom County students were among those honored as outstanding graduates for the 2011-2012 academic year at Western Washington University's spring commencement June 9.
Faculty members from academic departments select one graduate to honor, based on grades, research and writing, service to the campus and community, and promise for the future, according to a university press release. This year's outstanding graduates include:
Christopher Scott Cawthon of Bellingham, Modern and Classical Languages and Linguistics departments, earned a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in linguistics and French. He will attend Indiana University's graduate program in French linguistics with the help of the Marvin D. Moody Fellowship.
Aris Hudson of Bellingham, Economics and Mathematics, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a combined major in economics and mathematics. He will attend the University of Michigan on a graduate fellowship to pursue a Ph.D. in economics. His parents are WWU philosophy professor Hud Hudson of Bellingham and Tara Blanton Hughes, a member of the English faculty at Whatcom Community College. He is a graduate of Bellingham High.
Shelley Jefferson of Bellingham, Theatre and Dance, will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater with an emphasis in directing and a Bachelor of Arts in education in general science-elementary education. After graduation, she will pursue a teaching position in Whatcom County.
Ian Nelson of Bellingham, East Asian Studies, completed his Bachelor of Arts in December 2011 in East Asian studies with a minor in environmental policy. Now working in Bellingham, Ian hopes to return to China in January to continue his language studies. He also plans to apply to the University of Washington's China Studies graduate program to pursue his research interests in Chinese environmental issues and policy.
Catherine Dimalla of Custer, Design, received a Bachelor of Arts in design with an emphasis in graphic design. After graduation, she will move to San Francisco to pursue a career in branding and marketing. The daughter of Gerard and Arlene Dimalla of Custer, she is a graduate of Blaine High School.
Tyler Bisschop of Lynden, History, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. After graduation, Tyler will remain at Western to complete post-baccalaureate work to prepare to apply for Ph.D. programs. A graduate of Lynden High School and Whatcom Community College, he is the son of John and Sheryl Bisschop of Lynden.
Tracy Sager of Lynden, Accounting, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in accounting and operations management. She plans to work for a local accounting firm and sit for the CPA exam.
And a shout out to one of our own Herald family: Gina Cole of Kirkland and a freelance writer and photographer for The Bellingham Herald. Gina was named the outstanding journalism student. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in journalism and communication and graduated cum laude in winter 2012.
CITY EMPLOYEES AID CLEANUP
City of Bellingham employees converged on Chuckanut Ridge June 14 in a massive cleanup effort of the southside property purchased by the city last fall, according to a city press release.
We posted the city's photos to our website at bellinghamherald.com/reader-news-photos.
Here's what the city said about the effort:
Armed with garbage bags, gloves, tools, enthusiasm and training, more than 60 Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department employees formed teams and fanned out over the roughly 80-acre parcel and surrounding park lands. Crews cleaned up old tents, sleeping bags, tarps, bottles, cans and other garbage from more than 30 camps and dumpsites spread across the property.
By noon, tons of garbage had been collected and hauled out of the woods. (The) work party followed a similar effort by volunteers from nearby neighborhoods.
"We are very happy with the work that has gone into cleaning up the area and making it a better place to visit," James King, Parks and Recreation director, said. "Neighbors have enjoyed trails through the area for years, though many of the trails are in need of improvement. These events are a great step in the right direction for improving the park."
He said (the) project was intended to accomplish an overwhelming task by getting many people involved. Because the camps were some distance from the roads, much of the work was hauling the trash out to where it could be placed in trucks for removal from the site. It also was a great opportunity for employees from across the department to come together in a united effort.
Out and About runs Mondays in The Bellingham Herald.
Reach JULIE SHIRLEY firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2261.