The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Dena Martin

The Club summer program is fully funded

Board is working to build endowment fund to support ongoing operations


DAYTON—Thanks to multiple funding sources, The Club’s summer program is fully funded and the endowment fund is being replenished.

Summer Program

In an email update to The Club board members, Ginny Butler said that, in addition to the $5,000 The Club had previously raised, Martha Lanman at Columbia County Health had applied for and received two grants and Blue Mountain Counseling unexpectedly donated $5,000 for the program.

Butler said that the program already has commitments from the Prescott Pool, Friends of the Pool, Columbia County Transportation, the Liberty Theater, the Dayton Library, and the Walla Walla YWCA and YMCA.

The six-week summer program will begin June 24 and run through August 2. The fee for the six-week program is $250 and will automatically enroll participants as Club members for the 2019-20 school year.

“We have $5,000 in scholarship money from HomeStreet Bank so tuition will be covered for those who can’t afford it,” Butler said.

Stand Up for The Club

Butler said last month’s Stand Up for The Club event grossed approximately $46,000, which is about $3,000 less than last year. She said expenses are generally under $5,000.

“We have the best board any nonprofit could as for,” she said.

Youth State Facilities Grant

The Club was also recently awarded $80,000 from the State in a Youth Facilities Grant. These funds will be used to help replenish The Club’s endowment fund, managed through the Blue Mountain Community Foundation. The fund was established with a $150,000 donation by Butler’s mother, June Jones, before she passed away.

In order to open in time for the 2019-20 school year, there was little time to apply for construction grants, Butler said. A $10,000 donation for Michael Haight and Cathy Lee-Haight, the Eagles Auxiliary fundraiser, grants from Sherwood Trust and the Wildhorse Foundation, local group and individual donations helped cover the costs of renovations.

Butler said The Club still had to borrow $100,000 from the endowment fund to cover the costs of construction. The Club applied for the maximum $80,000 Washington State Youth Facilities Grant, with no idea if it would be accepted. They received notice that the funds had been awarded earlier this month. Butler said that state representatives said it was the first Youth Facilities Grant awarded to Columbia.

Butler said The Club is still working to replenish and grow the endowment fund to provide annual operations funding.

“This endowment is something that we hope to be able to add to in future years so that it could provide some substantial funding for The Club. With these funds from the Facilities Grant, the balance will be only $130,000. Realistically, this could only provide about $5,000 a year at this time. Ideally, we would like it to be about $500,000 so that it could provide $20,000 each year. This would take some real pressure off funding a total of about $135,000 in operating costs each year,” Butler said.

Haight Donations

Butler said she was also grateful to Michael and Cathy Lee-Haight for a recent second donation of $10,000 to The Club. The Haight’s also donated $30,000 to the Dayton Historic Depot endowment fund and made a large gift to the Liberty Theater, she said.


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