Community News

The Olympian Gives a Thumbs Up (May, 2012)

April 22, 2016

(Archive, May 2012)

The Community Foundation of South Sound is growing its assets, which allows the nonprofit group to practice philanthropy like never before.

Eight years ago, the community foundation had assets totaling about $1.5 million. By the end of 2012, the foundation will be managing assets of about $15 million.

The tenfold growth in recent years allows the community foundation to spread its financial largesse on behalf of its donors and endowment funds wider and deeper in the community at a time when needs are great.

Take the story of Lauren Bragazzi, who last year was living on her own and a senior at Olympia High School with very little hope of going to college. She applied for, and received, a college scholarship from the John and Opal McGimpsey Scholarship Fund administered by the community foundation. The scholarship, granted to eight students since 2007, provides recipients $10,000 per year for up to four years.

“The day I received the scholarship was like no other day in my life,” Bragazzi recalled at the foundation’s annual luncheon. “I was so full of joy and gratitude. I knew I was going to college and I knew I was going to succeed.”

At-risk youth, struggling nonprofit groups, arts and culture, family support groups and more have benefitted from the foundation’s grant program, made possible by community members who have put their trust and capital to work through the foundation, which has grown into a major player in the world of South Sound philanthropy. The future is bright for the Community Foundation of South Sound, and that’s good news for the community.


2011 Fall Grants Awarded by The Community Foundation

Following the Fall 2011 Grant Cycle, The Foundation awarded $146,325.00 in grants to 38 area non­prof­its as shown below.

American Red Cross Mt. Rainier Chapter

To sup­port The Family Relief Fund aid­ing vic­tims of fire and nat­ural disasters–$5,000.

Anna’s Bay Center for Music

Support for children’s in-school music pro­gram at 8 schools in 4 dis­tricts between January and April, 2012–$2,500.

Behavioral Health Resources

To sup­port the Gift of Compassion Fund for BHR’s need­i­est clients–$5,000.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington

To pro­vide oper­at­ing sup­port for BBBS’ school-based men­tor­ship pro­grams serv­ing dis­ad­van­taged youth–$8,000.

Coastal Harvest

To pro­vide resources nec­es­sary to oper­ate and main­tain the food bank dis­tri­b­u­tion system–$5,000.

Child Care Action Council

To sup­port low-income chil­dren at risk of aca­d­e­mic fail­ure, ages 3–5, who are cared for in an early learn­ing setting—$2,000.

Community Youth Services

To sup­port the vio­lence inter­ven­tion and pre­ven­tion pro­gram serv­ing Thurston County youth–$5,000.

Crisis Clinic of Thurston/Mason Counties

Support for gen­eral oper­at­ing expenses–$500.

Fire Mountain Arts Council

To ren­o­vate the Tiller Arts Center’s restrooms con­tain­ing dam­aged fix­tures and plumb­ing, lack­ing ADA acces­si­bil­ity and not suf­fi­ciently equipped to serve large groups–$4,500.

Garden Raised Bounty/GRuB

To sup­port the pilot pro­gram serv­ing low-income youth strug­gling to find suc­cess in school–$12,000.

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

To sup­port Thurston County girls who require finan­cial assis­tance to par­tic­i­pate in Girl Scout programs–$5,000.

Growing Places Farm and Energy Park

To pur­chase addi­tional hoop houses for the farm–$2,000.

Hooved Animal Rescue

To pro­vide a safety net for abused horses and other hooved ani­mals impounded by Thurston County law enforcement–$2,500.

Left Foot Organics

To pro­vide train­ing for peo­ple with intel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties and at-risk youth–$3,000.


To pur­chase a com­mer­cial lawn­mower for the train­ing and diver­sion program–$4,000.

Northwest Kidney Centers

To sup­port a pilot a new pro­gram that will pro­vide respite from care giv­ing for peri­toneal dial­y­sis helpers–$7,500.

Olympia Symphony Orchestra

Operating sup­port to sus­tain the orches­tra and its programs–$5,000.

Parish Hall Ministries

To sup­port the Parish’s Community Meals Program and Cold-Weather Shelter–$7,500.


Support for the Residential Services Program for clients stay­ing at the emer­gency shelter–$15,000.

To pro­vide basic needs for chil­dren resid­ing in the emer­gency shelter–$4,725.

Shriners’ Children’s Hospital

To sup­port the “Transitions Program” which focuses on iden­ti­fy­ing com­mu­nity resources avail­able to young adults with disabilities–$10,000.

South of the Sound Farm Land Trust Fund

To assist in per­ma­nently pre­serv­ing work­ing farms that will pro­duce healthy local food for future generations–$3,000.

South Sound Estuary Association

To pro­vide devel­op­ment train­ing for 7–9 board mem­bers and two staff persons–$1,600.

The Mocking Bird Society

To sup­port at-risk youth in fos­ter care–$2,500.

Olympia Free Medical Clinic

To pro­vide oper­at­ing sup­port for the clinic–$7,000.


To pro­vide oper­at­ing sup­port for you’re the youth programs–$7,500.

To sup­port the “Voices of Youth” high school lead­er­ship program–$4,000.

Turning Point Domestic Violence Services

To sup­port the emer­gency shel­ter pro­gram and to expand ser­vices for domes­tic vio­lence victims–$5,000.

2011 Spring Grants Awarded by The Community Foundation

Seventeen community nonprofits in Thurston, Mason and Lewis counties received grants during The Community Foundation’s spring grant cycle. $32,000 went to the following nonprofit projects and programs:

A Gift for Special Children

Provide financial and referral assistance to parents with children with developmental disabilities in Mason County ($1,000).

Ballet Northwest

Program will introduce 4th & 5th graders to live ballet. Many of these students are from rural, low-income areas and/or at-risk homes and would otherwise not have this opportunity ($2,000).

Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County

Funds to allow 75 youth to attend one week of summer camp on full scholarship ($2,000).

CHOICE Regional Health Network

Provide access to medications for low-income residents of Thurston & Mason counties ($2,000).

Community Youth Services

Operational funds for Rosie’s Place, serving homeless, runaway, abused, neglected and abandoned youth in need of safety, shelter, food, clothing, hygiene supplies and counseling ($2,500).

Concern for Animals

Subsidize veterinary costs for low-income pet owners in Thurston, Mason & Lewis counties ($2,500).

Family Education & Support Services

Support for educational programs serving kinship caregivers and the children transitioning into their care ($2,000).

Lewis County Eye of Early Learning Coalition

Create an annual calendar of Lewis County Eye on Early Learning Coalition activities that prepare the youngest children to succeed in school ($1,000).

Mason County Literacy

Funds basic academic and communications skills education for immigrants, high school dropouts and others who need these skills ($3,000).

My Family, Inc.

To fund a new energy-efficient freezer for a group home serving developmentally disabled residents allowing them to save energy costs ($500).

Olympia Tumwater Foundation

Funds will address and repair environmental degradation around the east trail waterfall feature in Tumwater Falls Park ($2,500).

Out of the Woods Emergency Shelter

Provide emergency shelter to homeless families with young children in Thurston County ($5,000).

Puget Sound Senior Games

Provide the senior community with the opportunity to compete in a wide variety of annual sporting events ($1,000).

Rochester Organization of Families

To purchase and install a new phone system to better serve the nonprofit and its clients ($2,000).

South Sound Estuary Association

Will train 75 volunteers for the Beach Naturalists Program to provide first hand educational experiences on Thurston County park beaches during the summer months ($1,000).

Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia

Funds to present the “Community Messiah Sing-Along” at no charge to participants ($500).

YWCA of Olympia

Support for Technically Speaking Summer Camp which serves 60 girls from varying socio-economic backgrounds ($1,500).

2011 Spring Grants Awarded by The Lassen Foundation Fund

Twenty-one community nonprofits received grants during The Lassen Foundation’s spring grant cycle. $93,820 went to the following nonprofit projects and programs:

Ballet Northwest

Program will introduce 4th & 5th graders to live ballet. Many of these students are from rural, low-income areas and/or at-risk homes and would otherwise not have this opportunity ($2,500).

Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County

To provide education and career development focused on the academic success of Club members ($2,500).

Catholic Community Services Thurston County Family Center

Funds will provide nutritious meals in a warm, safe environment for hundreds of homeless people in Thurston County ($7,500).

CHOICE Regional Health Network

To continue staffing the Thurston County Safety Net Council and Bridge to Primary Care Programs ($6,820).

Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County

Funds to complete a three-part organizational development plan including succession, fundraising and transition planning ($5,000).

Family Education & Support Services

Serve high-risk families with pregnant/post partum women with children from newborn to three years of age ($5,000).

Harlequin Productions

Support for performances at Harlequin Productions ($2,500).

Intercommunity Mercy Housing

To provide quality out-of-school programming to children of low-income and homeless families ($5,000).

Left Foot Organics

Job training for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, at-risk high school students and court-ordered diversion for Thurston County youth ($2,500).

Madison Elementary PTO

To create an outdoor classroom for Madison Elementary, Avanti High School and Eastside neighborhood in Olympia ($2,000).

Mason County Literacy

To offer free literacy services to underserved people in Thurston County ($3,000).

Olympia Tumwater Foundation

Rebuild the retaining wall, stabilize the river bank and reopen closed areas at the Tumwater Falls Park ($5,000).

Olympia Union Gospel Mission

Operating funds for No-fee Health Resource Center ($10,000).

Providence St. Peter Hospital Foundation

Funds support the Providence St. Peter Sexual Assault Clinic’s capabilities in training adults in the prevention of child sexual abuse ($3,000).

Rochester Organization of Families

Provide essential services including food bank, after school programs, family support and emergency services to the Rochester community ($6,000).

Salvation Army Olympia Corps

To fund the Emergency Shelter and its components that have proven successful in moving clients from homelessness to self-sufficiency ($10,000).

Senior Services for South Sound

Funds directly benefit vulnerable elders, the majority of which are 75 years and are frail and at-risk in Thurston County ($5,000).

South Sound Estuary Association

To train 75 volunteers for the Beach Naturalists Program to provide Educational experiences for visitors to Thurston County beaches ($2,500).

Student Orchestra of Greater Olympia

Purchase laptop, HD video cameras and software for use by SOGO staff in teaching ($500).

Thurston County Asset Building Coalition

Support program for people who have no bank account or who use predatory banking services ($3,500).

YWCA of Olympia

Funds will support a part-time coordinator position to organize volunteers and donation drives for The Other Bank ($4,000).

April 22, 2016

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