The Woodinville Garden Club presented 10 years' worth of fundraising dollars in one "big" check for $20,000 to the City Council last week for the Wilmot Gateway Park. Members of the club present included Carol Ager, Grace Dawson, Sue Hughes, Susan Latter, Leslie Okerman, Judy Orbits, Chitra Parpia, Cindy Widmaier, Alice Locke and Pam Coney (holding the check), and Vi Kono (speaking).
by Jeff Switzer
After 10 years of saving the proceeds from their once-a-year plant sales held at Chateau Ste. Michelle, the Woodinville Garden Club has decided where to spend the money. Last week, they presented a "big" check to the Woodinville City Council for $20,000 to sponsor the construction of the central building at the future Wilmot Gateway Park.
"We are very pleased after many years of work to be able to support, in part, the construction of the park," said Vi Kono, founder and spokesperson for the Woodinville Garden Club. "We're very delighted we now have a place to make this contribution."
The 50-member garden club grows approximately 30,000 plants each year in Earl Bedman's Mountain View Greenhouse, planting them in February and selling them the week before Mother's Day at Ste. Michelle. The sale is the club's only fundraiser.
"It's very significant and meaningful that this money is well-spent. This wonderful trellised structure will set the tone and the form for the park itself," Kono told the council.
The private fundraising for the park includes sponsorship of buildings and the play structure and sales of tiles and "kid bricks" imprinted with the names of businesses, families, or children.
The Wilmot Gateway Park Committee hopes to raise $650,000 of the $1.4 million construction cost for the park. The fund has $95,000 to date, including a $75,000 donation from Woodinville Rotary.
Lane Youngblood, assistant public services director for Woodinville, said she is glad to see the community rally around the project. "The checks are a fantastic beginning to the campaign and a real confidence booster," she said. "It's great that there is the level of support in the community the citizen committee thought there would be."
The official kickoff of the fundraising will be at the city's second annual Fourth of July fireworks show to be held at the JB Sod Farm, where the tiles and kid bricks will be sold to fund construction of the park.
The committee has 12 active members and is looking for fundraising volunteers. Call John Hughes, 483-1234, or Lane Youngblood at City Hall, 489-2700; for major gifts, Bill Renn at 483-1269, or Gareth Grube, 485-0519.