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Whatcom County business announcements

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — The following business announcements were recently received by Whatcom News.


WSDOT’s safety rest area free coffee program returns

After more than 2 years, nonprofits across the state can once again participate in the state’s free coffee program at selected safety rest areas, providing coffee to the traveling public. The popular program was shut down in March 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic safety concerns.

The program promotes safe highways by providing free coffee to reduce drowsy driving. In addition to the free coffee, travelers can learn more about the local nonprofit group serving the coffee and can also make voluntary donations for the coffee.

Nonprofit groups can now start making bookings for slots by vising the program webpage for details (www.wsdot.wa.gov/about/contacts/rest-area-free-coffee-program). Participating groups should follow good sanitation and COVID prevention practices and follow Governor Inslee’s Amended Proclamation 12-14, including providing a declaration to WSDOT that the group meets the proclamation’s vaccine verification, exemptions and accommodations requirements (more details available online).

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A Remembrance Event planned in June

A Remembrance Event for all who have lost loved ones in the past year and beyond will be presented from 4pm to -6pm on June 11th at Marine Park, 100 Harris Avenue, in Bellingham.

The Remembrance Event is free and will include an ocean-side wreath sending, a memory board creation, a brief remembrance and a reception with light refreshments. Children are welcome and an activity table will be provided for them. The Remembrance Event is presented by Eden Health Hospice.

“This is for family, friends and anyone who has a loss they would like to honor,” said Amy Bradley, Executive Director of Eden Health Hospice. “The passing of a loved one is hard, especially during the past two years when the COVID-19 pandemic restricted gatherings. Many decided not to have any service after a death, making it difficult for people to grieve their loss.”

People may donate items for the memory board, including photos that are 5 inches by 7 inches or smaller, notes and mementos. Memory board submissions must be received by delivery or mail by June 10 at the Eden Health Hospice office, 316 McLeod Road, Suite 104, Bellingham (behind the Best Western Heritage Inn).

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An RSVP is requested by calling (360) 966-8593 or emailing Moira.Petaia@eden-health.com. Memory board submissions also may be emailed to that address.


Whatcom Community College Names Dr. Barry Robinson as New Vice President for Instruction

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Dr. Barry Robinson has joined Whatcom Community College (WCC) as Vice President for Instruction.  Dr. Robinson joined WCC on March 28th, coming from Seattle Central College where he served as the Executive Dean of Healthcare and Human Services.

Prior to his teaching career at the community college and university levels, he was engaged in clinical research at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington.

His research career began with investigating peripheral neuropathy associated with HIV-1 infection and spanned various viral entities.

“We welcome Dr. Barry Robinson to our community. His knowledge, skills and experience will enhance and build upon WCC’s culture of excellence and our foundational goal of success for every student,” said Kathi Hiyane-Brown, WCC President.


First Federal Community Foundation awards $400,000 in funding to nonprofits in 4 counties, including Whatcom

First Federal Community Foundation today announced it has selected 17 nonprofit organizations that are enhancing the quality of life in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Whatcom Counties to share a total of $400,000 in funding during its current spring grant cycle.

“Having received 44 applications totaling more than $1.6 million in funding requests, and with great need in our communities, the awards process was challenging,” said Norman J. Tonina, President of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

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“As our communities are still recovering from the toll of COVID, the Foundation focused its giving on supporting youth, veterans, families and the uninsured in the face of devastating health and financial impacts of the pandemic,” continued Mr. Tonina.

“We also supported innovative projects that are intended to stimulate economic recovery and sustainability, and efforts to expand access to housing and quality childcare,” said Jan Simon, Foundation Executive Director.

Whatcom County recipients of First Federal Community Foundation’s Spring 2022 grant awards received $70,000 and include the following.

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County: $25,000 Community Development grant to purchase the childcare facility and surrounding property on Yew Street in Bellingham, ensuring the expansion of affordable, quality childcare services.
  • Communities In Schools of Whatcom-Skagit: $7,500 Community Support grant to provide clothing, school supplies, personal care items, learning resources, counseling support and more to 4,000+ students of five middle and high schools in the Bellingham and Ferndale school districts.
  • Growing Veterans: $7,500 Community Support grant to refurbish the damaged hoop house and procure accessible tools and equipment, increasing the sustainability and impact of the Dirt Therapy Program and donations to Whatcom County food banks.
  • Road2Home: $25,000 Affordable Housing grant to provide six months of funding for the Allyship Program, assisting those living on the streets in Bellingham with navigating social services, developing sustainable life skills, and providing support for healthcare, transportation and emergencies.
  • Vamos Outdoors Project: $5,000 Community Support grant to provide summer programs, in partnership with the Lynden and Bellingham School Districts, for 80 Latine, migrant, and multilingual youth.

Since it began making grants in 2015, the Foundation’s giving totals $5,701,500. Committed to creating broad impact that benefits low-to-moderate-income, disadvantaged and/or marginalized persons or families in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Whatcom Counties, the Foundation has awarded grants to nonprofits, government and tribal organizations and school districts in the following funding priorities.

  • $1,326,300 to organizations addressing homelessness and the availability of and access to affordable housing
  • $2,355,000 to community development projects
  • $855,200 to organizations providing a wide array of necessary support to our communities
  • $945,000 to efforts that stimulate and support economic development
  • $220,000 to organizations addressing hardships caused and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic

Whatcom County Little Caesar Locations Continue to Support the Boys & Girls Club Through Their Little Cheesers Campaign

Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County is proud to continue over 30 years of partnership with
Whatcom County Little Caesars locations. All six locations across the county participate in the “Little
Cheesers” fundraiser, which raises money to support kids served at Boys & Girls Clubs in Whatcom
County. The annual campaign has raised $105,000 since its start in 1988.

This year, the campaign runs from May 28th through June 30th.

The fundraiser encourages restaurant and takeout guests to add a donation of $1 or more onto their
total purchase to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County. Guests who choose to participate
will have the opportunity to hang a Little Cheesers disc on the wall in recognition of their generous contribution.

Celebrating 76 years of nonprofit service to the youth in the county, the Boys & Girls Clubs of
Whatcom County serves children from infant through 18-years-old through early learning centers and
Clubhouses. Fundraiser proceeds support a safe place, homework help, educational programs, healthy
meals and more to the kids who need us most in our community.


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