Press Release
October 1, 2015

For More Information Contact:
Dave Pinkernell, President, 360-823-8325
Richard Reiter, Campaign Chair, 360-834-7807

Camas-Washougal Community Chest
Launches 2015/2016 Fundraising Campaign

The Camas-Washougal Community Chest launched its fundraising drive Thursday, October 1, with a goal of raising $75,000 for the 2015/2016 campaign. The money raised is used to fund grants to local non-profit organizations that serve Camas and Washougal residents in need, run youth programs and address natural resource conservation and education. Since 1946 the Community Chest has been all about local people helping local people.

The CWCC just wrapped up a successful 2014/2015 campaign which saw it fund 15 grants for a total of $69,375. Programs and projects funded in 2014/2015 included support of the local food bank run by Inter-Faith Treasure House, funding for the family support programs run by the East County Family Resource Center in Washougal, tree plantings and invasive plant removal in the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Camas and Washougal Principal’s checkbook to help students in need and funding for food and food service supplies for the local Meals on Wheels program.

Other grants provided funding for staff and supplies for REACH’s self-sufficiency classes and workshops, for Camas Public Library’s summer reading program and for temporarily housing at-risk youth in a secure facility.

Finally, a grant provided partial funding to enable Silver Star Search and Rescue to purchase a newer emergency response vehicle.

Based on feedback from some of the 2014 and 2015 grant recipients, donations to the Community Chest had the following impact in the local area:

  • 4,900 meals served at the Lost and Found Café
  • 5200 families received food boxes at the Inter-Faith Treasure House
  • 400 families helped at the East County Family Resource Center in Washougal
  • 1,600 students practicing stewardship at our local wildlife refuge
  • Safe housing at The Oaks for 25 at-risk youth from camas and Washougal
  • 60 swimming scholarships by Camas Parks and Recreation
  • 2,500 youth participated in Camas Public Library’s summer reading program

Major support for the 2014/2015 fundraising campaign came from Georgia Pacific employees and the Georgia Pacific Foundation. Other major donors in 2014/2015 included HP employees and the HP Corporation, Camas School District employees, Mary Jane House of Glass, Plexsys Interface Products and AllWeather Wood.

To reach its $75,000 goal for the 2015/2016 campaign, the CWCC needs donations from individuals and businesses in Camas and Washougal. More information and donation forms can be found on the CWCC’s website at: Individuals and businesses can also donate by participating in Fred Meyer’s Community Rewards program and Amazon’s Smile program. Details and electronic links to the two community support programs can be found at the Website listed above.

The CWCC is a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization for federal charitable tax deduction purposes. Says CWCC President Dave Pinkernell, “giving to the Community Chest is an easy and efficient way to help people in need in our home town.”

Local non-profit organizations planning to apply for a grant can download the 2016 application form from CWCC’s website after October 15, 2015. Applications for 2016 grants are due by no later than December 15, 2015. Applicants will be informed during March 2016 as to whether or not their project or program is funded and at what level. Grant payments are made quarterly beginning with initial payments in March 2016.

To be eligible for a grant, applicants must provide services in Camas and/or Washougal, be a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and provide service in one or more of the following areas; education, youth activities, aid to people with special needs, natural resource conservation, health and welfare programs and crisis and emergency services.

2015 Grant Program Summary
Total number of grants awarded – 15 grants to 14 organizations
Total value of grants awarded – $69,375
Estimated number of individuals served by grants – more than 15,000

Community Programs/Projects Funded in 2015

Inter-Faith Treasure House
Provides funding for emergency and daily food needs, school backpack program, emergency rent and utility assistance, school supplies, weekly dinner programs, outreach activities.

Children’s Home Society, East County Family Resource Center
Funds to provide child development training for center’s lead staff person to improve delivery of counseling services to clients.

Friends of Camas Community Center
One grant provides funding for Camtown Youth Festival arts and crafts supplies.
A second grant provides funding for 60 swimming lesson sponsorships.

Camas Children’s Fund (Principal’s Checkbook)
To help Camas school principals provide for basic student needs to give these students equal opportunities at school.

Washougal Children’s Fund (Principal’s Checkbook)
To help Washougal school principals provide for basic student needs to give these students equal opportunities at school.

Janus Youth Programs
Funding for facility beds for Camas and Washougal residents to use Janus facility in Vancouver. Serves CW runaway homeless youths at risk for abuse and neglect. Re-introduces kids to safe housing.

Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership
Outdoor applied learning program for youth, including habitat enhancement projects adjacent to Gibbons Creek in the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Meals on Wheels
Purchase food and food service supplies for Camas and Washougal Meals on Wheels program.

Friends and Foundation of the Camas Library
To support the library’s summer reading program for kids and teens.

Friends of the Columbia Gorge
Help fund the Vic Clausen Youth Outdoor education program for sixth graders in Jemtegaard and Canyon Creek Middle schools in Washougal School District.

REACH Community Development (formerly known as ACE)
Funds staff, administrative and supply costs to provide classes, workshops and meetings with residents to build self-sufficiency.

Camas Farmers Market
Helps implement “Produce Pals”, a weekly activities program to educate children about where and how food is produced. Kids completing weekly program receive a $2 token to spend at Camas Farmers Market – funds will buy $3,600 in tokens.

Silver Star Search and Rescue
Provides one-third of the revenue needed to purchase a newer truck to replace their current 31-year old emergency response vehicle.

Buys tee shirts and trophies to enhance the soccer experience for local children with physical and/or mental disabilities. Playing soccer improves children’s physical fitness, self-esteem and community friendships.