Community Foundation awards capital project and discretionary grants

As part of its new Capital Project Initiative, the Grays Harbor Community Foundation recently awarded nearly $134,000 in grant funding to five local organizations.

The foundation received an overwhelming 22 proposals for funding from all over the county, and chose to give capital project funds to the following organizations:

• The 7th Street Theatre toward a new HVAC system

• The Polson Museum for the third phase of its Railroad Camp Project

• Coastal Harvest for a backup generator

• St. Mary’s School for a new playground

• The Montesano Girls Softball Association for purchasing turf for three softball fields

The Community Foundation created the Capital Project Initiative after receiving many inquiries about funding for nonprofit capital projects. The initiative is a separate funding source than its Quarterly Discretionary Grants Program, where nonprofits can also seek funding. With the recent budget cuts at the regional, state and national level, the foundation thought that capital dollars were more vital than ever before.

“I believe this opened our eyes to some of the unseen needs in our community,” Grants Committee Chairman Dr. David Westby said, “This Capital Project Initiative was something we have never done before, and it was a great learning experience. Although we were not able to fund all of the proposals, we were certainly inspired by what these organizations are accomplishing.”

In addition, the foundation also recently awarded nearly $45,000 to six organizations via its first quarter discretionary grants cycle.

Recipients of these funds included the Aberdeen School District, championed by orchestra teacher Karen Meikle, for the purchase of instruments for student rental and use.

Other awardees were the City of Ocean Shores for the Surf Rescue Team; the Dispute Resolution Center for its Parent/Teen Mediation Program; the Oakville School District for its Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program; the Ocosta School District for its Summer Programs; and Save the Children for Early Steps to School Success in Lake Quinault and Taholah.

For more information on the Grays Harbor Community Foundation and the grants program, visit, call 532-1600 or e-mail the foundation at