Community leaders are coming together to help the Children’s Advocacy Center of Grays Harbor in Montesano place a shelter over existing playground equipment.
Greater Grays Harbor Inc. has hosted an annual leadership class with some of the best and brightest on the Harbor. And, each year, the graduating class decides to get together and help with a charitable event. This year’s class has chosen the Children’s Advocacy Center.
“The state requires kids to go outside every day,” said Montesano Fire Chief Corey Rux, a member of the class. “Rain, shine, sleet or snow, they need to have outside time. And, as you know, Grays Harbor weather is not always the best, so having a covered area will definitely help the kids and enable them to have a good play area.”
Angela Coulter, the director of the center, says sometimes they have no choice but to send children outside into the rain or else keep them inside, against the requirements.
“This is a big deal for us,” Coulter said. “And we definitely appreciate the effort spent here.”
They’re hoping to raise $8,500 for the kit to install the wooden shelter above the existing play area. A fundraiser concert has been set for Saturday at the Cranberry Road Winery, 2858 S. Forrest St. in Westport. Bands booked are The Catch of the Day, Vaughn Johannes and the Big Blue Van. Music starts at 5 p.m. and continues until midnight. If the weather is nice, the event will be outside. If there’s rain, the venue will be set up inside of the winery. There will be music, dancing, food by vendors, wine, beer and soda.
There’s no cover charge and it’s an all-ages event. But the event is a fundraiser and they’re hoping to raise a lot of money through raffles, sponsorships and at-the-door donations, according to Georgia Bravos, a marketing consultant for Jodesha Broadcasting and part of Leadership Grays Harbor.
Coulter said that the center gets a good chunk of its funding from the state. They also do some day care work. Plus, the Rotary Club of East Grays Harbor has been very generous, raising $27,295 this past year for the advocacy center and a combined $122,000 over the past seven years.
“A lot of funds they raise go to staffing and maintaining those things,” Bravos said. “Unfortunately, the cosmetic issues that are there kind of get put off on the back-burner. You have these needs that they have to address now and some of the other things have to come later as funds come.”
Coulter said they have two playgrounds — one in a fenced-off back area and one to the side that’s a bit larger. She’s applied for a grant to cover the larger one, although it’s not clear if they’ll get the funds. The Leadership class is raising money to put the cover over the back playground with the plan to install the shelter using a pre-made kit.
“Not only do they want to raise the money for it, they want to do the labor, too, which is very generous,” Coulter said.
Rux said they hope to have the money raised by the end of May with a goal to get permits and start construction this summer.
“We wanted to help youth and felt this project was a good fit and something we knew we could do,” Rux said. “And it’s something that would have a lasting impact.”
“I think it’s such a worthy cause and a necessary organization so anything we can do to help further that,” Bravos added.