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First Federal Community Foundation Announces Fall 2019 Grant Awards

Port Angeles, WA, November 1, 2019– The Board of Directors of the First Federal Community Foundation announced that it will make the following grant awards to nonprofits that are making a difference in our communities:

  • Best Dental Help: $5,000 Community Support grant to expand the delivery of dental services to an additional 400 low-income children in Jefferson and Clallam counties.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula: $25,000 Community Development grant for construction of a new Clubhouse that will allow more at-risk and disadvantaged kids to receive the benefits of membership.
  • Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship: $50,000 Economic Development grant to deliver the First Steps business training program to emerging entrepreneurs from low-income and underserved communities in Clallam and Jefferson counties.
  • College Success Foundation: $5,000 Community Support grant underwriting a portion of the costs for 80 low-income, minority, and first-generation students from Bremerton and Port Angeles to go on college campus tours in Washington.
  • Jefferson County ReCyclery: $5,000 Community Support grant, funding a collaboration with Community Arts & Recreation Alliance and the Jamestown S’kallam Tribe’s Teen Work Readiness program to provide career guidance and support – as well as bicycles and bike maintenance skills – to low-income and minority youth.
  • Composite Recycling Technology Center: $50,000 Affordable Housing grant to construct the first of 24 tiny homes for Pennies for Quarters, a nonprofit providing assistance to homeless veterans and their families in Port Angeles.
  • Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Capital: $75,000 Economic Development grant to create the Emerald Coast Opportunity Zone Prospectus, a marketing tool aimed at maximizing investments in designated opportunity zones in Clallam and Jefferson counties.
  • Junior Achievement of Washington: $5,000 Community Support grant to bring financial education and career awareness programs to 20 elementary schools and 450 students in Whatcom County.
  • Kathleen Sutton Inspirational Fund: $5,000 Community Support grant to fund transportation services for women undergoing cancer treatment and for whom these costs are a burden.
  • Morningside: $5,000 Community Support grant for critically-needed repairs to Morningside’s Port Angeles offices, so it may continue to offer on-site employment support and services to people with disabilities.
  • Northwest Maritime Center: $50,000 Community Development grant supports the establishment of the new Port Townsend Maritime Academy Skills Center, offered as part of the public education curriculum, and provides for its initial equipment needs.
  • Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding: $25,000 Economic Development grant to fund scholarships and state-of-the-art equipment for Marine Systems Training Programs that provide vocational training and career services for low-income students from Jefferson, Clallam and Kitsap counties.
  • Olympic Media: $5,000 Community Support grant funds two basic emergency two-way radio systems that will provide for the field-gathering and dissemination of vital information to the community in the event of a disaster.
  • PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation: $25,000 Community Development grant to support the new palliative care assistance program for those struggling with chronic and serious illness.
  • Puget Sound Voyaging Society: $5,000 Community Support grant funds Shelter from the Storm, a job-training and paid internship project for 18- to 25-year-olds who will construct tiny homes that Bayside Housing will use to address homelessness in Jefferson County.
  • Roxy Bremerton Foundation: $25,000 Community Development grant will fund replacement of the historic theatre’s original and incapacitated “swamp cooler” with a modern HVAC system.
  • South Kitsap Helpline: $5,000 Community Support grant for the purchase of foods needed for Helpline’s food programs that served more than 8,000 low-income children, adults and seniors in 2018.
  • Sustainable Connections: $25,000 Affordable Housing grant to launch the Bellingham for Everyone campaign, aimed at helping the public understand and connect homelessness and affordable housing issues with solutions.
  • Western Washington University Foundation: $5,000 Community Support grant will fund a program that engages community members with WWU faculty and students to address real community challenges in a low-income, rural community in East Whatcom County.

“The Foundation board continues to be impressed by the breadth of organizations improving the quality of life in the communities we serve.  While this makes our decisions as to where to allocate our funds challenging, we are excited to watch the impact that will unfold as a result of this Fall’s grants,” said Foundation board chairman Norman J. Tonina, Jr.

About the First Federal Community Foundation: First Federal Community Foundation is a private 501(c)3 charitable corporation launched in 2015 with a generous gift of stock and cash from the parent company of First Federal Bank, when the bank was converted to a publicly traded company. With this gift, First Federal Bank made clear its commitment to continue its tradition of supporting the communities it serves.

In that same spirit, First Federal Community Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in the communities in which First Federal Bank maintains full-service branches. Committed to creating broad impact, the Foundation has contributed more than $3.6 million since 2015 to qualified organizations that provide community support, address the availability of affordable housing, and deliver economic and community development projects in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Whatcom Counties.


About First Federal: First Federal is a subsidiary of First Northwest Bancorp (FNWB). First Federal is a Washington-chartered, community-based savings bank headquartered in Port Angeles, WA, and serves Western Washington with 13 banking centers in Clallam, Jefferson, King, Kitsap and Whatcom counties. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. / (360)417.3204 / (800)800.1577

First Federal Bank and its Foundation are proud to have been ranked by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of the top two of 25 mid-sized corporate philanthropists in the Pacific Northwest in both 2017 and 2018.


Profile for Grant Award Recipient: Olympic Medical Center Cancer Center

Olympic Medical Center Foundation was awarded a $25,000 Community Development grant
for expansion of the Cancer Care Center in Sequim.

Profile:  Olympic Medical Center Cancer Center by Karen McCormick

Few things are more terrifying than receiving a diagnosis of cancer. Beating the disease is one thing, but patients and their families must also face the daunting logistics involved with treatment and recovery. For those living in the rural communities of the North Olympic Peninsula, this often involves grueling trips to Seattle-area hospitals, often on a daily or weekly basis, when resources are already stretched to their limits.

Phil & Linda Walker

Olympic Medical Center opened its Cancer Center in Sequim in 2002, and by 2007 was treating 2,700 patients annually. Nine years later that number had grown to 8,100 patients – an increase of 157%. “We are unbelievably lucky, in a community this size, to have a world-class outpatient cancer center here,” said Phil Walker, board member of the Olympic Medical Center Foundation and avid supporter of the OMC Cancer Center expansion project. Although no patient is turned away, the Center is now at its maximum capacity.


OMC’s planned expansion of the Sequim Cancer Care Center will increase clinical exam space, expand its pharmacy, offer more infusion and chair space, and provide room for communication and educational efforts. This will increase the Center’s capacity by fifty percent, ensuring that the healthcare needs of our growing population will be met. Walker highlights another benefit of the Center’s expansion: “We will now be able to attract and retain the finest medical professionals, including medical and radiation oncologists, RNs and nurse practitioners, and medical assistant staff. Most important, however, is that patients will continue to benefit from the exceptional quality of care they receive, right here at home.”

Kay C. Hobbs and patient

Olympic Medical Center Foundation committed to raising $1 million for the expansion project, and by December 2018 it had exceeded that target. In 2018, First Federal Community Foundation, together with First Federal Bank, gave a combined leadership gift of $150,000 toward the OMC Cancer Center expansion project – an investment that will help bring hope and comfort to recovering cancer patients at a time when they need it the most.

Profile of Grant Award Recipient: Bainbridge Island Child Care Centers

Bainbridge Island Child Care Centers were awarded $25,000 Community Development grant in 2018 to develop a new care facility for school-age children.

Profile: Bainbridge Island Child Care Centers by Karen McCormick

For multiple generations of Bainbridge Island residents, the Bainbridge Island Child Care Centers (BICC) represent everything good about a community.  Founded over forty years ago, the non-profit organization serves the community and its families by providing affordable, accessible programs for pre-school and school-age children where fun and learning are promoted in a creative, nurturing and safe environment.

Faced with the need to find a new location, BICCC launched the Little Red Schoolhouse Campaign to raise funds for renovations to its new 2-1/2 acre campus, providing a permanent home for its school-age programs. The campaign resonated with people like Lily Karsten, whose father brought her to the same pre-school to which Lily now brings her own children.

John Fossett, whose children also attended BICCC, now serves as a trustee for the nonprofit. “At BICCC, my daughter felt loved and included and found comfort that would last her well into young adulthood,” said Fossett. “She still has the friends she made at BICCC.”

First Federal Community Foundation’s $25,000 community development grant award in 2018 to BICCC helped establish a permanent home for BICCC’s school-age programs, ensuring that this vital and beloved agency will continue serving Bainbridge Island families well into the future.


Lily Karsten and Barb Brewis – Three generations at BICCC

“I wanted my daughter to have the same creative and fun experience that I had at BICCC’s Children’s Center.” — Lily Karsten, Parent

Lily Karsten and her daughter, Olivia, visit BICCC’s Children’s Center with Lily’s father, Porter Condon. In the late 1980s, Porter would bring Lily to the same preschool to which Lily brings Olivia today.

Lily Karsten and her mother, Barb Brewis (center) confer with lead BICCC teacher Anne Campbell about the upcoming enrollment of Lily’s younger daughter, Gemma. Anne was Lily’s own teacher when she was a Children’s Center student and mentored Lily when she later worked there as a caregiver.


John Fossett

John Fossett reminisces with Brigitte Wilson, the former teacher of his children, Ellen and Jacob. John, who believes BICCC contributed to his kids’ well-being as young adults, chose to serve as a trustee for the nonprofit.

“At BICCC, my daughter felt loved and included and found comfort that would last her well into young adulthood. She still has the friends she made at BICCC.” — John Fossett, Parent


**All photos by Brofsky Productions

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Jan Simon at 360-417-3112 or email

Celebrating Spring 2019 Grant Award Recipient: Scarlet Road

Staff of Scarlet Road, with staff of First Federal Community Foundation and First Federal Bank: Awarded $10,000 Community Support grant to purchase security equipment and make property improvements to enhance safety of clients and staff.  Scarlet Road was born out of the commitment to see a way out for women and children in the sex industry.  Scarlet Road set out to change social perspectives, help the community understand and serve victims of sexual exploitation, providing long-term support for women and children throughout the Kitsap and North Mason area.

Celebrating Spring 2019 Grant Award Recipient: Bainbridge Island Senior Center

Staff and board members of First Federal Community Foundation and First Federal Bank, with staff and board of the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center: Awarded $10,000 Community Support grant for new Resource Navigator program.  The navigator program helps identify the needs of seniors and connect them to resources to address them, including transportation, home repairs, in-home and memory care, affordable housing and support groups.