Friends of Fort Ward, IslandWood partner for ‘Let’s Make History’ summer events

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND – Friends of Fort Ward and IslandWood are partnering on a summer campaign of historical education and fundraising to benefit the Fort Ward Community Hall project.

flierTwo events are planned: The 2nd Annual Fort Ward “Living History Walk” on June 18 in the Fort Ward neighborhood, and the “Let’s Make History Gala” fundraiser with live jazz music on July 30 at IslandWood.

Proceeds from the events go to the Fort Ward Community Hall renovation campaign.

LIVING HISTORY WALK: At the Living History Walk on June 18, volunteer docents will lead visitors through the Fort Ward National Historic District, with stops at colorful heritage sites around Fort Ward and a peek inside several historic homes.

Visitors will learn about the role of “the Little Fort at Bean Point” in defending the nation through two world wars, and take home a limited-edition photo booklet of Fort Ward history.

The walking tour ends with refreshments and displays at the fort’s 1910-vintage bakery building, soon to be restored for public use as Fort Ward Community Hall.

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 1.40.11 PMThe walk is co-presented by the Bainbridge Island Historical Society and the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District.

Tickets for the Living History Walk are $10, with advance purchase encouraged at Only 70 spaces are available, and last year’s event sold out quickly.

‘LET’S MAKE HISTORY’ JAZZ GALA: On July 30, the Let’s Make History Jazz Gala fundraiser brings live jazz, hors d’oeuvres and fun to IslandWood for an afternoon fundraiser, 3-6 p.m.

The acclaimed Seattle jazz duo “Sundae + Mr. Goessl” will perform tunes from the Swing years and beyond. Accompanied by guitarist Jason Goessl, singer Kate “Sundae” Voss earned Earshot Jazz’s Golden Ear Award as 2016 Vocalist of the Year.

Also at the gala, Friends of Fort Ward will present new photo displays from the historic fort, with rarely seen images recently drawn from the National Archives and other sources.

A brief presentation will honor campaign contributors and announce the bakery building renovation schedule, planned to begin in late summer.

Tickets for the Let’s Make History Jazz Gala at IslandWood are $50 per person, now available online at

“We’re pretty stoked to be partnering with IslandWood for these events,” said Douglas Crist, Friends of Fort Ward founder and board president. “They’ve stepped up as great supporters and neighbors as we move the Fort Ward Community Hall campaign into its next phase, and look to get the building renovation underway.”

Allyson Brown, IslandWood’s senior vice president of philanthropy, hailed the collaboration.

“Hosting Friends of Fort Ward at IslandWood provides us an exciting opportunity to support and nurture likeminded organizations in our community,” Brown said. “We’re excited to welcome them on July 30!”

The Fort Ward Community Hall project will see restoration of the fort’s historic bakery building for use as a public park facility. While fundraising is ongoing, the renovation is expected to begin in late summer.

Capstone donors are sought to help bring the campaign to completion, with all contributions tax-deductible as allowed by law.

When the restoration is complete, the Fort Ward Community Hall will be managed by the Park District for classes, youth events and community gatherings, joining Seabold and Island Center halls and Camp Yeomalt in the constellation of local historic halls.

The project is led by Friends of Fort Ward, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization committed to historical preservation and education in the Fort Ward neighborhood.

For more information on the Living History Walk, the Let’s Make History Jazz Gala and the Fort Ward Community Hall project, email