Bainbridge Community Foundation gives $3K to Fort Ward project in latest grant cycle

FORT WARD, BAINBRIDGE ISLAND – The Bainbridge Community Foundation has awarded a $3,000 capital grant to the Fort Ward Community Hall project.

The award comes through the Foundation’s 2017 Community Grant program, results of which were announced this week. The Foundation is awarding a record $269,887 to 62 local nonprofit organizations for operations and capital projects this year.

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Fort Ward Youth Board members Stella, Rachel, Marina and Mallory with Debbie Kuffel and Jim Hopper of the Bainbridge Community Foundation.

“Pretty cool,” said Douglas Crist, Friends of Fort Ward board president. “It’s a great boost as we move into our final phase of fundraising for the community hall project. The Bainbridge Community Foundation has been an outstanding partner and supporter, and we thank their donors for their enthusiasm.”

The grant brings Bainbridge Community Foundation support for the Fort Ward project to more than $18,000 over the past two grant cycles.

“Turning a local heritage building into a community center is an opportunity that doesn’t come along every day,” said Jim Hopper, BCF executive director. “They have a unique project going on in Fort Ward, and our donors have really responded to it.”

The grant awards will be feted at the Bainbridge Nonprofit Celebration sponsored by Bainbridge Community Foundation, Bainbridge Rotary and One Call for All, 4:30-6 p.m. July 13 at Bainbridge Performing Arts.

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The Fort Ward Community Hall project will see restoration of the fort’s 1910 bakery building for use as a community  center, joining Island Center and Seabold halls and Camp Yeomalt among local historic buildings preserved for public use.

The project is a three-way partnership between the Friends of Fort Ward neighborhood group, the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District, and Kitsap County (Fort Ward) Sewer District No. 7.

The project has previously earned grants from the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, the Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation and the Suquamish Foundation, and donor-advised contributions from the Seattle and Kitsap Community foundations. The project is currently ranked no. 6 out of 35 projects statewide recommended for funding under the competitive Heritage Capital Projects Fund, administered by the Washington State Historical Society.

Park officials and Friends of Fort Ward hope to begin the building renovation later this summer.

A celebration and fundraiser, the “Let’s Make History Jazz Gala,” is planned for 3 p.m. July 30 at IslandWood. The afternoon will include a performance by Sundae & Mr. Goessl, an acclaimed vintage jazz duo from Seattle, along with food and beverages.

Tickets for the event are available online through www.brownpapertickets.com, or by emailing history@fortwardhall.org. All proceeds go to the community hall renovation fund.

For information on the Fort Ward Community Hall project, see www.fortwardhall.org.