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Festival association awards $30K in grants
Organizers of the Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival reached new heights of community giving.
With the recent awarding of approximately $30,000 in grants, the Coupeville Festival Association topped $800,000 worth of support benefiting the community over the 49-year history of the festival.
Festival Association board members awarded 15 grants during an event Monday held at the Whidbey General Hospital conference room with representatives from each organization in attendance.
The Island County Museum received a grant to continue its efforts to restore Snakelum’s canoe, which will be the centerpiece of the museum’s Native American exhibit.
The Coupeville Boys and Girls Club received money for its programs.
Lynda Eccles was on hand to receive two grants from the festival association. The first will help pay for the annual Memorial Day parade.
“It grows every year,” she said, adding that she hopes a flyover can be scheduled next year.
She also accepted a grant to help pay for equipment needed for the wine garden that takes place during the festival. Eccles said the equipment helps avoid paying the enormous rental costs needed to hold the wine garden.
“This helps our tourism tremendously,” Eccles said.
Lee Roof also received funding to help with publicity efforts for the Giant Pumpkin Contest, which takes place during October’s Harvest Fest.
The Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association receives funding to continue improving facilities in town. As an example, association president Chuck Poust noted the recent installation of wi-fi in downtown Coupeville.
The Friends of Ebey’s, the fundraising arm of the reserve, received funds to pay for development of a walking tour of Coupeville.
The Penn Cove Water Festival, which takes place in May, will continue to offer children’s activities thanks to an award from the association.
“We always want to embrace the children,” said Vicky Reyes, Water Festival Association president.
The Whidbey Island Kite Festival received money to pay for a new cash register and signs.
Coupeville Garden Club members received money to help with efforts to replace the barrel-shaped planters through town.
Two programs in the Coupeville School District — National History Day at the middle and high school and the Young Authors Conference at the elementary school — each received grants.
The Coupeville Public Library will be able to put on an early release day program later this month for students.
The Town of Coupeville earned an award to pay for new barriers that will help with traffic flow during major festivals.
In addition to the community grants, the Coupeville Festival Association also awards scholarships for students heading to college.
Festival association president Mike Dessert announced during the event that four scholarships will be awarded next May.
Instead of the $1,000 amounts that had been awarded in recent years, the amount for next year’s scholarships will be $1,500.
In order to be eligible for the scholarships, students are required to have volunteered for the Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival.
“We want to instill in youth a sense of volunteerism,” Dessert said.