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Summer picnic to offer fort tours, entertainment July 26

The newly formed Friends of Ebey’s has a lot to celebrate this month.

The group, earlier this month, finalized and signed a memorandum or understanding with the Trust Board of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.

It’s also organizing the annual Summer Picnic as the officially designated nonprofit fundraising organization for the reserve.

“It’s been a lot of work to establish the Friends,” said Kyle Waterman, executive director for the Friends of Ebey’s. “Within a year, we have taken what used to be a reserve committee and recruited a new board, received our IRS designation to become a nonprofit, set up a website and finalized this agreement with the Trust Board.

“All while continuing to fundraise significantly for the reserve.”

One of the benefits of creating the nonprofit, Waterman said, is it allows the group to accept additional funding opportunities such as legacies and other financial gifts.

It also separates the fundraising from the government-run reserve.

“We celebrate successes and support programs the Trust Board chooses to have,” Waterman said. “The memorandum of understanding gives us a process of where we fit in with the Trust Board.”

The Friends’ fundraising goal this year is $100,000, and there is a $50,000 challenge match.

“This year has been a lot of planning and developing who we are,” Waterman said.

The board currently has eight members, including non-voting advisory members that include reserve staff.

Waterman said the group is entirely focused on fundraising and supporting reserve programs.

So far this fiscal year, the Friends have offered more than $15,000 in support for Trust Board projects.

“The majority of the funding is going into Ebey’s Forever Grants,” Waterman said. “Ideally, we would like to support more programs and operation costs.”

One of the Friends’ major fundraising projects this year is the Summer Picnic.

On Saturday, July 26, Friends of Ebey’s will host the Summer Picnic 4-7 p.m. at Fort Casey.

The evening will feature guided tours of the fort, food by Serendipity Catering, raffles and entertainment by the Pakawalups, a trio of sisters performing a USO-style show.

Waterman describes the women as lively and full of energy.

The Summer Picnic has always had entertainment, but never really a “show,” Waterman said. The last few years were held at the Ferry House, and the Friends wanted to try something different this year.

“We wanted it to be a more festive event,” he said.

“We want to bring something new to it every summer.

“We want the opportunity to highlight other historic structures in the reserve.”

Space is limited and tickets must be purchased prior to the event.

n Tickets may be purchased at bayleaf, Blooms Tasting Room in Bayview or at www.FriendsofEbeys.org

 

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