Suquamish Tribe donates $100K to Village Green Foundation

KINGSTON — Suquamish Tribe Chairman Leonard Forsman said the Village Green Foundation's community center is something he can get behind because of Kingston's commitment to local children and elders.

At the foundation's annual Pie in the Park event Aug. 15, Forsman presented a $100,000 donation from the Tribal Council to the Village Green Foundation to be used to help build a community center and library at Village Green Park. Village Green Foundation volunteer Bobbie Moore said Pie in the Park, on its own, raised $17,546 for the foundation's capital campaign.

"We're heading in the right direction," Moore said. Of the Suquamish Tribe's donation, she said, "The size of the gift is very significant. It's a vote of confidence in the project and what we're doing for the community. This community is a part of their history and they appreciate what we're doing to take care of the youth and the elders. It's an extraordinary gift."

Volunteers with the Village Green Foundation estimate they still need to raise $1 million for the project. Construction cost estimates are around $6 million; a new community center and library will also house a Boys & Girls Club. Adjacent are the Village Green Senior Apartments, under construction.

As of July, the foundation had raised $4.8 million: $1 million from the state Department of Commerce Building Communities Fund for building construction, except for the library portion; $1 million from the C. Keith Birkenfeld Memorial Trust, unrestricted; $1 million from Kitsap Community Foundation, awarded to Kitsap Regional Library Foundation for exclusive use at the Village Green’s new Kingston branch library; $654,000 from community members (since 2008); $600,000 from the 2012 sale of the property for infrastructure improvements; $335,000 from Kitsap County for architectural/engineering work; and $4,000 for senior center furnishings.

"The Village Green Foundation’s mission is to build an energy-efficient, attractive, long-lasting facility to meet our community’s needs for decades to come," according to the August Kingston Community News column by the Village Green Foundation.

"The Village Green Metropolitan Park District must maintain and operate the building and the park using the same value proposition — get a lot from our money for everyone. We envision the building open for many hours every day, broadly available to the public; a reception desk staffed by contractors and volunteers who issue card keys for access to meeting rooms; and sharing multi-purpose flexible spaces."

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