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Whatcom Boys and Girls Clubs' Capital Campaign Receives $200,000 from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Lynn Templeton
Boys and Girls Clubs of Whatcom County
Phone: 360.734.1393

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Whatcom County has received a $200,000 capital campaign grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The funds will be applied to the construction of the new Boys and Girls Club located in Bellingham's Roosevelt neighborhood. Construction commenced on the 30,000-square-foot building on June 1, with its completion and opening slated for the spring of 2001.

"This wonderful gift is a huge step for us in completing our funding," commented Don Gustafson, Boys and Girls Club trustee and board chair of the capital campaign. "We are very close to the finish line on our estimated total of $2.25 million. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation contribution is very welcome news – it's just fantastic."

The grant is contingent upon achieving the final $300,000 of the campaign. "Between cash, pledges and in-kind contributions, we are closing in on that figure," said Gustafson. "We still have some fund raising to go, but the Board is confident and is committed to completing the final stage in short order."

The new, as-yet-unnamed, Roosevelt neighborhood club was originally planned in 1995, with the purchase of property at 1715 Kentucky Street. The site adjoins Roosevelt Park in an area identified by the City of Bellingham as in need of a full-time anchor facility for youth. The capital campaign began in 1997, with building plans created by architect Douglas Landsem in 1999. Ebenal General is the general contractor, and Greg Eiford, a full-time volunteer, is the project coordinator.

More than 1,500 member children are expected to utilize the game room, twin full-size gymnasiums, nutrition center, arts center, computer lab, health center, teen center and classrooms. The facility also will be available for scheduled community programs, based upon an upcoming agreement with the City of Bellingham.

Contributions to the new Club may be sent to: Boys and Girls Clubs of Whatcom County, attn: Capital Campaign, 3230 Meridian Street, Bellingham, Wash. 98225. For further information regarding the Boys and Girls Clubs, call 360-734-1393.

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