Joseph Mosolino of Island Thrift, left, and Richard Colombo of the Deception Pass Park Foundation discuss the amphitheater project in front of the construction site. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Island Thrift donation helping amphitheater stage completion

A new stage at the Deception Pass State Park amphitheater can now be completed thanks to a large donation by Island Thrift. The Oak Harbor nonprofit recently donated $12,000 to the Deception Pass Park Foundation for the project. The stage is anticipated to be finished by the end of August.

“This is definitely a big shot in the arm for the foundation,” said Richard Colombo, president of the Deception Pass Park Foundation.

The amphitheater has been in use since the early 1960s, but has never had a proper stage, said Colombo. Members from the foundation hope that the completion of the stage will draw more local organizations to the park, he said.

“We hope the community will want to use the area for bigger and better things,” Colombo said.

Alexander Pfeiffer, president of Island Thrift, also shared the belief that the stage will be beneficial to the community. The board agreed, which is why the decision to provide the funds was unanimous.

“It was a pretty easy decision for the board,” Pfeiffer said.

He also said the board was persuaded to contribute after the park foundation demonstrated interest and support from other local organizations.

“The idea is that help from many can create great results in the end,” said Pfeiffer.

The first part of the restoration project was completed in 2012 as part of an eagle scout project. Nathan Wagner and his troop built new benches with lumber donated from Frontier Building Supply. The foundation has also worked to install power lines and a new walkway to the area from the parking lot.

The stage pillars are being built using trees from the park that were cut down after they became diseased. Colombo said the foundation hopes to hold a grand opening when the stage is complete.

“I think it’s one of our major tourist attractions here in the North Whidbey area,” he said of the park and amphitheater. “And [the stage] will definitely add an accent to it that I think will bring people to the park.”