Festival association awards $31,000 in community grants

Coupeville Festival Association distributed $31,000 in community grants last week to nonprofit groups and projects aimed at bettering the Central Whidbey community.

Those grants, combined with annual scholarships and partnerships, make up nearly $52,000 generated from the annual Arts and Crafts Festival that was given back to the community this year.

Organizations funded this year include the Island County Historical Museum for materials, the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce for its annual Memorial Day celebration and to the Coupeville Garden Club for 52 half-barrels of flowering plants throughout town.

The association is also funding a variety of beautifying festival projects like holiday decorations and summer flower baskets.

It also helps fund the annual free holiday performance of Saratoga Orchestra’s “Peter and the Wolf.”

Earlier this year, the association also donated nearly $4,000 to buy three AEDs to place throughout the community for emergencies.

Grants were awarded during the chamber’s monthly meeting, a change from years past.

“We are presenting the grants at a chamber meeting because it seemed a great way to honor our recipients by partnering with an organization that represents the Coupeville and Central Whidbey area,” said Carol Moliter, association president. “The festival stipulates that its funds will be distributed in the 98239 area after the requests meet the guidelines of the Coupeville Festival Association mission statement.

“Plus, it is the season for giving, thus the chamber granting meeting. We hope to have it become an annual event.”

To date, the association has given back an estimated $960,000 to the community since the first festival in 1964.

“That means that it is very possible that the 2018 festival will put us over the million dollar mark,” Moliter said. “(It’s) very exciting.”

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