May 1, 2018
Meeting was called to order by PABA VP, Carol Johnson at 7:30am. Speaker Betsy Reed Schultz led the flag salute.
None were introduced.
Peggy said program for today should have read Captain Joseph House and not EDC as announced last week. Andrew May moved and Jack Glaubert seconded motion to accept minutes as corrected. Motion carried.
Howard Sprouse, Mediators, Inc., was introduced as a new member. His company uses fungi and microbes in clean up efforts.
City Councilwoman, Cherie Kidd, said the question of temporary housing units will be discussed during the public comment period before the meeting.
Carol said PABA has received a letter from the City Manager, thanking them and Matthew Rainwater for the letter about the Elwha Treatment Plant.
She also said that Matthew is doing better and hopes to attend a meeting soon.
Julie Hatch said Soroptimists are having a purse auction on the 5th at the Yacht Club.
She reminded group that tickets for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Dinner must be purchased before the event. No tickets will be sold at the door.
George Bergner said used bikes are always needed and if they need repair, PA Likes Bikes will pay for the repair. Bikes are then donated to the Boys and Girls Club.
Program: Betsy Reed Schultz, Captain Joseph House
Andrew May introduced Betsy Reed Schultz, a Gold Star Mother, who had a dream and now after hours and hours of work, that dream is becoming a reality.
Betsy said the month of May had always been a special month for her. She would deliver flowers to friends for May Day, and her son, Joseph, would send flowers to her for Mother’s Day. That has all changed since Joseph, a special ops detachment commander was killed in Afghanistan on May 29, 2011, by an IED. The idea of a special respite place came to her hen she was at Dover Air Force Base awaiting the return of his body.
The Captain Joseph House is the only one of its kind in the United States. It will allow Gold Star families a chance to share memories, have some quiet time and to grieve. The house is about 85% finished. Much of that is due to all the volunteers and to Steve Tharinger, Kevin Van De Wege and Mike Chapman, who saw a bill through the State Legislature. A Capital grant of $250,000 was awarded – and when received less than 3% fee, should bring in $218,000. She was fortunate to have been able to keep ownership of the house after her bankruptcy case. Betsy said without the help of volunteers like PABA member Jon Fager, the project wouldn’t make it.
Tudor House had no insulation but thanks to a donation from Tracy Insulation, it now does. Use of storage units by Cherie and Bob, and help from Michael Sturgeon of Wave Broadband have helped. Contractors say they will fit the House into their schedules once the state funds are here. About $300,000 has been spent so far with $150,000 coming from in-kind donations. Another $300,000 is needed to finish the project. Landscaping is being done by Tom Rankin and Michael & Carol Gentry. The gardens will be a welcome place for families and kids who need a quiet place to wander around and to meditate.
Betsy said the House should be done by the end of 2018 and open in 2019. The House will be open 11 months of the year, and will feature three large guest rooms. An updated and enlarged kitchen will be available for guests to do their own cooking. Local chefs will help at times. Ruddell Auto is donating use of vans for getting around town and the Peninsula.
Mental health and counseling when needed, will receive help from Peninsula Mental Health and local clergy. Activities will include trips, recreation, quiet time and arts and crafts for kids.
An annual budget of $900,000 to $1,000,000 will be needed. A paid staff plus volunteer help will keep the House running. A professional fundraiser will be used since so much grant money is not available for construction and administration.
Betsy said she has already had families come to stay even though the House is not finished. She has houses these families – at her own expense – in her home. Some of these people have gone back to their communities and done fundraising.
Families will be picked on a first come basis, but care will be given not to mix those who might have had a death due to suicide.
Plans ar being made for four Captain Joseph Houses across the country. Military organizations such as TAPS will donate to veterans, but so far not to Gold Star families.
She thanked the CAO-Casualty Assistance Organization for all their help with notification, paperwork and transportation. She attended nine memorial services for Joseph.
One of the biggest expenses for families will be air travel. She will accept air mileage, but said it costs $150.00 each time because of red tape, etc.
May 8: Boys & Girls Club
May 15: Kevin Hoult
May 22: Kevin Van De Wege
May 29: No Meeting
Meeting adjourned at 8:30am.