News & Press Releases
Lots of things are going on with Blue Skies Fall 2012!
- The Whatcom/Bellingham Chamber has announced Blue Skies for Children as 2012 winner of the Non-Profit of the Year Award! A huge thank you to our community for the nomination and for granting us this prestigious award.
- Our 12th Annual Dinner and Charity Auction raised nearly $60,000 for Blue Skies !!! Thank you to our auction item donors, sponsors, vendors, and attendees, for making it a huge success.
- Blue Skies will be participating in the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber October Fest on Oct 17th.
- Blue Skies is slated as beneficiary of the Annual Bellingham Comic-Con on Sat. Oct 20th.
- Again, we are proud to be a Community Partner to WWU Comm 224 class this Fall.
- We have recently been approved for the WWU Work Study program and are looking for applicants to help in our office throughout the 2012-13 school year.
- We are asking for your vote for Non-Profit of the Year through the Bellingham/WHatcom Chamber! Please vote by Sept. 14th. Applications are online at: www.bellingham.com/content/events/npoty_nom_form.asp
Blue Skies rasied nearly $6,000 at its 2nd annual Rummage Sale, held at St. Paul's Academy Gymnasium on Sat and Sun July 21st and 22nd.
Blue Skies is proud to announce that it distributed 150 pairs of brand new shoes and socks to 150 homeless, low-income and foster children in April 2012! Blue Skies held its third annual Shoe-Give Away on April 19th and 20th.
Blue Skies held its 5th annual St. Patrick's Day themed Casino night on March 16, 2012. We wish to thank our amazing sponsors - Pacific International Grout, Managment Services Northwest, Gladys Hyatt, CPA PS, Northwest Propane, NW Radiologists, Dawson Construction, Northstar Woodworks, McEvoy Oil, GaPAC, Bellingham Police Department, and WECU. We appreciate the support of the BIAWC, The Bellingham Herald, and The Bank of the Pacific, as well as Hilltop Catering, and WannaDance Mobile DJ Services.
Our 11th Annual Dinner & Charity Auction was a great success, raising over $77,000 for Blue Skies for Children! Mark your calendar's for Oct 13, 2012!
Blue Skies for Children has moved to a new location effective Sept 17, 2011. Our new address is 2505 Cedarwood Ave. Ste 2, Bellingham, WA 98225.
Global Mala Yoga event on Sept 25th supports Blue Skies for Children through donations.
Thank you to WLT for benefiting Blue Skies with their Garage Sale on Sept 10th, 2011!
A big thanks to MOJO Music for supporting Blue Skies For three years in a row through their Community Music event held August 2011.
Blue Skies Rummage Sale Raises over $2200
Our very first Rummage Sale that occurred on Sat. July 23, 2011 recieved excellent community support and raised over $2200!
Megan Leibold Raises $445
Megan Leibold, candidate for Miss Whatcom County, put on an amazing musical talent show in which 14 students participated by singing and playing musical instruments. Megan raised $445 for Blue Skies for Children. We wish her the best in the Miss Whatcom Competition.
Dec. 20-23: Holiday Book Give-A-Way
Parents! Save the date and come into Blue Skies and pick out new and used books for your kids this holiday season. Thank you to Village Books for including us in their holiday tree program and to many others who have donated the gift of books for our homeless, low-income and foster children. Ends Jan. 15, 2011
Nov. 1: Winter Warm Up is Underway!
Please donate new and gently used coats, hats, gloves, scarves and blankets for our homeless, low-income and foster children. We are in need of youth sizes 6T up to adult sizes 2XL. To receive services call 756.6710 for an appointment. Ends January 15, 2011.
Oct. 31: Fairhaven Fitness & Tennis Club raises $1,400
A big THANKS to all the “Zombies” that came out to dance the THRILLER dance in Fairhaven and downtown Bellingham on Halloween night. We are grateful to the Fairhaven Fitness & Tennis Club for offering the THRILLER class and raising $1,400 in support of Blue Skies for Children for the 2nd year in a row!
Driver's Education Scholarship Applications are currently being accepted for Spring 2011. Application Deadline is April 4, 2011 at 4pm.
Oct 9: Thank you to our auction attendees, donors and sponsors for support Blue Skies for Children and helping us raise $52,000 in 2010! Thank you to all the sponsors of our 10th Annual Dinner and Charity Auction - Moss Adams, LLP, Larson Gross LLP, Samuels Furniture, Gladys Hyatt CPA PS, RMC Architects, Sundara West B&B, St. Joseph;s Peace Health Medical Center, The Unity Group, Fox Bowman & Duarte PS, Razz Construction and Olsen AutoBody.
Blue Skies 3rd Annual Golf Tournament occurred on September 12th at Shuksan Golf Club. The event was sponsored by Lou Arestad, Inc., Columbia Bank, Kohls, State Street Insurance and 18 hole sponsors. The event provided Blue Skies with $4,000 in net proceeds.
Summer News 2010
Downtown Bellingham WYPS Group raised $1,500 in their Annual Buzz Off Bowl-a-Thon to support Blue Skies.
MOJO Music held a community concert on August 14th and raised over $700 to benefit Blue Skies Instrument Loaner Program.
The Josh Fueston Swim to Live event coordinated by Laurie Fueston occurred on August 23rd, raising nearly $1,000 to benefit The Josh Fueston Swim to Live fund.
Dan & Maria Altman graciously had donations made in lieu of gifts for their wedding and rasied over $3,000 toward our Back -to- School Program.
Special Thanks to Pacific International Grout Co. and Mr. Pat Stephens for outstanding support of our Enrichment Program, Back-to-School and Emergency Programs.
St. Patrick's Day themed Casino Night on March 19th raised $8,300 for Blue Skies for Children.
Thank you to our Casino Night Sponsors: The BIAWC, TransOcean Products, State St. Insurance, Gladys Hyatt CPA, FastCap, Northwest Radiologists, St. Joseph's Hospital, Windows on the Bay Catering, Northwest Propane, Bellingham Police Association, Hotel Bellwether and Restaurant.
2010 - Lambert Garden Creations offers Planting Sessions to benefit Blue Skies
Lambert Garden Creations is a display garden that specializes in perennials and succulents. They encourage groups of up to 12 to schedule an appointment for a "Dig it, Create it & Take it" session. At the cost of $25 per person, you can select up to 10 plants to either keep in a basket or replant later. Bring your own basket. 80% of proceeds will be donated to Blue Skies for Children. Additional items are also for sale - such as bird baths and bird houses and 20% of proceeds will go to support Blue Skies for Children. Planting sessions are available in March, April, May, June and September. Tell your friends, family, book club or other group and call now to schedule an appointment - 360) 393.9022 Lambert Gardens is located at 373 W. Hemmi, Bellingham, WA 98226
December 16, 2009 - Blue Skies benefits from Realtors Association Whatcom Giveathon
Blue Skies received just over $1,800 in financial and inkind donations from individuals and organizations attending the first annual Whatcom Giveathon. The event was attended by 22 charities. Event organizers expressed their desire to offer the Giveathon once or twice annually going forward. Blue Skies was chosen as one of 50 applicants to participate in the first event. Blue Skies wishes to thank the Realtors Association, The Whatcom Volunteer Assoc., The Northwood Hall, The Herald, Whidbey Island Bank, and all those who attended the event and supported Blue Skies for Children.
November 2, 2009 - Blue Skies Receives BBB Charity Seal Accreditation
Blue Skies for Children, a local non-profit that grants Little Wishes for homeless, low-income and foster children, is proud to announce that it has been awarded the BBB Charity Seal Accreditation. This achievement is recognition that Blue Skies has met all 20 standards of the Better Business Bureau’s Charity Review Program.
The Seal conveys the organization’s dedication to ethics and integrity. Blue Skies is the only non-profit in Whatcom County to have received this Seal, and is just one of fifteen non-profit’s across Western WA, AK, and OR to have received the accreditation. Julie Guay, Executive Director of Blue Skies said “We are thrilled to have received the BBB Seal, and to be the only non-profit in Whatcom County is such an honor.”
November 1, 2009 - Blue Skies Welcomes New Board Member
Blue Skies is proud to announce the addition of Anthony Petz as a new board member.
October 31, 2009 - Fairhaven Tennis & Fitness club offers Thriller Class to Support Blue Skies
Robin Robertson, owner of the Fairhaven Tennis & Fitness club offered a five week dance class to learn the Thriller dance, throughout October. Over 60 people turned out to learn the dance and then performed the dance in the streets of Fairhaven on Halloween night. The dancers dressed as zombies, also performed Thriller in downtown Bellingham, later the same evening. A portion of the proceeds from the class were donated to Blue Skies for Children. Robin and fellow zombies proudly presented Blue Skies for Children with a donation of $1,100.00.
See Thriller Dance Video on YouTube.com
October 17, 2009 - Blue Skies 9th Annual Auction a Success!
Blue Skies 9th Annual Dinner and Charity Auction occurred on October 17th at the Lakeway Inn. The event offered a silent auction, live auction, dinner and wine tasting. The event raised over $64,000 to benefit Blue Skies for Children and its Little Wishes Programs. THANK YOU to all who supported the event. We appreciate our sponsors, those that donated items and services and those that attended the event. Without a supportive and giving community, this event would not be possible.
Sept. 3, 2009 - Blue Skies for Children Accepting Applications For Driver's Education Scholarship Program
Twice a year, Blue Skies offers teens in need, who are ages 15 to 17, an opportunity to apply for their Driver’s Education Scholarship Program. The program was offered for the first time in Spring 2009 and will continue to be offered each Spring and Fall. The program provides assistance of $225 toward the $425 driver’s educational course for three recipients. Applications are available now by calling Blue Skies for Children at 360.756.6710.
Deadlines for applications will be November 16th, 2009.
Click here to download Policy Cover Sheet Click here to download Essay Questions
Click here to download Scholarship Application Click here to download Applicant Checklist
Sept. 3, 2009 - Net Solutions Gifts New Website to Blue Skies for Children
As part of their commitment to giving back to the community, Net Solutions North America, and President Patrice Valentine have generously gifted Blue Skies for Children with a brand new website. The site allows Blue Skies to offer its clients online applications, sell event tickets, and collect online donations. Julie Guay, Executive Director for Blue Skies said “We are so grateful for the new website. The old site was over 10 years old and out of date. The new site offers us an opportunity to provide an interactive website to our clients, our service providers and our donors. Clients can download applications and providers can access progress reports and provider agreement information. We can link our donors' and supporters' websites to ours, as well as offer an online donation capability. Tickets and sponsorships to our events and fundraisers can also be purchased online. The update to a high quality website is such an amazing gift. We cannot thank Net Solutions enough for their expertise and excellent tech support. I would highly recommend Net Solutions to anyone thinking of making a change to their website or hosting services.”
Sept. 1, 2009 - Community Rallies to Give Local Children in Need a Positive Back-to-School Experience
Each year Blue Skies for Children offers a Back-to-School Clothing Voucher program for children ages six to fifteen, who are homeless, low-income or in foster care. This year donations and grants allowed for just 133 children to receive a voucher. A plea was issued to the community for support, and resulted in donations that allowed for 125 more vouchers. Among those who gave, Pacific International Grout Company blessed Blue Skies with additional funding for eighty (80) vouchers. Julie Guay, Executive Director for Blue Skies said “We are so pleased at the response from the community. Vouchers are given to our homeless, low-income and foster children who are in need of clothing and shoes. We believe every child should have the opportunity to start the school year with new clothing and shoes that fit. We cannot thank Pacific International Grout enough for their ongoing support and commitment to our local community. We could not provide this program without all who have donated to this very important cause.”
Aug. 28, 2009 - Swil Kanim Performs at Benefit for Blue Skies for Children & Native Foster Children.
On Friday August 28, at 7pm, a group of Sudden Valley neighbors gathered to enjoy a concert by award winning Swil Kanim, a world class violinist, to benefit Native Youth in the Foster Care System. The concert was held in the Sudden Valley Marina at Gate 1. Proceeds will support expressive art development for foster children, administered by Blue Skies for Children. Brenda Martinez, who is also an amazing vocalist, coordinated the event. Swil Kanim intertwined his music with storytelling, poetry, and audience interaction. His original compositions are mesmerizing and inspiring to all ages. The proceeds will go to Blue Skies for Children for distribution.
August 23rd - Seahawks SeaGals Attend Lou’s Little Wishes Golf Tournament
Local business owner Lou Arestad held his 2nd Annual Golf Tournament to benefit Blue Skies for Children on Aug. 23rd at Shuksan Golf Club. The event offered several contests including a Hole-in-One contest with a $20,000 prize and a putting contest with $5,000 prize – both sponsored by Columbia Bank. The event was attended by two Seahawks SeaGals - "Heather" and "Pia". Over 22 businesses sponsored the event and 20 more donated to the raffle. The Ershigs team - Steve Guay, Steve Hettick, John Critchlow and Merle Perkins - was awarded first place with a score of 55; the event was a best ball/scramble format.
August 22nd - Mojo Music Raises funds for Blue Skies for Children
Mojo Music’s 2009 Community Music Festival had the Meridian Street parking lot rocking with live music from Marion Weston, Nick Vigarino and Carl Tosten on Saturday, August 22nd. The stage sounds concluded with the Mojo Music Funk Fusion Band, featuring Mojo Music Instructors Bob McDonald on guitar, Louie Bertino on bass and David Vaughns on drums.
The day also featured a variety of workshops targeting different skill levels and topics. M-Audio taught recording artists how to better their recording studio or even start one of their own! Drum teacher David Vaughns demonstrated the drum corp skills that he brings to Bellingham and Ferndale High School students. Ukulele enthusiasts learned about the Bellingham Ukulele Group. Meridian Middle School band instructor Sandy Rogers and Jupiter and Conn-Selmer representatives demonstrated instruments to aspiring band and orchestra students in a hands-on instrument “Petting Zoo.” The day culminated with the $500 gift card drawing at 6:00 pm. 100% of raffle proceeds were donated to Blue Skies for Children.
July 23, 2009 - Garden Spot Fundraiser A Success
The Garden Spot Nursery sponsored “An Evening in the Garden” on July 23rd to benefit Blue Skies for Children. The event offered wine tasting by Carpenter Creek Winery, a silent auction, music by The Prozac Mountain Boys, appetizers, s’mores, and more. Dan Pike and Pete Kremen attended and got their hands dirty potting plants for the silent auction. Marcy Plattner, owner of The Garden Spot, also donated 10% of all sales from the evening. The event raised nearly $2,000.00 for Blue Skies For Children.
August 2009 - Local Community Supports Blue Skies for Children
US Bancorp Foundation has recently blessed Blue Skies for Children with a $2,000.00 grant toward its Little Wishes Programs. Pacific International Grout, also a local employer, has significantly supported Blue Skies’ Sponsor-A-Child Program on a monthly basis, as well as supports the Back-to-School and Emergency Voucher Programs. The Norcliffe Foundation granted Blue Skies with $5,000 to support the Little Wishes Enrichment Program. Blue Skies wishes to extend its deepest gratitude to all who have given so generously during this difficult economic time.
Blue Skies Back-To-School Program Receives Overwhelming Response
Blue Skies for Children opened their doors at 10am on Monday, August 10th , to find a line of people waiting to request appointments to receive Back-To-School clothing vouchers. The phone rang off-the-hook. Appointments were exhausted by 2pm with people continuing to call and walk in asking for help. Funding allowed for just 133 Back-To-School vouchers this year. Had the funding been available, more than 300 could easily have been distributed by end of day Tuesday.
Julie Guay, Executive Director for Blue Skies explains that “in a tight economy, there is an even greater demand for our services. Our local donors have been wonderful to us, but we are reaching out to the community for help. People can provide support in so many ways – donate items to our auction, attend our golf or auction fundraisers, provide financial support, donate office supplies, clean out closets and donate clothing to our clothing consignment program. It all helps.”
July/Aug 2009 - Karate Quest offers Blues Skies Kids Free Summer Camp
Located at 1420 Pacific Place in Ferndale, Karate Quest is donating one session of their all day summer camp program in June to Blue Skies for Children for every 10 paying kids that enroll in their summer camp. The more kids that enroll, the more Blue Skies can offer to children who are homeless, low-income and in foster care. Please share the attached flyer.
August 10th - Blue Skies Back-To-School Program
The Blue Skies BTS program is expected to commence on August 17th, with appointments being taken as of August 10th. The BTS program provides a BTS $50 voucher to children who are homeless, low-income or in foster care, who are ages six to fifteen years, allowing them to purchase clothing and/or shoes from local retailers – WalMart, Target or Fred Meyer. Children need to go back to school with clothing and shoes that fit them properly. They need to start the school year with their head held high. They need to feel as though they fit in with their peers. This program is available to our homeless, low-income and foster youth in August each year. There are a limited number of vouchers available. The program provided for 133 vouchers for 71 families in 2009.
June 4, 09 - Two local boys donate birthday gifts to charity
Ryder & Saar Swanson are two little boys who agreed that they had more than enough toys to play with and decided that this year they would like to donate their birthday gifts to two charities serving children.
Ryder, who turned 4yo, asked his friends to bring PJ’s and books, in lieu of gifts, for donation to the Great Sprout Tuck-In. The Great Sprout helps children who are homeless and low-income. (www.sproutonline.com) Their mother Lisa Swanson said “Ryder loved the idea of donating PJ’s and selected Sprout Tuck-In right away. We then spoke with two teachers at Samish School to get a few ideas of local charities that help children, and Saar chose Blue Skies for Children.” Blue Skies is a local non-profit organization that grants Little Wishes for children who are homeless, low-income and in foster care.
Saar, who turned 7yo, asked his friends to donate financial gifts. Saar collected $383.00 and added a few dollars from his own wallet to donate nearly $400.00 to Blue Skies for Children. Saar elected to designate the funds to Blue Skies’ Sponsor-A-Child Program. He selected a 7yo boy whose Little Wish was to take Karate. Saar’s donation will sponsor the child for eight months. Saar was quite concerned as to what would happen when the eight months was over. Blue Skies assured him that the boy would be able to continue his lessons. Saar spoke right up and said “I’ll have another birthday again too.”
May 14, 2009 - Blue Skies Grants First Round of Driver's Education Scholarships
Blue Skies for Children has awarded its first round of Driver’s Education Scholarships to four teens in Whatcom County. The teens will receive $225 toward the $425 driver’s education course fees. The scholarship program is new for Blue Skies, and plans to award three scholarships in each Spring and Fall. Julie Guay, Executive Director of Blue Skies said “Amalgamated Transit Union Local 843 learned of our program, felt the program was aligned with their focus on safety, and felt the opportunity to help instill safe driving in new drivers was a perfect match for them. The union donated an additional $225.00, allowing us to grant a fourth scholarship.” Blue Skies wishes to thank the union for their support, and all of the school districts in the County who helped spread the news of the scholarship availability. The next scholarship application deadline will be November 1, 2009. For more information contact Blue Skies at 360.756.6710.
May 14, 2009 - Guadalupe & Wallace join Blue Skies for Children Board
Cecelia Guadalupe, owner of Wordcrafters NW, and Nate Wallace, WWU Associated Students Business Director, have recently joined the Board of Directors for Blue Skies for Children.
May 14, 2009 - Blue Skies Receives Support from Community
Blue Skies would like to thank the following community organizations for graciously granting the organization with much appreciated funding - Bank of America Foundation, Whatcom Community Foundation, WECU, Wal-Mart, Glaser Foundation, DV & Ida Machearn Foundation and the Bellingham Rotary. Blue Skies for Children would also like to thank Pacific International Grout for their continued support.
March 31, 2009 - Community Supports Blue Skies at Annual Casino Night Fundraiser
Blue Skies wishes to express their deepest gratitude to NorthStar Woodworks, Country Financial/Jamie Imus, Twisted S Ranch, Fox Bowman Duarte, PLLC, CH2MHILL, and Gladys Hyatt, CPA PS, for sponsoring the 2nd Annual St. Patrick's Day-themed Casino night, on Sat. March 14, 2009. The event was held at Northwood Hall and over 65 supporters turned out to play mock casino games and enjoy music from WannaDance Mobile DJ Services, as well as win over 30 raffle items. Full bar and appetizers were offered.
March 23, 2009 - Bellingham Rotary Supports Blue Skies for Children
Bellingham Rotary blessed Blue Skies for Children with a grant for $500.00 and an opportunity to share our mission with their membership at their meeting at Northwood Hall on March 23, 2009.