Guemes Island Community Center Association

Enriching and Connecting Our Island Community

 

Events Calendar

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Guemes Island, Skagit County, WA, USA

Ferry Cams

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(Find out if there's a 2nd 11:15am sailing)


⛴ Catch the Ferry

Note:
Ferry times are provided as a courtesy and without guarantee.

Ferry departs from Guemes approximately 8 minutes after the listed times below. Crossing time approximately 5 minutes. Round-trip time approximately 20-25 minutes.

*Wednesday 9:15 AM to Guemes and 2:00 PM from Guemes are hazardous materials runs only. No other vehicles or passengers may travel on these runs.
▼ Click here to show times

Countdown to November 3

Election Day 2020

Decisions are made by those who show up.

Community Messages


Halloween Made Safe

 

It’s spooky season! Halloween this year will be a bit different from the usual Trunk or Treat event. Due to the unfortunate circumstances of COVID-19, the Trunk or Treat event is canceled, but don’t “boo hoo" just yet! We still want your kids to have a little piece of this spooky holiday.

 

On Saturday, October 31st from 3 to 4 pm, there will be a Boo Box Curbside Pickup, located in front of the Guemes Island Community Center.

 

 

Dress your kids up in their costumes (masks included please) and come on down to pick up a Boo Box! Please remain in the safety of your vehicle and we will bring the goodies to your window. These boxes will be filled with all sorts of Halloween treats put together by Devon and Gail LeBoutillier. ALL safety measures will be taken during every step. Masks and gloves will be worn during the creation and distribution of the Boo Boxes. This is a Skagit Health Department approved event! Boo Boxes and contents are sanitized and packed to meet COVID precautions.

 

Interested in picking up a Boo Box for your child? Please send an email to devlebout@gmail.com or sign up at guemestrunkortreat.com by Saturday, October 17th to reserve a box for your child (ages 18 and under). Include your child’s first name, age, and any food allergies.

 

Donations: We are looking for cash donations to be able to create the best Boo Boxes we can! Any amount is truly appreciated and will be put to good use. Please donate by October 17th to Devon LeBoutillier through Paypal or Venmo (devlebout@gmail.com)

Donations accepted. Read more.

 

Community Hall Remains Closed

The Community Hall remains closed to all activities and events. The Guemes Island Community Center Association is required to follow the requirements outlined in Phase 2 of Washington’s Phased Reopening Plan. Individuals and businesses should follow all requirements during all Phases. Individuals should also follow all safety guidelines and adhere to the current 5-person limit on gathering size.

Read more

 

Revisiting Islanders' "Words of Wisdom"

In April, islanders Rev. Sally Balmer, Jon Prescott, David Wertheimer, Sarah Banning, Deb Strathman, and Barb Ohms shared their thoughts on dealing with what has become the "new normal." Those words of wisdom seem meaningful still. If you'd like to share your thoughts on coping during this stressful and uncertain time, you can contact us here.

Staying Home Is Still Safest

On July 27, Skagit County Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Leibrand extended his guidance on canceling large scale events through the end of 2020. This extension was supported unanimously by the Skagit County Board of Health. Read more

 

“We had hoped that we would be in a better position than we are by the end of the summer- but that just isn’t the case,” said Dr. Leibrand. “People just don’t seem to get it." He encouraged people to continue to cap gatherings at five people outside one's household per week, maintain six feet of distance from others, and wear masks. Fewer, shorter, and safer interactions remain crucial.

COVID Forces Delay of GICCA Board Elections

The GICCA Bylaws state that the election nomination process shall begin in September of each year with voting in November. The Board of Directors looked carefully at five options of how and when to hold the November Annual Meeting and election. The pandemic has placed many challenges on election planning. Following a posted and scheduled August Meeting of the Executive Board, the following motion was emailed on August 13, 2020 to all members of the GICCA Board: “The November 2020 election of Board Members shall be delayed for one year. Those currently on the Board will have their terms extended for one additional year.” Six members voted in favor of the motion and one abstained, therefore, the motion passed. This decision followed the Ferry Committee lead to delay their election for one year.

 

Please read the Election Planning document prepared by the GICCA Election Committee that explains the primary concerns and decision-making process.

Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 Updates

Given the evolving status of this outbreak, it's important that you stay informed. The following links provide the latest updates and helpful information:

  • NEWS ALERT (7/2)  Read more: Governor Inslee announces a statewide requirement for businesses to require face coverings of all employees and customers. Under this proclamation, businesses may not serve any customer, services or goods, if they do not comply with the state-wide face-covering order.
  • NEWS ALERT (6/23)  Read more: Governor Inslee announces new statewide requirement that all residents wear masks in public. The order also requires that face coverings be used in outdoor settings where people cannot stay six feet apart from people they don't live with.
  • NEWS ALERT (6/5)  Read more: Skagit County moves to Phase 2 of Safe Start Plan. "You are now allowed to gather with five or fewer people from outside of your immediate household per week. Gatherings with more people are still prohibited and considered unsafe." Phase 2 is not a total lifting of Stay Home, Stay Healthy restrictions. For more details view phases.

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Meet Your Neighbor

You – An Encore Performance - This month we are, once again, featuring YOU because you deserve an encore!  YOU are a neighbor. YOU are a part of what makes us a community.

In the recent CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) Newsletter, Public Health Matters, we are reminded that “the word community can mean different things." It can describe a geographic area, a group of people with shared interests, or a feeling of teamwork and fellowship.” At the core is YOU.

The Center for Preparedness and Response (CPR) is a part of the CDC and they outline ways that YOU can create community where you live. The following are excerpts and links from the CPR’s “create community” newsletter.

Care for Each OtherTake care of yourself and others.
The greatest strengths of a community might be its people and their relationships with each other. People who are personally prepared, invested, and socially connected are often better able to protect themselves and more willing and ready to help others through adversity.

Improve AccessSupport the needs of the whole community.
Community health preparedness and resilience is not achieved until everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as prepared as possible. It is the shared responsibility of the whole community to find ways to make preparedness more inclusive, available, and achievable for everyone.

Lead by ExampleInspire others’ healthy behaviors.
Get in the habit of being a preparedness role model for your family and in your community. Modeling healthy behaviors, attitudes, and habits, like getting a seasonal flu vaccine and frequent handwashing, can inspire others to do the same.

Get InvolvedTake action to help improve everyone’s health and resilience.
People who are resilient and ready to care for their neighbors can have positive and even life-saving impacts on their neighbors and in their communities at large. Response training and exercises, donations, and volunteerism are just a few of the many ways that you can help yourself and others prepare for, respond to, and recover from an emergency.

The Guemes Island Community Center Association has recently posted, on our website and on island bulletin boards, a list of our Top Ten Volunteer Opportunities. YOU can help to “create community.” There are many ways, even during a pandemic, to safely connect with or inspire others, to become more resilient, and to become more involved. Whether it is just neighbor helping neighbor or through greater involvement with island organizations, your efforts will build “community.”
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Dog Island Dogs, Then and Now - The dogs of “Dog Island” are carrying on the long tradition of canine companions on Guemes Island. Few bear resemblances to the historical “wool dogs” raised by the Samish tribes in the late 1700s and early 1800s, except for one island favorite, Dakoda, or “Koda”, as he's best known.

The now extinct Wool Dogs were described as looking like the modern-day Spitz and stood about 17 inches high with long white fur. They were raised in “flocks” on Guemes and other nearby islands and kept separated from other village dogs in order to preserve their prized white fur. They were shorn like sheep and the fur was woven into blankets used as valuable trade items. As island settlement displaced the native tribes, the weavers switched to more accessible sheep wool and the Wool Dogs became extinct.

One-year-old Koda joined the family of Wendy Saver and Dave Rockwood in 2012 as a rescue from a local animal shelter. It was one of those “meant-to-be” moments when the planets were aligned and the time was right. Koda found his new family and a happy life on Guemes Island. He was “Best Dog” at Wendy and Dave’s wedding on North Beach in 2018.

Although not genetically related to the Samish Wool Dogs, Koda has become an island mascot and a source of smiles for many as he greets ferry passengers and crew and, before the pandemic, made regular appearances at island events. The pandemic is difficult for such a social dog (and for social humans, as well) but Wendy and Dave appreciate Koda’s companionship as he helps them adjust to social distancing and fewer opportunities to gather with friends. A romp on the beach or a roll in the dirt will have to suffice for now. Our furry, or woolly, or feathered, finned, scaled, or otherwise, pet-friends are helping us all through these difficult times.

If you'd like us to feature your animal companion and share your story, please contact us at myguemes@gmail.com.
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Guemes Island Fire Chief Gerry Francis Retires -

In July, Guemes Island Fire Chief Gerry Francis retired after 12 years of service to our community.



Gerry’s history with the Guemes Island Fire Department is chronicled in archived issues of the Guemes Tide (see guemestide.org). In the October 2010 issue of the Tide, Edith Walden writes that Gerry and his wife Lorraine “first moved to Guemes from Utah in 2004, when Gerry retired as a maintenance planner with Kimberly-Clark. They constructed their home on Samish Street in 2005. In November 2006, a storm threw a huge fir tree through their bedroom roof at 5:30 a.m., just missing Lorraine’s head. Gerry remembers the impressive help they received from then Fire Chief Carl Meinzinger and fire volunteers Bob and Nancy White. In 2008, at age 66, Gerry joined the Guemes Island Fire Department after seeing a recruiting flyer.” Gerry’s life was anything but boring after that.

The required firefighter training and rigorous emergency medical technician (EMT) training program are challenging for even young recruits. At age 66, Gerry excelled, graduating as class valedictorian at the recruit academy. Gerry was certified as an EMT in January 2011 after many hours of home study, classroom training, exams, and volunteer shifts in an ambulance and an emergency room.

The Board of Fire Commissioners for Fire District 17 appointed Gerry Francis to the assistant chief’s position in 2011. In 2014, Gerry was promoted to chief. As a first responder to many medical and fire emergencies on Guemes, Chief Francis has provided compassionate care to those in need. He has led his dedicated team of volunteers in protecting home and property from fire, as well as mitigating storm damage until other emergency responders can arrive.

Mentoring new firefighters strengthens every fire department while providing continuity of service. Gerry has mentored newly appointed Fire Chief Olivia Snell, who served as assistant chief for the past five years.

A grateful community wishes to thank Gerry Francis for his many years of service. In addition, we thank Gerry’s wife, Lorraine, who is also stepping away from the fire department where she served as Public Information Officer and “Chief Chef.” They will both be missed on the front lines.
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Joan Palmer Knows How To “Bee” Kind -

... submitted by Tom Deach

 

Early this spring I received a call from Joan Palmer on South Shore Road. She was looking for someone who might till up a small wild flower bed for her. As a result, after meeting with Joan and her friend, Heather Miller, I agreed to do what I could to help her out. About a week later, in between the cold rains which dominate our spring days, I was able to fit the job in. When I arrived I was a little apprehensive to begin working because neither Joan, nor Heather, was there to supervise the extent of the tilling, but I also knew Joan was also apprehensive about being too “late for wildflowers.” I went to work finishing the job just as the next rain squall moved in. I was disappointed with the final product, which was an area about 25' X 40', and quite dismal looking; a patch of dirt, chopped up grass and of course an abundance of Guemes rocks overshadowed by the gray sky above, which darkened a gloomy Guemes channel. As I pushed the tiller back towards my truck, I noticed how beautiful her manicured gardens would become as the weather warmed, renewing life. Joan called me when she arrived home very pleased with the new garden area, stating it was just as she had imagined. “What do I owe you?” Remembering what it looked like when I left it, I couldn't put a value on it. We agreed a donation to the Guemes Island Historical Society would satisfy both parties.

 
Fast forward to mid-June. Another call from Joan: “You need to see what we created, I'm so grateful for your help.” Chuck Farrell helped too, she added. He had smoothed out and tamped down the tilled area in preparation for the seed. I promised to stop by and take a look. While walking from the truck I couldn't help but notice the garden's transformation since my last visit, trees and flowers blooming with birds and bees everywhere. Along the pathway I was greeted by California poppies, a bright orange glow, a seeming reflection of the sun. 
Volunteer California Poppies
Continuing along, flowers to my left; to the right a garden area with veggies, trees and of course, more flowers snuggled by the inevitable deer fencing. And then, a few steps further on, there they were: wildflowers galore. No more chewed up grass and dirt mixed with rock; in it's place white and pink and blue and yellow and....you get the picture: spectacular! 
The Garden
Joan and Heather enjoying the view
Walking with Joan, she names the flowers in her gardens, introducing each of them to me. She smiles at both the flowers and me. She understands that I know nothing about flowers, but we share a common attraction to the scene surrounding us, the fragrances, bright colors and beauty that the flowers bring. We are not alone. Birds and bees of all manner abound, with butterflies beginning to arrive as summer approaches. Joan's dream is for wildflower gardens to cover our island. Joan's wish is to share her garden with these pollinators and two legged islanders as well. She would love for visitors to see it and perhaps become inspired to create their own joyful habitat for our all important friends, the birds, butterflies and of course, the Bees! 
Joan pointing at the bees
Covid 19 has upset the way we visit, however with careful social distancing and wearing masks the gardens could be viewed in a responsible, safe, way. If you would like to see this spectacular garden, please contact Joan. Email: moonrisebay@gmail.com or by phone: 360-202-2540 to make an appointment for viewing.
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2020 Betty Crookes Guemes Gold Scholarship Winners -

Photo L to R: Anna Prewitt, Jefferson Butler, Rivers Olson


Three outstanding Guemes Island high school students were recently awarded this year’s Betty Crookes Guemes Gold Scholarships. Anna Prewitt received the Gold Award of $1500, Jefferson Butler received the Silver Award of $1000, and Rivers Olson received the Bronze Award of $500. Instead of the normal awards reception at the Church honoring the students, this year COVID-19 restrictions forced members of the Scholarship Committee, wearing masks, to visit the homes of each winner to present their certificate and monetary award. Congratulations to all three!

Anna:I am happy to be the recipient of a Guemes Gold Scholarship. I'm a senior at Anacortes High School for a few more weeks. I enjoy debate, playing the clarinet and piano, tennis, and journalism, as well as volunteering in the community. I am thrilled at the opportunity to continue my education, which this scholarship helps make possible. I will pursue my passions in chemistry and English next year at Pomona College in Claremont, California. After college, I hope to go on to earn a graduate degree and continue learning as a teacher.

Jefferson:I am a senior at Anacortes High, set to graduate on June 17. Throughout my high school years, I have tried on many hats, and some have fit better than others. During my freshman and sophomore years, I was a dedicated member of the robotics team at the high school – learning basic software development and machine shop skills. I also played the French Horn and Trumpet under three different band directors. In my later high school years, I dedicated myself more to my future plans – looking at post-secondary education paths and careers. Currently, I plan to join the crew of a yacht as soon as I'm done with classes. Next fall I hope to attend Claremont McKenna College or Harvey Mudd College. I am so incredibly lucky to have a community that supports my dreams so passionately. Thank you Guemes, and thank you Betty Crookes!

Rivers:Hello, I am Rivers Olson. I have lived on Guemes Island all my life and have grown up in the community. I really enjoy being outside and engaging with friends and family. I was homeschooled up until my sophomore year and excelled when I went to high school. I am attending Western Washington University this coming fall and plan on majoring in a health profession to help people. I will use the Guemes Gold scholarship to help pay for tuition, books, and school supplies. I would like to thank the Guemes Gold Committee and Betty Crookes for this opportunity.

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Betty Crookes co-founded the Guemes Gold Scholarship Program in 1991 along with members of the Women’s Club. When the Club dissolved, other island organizations and individuals made sure the program continued. The Guemes Island Property Owners Association (GIPOA) hosted the program for eleven years and now passes the program to the Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA). A hardworking and dedicated Scholarship Committee continues the logistical work and fundraising. The committee members include co-chairs Janice Veal and Jan Ebersole, Julie Hopkins, Betsy Ockwell, Carol Pellett, and Susan Rombeek.

Applicants for the scholarships must be Guemes residents and are evaluated on successful progress toward completion of their secondary education, concern for the environment and community, and their involvement in extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, hobbies, artistic interests, and jobs. They are asked to provide a school transcript or grade level examination if homeschooled as well as two letters of recommendation.

You can help to keep this worthwhile program going by making a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship Committee through the Guemes Island Community Center Association. Checks should be made out to GICCA with “Guemes Gold Scholarship” in the memo field and mailed to GICCA at 7549 Guemes Island Road, Anacortes, WA 98221. Checks can also be given to members of the Scholarship Committee.
Read bios from the students
Humble Family Legacy of Support - For several years the Second Century Vision Committee has been studying the future needs of the Guemes Island Community Center, Guemes CERT, the Guemes Library, and the Guemes Island Historical Society. Representatives from each of these organizations, as well as the Guemes Church, make up this committee.

Our community has grown considerably since the Community Center Hall was constructed in 1914. The Hall needs more space for community events as well as for emergency shelter. Our library could easily fill a new space twice the current size. The Historical Society dreams of permanent museum space for its many historical and archived items. The plan is to revitalize the Community Center’s capabilities, add much-needed parking, and provide areas both inside and out to display our island’s cultural history. The expansion plan will honor the past and embrace the future as it meets the changing needs of our community.

The Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA) is pleased to announce that the first milestone on the road to expansion has been reached. At the end of 2019, Clive and Diane Humble donated 1.26 acres of land north and adjacent to the existing Community Hall parking area. This generous donation gives us the green light to forge ahead with more comprehensive planning.

This recent land donation by the Humbles is not the family’s first gift to Guemes Island. In 1958 a letter from Helen Vonnegut, the Church Secretary, thanks George and Gyneth Humble for donating a strip of land along Guemes Island Road to the Guemes Congregational Church. This strip became the parking area that runs from the Church to the Community Hall.

In 2004 the Humbles again donated land to the community. Gyneth Humble, Clive’s mother, donated land for what became the “new” parking lot north of the Community Hall. This was a sorely needed addition as increased parking needs at community events had outgrown the roadside parking strip. Glen Veal, with Clive’s support, helped facilitate this donation.

Now, 15 years later, the third donation is complete. This acquisition continues the Humble Family legacy of support for our Community Center with each donation building on the last. As the Community Center adapts to the changing island demographic and plans for the future, it remains one of Guemes Island’s most prized assets.

The Humble family has a long history on Guemes Island. George and Gyneth Humble moved from Seattle to the island in 1948 when Clive, their only child, was two years old. George and Gyneth both worked for the Copeland Lumber Company until their retirement. Clive attended the Guemes Island School through 4th grade. Mrs. Miles taught all four grades and it was difficult for some island children to excel educationally. Clive found the transition to the Anacortes school system challenging initially but managed to catch up with his peers as evidenced by his later academic life. Even though Clive now attended Anacortes schools, the Humbles continued to live on Guemes Island and actively supported the community.

George passed away in August of 1975, but Gyneth continued to live on Guemes, her home for 44 years. After suffering two strokes, Gyneth moved to Mountain Glen Retirement Home in Mount Vernon where she resided nearly 20 years until her death in October of 2011.

Clive resided on the island, off and on, until 1971. Like his parents, Clive also worked for Copeland Lumber, but only for a short time. He became enamored with boating and began working for Bryant's Marina of Anacortes. He was also employed at Robinson's Marina before it was demolished by a fierce north wind during a winter storm. After graduating from Anacortes High School Clive attended Skagit Valley Community College and graduated from the University of Puget Sound. After graduation, Clive worked for Prairie Market Building Supply of Mt Vernon for 16 years. He eventually finished his career in Seattle after working another 21 years for Builders Hardware and Supply.

Clive married Diane in 1972 and moved off the island. Diane was a teacher in the Sedro Wooley school district for five years until their children, Julie and Mark came along. They were her primary focus until they entered public school. Diane then returned to teaching. She spent 21 years at Lincoln View Elementary in Mount Vernon, capping off a long career of public service to area school children. In recent years Clive and Diane have been committed to caring for Diane's mother in her declining years. They reside midway between Anacortes and Mount Vernon. The family still maintains property on the island to this day.

Clive and Diane’s most recent gift to the Community Center Association continues the Humble Family legacy of support for the Guemes Island community. The residents of Guemes, both current and future generations, will continue to enjoy a vibrant Community Center thanks to the generosity of the Humble Family.
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The Pelletts – A Lifetime Of Commitment - Carol and Howard Pellett know the meaning of commitment through 60 years of marriage and 25 years of community involvement on Guemes Island. Both, now 80 years old, are stepping back from most of their island leadership roles.

Stepping away from leadership roles does not mean the Pelletts will sit back and rest on their laurels. They plan to remain strong supporters of island organizations, projects, and personal causes. There will be more cherished time with family while enjoying their ocean view from North Shore. More time to knit, to walk the dog, and to watch the birds on the beach.


Carol was born in Washington DC and her family moved to southern California when she was a child. Carol and Howard met as teenagers while attending rival high schools in the Los Angeles area. Howard still speaks fondly of seeing the young blue-eyed beauty in the blue dress and Carol remembers his black convertible automobile, the dream of every southern California teen at the time. The couple found their soul mates in each other and married at age 20. Their family grew as they moved from California to Washington state with a brief stint in Alaska. Carol and Howard’s five boys still live in Washington, all east of Lake Washington.

Carol fell in love with Guemes Island in the late ’70s and she convinced Howard that they should purchase property on North Shore in 1979. After a career in administration at Evergreen Hospital, Carol was the first to retire and she moved to their new home on the island. Howard’s retirement followed in 1999 when he ended his long career as a senior agent with the IRS. The Pelletts wasted no time getting involved in the community and making many new friends. Howard credits Carol with setting the stage for their many years of service to the island.

The Guemes Island Property Owners Association (GIPOA) was an established island organization in need of new leadership. The Pelletts stepped in and have carried forward GIPOA’s work as a 501(c)(4) non-profit for over 20 years. GIPOA oversees the Betty Crookes Guemes Gold Scholarship Program that was formerly sponsored by the Guemes Women’s Club. Guemes students are recognized for their scholastic achievement and awarded scholarships that are funded by donations from individuals and organizations. Proceeds from the Fall Festival also help to fund this worthwhile program. Howard and Carol will hopefully pass the torch to new leaders as they step down from GIPOA this summer.

Shortly after Carol’s arrival on Guemes she saw the need for a library on the island. The ferry runs ended in the early evening and residents longed for access to a local library. Carol and Howard took on the challenge and helped raise the $40,000 it took to build a library addition onto the Community Hall. The Guemes Library is now brimming with books and resources and dreaming of future expansion. This 501(c)(3) library is run by a nine-member library board of which Carol is the president and Howard, treasurer. These positions are also being vacated, leaving big shoes to be filled.

Carol worked for 16 years as the secretary for the Guemes Island Fire Department. Howard again helped with fundraising that paid for the solar panels on both the Fire Hall and the Guemes Church. In past years they both served on the boards of the Guemes Island Environmental Trust (GIET) and the Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA). Carol can be found at the Church on most Wednesdays with a quilting group that stitches handmade quilts for donation to charities. She is seldom without her knitting and it is a lucky person who has a pair of her handknitted socks.

The Pelletts will continue their involvement with the Guemes Chamber Music Series. Carol serves on the board as treasurer. Howard helped facilitate gaining 501(c)(3) status for this organization and he also serves as a current board member.

With Carol’s love and support, Howard was able to overcome some personal challenges in his life. This led him to his volunteer work as a group facilitator with SMART Recovery, a self-management and recovery training program for alcoholics. For many years Howard traveled weekly to the Monroe Correctional Complex in Monroe, WA and the Criminal Justice Center in Everett where he counseled inmates. Howard no longer travels for this work but he continues facilitating SMART Recovery at a weekly meeting in Anacortes. He feels that helping people find their own path to recovery can be a lasting solution.

The Guemes community thanks Carol and Howard for their many years of dedicated service and for setting a high bar for community involvement.
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- This month the Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA) wants to feature YOU, the members of the Guemes community. Your generous response to our Fall fundraising campaign has brought in $12,545 as of January 16. Without your continued support, we would not be able to maintain our facilities or to provide the services that we all enjoy.

Donations of money are not the only way you can support GICCA. Time is a priceless commodity and we welcome volunteers for a variety of activities and events. If you have a skill or talent that you can share with others, let us know. Can you teach a workshop, help with maintenance tasks, do light gardening chores or help write grants? GICCA needs you.

Please send an email to 4gicca@gmail.com and let us know how you would like to be involved. Thanks again for your support.
GICCA Welcomes New 2020 Board Members -
At the GICCA annual meeting on Thursday, November 21, 2019, the community elected 2 new Board members - Kathy Whitman (pictured here) and Mary Hale (not pictured). Kathy and Mary join returning Board members Rob Schroder, Loalynda Bird, Carol Deach, Libby Boucher, and Barb Ohms as your 2020 GICCA Board.

Kathy Whitman first came to Guemes in 1973 when she and her sister purchased a tiny cabin in Holiday Hideaway. Her two kids and husband loved the shared cabin, enjoying many hours on the beach. After Kathy’s husband died, she had to develop a new plan for her life and in 2018 made the choice to make Guemes Island her full-time home. She enjoys outside activities including volunteering as a steward for the San Juan Preservation Trust at the Peach Preserve. Kathy shares her love and talent for art by hosting Guemes Casual Art groups at her home. Both of her sisters now have their own homes or cabins on the island.

Kathy earned two degrees from UW in Art and in Recreation plus continued education in financial management, art skills, diversity, risk management, and organization. Her background in grant award review, grant writing, fundraising, and creative marketing will be valuable assets to the GICCA Board and our future work for the Guemes community.

Mary Hale and her husband Jeff are life-long Washingtonians who moved to Guemes Island in 2017 after raising their two children and retiring. Drawn to Guemes’ beauty and sense of community, they readily embraced island life as full-time residents. Besides giving back to the community, Mary hopes to share her experience from having worked 28 years at the University of Washington. Her work there involved, among other things, administering multiple budgets, coordinating numerous events, and authoring a  web site. Mary says she especially enjoyed the challenge of crunching numbers, staying organized, and paying close attention to details.

Mary views the Community Center as a positive gathering place for recreational, educational, and social activities—all of which foster a sense of belonging here—and, to that end, she sees the GICCA Board member’s role as striving to be a good steward of this valuable asset.

When Mary isn’t on a walkabout in nature, she enjoys volunteering at the Library, attending Historical Society events, supporting the Skagit Land Trust, and being involved in fun activities such as the Dog Island Dog Show, Luminary Parade, and Fourth of July Parade.

We welcome Kathy and Mary as the newest members of the 2020 GICCA Board.
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Guemes Land & Sea Stewards - Place is powerful and can transform humanity as much as humanity has the power to transform place. A sense of place allows us to be grounded in something larger than ourselves; something real that provides context and meaning in our lives.

This month we celebrate the “human-place connection,” specifically, the devotion to place demonstrated by the land and sea stewards on Guemes Island. These dedicated volunteers work tirelessly and commit countless hours to help maintain and protect the environment around us to ensure we can all continue to enjoy and take pride in this place we call home.


Our fast-paced, consumer-based, productivity-oriented culture can foster a disconnect from nature and from people/community. Our personal well-being is strengthened when we allow ourselves to slow down and connect with nature and those around us. Being purposeful about investing in and caring for the environment is an aspect of investing in and caring for people, as well as place. A uniquely purposeful investment is to become part of a stewardship program.

“To steward” is to care for, protect, and guide. Several local organizations offer stewardship opportunities. Their missions vary but a common theme is to connect people to nature and to each other in order to protect and preserve our environment. The following is a list of Guemes Islanders currently aligned with stewardship programs, either formally or informally.

Skagit Land Trust (Guemes properties: Anderson property, Kelly’s Point, Guemes Mountain & Valley)- see also last month’s Featured Neighbor articleVolunteers listed below live on Guemes unless noted otherwise
  • Ian Woofenden
  • John Strathman
  • Tony Allison
  • Karen Lamphere
  • Tim Alaniz
  • Ralph Mendershausen
  • Dave Rogers
  • Phil Fenner
  • Ed Gastellum - Anacortes
  • Elaina Thompson – Vendovi Island
  • Thyatira Thompson – Vendovi Island
 San Juan Preservation Trust (Guemes properties: Peach Preserve, Guemes Mountain)
  • Randy and Barbara Schnabel
  • Kathy Whitman
 Skagit Marine Resources (Salish Sea Stewards)
  • Phyllis Bravinder
  • Darla Gay Smith
  • Anne Casperson
  • Dixon Elder


We can all be stewards by respecting the integrity of nature and doing our part to care for the environment. Respecting and caring for our natural world ultimately serves to strengthen all elements of society. When humanity assimilates this perspective and lives accordingly, both place and people (and all living things) will thrive at their highest potential. 

“The greatest threat to our environment is the belief that someone else will take care of it.” – Unknown

A HUGE thank-you to the Guemes Island stewards (past, present, formal and informal) who demonstrate their devotion to place, providing an example of how we can all help the environment (and each other) thrive!
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Neighbor News

An Encore Performance

 

This month we are, once again, featuring YOU because you deserve an encore!  YOU are a neighbor. YOU are a part of what makes us a community.

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Tip For Newsletter Subscribers

First,  a big THANK YOU to our subscribers. Your kind and supportive comments in response to our newsletters mean so much. Reaching out to you via our newsletters is something we look forward to each month. It's a way to stay connected while we continue to follow public health guidelines and practice physical distancing. We look forward to the time when we can once again see your happy faces at community activities.

 

In the meantime, here's a simple tip for those of you who believe you've previously signed up for GICCA newsletters but haven't been receiving them in your Inbox. Re-subscribing via our website will not correct this problem; the simple fix must be made in your email browser.

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GICCA Stage Project Progress

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Thank you to the community for your continued support as the stage structure nears completion.  Click here to view an enlarged slideshow and read more updates.

 

 

 

It is now officially Autumn and cooler nights and falling leaves usher in the changing season. The completed stage roof was especially welcomed as a cold front brought nearly 1 1/2 inches of much-needed rain. We passed our County framing inspection. The stage crew had a few electrical details to revise before our 2nd electrical inspection but we received the go-ahead to close in the side and back walls. The final wall covering will complement the appearance of the rugged but elegant timber frame structure. Timber oil will be used to treat all remaining raw wood surfaces.

 

Discussions are underway with landscape professionals, excavators, and with the County as we develop the landscape plan for the stage site. The ADA ramp, parking, an access ramp for equipment, grading, and future audience seating are all elements being discussed. We must complete the required mitigation conditions for the wetlands buffer zone before the final inspection.

 

As previously stated, final inspection and occupancy permit, COVID restrictions, and acquisition of a required Skagit County Special Use Permit will determine when the stage will be available for use by the community. The GICCA Board and our dedicated stage crew appreciate the many compliments and words of appreciation we have received.

 

GICCA meeting minutes recognize all those who volunteered the previous month. A detailed stage history going back to November 2011 is also available.

 

Donations are still needed to complete the project. You may donate online or mail a check to GICCA, 7549 Guemes Island Rd, Anacortes, WA 98221 with a "Stage Donation" designation. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Heart-Felt Thanks

To the doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacy and other medical workers, police officers, home-care workers, grocery store personnel, delivery people, transit workers, airline workers, and anyone who serves the public and cannot stay home.....

Thank you for your bravery, dedication, and sacrifice.
You are truly heroes!

 

And to all of you who are not on the front lines and are heeding the advice of health experts to stay home, or wear a mask and physically distance if you must go out ... we applaud you as well!

Thank you for demonstrating respect for others and for doing the right thing.

Ways To Donate During the COVID Crisis

For those of us who are not faced with job loss, food shortages, overdue housing expenses, or home-schooling challenges, our passions turn toward helping others. Here are a few ways to help by donating:

  • Guemes Island Community Pantry
  • G.I.V.E. (Guemes Island Volunteer Exchange)
  • COVID-19 Relief Fund for WA Undocumented
  • Skagit Gleaners
  • Blood Donation

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Join Our Mailing List

Receive our monthly e-newsletter

Guemes Island Community Center Association email lists on other island websites are no longer used for GICCA mailings of any kind. To receive GICCA news, please click below to subscribe.

Reality Check

A simple reality

Credit: University of Kansas Health System

We do many things to protect others from unnecessary harm. We don’t drink and drive. We don’t run stoplights. We don’t smoke on airplanes or in other indoor public places. The same principle applies to masks. When worn correctly, wearing a mask in public protects everyone else from the germs that are released every time you breathe, talk, laugh, cough, or sneeze.

Wearing is caring.

It’s as simple as that.

Helpful Links

On Deck

For a 'month-at-a-glance' calendar, scroll to the very top of this page & click on the Events Calendar button.

Weather Map

Mobile? Click 'Rain/Snow' tag for options

Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of AmazonSmile purchases to their customers' chosen charitable organization. Guemes Island Community Center Association is registered on AmazonSmile. So, if you’re already shopping anyway, why not let Amazon make a small donation to GICCA - at no additional cost to you or GICCA!

How does it work?

  • Click on the AmazonSmile box (right) which brings you to the AmazonSmile GICCA page
    (you might want to bookmark that page to easily find it again).
  • Sign in to Amazon as usual.
  • Then, just shop as you normally would!

Click here to see how much you have made GICCA smile. Thank you!

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