Guemes Island Community Center Association

Enriching and Connecting Our Island Community

 

 Island Happenings

By accessing, browsing, or using this Site you implicitly acknowledge you have read the "Terms of Use and Release of Liability" agreement (link at bottom of page), understood it, and agree to be bound by it. If you do not agree to be bound by this Agreement, your use of the site is not authorized.

Guemes Island, Skagit County, WA, USA

Ferry Cams

Click here for full-size views

(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

Community Messages


Thank You To Our Generous Donors!

 

Generosity runs deep in our community; we have come together over this past year to support each other in so many ways. You have given of your time, goods, money and, most of all, your kind words of encouragement to help make our organization and our community stronger.

 

Now that 2020 has come to a thankful end and we look forward to a better 2021, GICCA is making our annual fundraising appeal. Our appeal letter was mailed recently. If you wish to donate, you may choose to use the envelope included with the appeal letter; you may also donate online here.

 

Because the nation’s charitable organizations have been struggling during the pandemic, the IRS made temporary changes in the tax law last spring that will allow more people to easily deduct up to $300 in donations to qualifying charities even if you do not itemize on your tax return. Details are available from the IRS here.

 

GICCA is a qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization. We appreciate your financial support as do the other non-profit organizations on Guemes. The Guemes Library, the Guemes Community Church, the Guemes Island Historical Society (GIHS), the Guemes Island Planning Advisory Committee (GIPAC), and the Guemes Island Environmental Trust (GIET) are all 501(c)(3) charitable organizations.

 

Thank you for your generous support from the GICCA Board of Directors.

Read more

Remembering the "Old Normal"

At this time last year, the Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA) had to cancel the monthly public meeting due to a January snowstorm and hazardous driving conditions. It was a harbinger of difficult times to come.

 

Beginning in the second week of March, the world was faced with a growing pandemic that required the shutdown of all public gatherings. Our “new normal” moved meetings to online platforms and restricted social activities to groups of five or less with required social distancing. Smiles were now hidden behind masks. Even hugs became virtual.

 

New island residents and part-timers who have chosen to seek solace on the island for the pandemic duration may not fully realize how fervently we all miss and reminisce about the "old normal." But, have no doubt, the "old normal" will return; a vibrant island-life will ultimately prevail; smiles and hugs will again be prevalent once COVID restrictions are lifted. The Community Center Hall will once more burst at the seams with activity, as it has for so many years.

 

In the "old normal," GICCA would be planning a year filled with activities and events both at the Community Center Hall and at our property at Schoolhouse Park. We would also be working with other community organizations to host events at the campus on Guemes Island Road that includes the Library and the Guemes Community Church. Although it will be a long haul to get through the COVID pandemic, GICCA is confident that we will eventually be gathering and celebrating again as a community.

 

The GICCA Board wants to remind everyone, longtime residents and newcomers, of the “old normal” and the recent activities that were hosted at your community center properties.

  • Weekly Yoga and Zumba Classes
  • Community Workshops: Luminary Art, Foraging, Cheesemaking, Sourdough, Fermenting, Fry Bread, Pattern Making, Library How-to Classes, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training
  • Monthly GICCA Meetings
  • Annual Organization Meetings: GICCA, Guemes Island Planning Advisory Committee (GIPAC), Guemes Ferry Committee, Holiday Hideaway Association
  • Public Forums, Skagit County Community Meetings, Precinct Caucuses
  • Charity Fundraisers and Community Potlucks
  • Weddings, Memorials, Birthday Parties, Family Reunions, Retreats
  • Concerts: Chamber Music, Folk Music, Guitar, Autoharp, African Drumming
  • Poetry Readings, Nature Talks, Documentary Film Showings
  • July 4th Hot Dog Picnic at the Park, Trivia Night, Island Talent Show, The Black & White Dinner, Wine Tasting Fundraisers, Woodchoppers’ Ball, Holiday Community Dinner, Kid’s Halloween Party, Trunk or Treat, Island Kids’ Easter Egg Hunt, Earth Day All-Island Clean Up, Father’s Day Strawberry Sundae Social, Fall Festival and Holiday Bazaar Craft Fairs, Guemes Kids’ Science Camp

 

Until all this can resume and your Community Center Hall comes alive with activity once again, please take advantage
of our virtual offerings listed in the “Social Connections” tab at the top of this page. We also invite you to visit our new Art Initiative website, GuemesIslandArt.org. Be safe, stay healthy, and treasure this caring community that we all share.

 

And, finally, another reminder that adversity can bring us together in times of need. This January 2021 Guemes was hit with a  damaging wind storm that left many residents without power or internet for days. While still dealing with pandemic-life, neighbors rallied to remove downed trees, share food, and help with generators. Our Fire Department was called to duty to assist with downed power lines and trees on houses and cars. We are reminded of the kindness of strangers and the nurturing provided by a small community. Thank you to all who make Guemes a uniquely special place.

Read More To Reminisce

Soup's On!

Guemes Connects and the Gathering Lunch crew are back at it - providing curbside pickup of soup, bread, and cookie on Thursdays in front of the Church from 11:30 to 12:15, or until they run out. Click the blue Island Happenings button in the banner at the top of this page for the menu of the week. A $4 donation is suggested. Please stay in your car and wear a mask. A masked server will bring your soup to your car. All COVID requirements will be followed.

2021 Social Connections

COVID restrictions continue and we are unable to gather socially in groups of over five people. Staying connected in safe ways with friends and family is more important now than ever. GICCA has suggestions for virtual activities with friends, educational talks and virtual learning, and limited scheduled outdoor activities. Check out the Social Connections tab at the top of this Home page.

Islanders are discovering Guemes Walks as a way to rejuvenate mind, body, and soul in our great outdoors. Easy to moderate walks in groups of five or less follow a posted schedule. Look for the green Boot Tracks Signs at meeting locations.

COVID-Safe Ways to Volunteer

Volunteering is not only helpful to others it is rewarding for you and good for your mental health. GICCA has many suggestions for COVID-safe volunteering.

 

GICCA’s Virtual Lecture Series is seeking one or two volunteers to help coordinate and manage group presentations on Zoom. We have several interesting speakers lined up, but we need a Zoom leader to help make these a positive experience for both speakers and attendees. If you are interested, please email 4gicca@gmail.com.


The Help You Want

The Resources You Need

Life has been challenging during these months of COVID-19. If you or someone you know is struggling, there are resources for help – help with alcohol or drugs, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, feeling depressed or anxious, or having trouble affording basic needs. To find these resources, or if you could use someone to talk to who is caring, compassionate, and confidential, visit:
No judgment. No pressure. Just resources for help.

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:

Meet Your Neighbor

John Strathman, Adventure During A Pandemic - John Strathman is no stranger to memorable moments on the water. He’s been kayaking in the Pacific Northwest for years. Since moving to Guemes Island in 2014, John has kayaked in the 2015 inaugural  R2AK “Race to Alaska” (Port Townsend, WA to Ketchikan, AK), rowed in two “SEVENTY48s,” (Tacoma to Port Townsend), and completed a solo kayak adventure from Ketchikan to Guemes. His most recent leisurely trip around the San Juans with his friend, Tim, was memorable in its own way.

Read article

NOTE: The stalwart Odyssey has been repaired “good as new” and is safely tucked away, awaiting next year’s “moments.”

Tom Sternberg, GICCA Board Member -
The GICCA Board welcomes its newest Board member, Tom Sternberg, who was recently appointed to fill the vacant Trustee position. Like many of us, Tom and his partner Virginia’s visits to Guemes grew into a desire for a peaceful, rural place to make their full-time home. The pandemic changed their work situations and working from home became the required option. A small tight-knit rural community with an active community center was just the place they were looking for.


Tom quickly made friends with neighbors and fellow ferry passengers. Community involvement is important to Tom and he was interested to learn more about our island organizations and activities. A recent opening on the GICCA Board provided him with the opportunity to bring his work and hobby experience to the Community Center Association. He answered the call and submitted a letter of interest. The GICCA Board voted unanimously to appoint Tom to the Board.

Currently a high-end web and software developer, Tom has also worked in the restaurant industry in both staff and management positions. He started his own commercial landscape business overseeing five condominium complexes. Acting as the general contractor, Tom built two homes and remodeled three in the Seattle area. These varied and useful skills will be invaluable to the Association and to our island community. Tom’s enthusiasm and willingness to be involved are his greatest assets. He has already hit the ground running and is helping to design GICCA’s new “sister” website that will feature the many artists of Guemes Island.

We welcome Tom and Virginia and their sweet dog, Trigger, to our community
Read more
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.”
Read more
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.
Read more
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.
Read more
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.
Read more
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.

-----

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.
Read more
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.
Read more
- 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 Introduces

 

A new community art initiative and website connecting our island's visual artists with those who enjoy art.

 

GICCA Board members gathered (virtually) in 2020 to discuss ways to foster community and build connections amid a global pandemic. Guemes Island has a long history of encouraging and celebrating visual arts. This is home to many world-renowned and amateur artists who are inspired by nature and their surroundings. GICCA’s commitment to “enriching and connecting our island community” gave birth to a new Art Initiative featuring our Guemes Island Art website, GuemesIslandArt.org.

 

The pandemic of 2020 restricted most traditional island events, many of which connected island artists to those seeking art. With no Fall Festival, Holiday Bazaar, Anacortes Arts Festival or local craft fairs, artists and craftsmen/women found few outlets for their wares. Art lovers were missing the beauty and inspiration that art provides. By Fall, the idea of an online “art gallery” came to life as a way for island artists to display and share their passion for art, thus bringing visibility to art and artists of all ages on Guemes Island.

 

We invite you to visit GuemesIslandArt.org and take a self-guided tour through all of the menu tabs on this artful site:

 

And our gratitude goes to ...

 

GICCA wishes to thank all who helped bring the Guemes Island Art website to life:

  • Board members Tom Sternberg, Kathy Whitman, Mary Hale, Cynthia Heft, and Libby Boucher.
  • Devon LeBoutillier, who created the Guemes Island Art logo and banner and provided invaluable creativity and graphic art skills.
  • Photographers Mary Lascelles and Chris LeBoutillier for assisting with photo content on several pages.
  • Deb Strathman and Barb Ohms for interfacing with myguemes.org and the GICCA newsletter.
  • Mike Brown of Skagit Signal for his continued behind the scenes technical assistance.
  • And…the many talented artists of Guemes Island!

Read more

GICCA Stage Project Progress

previous arrow
next arrow
PlayPause
Slider

Links:

 

Click here to view an enlarged slideshow and read more updates.

Stage Update

The rains are upon us and mud season is here which is hindering the moving of dirt. Work progresses on installing the shake shingles on the stage walls. The electrical work is finished and stage lighting occasionally illuminates the structure for a few hours at night. The gutters have been installed. We purchased a rainwater collection tank for landscape irrigation and the system will soon be installed.

 

The Pre-Application has been submitted to the County and our Pre-Development meeting is scheduled for our Special Use Permit. This permit is required by the County before any events can take place at the stage. The application encompasses many factors and potentialities and includes a somewhat lengthy review and approval process as well as a hefty application fee. When COVID restrictions are lifted we hope we will be permitted and ready for use.

 

Thank you to those islanders who recently earmarked their GICCA donations to the stage project. We still have expenses for stairs, the ADA walkway, timber oil, gravel, fill dirt, signage, and misc landscaping costs. We look forward to a well-deserved community celebration in the near future.

 

Friends With Ferns

 

Stage landscaping will include 100 sword ferns and other native plants.

 

Got ferns? This is your opportunity to help. Here's how:

  1. Dig and pot sword ferns.
  2. Deliver to the Community Center leaving them along the north side of the building.
  3. If you'd like to help plant, please send an email to 4Gicca@gmail.com with the title of “Request to Volunteer” to allow us to reach you when the time is right.

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

Read more

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 ourselves and 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. The latest CDC guidelines state that when worn correctly, wearing a mask protects OURSELVES AND OTHERS from germs that are released every time someone breathes, talks, laughs, coughs, or sneezes.

Wearing is caring.

It’s as simple as that.

Helpful Links

On Deck

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!

Shop Now