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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Help You Want
The Resources You Need
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:
- PRESS RELEASE (1/5) Inslee announces “Healthy Washington–Roadmap to Recovery. ” Beginning January 11, the state will follow a regional recovery approach with every region beginning in Phase 1.
- Resources to help adults 65 & over
- Public Health information direct from Skagit County Public Health experts.
- Resources for Guemes Islanders — If you know of additional resources that might be helpful, please send to email@example.com
- Guemes Island Ferry COVID-19 Updates
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!
GICCA Stage Project Progress
- Stage timeline – August 2009 to September 2020
- Stage references/history from GICCA minutes November 2011 through June 2020
Click here to view an enlarged slideshow and read more updates.
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:
- Dig and pot sword ferns.
- Deliver to the Community Center leaving them along the north side of the building.
- 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.
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
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.
A simple reality
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.
- Household Preparedness
- Neighborhood Procedures
- Resident Questionnaire
- Volunteer Contacts, and more
- Schedule GICCA Facilities
- Hall Rental Agreement
- Hall Amenities
- Volunteer Waiver (Stage)
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!