The Standing Stones Campaign
If you’ve been to Ireland or Great Britain, you’ve probably seen Celtic standing stones—either in dramatic groups like at Stonehenge, or as solitary sentinels standing vigil over the countryside. So as plans took shape late this spring for the Celtic Arts Foundation to acquire an office space, it seemed only natural for us to seek our own “Standing Stones” for lead gifts to help complete a successful $200,000 capital campaign.
As we approach mid-July, we have received donations or pledges in excess of $139,000 – which means we’re more that two-thirds of the way there!
Getting started and momentum
While at the Foundation’s annual St. Patrick’s event this past March, avid Celtic musicians Dr. & Mrs. Jim & Michele Lechner of Olympia told CAF Executive Director Skye Richendrfer that they wanted “to make a $5000 gift to do something really positive for the Scottish and Celtic communities—how can we get the most bang for our donated buck?” The suggestion was made to issue a challenge grant to help raise funds to acquire a permanent home for the Celtic Arts Foundation.
First up to meet the challenge was Sally Childs Richendrfer (wife of CAF Founder and
Executive Director, Skye Richendrfer), who made a $5000 matching contribution in honor of her late father (and longtime CAF supporter), Dr. Donald S. Childs, Jr., of Rochester MN.
CAF donors and patrons, Mr. & Mrs. Edmund Wattis and Laura Littlefield of Arlington, WA were approached about sponsoring a matching “challenge” grant of $100,000 in support of the project, which they enthusiastically endorsed and agreed to do! They have also promised to provide a $20,000 gift at the conclusion of the campaign to assist with office furnishings, computer upgrades, and related improvements for the new CAF office.
Additional money raised ($33,000+), has mostly come in the form of major gifts from past, as well as all 8 current, Board members, along with longtime friends and supporters of CAF. Certainly, it shows tremendous passion and commitment to the organization to have all Board members making major gifts to this project.
There will be other announcements about the campaign made at the Skagit Valley Highland Games on July 14-15 in Mount Vernon. Interested folks are encouraged to stop by the CAF information booth, located by the main gate at the event. More detailed information is also available on this page of our website.
Since its founding in the late 1990s, CAF has operated out of the Executive Director’s home in Mount Vernon. Although cost-effective to be operating in a rent-free location, as the organization has grown, it’s become increasingly clear to all involved that the situation was not sustainable. The goal of the capital campaign is to complete the fundraising AND be moving into a new location by the end of 2012.
The mission of the Foundation is to “sponsor, encourage and promote Celtic Culture through events and educational activities.” In total, CAF annually presents more than ten major events in Whatcom, Skagit, King and Kitsap Counties.