Archive for the ‘Fundraisers’ Category

All your pertinent details.

The Class of 2018 is getting creative.

As Coupeville’s newest seniors kick into gear to raise funds for their graduation party, they have two events planned for July 1.

First up is a rummage sale at the Coupeville Rec Hall from 9 AM-3 PM, then the Wolves will flip around and offer “date night” babysitting services at the same location from 6-9 PM.

CHS seniors will provide games, activities, art projects, movement, and a movie corner for kids.

Children must be potty-trained to participate.

Cost is $10 for one child, $20 for two, with a max family rate of $25.

Registration for the “date night” services will take place during the garage sale.

For those who don’t know, the Rec Hall is at 901 NW Alexander St., within easy walking distance of a ton of restaurants for parents who choose to incorporate that into their free time.

Christopher’s on Whidbey, The Oystercatcher, The Front Street Grill and Toby’s Tavern are all close enough to hit with your shoe from the Rec Hall parking lot (if you were to throw a shoe…).

Or head home and just enjoy the silence.

However you use the “date night” services or the garage sale, your money will go to help the Class of 2018 fund a “safe, sober (and awesome) Senior Trip next spring.

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   Get your car washed Saturday and you can help current Wolves enjoy summer basketball camp (and sand castle building) like Julia Myers did. (Amy King photo)

It’s a win-win.

You can get your car washed and help support the most successful girls basketball program on Whidbey Island in one fell swoop.

The three-time defending Olympic League champion Coupeville Wolves hoops squad will be at Whidbey Island Bank (401 N. Main) twice this month, brushes and hose in hand.

First up is a car wash this Saturday, May 13 from 10 AM – 2 PM, then they come back around Saturday, May 27 at the same locale.

The events are fundraisers to help pay for the girl’s trip to a team camp this summer.

The camp has been an invaluable experience in recent years for the Wolves, giving varsity and JV players a chance to bond and work on their skills while playing four days worth of games, with a little beach time thrown in to keep things lively.

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   Fourth-generation Central Whidbey farmer Georgie Smith with some of her produce.

The drive to get fourth-generation Central Whidbey farmer Georgie Smith and her family back on their feet after the loss of the Smith Barn continues to build.

The 1880s era barn, which was the hub of Willowood Farm, burnt to the ground Monday night. Losses included all of Smith’s seed for the 2017 growing season.

A GoFundMe set up by family friends — https://www.gofundme.com/never-finished-farming-smith-barn — has raised $42,000 and counting, and now you can donate locally, as well.

People’s Bank (behind the Coupeville Country Store) has an account set up under the “Smith Family Benefit Account.”

Donations can be done in person or mailed to:

People’s Bank
107 S Main St., #101
Coupeville, WA 98239

As she faces the road ahead, Georgie wrote the following:

Well, that happened. Today, come the tears.

Thank you to everybody for your kind words.

I am SO thankful that nobody was harmed in the fire. And no pets either (other than we might have lost some irascible “barn chickens” that had insisted on roosting in there, at apparently, their risk!).

And then my husband dislocated his shoulder running out the door when he saw it, and tripped over a flowerbed.

He thought my parent’s house was on fire too, luckily not.

And, once the ER docs got his shoulder back in its socket, he was sent home with a sling and instructions to be careful and should heal it fine. So that is good.

And I’m thankful it didn’t affect my parent’s house, which certainly it could have if the wind had been blowing.

And so thankful for the Whidbey Island Firefighters who have been out there all night, letting the final stuff burn down.

Strange thing, this morning, seeing the field behind where the barn had been from my house. First time I’ve ever seen that.

I haven’t heard any thoughts of what caused it. But to honest, I haven’t been brave enough to go down there and talk to the firefighters either.

I heard that it did burn hot enough to show up on the weather radar, that’s wild. I wonder if they will ever know.

It could have been a number of things but whatever it was, it went fast.

My crew was in there to almost dusk, working on some projects.

Meanwhile, my neighbor was jogging by the farm, must have been just a bit past that as he could see some smoke, figured we were burning some trash.

By the time he got to our driveway, he heard several explosions; probably some flames had reached a tractor and a gas tank. He sprinted for the phone and 911 but it was too late.

What happens now?

I have to honest, I’d like to shout and shake my first and say “we will build again!”

But at this moment, I rightly don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll farm again.

I have to be honest about that right now for those of you so kindly supporting me.

Farming is a BITCH. We suffered greatly in 2015 and I thought about throwing in the towel then, but persevered by the skin of my teeth, had a much better year in 2016 and was posed this year to make some great gains … finally.

Then this.

Ironically, I was just in the process of applying for a Farm Services collateral loan against my equipment – I finally had enough paid off to be of value – to get a low interest credit line for the season and put myself in much better shape financially going forward.

That option is now … gone. Even my delivery van, which I had just paid off, burned up.

I doubt we will get much from insurance. The barn was not insured for much, how to value it? And when we put in our insurance, we focused on the homes not the barn.

Perhaps not the best call in hindsight. Lol.

And much of my older equipment was not insured either. 1950s tractors were of great use and value to us, but not much to the insurance agent.

And all the myriad other things. Like the two walk-ins we had – both built over the years from, literally, scraps and giveaways and sweat and tears. If I purchased/built those new they’d probably run me $10,000 or more each.

And then of course, I had debt.

Which now I have no way to service with no foreseeable income coming in.

How does one even pick the vegetables we have? I don’t have a single lug to put it in, a washing area, boxes or a vehicle to deliver it.

Heck, even our harvest knives burned up.

And that’s not counting the investment going forward into THIS year’s crops.

Unless they somehow survived in their refrigerator storage areas in the barn, all my 2017 seed is gone. Including several 1000s of lbs of dry beans.

Roughly figured, it would take around $200,000 to get me even, with debt and to replace all the equipment and things we had. And that ISN’T counting a barn space.

On a positive note…the garlic was planted in the field so it is fine! Oy.

The barn was the hub, the nexus, of all farming operations. Without it, hard to imagine.

Where to store equipment and work on it (that we don’t have). Where to pack the food? Where to store all the stuff?

Do I want to take all this risk again? Sitting here right now, that sounds like a pretty stupid thing to do.

Farming … has not been an easy row to hoe financially, at all.

I have no retirement or savings, it’s all gone into the farm over the years.

Can I put my family at risk, on the financial teeter-totter of farming, for this, again?

But then again, I don’t know what to do if I DON’T farm. I’ve thought about that in the past, if I ever decided to quit.

Who hires a 45-year-old farmer who is used to setting her own schedule, is overly dirty, and doesn’t really deal well with bureaucracy?

And then just the emotional loss.

I feel so bad for my father. How much of his life work just burned up. Just gone.

The barn he had fixed and repaired so many times. The equipment. Over the winter he had replaced the gas engine on one of our old tractors with a new diesel motor. He was so proud of it.

Just yesterday, I took a photo of him spray-painting one of our other tractors in the barn. It makes me sick.

And the history. All the history.

I’ve always loved to share our farm and barn with visitors.

We just had a garage sale in there last weekend and I spent quite a bit of time sharing the story of the barn with visitors. It was one-of-a-kind.

And I know how much the barn and our farm means to this community. Right now I feel like I’ve failed the community.

What could I have done to prevent this? There were a million stupid things I can think of right now that could have caused it.

I know this is defeatist thoughts. But they are there right now, I can’t deny them.

To my community and the many who have sent well wishes, and money. Thank you. I’m so sorry this has happened on so many levels.

If you want to support us financially, I certainly won’t say no because I think we will need every little bit to even stay afloat right now as a family.

What will we do going forward … I don’t know. It’s too early to say.

I have to have a serious discussion with my family about it.

But I can tell you, it means the world to me that you are willing to support me though.

So again, thank you.

Love you all,

Farmer Georgie

Willowood Farm of Ebey’s Prairie

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   Fourth-generation Central Whidbey farmer Georgie Smith (left) and cousin Kelsi Franzen sell produce at a farmer’s market.

Before the embers have cooled, the community is already coming together.

Monday night, Central Whidbey lost an iconic structure when the Smith Barn, built in the 1880’s and home to fourth-generation farmer Georgie Smith’s Willowood Farm, burnt to the ground.

All family and animals are safe, though Georgie’s husband, hard-charging “man of the people” lawyer Charles Arndt, suffered a dislocated shoulder.

The nearby farm house, where the family lives, remained untouched as firefighters from Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue kept the blaze contained.

The barn, located on Ebey Road, was the hub of a vibrant working farm, one of the few remaining in an area which was built on just that — farming.

Georgie’s seed growing was just underway, making the timing of the fire even harder to deal with.

As she and her family decide how best to go forward, people both near and far are immediately stepping up to help them out, launching a GoFundMe in the late hours of Monday night.

To read more and help keep a huge piece of WORKING history alive, pop over to:


And for a look at what Georgie and her family are accomplishing on a daily basis, take a look at Willowood’s home site:


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Bord Langvold

Bord Langvold

Former Coupeville High School quarterback Gunnar Langvold’s father has passed away, and his family needs help with funeral expenses.

Bord Langvold, a longtime employee of the Washington State Ferry system, died Tuesday after years of battling debilitating medical conditions.

He had been medically unable to work since 2013, which put a financial strain on the family.

Gunnar, a two-year starter under center at CHS, is one of my personal favorites.

When I wasn’t covering his games or listening to his wild rambling tales, we worked together in the dish pits at Christopher’s on Whidbey.

I knew his dad for many years, as well, as Bord frequently haunted Videoville during my lazy, hazy video store years.

For more info, and a chance to help Gunnar and his family, pop over to:


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