Des Moines Legacy Foundation
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Yoshiko Matsui The Des Moines Legacy Foundation Board of Directors welcome a new director to the board Welcome Ms. Kaylene Moon
Kaylene has been a supporter of the Des Moines Legacy Foundation since its inception in 1999. A Des Moines resident since 1958 Kaylene brings a wealth of older adult knowledge, work experience, and community outreach to the Board. Her long career in social work for the elderly with the City of Seattle Division on Aging will be another added benefit to supporting the needs of seniors in the Des Moines community.

States Kaylene in her board application, " the Des Moines Legacy Foundation has done so much for the Des Moines community, I want to help continue their efforts."

A few of Kaylene's other community volunteer hats include helping children read at Pacific Middle School, serving on the City of Des Moines Senior Services Advisory Committee, and a member of AAUW.

Kaylene's favorite Legacy Foundation projects are the many services, programs and classes they funded at Des Moines Senior Center and funding the City's Recreation Scholarships program for youth. Kaylene's favorite recreation is swimming at Mt. Rainier Pool.

Kaylene's family includes two daughters who attended all years of school in Des Moines, four grandchildren and one great grandchild. Her legacy to the Des Moines community, "remains to be seen", she smiles.

Welcome Yoshiko Grace Matsui

The Des Moines Legacy Foundation is pleased to welcome fourteen year Des Moines resident Yoshiko Grace Matsui to our board of directors. Her first term on the foundation began in October 2021.

To date her favorite DMLF project is our "No Kids Left Inside" community playground project campaign.

Asked why she decided to apply for the Des Moines Legacy Foundation position, Yoshiko states, "while I've lived in Des Moines for 14 years, I was commuting 2 hours a day for work which left me little time to get involved in my community. One of impacts of Covid for me was the decision to move to remote work, which meant that I finally had time and energy together with my desire to give back to Des Moines. As I started volunteering more in 2021, I met an amazing group of people associated with Legacy Foundation and I'm excited to contribute to an organization that matches my interests. "

Yoshiko's favorite form of recreation is reading, especially non-fiction at this time. She could earn a degree in watching British crime dramas on television and as a form of pandemic-safe family activities, her family and she recently bought a small travel trailer and have been exploring some of the Washington State parks.

Her family includes her wife Sile, her dad Earl, and three small chiweenies. Yoshiko lives in the North Hill neighborhood.

Yoshiko feels that the Des Moines Legacy Foundation board of directors is her change to make her legacy for the Des Moines community.

The Des Moines Legacy Foundation is pleased to announce that long time supporter and partner in helping Des Moines older adults, Comfort Keepers, had made a recent $1,000 donation to the foundation to continue our work with those less fortunate in Des Moines.

Since 1999, Des Moines Legacy Foundation has supported programs and services for youth, families, seniors and the arts in the Des Moines community. Comfort Keepers Home Care has been a strong partner with the Des Moines Legacy Foundation since 2005. Their purpose; to elevate the human spirit with quality of life in the sanctuary of your home ties beautifully with the mission of the Des Moines Legacy Foundation.

The Comfort Keepers donation will be used to support Des Moines Legacy Foundation projects specific to older adults in the Des Moines community.

PHOTOS: DMLF funds for Grace in Action wheelchair ramp for a Des Moines couple. Outdoor garden benches at the Des Moines Senior Center garden, one honoring long time senior center volunteer Keith Noess.

See More About This Great Project > >

2021 Community Services Donation Announced
The Des Moines Legacy Foundation board of directors at their annual November planning retreat voted and approved $100,000 for 2021 community services that support their mission statement. The breakdown is as follows:

1. $5,000 to the Des Moines Farmers Market for capitol item purchases (canopies) and matching funds for food for low income seniors and families.
2. $2,000 for the Grace Lutheran Church supervised Medical Teams International Mobile Dental Van for low income seniors.
3. $1,000 to Sonju Community Garden for tools, gloves and repair of the garden shed.
4. $10,000 to Youth Experiential Training Institute for projects to support low income outdoor recreation for youth in Des Moines
5. $10,000 for community art projects in Des Moines.
6. $25,000 from our No Kids Left Inside Campaign towards the BOOM grant for the Des Moines Field House Play Area.
7. $30,000 for Des Moines Area Food Bank capitol purchases.
8. $10,000 for miscellaneous including insurance, licensing, storage unit, website fees and administrative costs.
9. $5,000 for Grace In Action to build and repair safe home access for Des Moines Low income seniors
10. $2,000 for marketing within the Des Moines community.

Please note that this money was BUDGETED, not awarded. These funds require approved grant requests prior to distribution.

The directors of the Des Moines Legacy Foundation thank our loyal supporters for making our vision to make Des Moines a better community through parks, recreation, senior services and the arts possible. We couldn't do it without everyone of you!!

DMLF Helps Our Local Area Food Bank
The middle of a pandemic is a terrible time for a food bank to start losing crucial vehicles. But it's also an exceedingly good time to have friends such as the Des Moines Legacy Foundation.

When one of the Des Moines Area Food Bank's critical pick-up and delivery vehicles recently decided to give up the ghost, the scramble to find a replacement was rather brief for Executive Director Kris Van Gasken and Associate Director Barb Shimizu. Their friends at the Legacy Foundation quickly leapt into action and approved a $35,000 grant for the purchase of a 2019 Ford Transit Van to replace the 1988 clunker.

See More About This Great Project > >

DES MOINES, WA -- Disadvantaged youth in Des Moines will have greater opportunity to participate in the city's parks and recreation programs thanks to a $14,225 donation from the Des Moines Legacy Foundation.

Foundation President Gene Achziger delivered a check to City Clerk Bonnie Wilkins last Friday. The funds were raised at the charity's 2018 annual Bayside Brunch at Anthony's HomePort – Des Moines Restaurant.

Those funds will enable more kids to participate in recreation sports leagues and before and after school programs and summer camps.

"With daycare costs as high as they are, we've got a lot of hardworking parents who depend on these programs to support their families," Achziger said. "It's tough to have to work a 40-hour a week job and worry about your kids if they are at home unsupervised. These programs help alleviate some of that worry."

The funds were raised during a paddle raise at the Foundation's annual Bayside Brunch. Legacy, throughout its 20-year history, has pursued its mission of building community through philanthropy.

"Budd Gould and Anthony's Restaurants have been fantastic partners with the Bayside Brunch," Achziger said. "We literally could not have accomplished what we have without their help."

He said he wanted to give a particular shout-out to Dana Lancaster, manager of the Des Moines Anthony's location.

"Dana's been a tremendous help and the dedication of her staff always results in a wonderful experience, no matter how crazy we get with our themes," Achziger said.

Those themes have ranged from salutes to Woodstock to Jimmy Buffet.

Achziger said it was appropriate that the theme of the 2018 brunch was Superheroes, because Legacy's donors stepped up in heroic fashion to once again vastly increase the number of kids able to participate in recreation programs.

"Even as the economy has improved, recreation fees keep getting hiked and that means the ability to participate in programs so important to the development of our kids remains out of reach for many families," Achziger said. "Legacy is committed to helping level the playing field."

DES MOINES, WA -- Kids in Des Moines will have a new playground at Steven J. Underwood Park this year thanks to a $50,000 check delivered to the City of Des Moines last Friday by the Des Moines Legacy Foundation.

The money represents the community match to a $245,000 King County Youth and Amateur Sports Grant to build an inclusive playground at the park. Another $637,000, according to the City's 2020 budget, will come from Real Estate Excise Tax 2 funding.

See More About This Great Project > >

High School for Bayside Brunch 2019
The Des Moines Legacy Foundation's 20th annual Bayside Brunch was all about high school days for this year's FUNdraiser! Sunday, November 3 saw the entire first floor at Anthony's restaurant filled with cheerleaders, graduate caps and gowns, athletes, prom dates and more! As one guest stated, " this is a magical event and a magical day". And it was magical to see the continued support from 100 guests who with their generosity and care for the Des Moines community raised $12,375 for recreation programs for low income youth and a little over $18,000 for senior services and programs in Des Moines.

See More About This Great Event

Youth Experiential Training Institute (Y.E.T.I.) Y.E.T.I. is a 501(c)(3) founded in 2009 serving students ages 5 to 18 in the South King County area from diverse ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds with meaningful, adventure-based experiences. We work hard to make outdoor recreation more accessible to all youth.Developing character, stewardship, and grit in ALL youth through challenging outdoor adventure.

Y.E.T.I believes that money should not stand between a child and a life changing outdoor experience. They operate on a pay-what-you-can model where you choose the price that best fits your budget. If you don't see a price that works for you, that's okay too. Y.E.T.I. will honor any amount you choose. Hiking, kayaking, camping, rock climbing, outdoor cooking and much more are offered through this program.. Necessary equipment is provided by a partnership with the local Mountaineers Club. States Legacy member Patrice Thorell," Y.E.T.I. is a perfect match to the mission of the Des Moines Legacy Foundation. Supporting low income youth in recreational opportunities is one of our highest priorities. We are so proud to support this local group."

2019 Des Moines Legacy Foundation Legacy Award

Resourcefulness is one of the basic principles of the Des Moines Legacy Foundation and the ability to maximize our resources by bringing people together for the common purpose of uniting and advancing our community is at the very heart of our reason for being.

The Foundation was created 20 years ago just as Des Moines began facing the most devastating economic periods since the community's birth in the late 1800s. There was literally a joke among the leaders of our neighboring cities that Des Moines should be referred to as the Port of Kent – meaning that our merger with our neighbor to the east was inevitable.

It is ironic then that inspiration for bolstering the sense of community that kept Des Moines alive was born out of the creation of the Kent Community Foundation in 1986. And present at the birth of both foundations was the same woman: Patrice Thorell.

Legacy was founded to encourage members of the Des Moines community to support each other. Its goal has been to build community by assuring support for our children and seniors, particularly those living below the poverty line.

It's that caring about our neighbors that makes Des Moines a great place to live.

And to do that, Legacy, has had to be resourceful. It has been able to take the already generous donations of our neighbors and by strategically leveraging that money has been able to achieve far greater contributions to our community.

At a time when there was little or, no maintenance or civic development going on in our City, as a board member of Legacy Patrice Thorell used her resourcefulness to leverage funds scraped together from events such as Legacy's annual Bayside Brunch to help disadvantaged kids participate in summer camps and before- and after-school programs.

A whole ton of kids has since enjoyed the chaos of summer camp in Des Moines.

In her capacity as Director of Parks, Recreation and Senior Services, she was able to secure grants to save the flooded buildings in the Beach Park. It's now on the National Historic Sites Registry.

Her grant-securing skills enabled us to develop the Senior Center and secure vans to transport our kids and seniors. Extra care and food for our seniors has been delivered. And we found the resources to aid in the development of Steven J Underwood Park and countless other projects involving Parks, Recreation and Senior Services.

City parks have been, and continue to be, refurbished at a fraction of the cost to City residents.

By working with Legacy, Patrice Thorell was able to launch the Foundation's No Child Left Inside initiative to secure new playground equipment so all Des Moines children will have the opportunity to play outside. The project is being fueled by a pledge by the Legacy Foundation to raise just $205,000 to be used as the match to secure $2.5 million in external grants.

The key has been to leverage our resources – to resist the temptation to blow whole wads of money when carefully shepherding of our meager funds allows us to provide maximum return for minimum investment.

Legacy's most recent evidence of Patrice's resourcefulness culminated in the addition earlier this month of the "Marinascope," to the City's public art collection.

She convinced internationally renowned artist George C. Scott to create an artistic masterpiece that honors both the historical and nautical aspects of our city.

The artist repurposed a discarded marine buoy into a larger-than-life kaleidoscope. It was accomplished by using funds raised by Legacy, matched with Port of Seattle Airport Communities Environmental grant, and the generosity of artist and many other Legacy supporters who appreciate how public art can be used to unite and propel our community towards a better economic future.

It has been that type of dedication and resourcefulness that has sustained the existence of Des Moines.

Thus, for her inspiration and resourcefulness -- and most importantly for her dedication to fueling the eternal flame of community spirit and optimism -- the Des Moines Legacy Foundation Board of Directors is proud to bestow upon Patrice Thorell its 2019 Legacy Award.

Marinascope Dedication

The dedication of internationally renowned glass artist George C. Scott's latest artwork came, fittingly, on a bright, sunny day that put its rainbow of colors on full display.

The 10-foot-high by six-foot-wide refurbished shipping lane buoy that is the frame of "Marinascope" was initially used in the construction of the Second Tacoma Narrows Bridge that was dedicated a dozen years ago. Scott rescued the derelict, pockmarked its exterior with portholes of varying size, and then powder coated it inside and out so as to withstand the elements. The holes were then filled with fused glass panels created by local residents.


WRPA Awards Patrice Thorell Distinguished Service Award

At the April 2019 Washington Recreation and Parks Association conference in Vancouver Washington, the association honored retired Des Moines Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Director Patrice Thorell with their Distinguished Service Award.

Ms. Thorell was recognized by the state organization for her twenty-three years of innovation, expertise and leadership as the Parks, Recreation and Senior Services director for the City of Des Moines, Washington. Nominated by peer Cheryl Fraser, Ms. Fraser commended Ms. Thorell for "significant contributions to both the City of Des Moines and the Washington Recreation and Parks Association to which she has been an active member for her entire career in the field of parks and recreation."

Described as "a star in the parks and recreation profession," WRPA acknowledges Ms. Thorell as an inspired innovator, widely respected and full of boundless energy devoted to the Des Moines community. As the director of the Des Moines department she was the moving force behind the renovation of Des Moines Beach Park, the development of the Steven J. Underwood Memorial Park and achieved great success in securing financial resources for the purchase of the undeveloped Van Gaskin property. She is known and well respected for her creativity and extraordinary skills in special events planning as well. Ms. Thorell was instrumental in the "Play for All" multi generation program offered in Des Moines and the King County Health Department's "Healthy Des Moines" project, to name only a few of her many successes.

A Des Moines staff member that Ms. Thorell supervised for over twenty-two years stated that, "Patrice put her heart and soul into the parks and recreation profession and shared her passions with all those around her. Her legacy to Des Moines is huge, making the community a better place for parks, recreation, senior services and the arts."

For 19 years the Des Moines Legacy Foundation has provided a safety net that supports the vulnerable amongst us. We are the conduit that shows this community cares. Your generous donations:
  • Help our kids participate in supervised recreation programs before and after school and during school vacations;
  • Help our seniors prolong their mobility and remain in their homes longer before having to move into costly assisted living; and
  • Help fund cultural events such as the Beach Park Summer Concert Series, Shakespeare in the Park and Movies in the Park to enrich our lives.
We are an all-volunteer, 501c3 non-profit dedicated to helping our neighbors. You can be assured that your contribution to the Des Moines Legacy Foundation goes where you intend. (And it may be tax-deductible!)

Please join us this summer at our annual fundraising events to continue to help make Des Moines a great place to live:
  • Bids4Kids – On July 11: Our annual silent auction at Beach Park in conjunction with the opening of the seven-week Summer Concert Series and Destination Des Moines' Smoke On The Water community barbeque to finance the annual Fireworks Over Des Moines Fourth of July celebration;
  • Arts Gala on Poverty Bay – On Sept. 21: Our annual art show and auction at Beach Park to support cultural events and local artists; and
  • Bayside Brunch – On Nov. 4: Our annual silent and live auctions at Anthony's Homeport Restaurant to benefit senior services and youth recreation initiatives. This year's theme is Superheroes and is your chance to be a superhero for the less fortunate in our community.

For more information, visit our Contact Us Page and thank you for your generous support.

Des Moines Walking Fun - The Walking Sundays Are Back!
Join Gary McNeil, Des Moines Legacy Foundation director, for monthly Sunday walks starting in May. Dates are the 3rd third Sunday of the month. Walkers meet at the base of the Des Moines marina fishing pier. Walks vary in length and difficulty around the Des Moines community and will not exceed 4 miles. Walks are rain or shine. Dogs welcome.

See Full Details >>

Des Moines Legacy Foundation Launches a Citywide Playground Project Community Campaign
The Des Moines Citywide Playground Project approved by City Council in March of this year will provide the designs to repair and replace play structures at seven of Des Moines Parks and to create a new play area at Steven J. Underwood Memorial Park. This action is the first of many steps that will be taken within the next three years to restore City's aging park play areas.

Playground Challenges
The play equipment located at Cecil Powell Neighborhood Park was removed due to safety concerns in 2013 and the neighborhood has asked for the equipment to be replaced. The removal of play equipment at Kiddie Park, Westwood Park and Wooton Park is also eminent, likely within the next year or two. And, there is strong community support for play areas to be installed at Des Moines Beach Park where the play area was removed over a decade ago due to flooding and infrastructure repairs and at Steven J. Underwood Memorial Park where a play area has not been installed due to lack of funding. The City's challenge is the lack of funding resources to make the necessary improvements.

Projects Supported by Des Moines Legacy Foundation

Des Moines Garden Projects
Des Moines Garden Projects
Sonju Community Orchard and Garden, opened in 2010, is a gathering spot for gardeners, elementary school kids, and our whole neighborhood. The garden offers annual p-patch rentals and grows food for the Des Moines Area Food Bank. Stop by and enjoy our garden paradise patch!
Des Moines Art Commision
Des Moines Art Commision
The mission of the Des Moines Arts Commission is to provide leadership in establishing cultural opportunities to improve the quality of life, enhance the aesthetic environment and to promote Des Moines as a center for great arts.

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Des Moines Legacy Foundation - Tax ID #91-2019863
P.O. Box 13582 - Des Moines, WA. 98198 - Phone: 206-755-8060
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