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Keith Noess Leaves a Legacy!

Keith Noess, the first President of the Des Moines Legacy Foundation from 1999-2002, was recently
asked what inspired him to help to create and to serve on the Board of Directors?
“I wanted to do some good for the community, I had just retired from Boeing and wanted to give back.
“There were major needs that concerned me. The Des Moines Senior Center, then located at the Des
Moines Beach Park in the Founders Lodge and Dining Hall buildings was were severely damaged and
closed due to the flooding of Des Moines Creek. Vital services were moved temporarily to the Masonic
Lodge on S. 223 rd Street. The community needed a new location for the Senior Center. The City was also
working on a plan to buy land and build a sports park for Des Moines youth. These much need projects
inspired me and likeminded citizens to step up and work with the city council and staff to raise funds for
city betterment.” Keith Noess.
We hit the ground running in 1999, sold trees and plants salvaged from Port of Seattle property and
raised $11,000. We held two fundraisers (one in 1999 and the second in 2000 at Anthony’s Homeport
and raised $20,400. We started our first scholarship programs for low-income youth and seniors in
In January 2001, after just one year in existence, at the request of the Des Moines City Manager, the City
Council held a planning session with the Des Moines Legacy Foundation to discuss the benefits of
partnering together to raise funds and awareness for community needs. The City Manager, Council, and
Legacy Foundation enthusiastically agreed to work together. The City Manager cited the City’s long
history of working in collaboration with Rotary, United Way, Dollars for Scholars, Des Moines Chamber
of Commerce and other local groups for community betterment.
The DMLF was sought after to support community projects, such as leading an effort to solicit funds for
a new community center, seek funds for a sports park, promote youth and senior scholarships, and
support neighborhood parks and play areas. Legacy set up a fundraising conduit to hold funds for the 4 th
of July Fireworks Over Des Moines, led by local citizens and businesses.
In 2002, DMLF led initiatives included raising $50,000 through local donations and a Starbucks grants to
build the Steven J Underwood Memorial Park Plaza with the help of Des Moines Police Guild and Des
Moines Rotary Club.
Anthony’s Homeport partnered with Legacy and held the Bayside Brunch fundraising events on the first
Sundays in November to purchase the newly renovated Des Moines Senior Activity Center’s commercial
kitchen equipment, entryway awning, exterior patio, garden and patio equipment and an expansion for

building storage. This was the beginning of a 20-year relationship with Anthony’s Restaurants that
flourished until Covid caused staffing difficulties that are yet to be overcome.
Legacy was on a roll and working to support programs and projects related to parks, recreation and
senior services that the City could not afford to provide due to budget constraints. Citizen donations
were held by Legacy for the acquisition of park equipment such as memorial benches, bike racks, and
drinking fountains as well as plants and landscaping materials.
Legacy raised funds to expand cultural arts and along with King County Arts Commission funded six
Summer Concerts in the Parks, and also funded outdoor basketball hoops for a summer streetball
tournament at the Marina. And this was just the beginning!
Mr. Noess’ tenure as Legacy’s first President was followed by Rena Hamburger 2002-2003, Clark Snure
2003-2012, Gene Achziger 2013-2022, and Patrice Thorell 2022- present.


A The following list of the “Top 25” contributions has been compiled from hundreds of programs andprojects made possible because of the generosity of the Des Moines community and its in support of thevision and mission of the Des Moines Legacy Foundation between 1999-2024. Thank you to the DesMoines citizens, service clubs, educators, businesses and governments working together to build acommunity where people want to live, work and play together!


1) Des Moines Legacy Foundation State of Washington Incorporation December 30, 1999 and Des
Moines Legacy Foundation IRS 501c3 Tax Exempt Public Charity September 2000. Des Moines
Legacy Foundation 1999-2000 Board of Directors- Keith Noess, President, Matt Doherty, Vice
President, Susan Geogebuer, Treasurer, Patrice Thorell, Secretary, Don Clayton, Karen
Hendrickson, Sus Padden, Brooks Powell, Hallie Marks, Deanna McCarty, Eileen O’Neal, Charlene
Schulz, Brian Snure, Tracey Thomas, Susan White
2) Partnership with Anthony’s Homeport- Legacy Dinner in 1999 and Bayside Brunch from 2000-
2020- $733,604 to Support Senior Programs and Youth Scholarships
3) Steven J Underwood Memorial Park- Plaza Construction and Park Amenities- $48,647
4) Watertower Park Play Equipment with Des Moines Rotary- $6,150
5) Fireworks Over Des Moines -Funding Conduit- $161,377
6) Des Moines Senior Activity Center- Kitchen Equipment, Covered Entrance, Patio & Garden, and
Storage Expansion- $58,948, and Outdoor Readerboard- $16,000
7) Senior Services Support- Hyde Shuttle, Meals on Wheels, Medical Teams International, Valley
Cities Counseling, Catholic Community Services, Karen’s Footcare, Arts and Social Activities, and
Program Scholarships- $312,812
8) Senior Services Special Events- Rainbow Bingo, Sr. Prom, Senior Arts Classes, Way Off Broadway
9) Des Moines Recreation Youth Scholarships- $233,255, YETI Youth Scholarships $8,000, and
Midway Park Summer Youth Program, Des Moines Youth Council, Before and After School
Program, and Americorp- $7,680
10) Recreation Special Events- Eggstravaganza, Breakfast with Santa, Halloween Carnival, 3 on 3
Streetball Tournament- $19,525
11) Recreation Equipment- Outdoor Big Screen Theater, Outdoor Basketball Hoops, Field House
Gym Scoreboard- $11,846

12) Sonju Community Garden and Greenhouse, and Midway Community Garden and Little Library-
13) Community Arts Programming- Summer Concerts in the Park- $24,037, Breaders Theater, Squid
A Rama, Poverty Bay Arts Festival, Poverty Bay Arts Gala and Art Sale- $85,552
14) To The Beach Tourism Website and Marketing Project with Seattle Southside RTA Grant-
15) Des Moines Metropolitan Pool District Mt. Rainier Pool Youth Swimming and Lifeguard
Scholarships with King County Park Grant Matching funds- $20,000
16) Art on Poverty Bay Public Art Acquisitions- Yakutat, A Gentle Nudge, Tree of Life, American
Venus, Harpoon, Tail Slap, Marinascope, Raven Discovers Spaceship, Honoring Aging Mural,
Youth Murals, Outdoor Sculpture Infrastructure Concrete Plinths- $65,943
17) ParkRun- Initial Start-Up - $5,000, Waterland 5K Fun Run- $1,672
18) Highline College Foundation Art Scholarship-$5,000
19) City Senior Services 14 Passenger Van- $33,332
20) Des Moines Area Food Bank Walk-in Utility Transport Vehicle- $40,681
21) Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market Foundation- Initial DMWFM Foundation Start Up funds,
Annual Sponsorships, and Grants- $11,097
22) No Kids Left Inside Play Area Initiative Grants- $50,000 to the City for Steven J Underwood
Memorial Park Play Area, and $25,000 for Des Moines Field House Park Play Area
23) Waterland Childrens’ Festival and Waterland Jr. Parade with Destination Des Moines, Rotary
Club of Des Moines/Normandy Park, and Highline College Hospitality Program- $15,104
24) International Sculpture Day held in partnership with George C. Scott Studios
25) 2023 Bayside Ball at Des Moines Yacht Club- $30,037 to support free Youth Swimming Lessons,
Waterland Childrens Festival, Visual and Community Arts, and Des Moines Area Food Bank

Des Moines Legacy Foundation’s Top 25

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