Longtime council and founding member Irene Torres at the May 10 meeting. Photo: Lisa Bryan, KP News

There was cause for celebration at the May 10 meeting of the Key Peninsula Community Council when it was announced the council had received two substantial grants to continue its work on behalf of the KP.

Council President Chuck West announced the award of $153,000 from The Whisper Foundation to fund the next stage of the Key Peninsula Partnership for a Healthy Community, to be administered by a KPCC committee, including partnership co-directors Ben and Susan Paganelli.

“We had begun to think we wouldn’t receive funding,” said council Secretary Danna Webster. She also expressed her gratitude for the Paganellis: “They stuck with us throughout this whole funding drought and remained dedicated to this program.”

Mary Williams, a professional grant writer on the steering committee, worked pro bono with Webster and the Paganellis on the successful grant application.

“It’s very exciting and new on the scene in America, this idea of building the community assets to enhance the community with what we can do with these programs,” Webster said.

The Whisper Foundation, created in 2016, is one of four from a legacy gift of the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation. Each of the newly formed foundations reflects the philanthropic passions of the Milgard children.

With the ground work for the partnership in place, this new grant is intended for more direct funding of projects within the scope of the three primary target areas of the partnership: transportation, hunger, and health and wellness.

Council member and Transportation Committee Chair Marcia Harris announced KPCC was also awarded a new $150,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation to provide funding for KP School Bus Connects, an innovative free transportation program that represents a working partnership with KPCC, Peninsula School District, Red Barn Youth Center, Communities In Schools of Peninsula and Puget Sound Educational Service District.

“Operating under our current level of service, the grant from WSDOT would fully fund the KP School Bus Connects program for two years,” Harris said. “We are making great strides in transportation but are always looking for people to help us build on our success.”


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