Garden House Call for Volunteers

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Ciao tutti - 

I wanted to update you all on what's been happening with the sale of Garden House. 

Betty Jean Williamson, who spoke at our last meeting in May and who is coordinating the preservation effort,
learned from WSFCG President Joyce Lounsberry recently that the intent of the State Garden Club's Board is to preserve the historic property.  WSFGC is setting up a special committee to guide the process and sale. They ask for continued clear respectful and open communication as Beacon Arts, Betty Jean's organization, continues to lobby for preservation of the site, intact, as a community resource and gathering space.

On the recommendation of the Seattle Department of Neighborjoods, the first step Betty Jean is taking is to hire a consultant to put together a feasibility study of how to
purchase the property and keep it intact as a community resource.  They will fund the study, if Betty Jean can demonstrate Community Support.

What the Department of Neighborhoods asks for is a commitment of hours from volunteers working on the project, preserving Garden House for the community.

Here is what Betty Jean sent around asking for volunteer hours.

Hello partner organizations!


Pledge hours or donations  

Beacon Arts is applying for a Department of Neighborhoods matching grant to hire a consultant to do a feasibility study of how to purchase Garden House. We need $20,000 of match by Monday June 25.  If you are willing to help with outreach, fundraising research, public events or a survey please join a work group and estimate how many hours you can contribute.  We can claim $20 per volunteer hour.  Reply to Betty Jean at with your name, address, zip, email and number of hours pledged. In-kind or cash donations also help if you want to contribute include your pledge in your reply. We do not want to collect them until the grant is contracted in a month or two.

There is also a meeting scheduled for this Thursday night to organize Work Groups.  That's another way you can help out to preserve your meeting place.  Here is what Betty Jean sent out as an email to potential volunteers about the Work Groups:

Join a work group

Thursday June 28 organizing meeting upstairs at Garden House for four work groups. These groups will focus on one aspect of our efforts and meet independently to complete their tasks. Please come at the time your interest or expertise is scheduled for discussion. Bring your calendar and be prepared to say briefly what you can do. 

  • 7:00 pm   Landmark Status Work Group -This Group will help hire a consultant to apply for Landmark status. Lead volunteers with architecture, research and preservation experience a plus.
  • 7:30 pm   Fund Raising - This Group will help write grants, plan events, manage donor tracking and help with thank yous and receipts. They will work with a consultant to make a viable plan to raise funds to purchase Garden House.  Development and fundraising experience a helps.
  • 8:00 pm   Negotiations and Legal - Lawyers, realtors, appraisers, inspectors and community developers needed. This group will work with consultants to determine a fair price, write an offer and negotiate terms of sale. 
  • 8:30 pm   Outreach - Keep our community informed and engaged in the whole process. Assist with newsletters, website, Facebook, Twitter, flyers and networking to reach all the folks we need to be successful.
I hope that a number of you will consider pledging your time to this project by sending your commitment of hours to Betty Jean by Monday, June 25 and by attending the Work Group organizing meetings on Thursday, June 28.  The Garden is a marvelous community facility and a warm and comfortable place to hold our meetings.  Let's keep it that way.

Dan DeMatteis,


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