New generation keeps Foundation for Enumclaw strong and growing

Tina Lovell is keeping the dreams of the Foundation for Enumclaw Community alive.

“I would be sick if these things didn’t carry on for the next generation,” she said.

Lovell is the second-generation of a group of Enumclaw women who has been working to enrich the community through scholarships and the “Make Your Own Dolly” program on children’s day at the King County Fair. She’s been out recruiting young men and women to join her in becoming foundation members.

“I just fell in love with the whole concept,” she said of the foundation’s design to help those in the community.

She has joined a membership that currently includes Joyce Branch, Marilyn Collins, Betty Ann Lovell, Joan Malgarini, Barbara Norby, Beth VanBuskirk, Fran Wittlesey, Shirley DalSanto and Kimberly Kranz.

In 1960, an Enumclaw junior and senior high science and business teacher Vi Cass called together leaders in Enumclaw. Her purpose was to create an organization to receive and distribute monies for the benefit of residents within the area served by the Enumclaw School District.

In the beginning, the foundation raised funds through donations from member organizations, from memorials to honor family and friends and from Cass herself. Funds were distributed to a variety of causes including emergency medical and dental care, shoes, eyeglasses and books, especially for children.

Today, these needs are met by other civic groups and the foundation has changed its focus, awarding one scholarship each year to an adult returning to school.

Funds come from memorial donations, a donation from the King County Fair, a generous grant from the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and a limited endowment.

Applications for the Vi Cass Memorial Adult Continuing Education Scholarship are now available at the Enumclaw Public Library, Black Diamond Library, and at Green River Community College’s Enumclaw branch.

“It’s perfect for individuals looking to retrain or continue their education,” Lovell said.

It’s open to both men and women, however, applicants must be 18 years old or older and graduated from high school or have a high school equivalence diploma.

The foundation has $2,000 available in scholarships. The deadline to apply is May 31.

In addition to the distributing cash donations, the foundation also praticipates in a service project began by Marcella Fusilier. It was her belief that every child needed a doll. To this end, she collected material, then cut and sewed all winter so in July she could bring to the King County Fair free muslin dolls for children to stuff, decorate and take home with them.

Fusilier has since died, but her dream continues as the Foundation for Enumclaw Community receives help from many individuals and groups to collect materials and cut and sew dolls for distribution at the fair.

Lovell said working the doll booth at the fair has been an eye-opening and uplifting experience for her.

“The delightful thing is that the dads and the brothers make some of the best dolls I’ve seen,” she said. “It’s not just a girl-thing to make a doll. It’s just such a wonderful thing.”

The Foundation for Enumclaw Community is welcoming new members and donations, monetary and of fabric, yarn and sewing talent for its dolls. For information, call 360-825-2895.

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