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Pair of $10,000 grants help small town with big plans

Artist Paul Keeslar is about half-way finished, carving a centennial tribute to Wilkeson’s mining heritage. -      Photo courtesy Wilkeson Centennial Committee
Artist Paul Keeslar is about half-way finished, carving a centennial tribute to Wilkeson’s mining heritage.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Wilkeson Centennial Committee

With the signing of the state budget by Gov. Chris Gregoire, the town of Wilkeson is slated to received a $10,000 grant to complete it’s new centennial monument park.

The state grant is one of 39 grants awarded around the state from the Washington Heritage Capital Projects Grant program. It joins a grant awarded from the 2008 Pierce County Hertiage Preservation Grant Program in January, also for $10,000.

“We were not sure if we would get one grant, let alone two, so we are very pleased to get both.” said Donna Hogerhuis, chairwoman of the town’s Centennial Committee.

The committee has worked hard to raise matching funds, hosting several rummage sales, auctions and other fundraisers. Members have recieved donations from the community not only for the park but for the town’s big centennial celebration on July 18 and 19. The monument will be unveiled during a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. July 18. The dedication will be hosted by Ralph Munro, former secretary of state, who has a family history of coal mining the Carbon River area.

The celebration will be coupled with the town’s annual handcar races. The Centennial Committee and Booster Club is now accepting applications for vendors, parade entries, handcar racers, lawnmower racers and tug-o-war teams. Information is available from Trisha Summers at 360-829-0917, Hogerhuis at 360-829-4281 or Zach Pries at 206-349-2300.

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