Rotary teens of Port Townsend High School's InterAct Club provided fun and games for children in the old City hall jail during the community's First Night celebration on New Year's Eve. The students not only held organizational meetings and delayed their own New Year's Eve fun to provide this service, they baked special prizes for the favorite Cupcake Walk game. Thanks to Judge Jill for taking the photos, and Thank You, InterAct!
The Port Townsend Rotary Club has offered a challenge grant to benefit PUD customers in need through OlyCAP and the PUD’s Power Boost Fund. “Our club is moved by the level of need and proud to provide a one-to-one match for every dollar contributed to the fund by PUD customers, up to the amount of $20,000, beginning September 1, 2014,” said Rotary of Port Townsend (aka “The Noon Club”) President Karen Gose Clemens.
In 2013, 495 Jefferson County households (about 1,500 people) lost funding to help pay their energy bills through funds previously provided to Jefferson County by Puget Sound Energy prior to Jefferson County PUD taking over. Many of the families traditionally accessing these funds are in crisis, facing a shutoff of their power and serious hardship during the cold winter months. When Jefferson PUD replaced PSE as the energy supplier, local funding disappeared.
The PUD has appealed to its customers to contribute to its Power Boost Fund to aid these families. By checking a box on their monthly bill, customers can agree to add an amount to apply to the fund. Rotary’s challenge grant is intended to stimulate these contributions.
OlyCAP will administer the program, initially screening applications for assistance eligibility. OlyCAP will also continue to administer federal funds through the LIHEAP program, with the average family receiving an award of $580 to help with high heating costs. When that source reaches its limits, then the Power Boost Fund kicks in.
If these customers receive a shutoff notice, they can apply to OlyCAP for an additional $200 to help prevent a shutoff.
Rotary’s $20,000 grant is part of the club’s annual community charitable program composed of funds generated by its annual auction, holiday wreath sales, county fair gate staffing and other volunteer efforts.