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2019 Des Moines Legacy Foundation Legacy Award

Resourcefulness is one of the basic principles of the Des Moines Legacy Foundation and the ability to maximize our resources by bringing people together for the common purpose of uniting and advancing our community is at the very heart of our reason for being.

The Foundation was created 20 years ago just as Des Moines began facing the most devastating economic periods since the community's birth in the late 1800s. There was literally a joke among the leaders of our neighboring cities that Des Moines should be referred to as the Port of Kent – meaning that our merger with our neighbor to the east was inevitable.

It is ironic then that inspiration for bolstering the sense of community that kept Des Moines alive was born out of the creation of the Kent Community Foundation in 1986. And present at the birth of both foundations was the same woman: Patrice Thorell.

Legacy was founded to encourage members of the Des Moines community to support each other. Its goal has been to build community by assuring support for our children and seniors, particularly those living below the poverty line.

It's that caring about our neighbors that makes Des Moines a great place to live.

And to do that, Legacy, has had to be resourceful. It has been able to take the already generous donations of our neighbors and by strategically leveraging that money has been able to achieve far greater contributions to our community.

At a time when there was little or, no maintenance or civic development going on in our City, as a board member of Legacy Patrice Thorell used her resourcefulness to leverage funds scraped together from events such as Legacy's annual Bayside Brunch to help disadvantaged kids participate in summer camps and before- and after-school programs.

A whole ton of kids has since enjoyed the chaos of summer camp in Des Moines.

In her capacity as Director of Parks, Recreation and Senior Services, she was able to secure grants to save the flooded buildings in the Beach Park. It's now on the National Historic Sites Registry.

Her grant-securing skills enabled us to develop the Senior Center and secure vans to transport our kids and seniors. Extra care and food for our seniors has been delivered. And we found the resources to aid in the development of Steven J Underwood Park and countless other projects involving Parks, Recreation and Senior Services.

City parks have been, and continue to be, refurbished at a fraction of the cost to City residents.

By working with Legacy, Patrice Thorell was able to launch the Foundation's No Child Left Inside initiative to secure new playground equipment so all Des Moines children will have the opportunity to play outside. The project is being fueled by a pledge by the Legacy Foundation to raise just $205,000 to be used as the match to secure $2.5 million in external grants.

The key has been to leverage our resources – to resist the temptation to blow whole wads of money when carefully shepherding of our meager funds allows us to provide maximum return for minimum investment.

Legacy's most recent evidence of Patrice's resourcefulness culminated in the addition earlier this month of the "Marinascope," to the City's public art collection.

She convinced internationally renowned artist George C. Scott to create an artistic masterpiece that honors both the historical and nautical aspects of our city.

The artist repurposed a discarded marine buoy into a larger-than-life kaleidoscope. It was accomplished by using funds raised by Legacy, matched with Port of Seattle Airport Communities Environmental grant, and the generosity of artist and many other Legacy supporters who appreciate how public art can be used to unite and propel our community towards a better economic future.

It has been that type of dedication and resourcefulness that has sustained the existence of Des Moines.

Thus, for her inspiration and resourcefulness -- and most importantly for her dedication to fueling the eternal flame of community spirit and optimism -- the Des Moines Legacy Foundation Board of Directors is proud to bestow upon Patrice Thorell its 2019 Legacy Award.





Marinascope Dedication

The dedication of internationally renowned glass artist George C. Scott's latest artwork came, fittingly, on a bright, sunny day that put its rainbow of colors on full display.

The 10-foot-high by six-foot-wide refurbished shipping lane buoy that is the frame of "Marinascope" was initially used in the construction of the Second Tacoma Narrows Bridge that was dedicated a dozen years ago. Scott rescued the derelict, pockmarked its exterior with portholes of varying size, and then powder coated it inside and out so as to withstand the elements. The holes were then filled with fused glass panels created by local residents.

Read More >>

WRPA Awards Patrice Thorell Distinguished Service Award

At the April 2019 Washington Recreation and Parks Association conference in Vancouver Washington, the association honored retired Des Moines Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Director Patrice Thorell with their Distinguished Service Award.

Ms. Thorell was recognized by the state organization for her twenty-three years of innovation, expertise and leadership as the Parks, Recreation and Senior Services director for the City of Des Moines, Washington. Nominated by peer Cheryl Fraser, Ms. Fraser commended Ms. Thorell for "significant contributions to both the City of Des Moines and the Washington Recreation and Parks Association to which she has been an active member for her entire career in the field of parks and recreation."

Described as "a star in the parks and recreation profession," WRPA acknowledges Ms. Thorell as an inspired innovator, widely respected and full of boundless energy devoted to the Des Moines community. As the director of the Des Moines department she was the moving force behind the renovation of Des Moines Beach Park, the development of the Steven J. Underwood Memorial Park and achieved great success in securing financial resources for the purchase of the undeveloped Van Gaskin property. She is known and well respected for her creativity and extraordinary skills in special events planning as well. Ms. Thorell was instrumental in the "Play for All" multi generation program offered in Des Moines and the King County Health Department's "Healthy Des Moines" project, to name only a few of her many successes.

A Des Moines staff member that Ms. Thorell supervised for over twenty-two years stated that, "Patrice put her heart and soul into the parks and recreation profession and shared her passions with all those around her. Her legacy to Des Moines is huge, making the community a better place for parks, recreation, senior services and the arts."


Des Moines Legacy Foundation Awards Funds to Mobile Dental Van

Continuing into our third decade of helping to make Des Moines a better community through parks, recreation and senior services, the Des Moines Legacy Foundation is proud to announce they they are awarding $2,000 to the Grace Lutheran Church sponsored Medical Teams International Dental Van in 2019. The funds will help support dental needs for low income seniors in the Des Moines community.

Sandra Bollinger, a volunteer dental van coordinator states, "we are so pleased to have been receiving the support for the senior dental needs from the Des Moines Legacy Foundations since 2008. It really helps us to meet the vital dental needs of Des Moines seniors who cannot afford regular dental office fees."

Sue Padden, a Des Moines Legacy director and retired senior services manager for the City of Des Moines acknowledges that", while the I was manager at the Des Moines/Normandy Park Senior Center, many of our regular participants benefited from the Medical Teams International dental van for their dental needs. The process is easy and the van is scheduled at least twice a month, with a total of 16 van visits in 2018."

The mobile dental van parks at Grace Lutheran Church at the corner of 24th Avenue and Kent/Des Moines Road.

For more information on the Mobile Dental Van, which provides dental services for all ages in the community, based on income, please contact Sandra Bollinger, 206-817-3698. Dental Van applications are also available at the Des Moines/Normandy Park Senior Center.




Des Moines Community WOWS! at 19th Annual Bayside Brunch 2018!!

All the great super heroes were represented at Bayside Brunch 2018, Sunday, November 4th at Anthony's Homeport in Des Moines. With our theme, Super Heroes, Ninja Turtles, Batwoman, Superwoman, Superman, Mae West, The Joker.......we had them all and more in festive costumes to support this annual FUNdraiser for Des Moines low income youth and seniors! in 2.5 hours the generous and caring crowd of 121 guests and volunteers raised over $20,000 for senior services programs and $14,125 for recreation scholarships for low income youth. Our "community defenders of justice" took home great silent, live and raffle items, as well as restaurant gift certificates. Our BAM they are amazing!! goes as always to the staff at Anthony's Homeport, who volunteer their time for this event, and provide their executive chef brunch buffet and complimentary champagne.

See Full Details and Photos From Bayside Brunch




We Are LEGACY
For 19 years the Des Moines Legacy Foundation has provided a safety net that supports the vulnerable amongst us. We are the conduit that shows this community cares. Your generous donations:
  • Help our kids participate in supervised recreation programs before and after school and during school vacations;
  • Help our seniors prolong their mobility and remain in their homes longer before having to move into costly assisted living; and
  • Help fund cultural events such as the Beach Park Summer Concert Series, Shakespeare in the Park and Movies in the Park to enrich our lives.
We are an all-volunteer, 501c3 non-profit dedicated to helping our neighbors. You can be assured that your contribution to the Des Moines Legacy Foundation goes where you intend. (And it may be tax-deductible!)

Please join us this summer at our annual fundraising events to continue to help make Des Moines a great place to live:
  • Bids4Kids – On July 11: Our annual silent auction at Beach Park in conjunction with the opening of the seven-week Summer Concert Series and Destination Des Moines' Smoke On The Water community barbeque to finance the annual Fireworks Over Des Moines Fourth of July celebration;
  • Arts Gala on Poverty Bay – On Sept. 21: Our annual art show and auction at Beach Park to support cultural events and local artists; and
  • Bayside Brunch – On Nov. 4: Our annual silent and live auctions at Anthony's Homeport Restaurant to benefit senior services and youth recreation initiatives. This year's theme is Superheroes and is your chance to be a superhero for the less fortunate in our community.

For more information, visit our Contact Us Page and thank you for your generous support.


Des Moines Walking Fun - The Walking Sundays Are Back!
Join Gary McNeil, Des Moines Legacy Foundation director, for monthly Sunday walks starting in May. Dates are the 3rd third Sunday of the month. Walkers meet at the base of the Des Moines marina fishing pier. Walks vary in length and difficulty around the Des Moines community and will not exceed 4 miles. Walks are rain or shine. Dogs welcome.

See Full Details >>





Des Moines Legacy Foundation Launches a Citywide Playground Project Community Campaign
The Des Moines Citywide Playground Project approved by City Council in March of this year will provide the designs to repair and replace play structures at seven of Des Moines Parks and to create a new play area at Steven J. Underwood Memorial Park. This action is the first of many steps that will be taken within the next three years to restore City's aging park play areas.

Playground Challenges
The play equipment located at Cecil Powell Neighborhood Park was removed due to safety concerns in 2013 and the neighborhood has asked for the equipment to be replaced. The removal of play equipment at Kiddie Park, Westwood Park and Wooton Park is also eminent, likely within the next year or two. And, there is strong community support for play areas to be installed at Des Moines Beach Park where the play area was removed over a decade ago due to flooding and infrastructure repairs and at Steven J. Underwood Memorial Park where a play area has not been installed due to lack of funding. The City's challenge is the lack of funding resources to make the necessary improvements.




Projects Supported by Des Moines Legacy Foundation


Des Moines Garden Projects
Des Moines Garden Projects
Sonju Community Orchard and Garden, opened in 2010, is a gathering spot for gardeners, elementary school kids, and our whole neighborhood. The garden offers annual p-patch rentals and grows food for the Des Moines Area Food Bank. Stop by and enjoy our garden paradise patch!
Des Moines Art Commision
Des Moines Art Commision
The mission of the Des Moines Arts Commission is to provide leadership in establishing cultural opportunities to improve the quality of life, enhance the aesthetic environment and to promote Des Moines as a center for great arts.



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