South Whidbey chambers of commerce, nonprofits to receive grants from port

Commissioners for the Port of South Whidbey will give out $15,150 in grants to local nonprofits to promote tourism and economic development.

Port commissioners unanimously approved the grants at their meeting Tuesday.

“These are very effective organizations with records of success bringing visitors to our island and helping to educate them about things like sustainable agriculture and marine ecosystems," said Port Commissioner Chris Jerome. "The Whidbey Island Farm Tour and Choochokam, for example, bring thousands for people to the island and provide a significant boost our local economy each year.”

The Langley Chamber of Commerce will get the largest grant, a total of $5,000 for the Langley Loop sign project. A series of informational signs will be placed along Highway 525 and two roads leading into town, and a "Historic Downtown Langley" sign will be placed on the highway just south of Surface Road in Clinton.

The chamber did not get the full amount it sought for the sign project, and port commissioners trimmed back the original $7,100 request. The grant was one of three that did not get the full amount requested.

The Langley Chamber also received a grant for $2,000 to spend on off-island advertising and promotion for Choochokam.

In other grants, the port agreed to give $2,500 to the Main Street program in Langley. Organizers of the revitalization effort had hoped to get $3,000.

The Clinton Chamber of Commerce will get $2,000 for economic and community development planning. The chamber had requested $2,500.

The Clinton Progressive Association will receive $800 for advertising and promotion materials for its annual Mayfest event.

The Whidbey Island Writers' Conference will get $500 for the conference program and promotion materials.

The Whidbey Island Farm Tour was awarded $1,000 for off-island advertising and promotional materials.

Celebrate America will receive $850 for the Independence Day celebration at Freeland Park.

“The collective energy in this community is amazing. These organizations are all working very hard to responsibly develop and support South Whidbey," said Port Commissioner Curt Gordon. "All these activities are right in line with the port’s mission and I’m glad we can support them.”

Port commissioners had previously awarded $500 to the Washington State University Extension in support of the “Sound Waters” conference held at South Whidbey High School on Feb. 5.


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