Freeland Friends need an angel -- fast

"If an angel is circling Freeland, it had better land fast.Friends of Freeland has been raising money to purchase 18 rural acres to preserve in the fast-growing commercial zone, but it's unlikely they will meet their financial goal by June 15.Herb Hunt, a founder of Friends, said Thursday the group is short of raising the purchase price of around $615,000. Emphasizing that all figures were estimates, he said about $80,000 in cash has been raised through donations. Other people had pledged loans to help with the purchase.At one time Friends of Freeland had about $450,000 committed to the land purchase effort, Hunt said. But since then some people withdrew their commitment -- it has a lot to do with the economy, their portfolios aren't as full of green as they thought.Friends of Freeland had hoped to purchase the 18 acres and turn it into a nature preserve and study area. Plans were to obtain grants to help with the purchase, but grants take time, Hunt said, and We don't have time to get the grants.If the goal isn't achieved, Hunt said, the money will be returned to the donors who want it back. Or, it could be used for some other purpose. There are a lot of things in Freeland that need to be done, he said.At this late date before the June 15 purchase deadline, Friends members are hoping for a financial miracle. We're clinging to the hope for an angel, Hunt said. Any angel with money can call 360-321-4860. "

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