South End family offers hospital $50,000 in matching funds

In keeping with their father’s vision, the Waterman sisters have offered $50,000 in matching funds to the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation.

In keeping with their father’s vision, the Waterman sisters have offered $50,000 in matching funds to the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation.

The Waterman Medical Foundation has provided more than $800,000 in donations to the hospital since its establishment in 1980. Bud Waterman, the organization’s founder, died in 1981.

“He’s always had a very generous spirit,” his daughter Debra Waterman said. “Even though he’s been gone for 35 years, his legacy still affects the community.”

While the Waterman foundation has traditionally disbursed around $20,000 twice a year to the hospital, they decided to up the anti for the fall contribution to give the hospital an opportunity to raise both money and awareness.

“They’re using it as a challenge grant,” Waterman said. “It gives them something to go out and talk about and provide exposure to their foundation. We’re hoping it will provide more attention for the hospital.”

An established Whidbey family, the Watermans opened the Waterman Mill Co., Inc. in 1950 on South Whidbey. The mill successfully operated in Langley under the Waterman name for 40 years.

“If you live in a community, you have to support it to the extent that you can,” Bud Waterman was quoted as saying in a foundation news release.

Since the announcement of the matching challenge last week, the hospital’s foundation had already gathered $6,500 in individual donations by press time, according to Whidbey General Hospital Foundation Executive Director Helen Taylor.

“Individual donations make all the difference for great healthcare on Whidbey Island,” Taylor said.

“Quality healthcare close to home is a vital resource for our community. We need to support and build our community hospital.”

All contributions to the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation are turned around directly to enhance health care on the island, according to a foundation news release. Bud and Margaret Waterman’s daughters Debra Waterman and Linda Weiss are continuing their parents’ tradition of support by making it possible to double the impact of each donation up to $50,000.

Donations can be made as a onetime gift or as a monthly pledge. The total amount will be matched by the Waterman Medical Foundation in support of Whidbey General Hospital.

“The family still supports having a local hospital and we value it highly in our community,” Waterman said. “We’re excited about this challenge.”

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