Records were broken last week at the Lacey Community Center on February 27, 2020 for the 12th Annual Warm Hearts Fundraiser benefiting Child Care Action Council. 204 community members and supporters came together to show their support for children, families and early learning, making it the biggest day in Warm Hearts history! Supporters from all kinds of industries, such as healthcare, banking, law enforcement, accounting, nonprofits, (and yes, child care workers too!) ate soup, watched video of our early learning programs, and heard about the importance of affordable child care and early learning programs from several distinguished speakers.
The event raised more than $24,000 to support our Family Services Program, including BLOCK Fest, Kaleidoscope Play & Learn, Parents as Teachers, Raising A Reader, Margie’s Crisis Nursery, and Safe Kids of Thurston County. Each program provides early learning support and services for families and impacts the lives of thousands of young children each year.
“Thanks to the community’s support, we are able to bring joy to a child who receives new books through our Raising A Reader program, or relief to a mother who knows their child will be safely cared for in a time of emergency through Margie’s Crisis Nursery,” said Gary Burris, Executive Director at Child Care Action Council. “Children and their families benefit from our wide range of early learning services and activities, which can only be continued through the strong support of our community.”
Warm Hearts title sponsor WSECU is one of those pivotal supporters, recognizing the long-term benefits of investing in early learning. “WSECU is proud to be a continued sponsor of the Child Care Action Council’s critical work. All of us benefit from living in a community that supports families through effective early childhood education and parenting programs.”
WSECU further stepped up, sponsoring event tables for child care providers to acknowledge the many teachers in the community that ensure children are cared for in a safe and nurturing environment, and that they are prepared for kindergarten and beyond. We appreciate the million things providers do each day to give our kids the best chance to excel in a safe learning environment while parents are working!
The Warm Hearts fundraiser also received financial sponsorship from many other local businesses and organizations, many of which are returning supporters, and some of which have been with us since the beginning. These supporters included Program Sponsors Neil Woody McSwain & Company (5-year sponsor), Olympia Federal Savings (10-year sponsor), Molina Healthcare (7-year sponsor), Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel (2-year sponsor).
The list went on as the business community rallied to support kids in our community. Community Sponsors BECU, Bron’s Automotive, Heritage Bank, HomeStreet Bank, The Other Guys Inc., Tammy’s Ceramic Shop, and ThurstonTalk stepped-up for kids, and made our record-breaking day possible.
A special thanks to our table captains for helping bring so many wonderful people to the event! Our table captains included: Lindsey Bamba, Lori Bame, Burcu Bryan, Gary Burris, Annie Cubberly, Larry Geri, Steve Hyer, Melanie Kincaid, Paul Knox, Pearlita Price, Beth Schilling, Todd Shobert, Jon Tunheim, Fran Williams, and Neil & Judith Woody.
Warm Hearts guests went home with a belly full of soup and the knowledge that their vital dollars were going to vital community programs. If that weren’t enough, everyone went with unique ceramic bowls, hand painted by pre-schoolers at our early learning centers; mementos that many guests have collected throughout the years, and a heartwarming way to remember who we’re helping, the kids. And at the end of the day, that’s what Warm Hearts is all about.