Meet Our 2018 Outstanding Philanthropists!

Bainbridge Community Foundation honored its 2018 Outstanding Philanthropists at Inspiring People, BCF’s annual philanthropy celebration, on September 14 at IslandWood.

This year’s honorees are Steve and Karen Hall, Outstanding Bainbridge Philanthropists; Windermere Bainbridge, Outstanding Philanthropic Company; and Youth Volunteers of the Rotary Auction, Outstanding Young Philanthropists.

“The Bainbridge community is powered by good works and service to others,” said Jim Hopper, BCF Executive Director. “Our Outstanding Philanthropists represent the very best in public spirit and generosity, giving freely of their own resources and time for the greater good.”

2018 Outstanding Bainbridge Philanthropists: Karen & Steven Hall (VIDEO)
Karen and Steve Hall are quiet leaders in supporting issues they care about, unique in their commitment, and a model for others. Passionate about local schools, the Halls are dedicated to seeing the Bainbridge community provide the best possible education for every child. The Halls first connected to service and philanthropy through the schools while their kids attended Blakely Elementary. Many hours of volunteer service later, Steve Hall joined the board of the Bainbridge Schools Foundation; when his tenure was up, Karen joined the board in his place. While at Bainbridge Schools Foundation, they were known to very effectively bring new people to the donor table and encourage giving. The Halls now want to focus their public service on removing pitfalls for kids who must overcome anxiety and depression or get caught up in drug and alcohol use, to help them feel supported in every aspect of their lives and able to take advantage of all that education offers.

2018 Outstanding Philanthropic Company: Windermere Bainbridge (VIDEO)
Windermere Bainbridge doesn’t just sell homes, they build community. The firm is dedicated to serving Bainbridge Island through the volunteerism and personal philanthropy of their leadership and agents, and how they introduce new families and businesses to the island. The office culture is deeply rooted in service, from its founding by John Jacobi, through the stewardship of owners Ed Kushner and Jim Laws, into the present ownership of Carter and Tori Dotson. The office has always attracted agents with high levels of community engagement. Windermere Bainbridge brokers speak emotionally about how much they value the firm’s support in their volunteer efforts. The issues of housing and land use are especially meaningful because the brokers feel they can play a key role in the quality of the community they are building. Windermere Bainbridge is cited for its philanthropy and community engagement by many other organizations, including Housing Resources Bainbridge and Bainbridge Island Land Trust.

2018 Outstanding Young Philanthropists: Youth Volunteers of the Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction & Rummage Sale (VIDEO)
Island youths are integral to the success of the Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction & Rummage Sale, and many kids go above and beyond to make the event successful. They are an innovative and energetic force that brings new ideas and fresh perspective. Some youths volunteer year after year with generations of family members participating, and take away life skills from their service. Many find a department to work in within the first few days of the auction and stay there throughout the auction week. Others work at the curb, tirelessly transporting donations to departments, while still others float from department to department depending on which one needs help the most. Some, like Cruz Strom (pictured above left) and Rowan Drury, even manage whole departments at the sale. This year, nearly 300 youth volunteers helped Rotary raise over $620,000 through the sale, a record.

Read about past years’ awardees here.