Local COVID-19 Vaccination Effort Receives BCF’s Humanitarian Award
“I never want anyone to forget how lucky we are to be in this community with partnerships like this. We would not have vaccinated to this degree without all of these key players,” remarked Anne LeSage, Emergency Management Coordinator at the City of Bainbridge Island (COBI), during a meeting with BCF.
From December 23rd, 2020 to June 5th, 2021, over 25,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered due to the coordinated Bainbridge Island effort. Over 600 volunteers dedicated more than 25,000 hours, including home visits and a mobile clinic that provided vaccinations to more vulnerable populations in Kitsap and Jefferson counties. As a result, more than 82% of Bainbridge Island residents ages 12 and up have initiated their COVID-19 vaccine, which is the highest rate in all of Kitsap County.
This immense effort didn’t happen overnight. When Mark Tan, owner of Bainbridge Community Pharmacy, received an email that he would be sent 300 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine just days before Christmas, he knew the pharmacy wasn’t big enough to be a stand-alone clinic. Mark and Loren Bast, Executive Director of Bainbridge Prepares, quickly teamed up to find a venue for the clinic along with trained volunteers who could administer the shots—and the vaccination clinics grew from there. Over the course of days, weeks, and months, a network of local nonprofits, agencies, and companies united forces to create one of the most efficient and impactful volunteer vaccination efforts in the region.
Bainbridge Community Foundation wanted to recognize the incredible work it took to make this happen, and honored the partners with BCF’s Humanitarian Award at its Philanthropy Celebration on November 4th. BCF also created a short film about this incredible effort, which is now available to watch above or here on BCF's YouTube page.
As Anne described, “My entire career has been focused on collaboration, and this was by far the best example of collaboration and coalition-building I have ever seen. I have never seen the depth and breadth of what we have here in our community.” BCF is grateful to these leaders and hundreds of volunteers for their incredible efforts to keep our community safe.