#GivingTuesday Raises Emergency Support for Students


The Clover Park Technical College Foundation received a boost to its emergency assistance programs for the 2016 holiday season, surpassing its fundraising goal of $2,500 as part of the worldwide #GivingTuesday event earlier this week.

15289285_1297641836953489_8292969342752265608_oThis is the first year CPTC has participated in #GivingTuesday, which began in 2012 and celebrated its fifth year on Nov. 29. According to the website www.givingtuesday.org, “#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.”

For CPTC Foundation executive director Lyman Gifford, the event provided a perfect opportunity to promote student success and raise funds for the Foundation’s emergency assistance programs.

“We do a lot to help students through emergency assistance, so we’re trying to make sure we have sufficient funds to help in that category and program,” Gifford said. “In 2016, we have helped more than 200 students, and that help comes in the forms of funds like Holiday House and the Emerging Butterflies Fund that helps with basic needs for families like diapers and socks.”Gifford and the Foundation staff set an ambitious goal of $2,500, and promoted the event online and around campus. The online giving form also included a menu where contributors could select where they wanted their donation to go. Options included winter heat, food for one week, socks and boots for children, holiday gifts for children, or other (with a note to specify). This helped ensure contributors knew exactly what kind of a meaningful difference their donation will make in the lives of CPTC students and their families this holiday season.

“More than 60 percent of students who receive assistance have either graduated or are still attending school, so it’s a pretty significant positive impact helping students be able to stay in school and complete their education,” Gifford said. “What colleges across the country have found is that little bit of help during an emergency makes a big difference. For us, our two biggest areas where we help students are in housing and utilities costs. So our whole end-of-year giving emphasis right now is on emergency assistance. That’s everything we’re focusing on.”

CPTC student and Foundation intern Chanel Cruz took a significant leadership role in the event planning and implementation.

“She was awesome,” Gifford said. “This was her project for this quarter, and it went really well.”In terms of numbers, more than $2,000 came in by the end of the day Tuesday. And even more has come in since. As of Friday morning, 52 different donors have contributed $2,501. The Foundation staff established the goal knowing it would be a reach; needless to say, they are thrilled with the result.

“We talked to a lot of people, and the online portal was busy all day,” Gifford said. “People were engaged and excited, and we got a lot of first-time donors. We wanted a goal that stretched us a little bit but also was reasonable, and we felt like $2,500 was exactly that.”

With each dollar set to support student needs this holiday season, the Foundation hopes people will continue to contribute. The donation form will be available online through the end of the year.

“While #GivingTuesday is one day, it’s really launching our end-of-year giving,” Gifford said. “It’s not just about what came in that day, but what comes in for our year-end giving to provide emergency assistance to students.”

To donate to the CPTC Foundation’s emergency assistance funds as part of the #GivingTuesday event, click here.

Thanksgiving Dinner is Over. Now What Should We Do?


When you need a break from football and shopping this Thanksgiving weekend and beyond, you have lots of choices for fun activities and quality family time in Tacoma + Pierce County.

Here are some suggestions for local holiday fun when the dinner leftovers are put away. Grab gloves and a coat—some of these activities are perfect for #OptOutside on Black Friday.

Drive through Spanaway Park to enjoy the dazzling displays of the annual Fantasy Lights.

Drive through Spanaway Park to enjoy the dazzling displays of the annual Fantasy Lights.

  1. Put a twinkle in your eye at the holiday light displays. You can drive the 2.5-mile Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park, Nov. 24 to Jan. 1 from 5:30-9 p.m. Or, walk through the animal-themed displays at Zoolights inside Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Zoolights is open Nov. 25 to Jan. 1 from 5-9 p.m.
  2. Glide through the afternoon at the CHI Franciscan Polar Plaza outdoor ice skating rink in downtown Tacoma. Rent skates on-site and don’t let bad weather stop you—the rink is covered and partially surrounded by a tent. Open through Jan. 1.
  3. Enjoy Sumner’s small-town heritage with self-guided tours through its historical landmarks and artwork. The historic Meeker Mansion in Puyallup is decked out for the holidays and offers self-guided and guided tours (groups of eight or more).
  4. Walk where pro golfers played last year’s U.S. Open at Chambers Bay Golf Course. The more than 3 miles of paved trail at Chambers Creek Regional Park includes small hills and beautiful views of the Puget Sound.
  5. Ogle at muscle cars, NASCAR legends and all sorts of work-related vehicles at LeMay-America’s Car Museum. See more landmark vehicles and car memorabilia from Harold LeMay’s collection at Marymount in Spanaway.
  6. Escape gray skies with an overload of color. Hundreds of poinsettias and other winter blooms fill the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory from Dec. 2 to Jan. 8. Or enjoy a free art walk with the brightly colored pieces that make up the Chihuly Bridge of Glass.
  7. Paint small rocks and hide them around town as part of the Tacoma Rocks! movement. Or keep your eyes open on a walk around town and you might discover cheerful rocks someone left for you to find!

Giving Tuesday

I had to look this up ….. from Wikipedia

Giving Tuesday, often stylized as #GivingTuesday for purposes of hook activism, refers to the Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving in the United States. It is a movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season (Black Friday and Cyber Monday).[1][2]

Well – there you go.  What a great opportunity to support local youth organizations.

NEW kids show at the Science Dome

Have you ever wondered… What is water made of? Why do we get rain? How are snowflakes formed and why is each one unique? Dive on in and explore the fascinating world of water!

Saturdays this November and December (excluding 11/26 and 12/24) at 12:30 and 2 pm. $6 per child. Adults free!

All ages shows this week:
Undiscovered Worlds, 7 pm Friday November 4th
Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity, 3:15 pm Saturday November 5th
All ages shows consist of a half hour live astronomy presentation followed by a fulldome video. Approximately 1 hour total. $6.

Plan Ahead!
Review our online schedule!
CWU Family Science Night, Friday December 2nd 5:30 – 7 pm.