EVERETT — Tens of thousands of Boeing workers contribute to the Boeing Employees Community Fund, a charitable pool that’s fully funded and managed by employees.
Some of those workers, including the fund’s top contributors, got a round of in-person thank yous and smiles this week for their generosity.
Nearly 100 Boeing employees and community leaders celebrated the local community fund and announced a $500,000 donation to the YMCA of Snohomish County.
The celebration, which included a pink and purple 787 Dreamliner, took place Thursday at the Boeing Future of Flight Aviation Center in Mukilteo.
The half-million dollar grant funds the construction and furnishings for the Children’s Adventure Zone and Big Brothers Big Sisters area at the new YMCA facility at 4730 Colby Ave. in Everett.
The new Y includes two indoor pools, an indoor track, a full-size gym and space for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Snohomish County.
It replaces the old six-story walk-up at 2720 Rockefeller Ave. in Everett which has six flights of stairs and no elevator.
Jennifer Willows, senior vice president and chief development officer at YMCA of Snohomish County, thanked Boeing workers for their gift.
It was generous. It was thoughtful, said Willows, and it also spurred others to pitch in: “When Boeing gets behind a project, it really resonates,” Willows said. “It really lifted the project and others got behind it.”
“A new Y has been a dream for 25 years,” she said. “It will be beautiful.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new building is planned for Nov. 23.
To celebrate nearly seven decades of employee fund contributions, Boeing decorated a 787 Dreamliner with a pink and purple decal that covered the entire airplane.
Hearts, helping hands and dollar signs — the signs and symbols of giving — decorated the wide-body, twin-engine jetliner, on display and parked next to the Future of Flight.
Company spokeswoman Brianna Jackson said the full-body 787 decal is a first.
Decals, which are as durable as paint, are available on the company’s more conventional aluminum aircraft.
The new 787 decal is designed to adhere to the Dreamliner platform, nearly half of which is made of composite materials.
“You apply it like wallpaper and then it gets a clear coat,” Jackson said.
The national chapter of the Boeing Employees Community Fund was founded in 1948; two years later the Puget Sound chapter launched.
“There are 20 chapters. The largest is the Puget Sound chapter,” Bill McSherry, vice president of government operations for the Boeing Co., told event participants.
Last year, the Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound donated $6 million to organizations around the state, including $500,000 to the YMCA of Snohomish County, McSherry said.
Since its 1951 inception, it has donated $630 million to groups in Washington.
When Patty Meissner, senior financial analyst, joined Boeing a few years ago, she signed up to contribute. “It’s easy. It’s a payroll deduction. So you donate every time you get a paycheck.”
Boeing pays the fund’s administration costs, but every employee dollar goes into the fund, said Meissner, now president of the fund’s board, an eight-member panel that recommends how it’s divvied up.
Almost half of Boeing’s global workforce is located in Washington. In January, the aerospace giant reported that it employed 69,813 employees in Washington. It employs 153,000 people across the United States and more than 60 countries.
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