Charitable Everett group changes name, widens reach

EVERETT — The Greater Everett Community Foundation has a new name that better suits is mission of helping donors support nonprofit groups countywide. At its fundraising breakfast Thursday, the organization announced it will now be known as the Community Foundation of Snohomish County.

Maddy Metzger-Utt, foundation president and CEO, said at the event that another change is coming. Thursday’s Possibilities Breakfast, held in a ballroom at Everett’s Xfinity Arena, was the last such annual fundraiser. Beginning in 2016, the foundation will host smaller gatherings around the county. The goals are to spread the word about the foundation’s work and learn of needs in communities all over the county.

The small gatherings will start May 11 in Snohomish, followed by an event in Arlington next July.

“It’s not just Everett, it’s countywide,” said Patsy Cudaback, a YMCA of Snohomish County senior vice president who heads the Monroe Y. “It sends the right message,” she said of the name change.

Cudaback said a foundation grant was used this summer to prepare 40 children for kindergarten at two Monroe schools. Most had never attended preschool, she said. That’s just one example of hundreds of grants the foundation provides.

The organization also has a new website,, which on Thursday showed this message: “New name, same mission!”

Metzger-Utt said that in 2014 alone, the foundation helped donors make 260 grants — more than $1 million in all — to nonprofits countywide.

Thursday’s program opened with Patty DeGroodt, chairwoman of the foundation’s board, sharing the history of organization, which is deeply rooted in Everett.

Beginning in 1993 as the Everett Parks Foundation, the group worked with the city, clubs and businesses to build new playgrounds at three local parks. In 2001, the group’s board decided to become a full-fledged community foundation.

The Greater Everett Community Foundation’s eight founding families — the Newlands, Phil Johnson, John and Idamae Schack, the Bargreens, the Nysethers, the Tisdels, the Thorsens and the Metzgers — made contributions in 2001 to establish a $2 million operating endowment, which has grown to almost $2.3 million.

With $15 million in assets, the foundation now holds more than 100 charitable funds. They provide grants to all kinds of nonprofits, including homeless shelters, parks, libraries and arts groups. “The vast majority of our funds are permanently endowed, so as our assets grow we should be giving out more and more grants each year,” Metzger-Utt said.

She said there are Trust for Tomorrow donors whose gifts will be made after their deaths. About 40 people have pledged to eventually leave more than $42 million to charitable causes through the foundation, she said.

Breakfast guests were asked to consider making Foundation Supporter-level donations — annual gifts of $500 to $2,500 per year over three years. Metzger-Utt said about $42,000 was raised at the 2014 breakfast. Those donations support the foundation’s nonprofit services, she said. The donor form also asked guests if they would like to be involved, and whether they would attend or host a community gathering.

Metzger-Utt said the foundation recently completed a strategic plan, based on results of surveys from a previous breakfast and interviews with representatives of nonprofits and communities. Along with the name change, the plan envisions more collaboration and partnerships, and possible work on economic development issues.

Training for people involved in nonprofits is already a big focus. Working with United Way of Snohomish County, the foundation offers “Boards on Fire” training programs to help members of nonprofit boards. A Leader Link service matches people interested in service with nonprofits seeking board members.

The breakfast was preceded by a nonprofit showcase, where people from nonprofits talked about their work.

Barbara Kindness, a board member with the Edmonds Driftwood Players community theater, said the foundation supports a “Take a Kid to the Theater” program. “Kids from shelters get to go to live performances,” she said.

Asked about the name change, Dr. Jimmy Grierson said it makes sense. “They do reach out countywide,” said Grierson, a family practice doctor, volunteer and board member with the Safe Harbor Free Clinic in Stanwood.

Crisann Brooks, director of family support with Lutheran Community Services Northwest, said grants from the foundation enhance programs at its Family Support Centers, from Lynnwood and Everett to Lake Stevens, Arlington and Granite Falls.

“I like the name change,” Brooks said. “They support the entire community.”

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460;

Talk to us

More in Local News

The Coupeville-Port Townsend ferry route will only have one vessel until late June, Washington State Ferries announced after an engine fire on one vessel and ongoing crew shortages. (Emily Gilbert / Whidbey News-Times)
Coupeville ferry route down to one boat through June 27

Another delay in two-boat service means Coupeville ferry riders should expect long waits until June.

Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Arlington and local Cub Scouts planted trees at Stormwater Wetland Park on May 1. (City of Arlington)
Scouts, Rotarians collaborate to restore an Arlinton park

Rotary and Cub Scouts plant trees in Arlington Stormwater Wetland Park has… Continue reading

Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1386 on Monday. Here, he talks in Tukwila before last week's signing of the new capital gains tax bill. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, file)
Inslee signs bill extending tax break used by area cities

It’s helped Arlington and Marysville attract new businesses to Cascade Industrial Center.

Matt Reed (left) with his mother-in-law, Karen Alvin, remembers the day Meredith Reed died leaving behind baby Dylan, born two months premature. Meredith died of an embolism in her lungs just after Dylan was delivered by C-section April 15.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
A tragic loss, a fragile new life, a mother never forgotten

Meredith Reed died of a blood clot in her lung the day her son Dylan was born three months early.

From the third floor crow's nest of its new building in the port's South Marina, Everett Yacht Club Commodore John Seger points out what will be the club's dock on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Everett Yacht Club, at 114, gets a new home in South Marina

Once a fancy destination, the old building will be demolished — amid many changes to the city’s waterfront.

Pedestrian hit, killed by train in Marysville

Roads were closed as police investigated the scene on 88th Street NE and State Avenue.

Everett man sentenced for crashing into police car head-on

Thomas Susnios, 27, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault. He was sentenced to 8½ years in prison.

Jeffrey Phebus is sentenced to over 31 years in prison for the murder of his wife Rebecca Phebus, on Monday, May 10, 2021, at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
‘No words’: Arlington man sentenced for killing wife at work

Jeffery Phebus, 61, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 31⅔ years in prison Monday.

Detectives are seeking the public’s help to identify a suspect in a bank robbery that occurred on Monday, April 26, at the Wells Fargo Bank located in the 1200 block of 13th Street in Snohomish. (Snohomish County Sheriff's Office)
Police: Snohomish bank robbery suspect rented getaway car

Police tracked down a Sultan man with the help of a rented car with Montana license plates.

Most Read