Sauk-Suiattle tribal money helps groups

DARRINGTON — Extra money can be hard to come by in Darrington, especially for small civic organizations that struggle to make ends meet.

The Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe steps in at least twice a year to donate money to groups that need it.

On Friday, the tribal council donated five checks totaling $7,500 to the city of Darrington and four civic groups in town, Darrington Mayor Joyce Jones said.

The tribe is the single-biggest private donor to programs in the city, she said.

“We’re out here alone, and any help we can offer each other is more than welcome,” Jones said. “Their presence is very, very much appreciated here. They are nice neighbors.”

The tribe gave $1,500 to the city, $2,500 to the Darrington Early Music Guild, $2,500 to the Darrington Senior Center, $500 to Friends of the Darrington Library and $500 to the Darrington Co-op Preschool.

The city plans to use its donation to repair blacktop at Old School Park in the center of town, Jones said.

Although $500 may not sound like much, that amount is a windfall for the Darrington Co-op Preschool. The school usually stretches its $1,500 annual fundraising budget to cover the costs of classroom activities and the salary of its lone teacher, school treasurer Laura Helling said.

“It really is a big deal for us to get that money,” Helling said. “It’s basically a third of the fundraising we had set aside for the year.”

At the Darrington Library, the donation likely will be used to pay for new tables and chairs in the new multipurpose room, scheduled to be built in the summer, library branch manager Linda McPherson said.

The library may also use some of the money to buy tables and chairs for a space for teenagers inside the existing building, she said.

“We are really thrilled we received this grant from the Sauk-Suiattle,” McPherson said. “It helps; it really helps.”

Reporter Scott Pesznecker: 425-339-3436 or

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