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- Category: Press Releases
- Published on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 10:48
- Hits: 29
In 2006, nearly 3,000 volunteers came together for the building process involved in the Fort Steilacoom Park playground project, and the mantra from start to finish was, “If we build it, they will come." No one had any idea how true this statement would be until the project was completed, and the playground became a central gathering point for families throughout the region.
Now, eight years later, volunteers and project coordinators will gather again for a weeklong work party to complete restoration projects to the playground equipment. The FSP playground and two shelters will be closed while the projects are completed from Friday, April 18 through Sunday, April 27, 2014.
Please note these closure dates on your calendar so your family is not disappointed during a park visit while construction and restoration are active. If you have questions, please call the City’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department at (253) 983-7887.
- Category: Press Releases
- Published on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 08:25
- Hits: 45
The USGA’s transportation plan for any U.S. Open event is extensive and meticulous.
On Monday night, the Lakewood City Council voted to allow Fort Steilacoom Park to play a small part in that plan when the 2015 U.S. Open comes to Chambers Bay Golf Course.
The Lakewood City Council voted to approve a $40,000 agreement that will allow the USGA to use a portion of Fort Steilacoom Park for off-site parking during the week of June 15-21, 2015.
Mary Dodsworth, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director for the City, said the USGA can now determine exactly how Fort Steilacoom Park – one of many regional parking sites during the tournament - will be used to shuttle people to the University Place course.
The USGA has been looking throughout the region for parking locations. Along with studying routes and methods of transportation (bus, boat, train and car) to get visitors to the event, it is studying how to distribute parking locations for the estimated 245,000 people who will attend (plus 4,500 volunteers and 2,000 media contacts).
The City met several times with members of the USGA logistics team to assess Fort Steilacoom Park, as well as to discuss ingress, egress, traffic patterns and other transportation and site impacts. The USGA is looking to park approximately 5,000 cars each day at this site. Large buses would take the event attendees from the park to the golf course.
Following Monday night’s vote, the USGA and the City will look at specific routes in and out of the park, citywide transportation impacts and how they can minimize the effect on regular park visitors and neighbors.
“This was just the first step,” Dodsworth said of the agreement. “The USGA has an excellent track record of planning for the U.S. Open, and we’ll do our best to reduce impacts to our park visitors.”
- Category: Press Releases
- Published on Friday, 21 February 2014 11:54
- Hits: 169
- WHAT: RallyPoint/6, a one-stop resource center for transitioning military members, veterans and military families pens first center in Washington
- WHERE: 9881 Bridgeport Way SW, Lakewood
- HOURS: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
- WEBSITE: rp6.org
- WHAT ELSE: The $1 million, 6,000-square-foot center offers computer stations, meeting rooms, classrooms, kid drop zone service and other amenities for military families.
LAKEWOOD, Wash. – Pierce County and the South Sound enjoy a special relationship with military services members and their families.
So it only makes sense that RallyPoint/6 chose Lakewood to open the state’s largest private, one-stop resource center.
The nonprofit organization – which supports transitioning service members, National Guard and Reservists, veterans and military families – is now operating in the heart of Lakewood, a city whose identity and culture is intertwined with Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Camp Murray, the American Lake Veterans Hospital and the region’s military.
With support from community volunteers, retired military service members and military family members, the new center is designed as a hub for veterans who seek crucial transitional connections for employment and careers, education, family programs, housing, veteran benefits and wellness resources.
RallyPoint/6’s chose the Lakewood location because of proximity to the military. That proximity will help RallyPoint/6 serve the growing volume of new veterans in the South Puget Sound.
Pierce County currently has one of the largest veteran concentrations in the U.S. at more than 90,000.
In 2013, more than 6,000 service members transitioned to civilian life through JBLM, and another 9,500 service members are expected to do the same in 2014, according to Anne Sprute, RallyPoint/6 Founder and CEO.
“We anticipate between 14,000 and 15,000 service members and their families will relocate here annually from duty stations worldwide through the year 2016,” said Sprute, a retired CW4 helicopter pilot. “These service members will require resources to make a smooth transition and reintegrate fully into their communities.”
“RallyPoint/6 is standing ready to provide opportunities for connections and a smooth path ahead,” she added.
The center boasts more than 6,000 square feet of space, and its amenities include:
- Resource room with 20 computer stations
- Commercial-grade copier/printer and fax machine
- 10 private meeting rooms
- 16 community collaborator partner stations
- Classroom for workshops and other learning opportunities.
The site also offers a child drop-off “Drop Zone” to accommodate service members and their families who need a break from kid duties while connecting to the vast array of resources in the local community.
For java drinkers – RallyPoint/6 is set to receive a commercial coffee machine from Starbucks and will be serving complimentary coffee from the Seattle coffeemaker along with treats from the robust volunteer core.
Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, a RallyPoint/6 Board Member, says the organization’s mission is ideal for such a military rich region.
“Given the number of service members transitioning into Pierce County over the next few years, RallyPoint/6 is a key resource for building veteran support networks among businesses and non-profits,” she said. “It gives efficient and effective assistance to veterans and their families joining our communities.”
The center is a product of community support, as well as a recognition that it must do everything we can to help veterans and their families. The initial funding came from the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation with a bold challenge grant that pledged $1 million in matching funds from the community. Through generous private and public donors and foundation grants, Sprute and a small team of citizen leaders and veterans raised the necessary $1 million in less than four months. In addition to community donations, the organization received in-kind support to establish RallyPoint/6’s physical location.
“The sacrifices that service members and their families make on a daily basis are remarkable,” Lakewood City Manager John Caulfield said. “A center like RallyPoint/6 shows how much our community is committed to helping and meeting the needs of our transitioning military. Anne is doing a wonderful thing for our military community, and the City of Lakewood will support the RP/6 mission any way it can. We welcome RP/6 with open arms.”
Lieutenant General (R) Bill Harrison, Co-Chairman of the RallyPoint/6 Board of Directors and former commander of I Corps and Fort Lewis, as well as Lakewood’s first mayor, said “These transitioning young veterans and their families have the potential to become the bedrock of our South Puget Sound communities in the future. Helping them succeed will produce our next generation of strong families, community volunteers, civic and business leaders. We ask you to join us at RallyPoint/6 in welcoming them home and helping them thrive.”
If you or someone you know is a veteran who’s making the transition out of the military, stop by RallyPoint/6 to connect to the center’s exhaustive network of resources.
There are different ways you can assist in this mission; volunteer with your time, talent or donate resources. Be part of ensuring our next greatest generation is embraced with opportunity to continue to serve in the community. As the Schultz Family Foundation stated, “While their service is ending, our responsibility is just beginning.”
RP/6 is located at 9881 Bridgeport Way SW, Lakewood. Operating hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, visit: rp6.org .
- Category: Press Releases
- Published on Friday, 21 February 2014 12:18
- Hits: 90
The Pierce County Regional Council recognized the collaboration between Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Lakewood and the surrounding communities for their success doing just that - collaborating.
The PCRC – a sub-regional council for the Puget Sound Regional Council - honored the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership with the first “Working Across Boundaries” Award on Thursday night at its General Assembly presentation in Puyallup.
Josh Brown, Executive Director of the Puget Sound Regional Council, presented the award to Dan Penrose, Program Manager for SSMCP, and JBLM Commander Col. H. Charles Hodges Jr., who accepted the award on behalf of the many partners in Pierce and Thurston counties.
The award recognized SSMCP’s success bringing together regional interests on issues such as traffic congestion on Interstate 5 and support for transitioning servicemembers. The group provides a common voice and single-point of contact for military-related activity that affect the region, and helps support entities carrying out recommendations of the JBLM Growth Coordination Plan.
“This recognition is a testament to the commitment from installation leadership and communities across the South Sound,” Penrose said. “We’ll continue improving this partnership to promote mutually beneficial investments and maximize opportunities for our military and region.”
Added Mayor Don Anderson added: "We're especially pleased to receive this award on behalf of Lakewood and the surrounding communities. Our relationship with JBLM is a very important one. It is that relationship that will help both our civilian and military populations move toward the future effectively."
- Category: Press Releases
- Published on Thursday, 06 February 2014 16:30
- Hits: 128
It’s official: the City of Lakewood now holds the lease for one of the biggest and most popular parks in the South Sound.
Last week, the City assumed control of the lease of Fort Steilacoom Park , a historic, 340-acre park located in the heart of Lakewood.
Fort Steilacoom Park is owned by the State of Washington. For years, it was leased to Pierce County and managed and maintained by the City of Lakewood via an interlocal agreement. Pierce County paid a portion of the annual operation costs under the prior agreement, which was set to expire the end of this year.
The state, Pierce County and the City had to approve the agreement. The Lakewood City Council voted to assume control of the lease in December, and the transfer between Pierce County and the City was finalized last week.
“This made sense given that the City maintains Fort Steilacoom Park and all of the different events and activities there throughout the year,” said Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director Mary Dodsworth.
Dodsworth added that users won’t notice a difference, especially when it comes to the quality of the park or the types of events it brings, including the Lakewood SummerFEST Triathlon and community festivals.
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