Letters to the Editor

The Garden Tour supports VAA and others | Letter to the Editor

The Vashon Allied Arts Garden Tour was started 22 years ago as a “fun fundraiser” by Penny Grist, gallery curator at that time, and whose vast talent and generosity continue to support VAA. What she did with the help of a few people is now done with hundreds of behind-the-scenes volunteers. The Garden Tour and Art Auction are the two major fundraisers that augment our other funding so that VAA can continue to provide arts programs for everyone, as it has for nearly 50 years.

The Garden Tour is a collaborative event that attracts approximately 1,200 participants from on- and off-Island over two days, who eagerly look forward to the vast range of gardens and being inspired by enthusiastic speakers and seminar leaders. As co-chairs, we are humbled and awestruck by the garden hosts whose creativity and passion are so willingly shared with all of us, along with artists who graciously place their artwork in the gardens. The relationships that are formed are part of the strength of our community.

Last year’s tour returned $12,000 in commissions to Island artists for the sale of their work at the Garden Market and in the gardens. Net proceeds from the tour support VAA’s operating expenses. Other VAA events have supported other organizations, including the food bank, which recently received donations of food and money from attendees at a performance of the Vashon Musical Youth Theatre production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Vashon Allied Arts provides so many amazing programs for our community, from great dramatic and musical productions to the Vashon Island Artists in Schools program, which is why volunteers are more than willing to give countless hours in support of this remarkable organization. Knowing that VAA will continue to offer quality programs for all of us on the Island, along with the other fine organizations with whom they partner, will keep both of us volunteering for years to come.


— Karen Person and Chanda Carlson, co-chairs 2012 Vashon Island Garden Tour


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