The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding’s inaugural gala on Saturday, June 20 raised $50,000 during an evening that offered food from local farmers, a live auction and the premiere of a video …
The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding’s inaugural gala on Saturday, June 20 raised $50,000 during an evening that offered food from local farmers, a live auction and the premiere of a video by Champion Video Productions, now accessible on the school’s website.
Chief instructor and boatbuilder Sean Koomen introduced the program video and made a special appeal by describing his passion for boatbuilding.
“I first came to the school as a student, then after graduating and working 10 years as a boatbuilder, I was contacted by the school to come back in the capacity as instructor and get paid to do what I love,” said Koomen. “I feel so fortunate that I have the opportunity to share my passion for wooden boats.”
The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding has been developing expert craftspeople for more than 34 years and has reached a record enrollment for a second year.
“Our five-year strategic plan calls for continued investments as we deliver more programs to a wider audience. The gala brought together friends old and new who together created a surge of goodwill to launch us into the year ahead,” said Betsy Davis, executive director.
“Support from event sponsors like First Federal, Carl’s Building Supply, Port Townsend Sails, Admiral Ship Supply and West System, along with generous donors, students, staff and attendees, resulted in the inaugural boat school gala being a stunning success,” said Davis. “We’re so appreciative of the community’s support and look forward to another fabulous event in 2016.”
Fundraising auctioneer Nelson Jay of Gavelo Auctions acted as event host and auctioneer, and a meal was prepared by volunteers Kristan McCary of the Ajax Café, along with boat school alums Alicia Dominguez and Bill Bonyun. The dinner featured donated food from local farmers and artisans, including Red Dog Farm, Dalla Notte Baking, Uptown Pub and SpringRain Farm and Orchard.
Located in Port Hadlock, the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding focuses on traditional small, large and contemporary wooden boats. The school is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and draws students from around the world.
The boat school honors the boatbuilding traditions of the Pacific Northwest and Puget Sound with boat shops located due south across the bay from Port Townsend. Programs, courses and workshops are offered throughout the year, and include traditional wooden boat subjects, such as lofting, oar making, painting and varnishing, boatbuilding, and carvel and lapstrake planking. Craftsmanship and woodworking are of the highest caliber within the maritime vocational trades. At the center of the program is the ability to earn an associate’s degree in one year, culminating with graduation in September.
Learn more at
nwboatschool.org or attend a free tour and open house the first Friday of every month at 3:30 p.m. on the school’s campus.