The Kinderhaven committee knew that their 2020 annual fundraising event— Festival of Trees—would be different, having the foresight back in June to begin making plans for an alternative event. “Even if the world returned to ‘normal’ by December, we assumed many people would not be ready to gather for a large indoor event,” shares Kathy Chambers, Kinderhaven Board Chair.
While the venue was vastly different, the outreach was incredible. Last month’s Tour of Trees took place virtually, online, which allowed this wonderful local organization to be able to engage the community in a way they had never done before.
There was no great epiphany that sparked it, no pressure to continue it and no particular reason why the Hughes family became enamored with hockey. Neither Michelle nor Vince, parents of 10 children, played it growing up.
They were athletes, sure, but living in Spokane and then Post Falls in the early 1990s, hockey wasn’t in their blood or much even in their neighborhood, with few hockey rinks to speak of in the area. But Vince took their oldest son, Rance, to a Spokane Chiefs game, and a love for the game was sparked.
Serving the Inland Northwest and North Idaho since 1884, the YMCA’s Coeur d’Alene branch closed many years ago, but the Y, as it is referred to by many, returned to North Idaho in December of 2018 with the opening of the Litehouse YMCA right here in Sandpoint!
Going back almost a decade, Y staff and Sandpoint community volunteers talked about and planned for a YMCA in the community, according to Mary, who is the director of communications and marketing for YMCA of the Inland Northwest. One of the realities facing the group was the possibility of an enormous capital campaign to build a Y from scratch. So when the Y had the opportunity to purchase the former SWAC from the Helanders, it offered a less expensive option while still being able to offer facilities and programs to the community.