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December 14, 2010; Gig Harbor, WA – The PenMet Foundation is pleased to announce the next step in their evolution of serving the greater Gig Harbor Community. From January 1st, 2011 the Foundation’s official name will be The Greater Gig Harbor Foundation.

“The name change was a unanimous decision made by the Foundation’s Board of Directors earlier this year, and the start of the New Year seemed the appropriate time to begin working under our new banner,” says Foundation President Julie Ann Gustanski. “This is an important first step in our evolution toward a more diversified community foundation that will serve as an ‘umbrella’ in helping meet a variety of community needs tethered to the original Foundation’s mission.”

Larry Bleich, the Foundation’s Executive Director adds, “The early objectives of the Foundation centered on enhancing the general health and well-being of the Greater Gig Harbor Peninsula community by helping to ensure access to a wide range of recreational, educational and cultural activities in parks across the community. We fully intend to maintain an emphasis on parks and land-based community projects, however, there exists many more opportunities in the community to fulfill our mission by working with a broad complex of government entities, other non-profits, our schools and the general community”.

“We believe that this name change will enable us to both diversify our partnerships and better serve the whole community by working toward common goals centered on fundamental quality of life tenets that will bring people and neighborhoods together,” said Gustanski. “The model we are carving is unique in that it sits squarely between that of a community foundation, a park foundation and a land conservancy. In many respects this is the same framework we have been operating under, but the decision to expand the Foundation’s base to be more inclusive in helping meet our community’s needs will open doors for education, cultural arts, social needs, conservation, and more.

Adds Bleich, “Our new tagline of ‘building, bridging, and enriching’ truly encompasses the scope of our expanded mission”.

“The name change to Greater Gig Harbor Foundation is officially in place and will be integrated into the community”, adds Bleich. “We intend to announce this, and some other exciting news, ‘officially’ at The Green Gig, our upcoming fund and friend raiser on January 31, 2011. The “Gig” event will be held at the Green House Restaurant in uptown Gig Harbor. Invitations will go out in early January, and more information will be available on our website in coming days”.

“These are exciting times for our Foundation”, states Gustanski “and our name change is just the beginning. Building, bridging, and enriching…isn’t that what we all want?”

For more information call Larry Bleich at (253) 514-6338 or Julie Ann Gustanski at (253) 265-2054.


About the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation

The Greater Gig Harbor Foundation was originally established as the PenMet Foundation in 2006 to enhance the general health and well being of the Gig Harbor Peninsula community by helping to ensure that all people have access to a range of park-based recreational, educational and cultural activities. The Foundation works to provide much needed private sector resources that extend beyond the limits of available public funding to help build a first-class park system in the Gig Harbor Peninsula.

The Greater Gig Harbor Foundation is a charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Foundation is governed by an independent Board of Directors and is supported through a variety of individual, private foundation and corporate contributions. It is wholly independent from the Peninsula Metropolitan Park District, the local park government agency.