Message in a Bottle October – November 2019

Now that the Boat Shop is back in full swing for the Fall, it’s only fitting to present you with TBB’s progress report.  This month’s issue is filled with highlights you wouldn’t want to miss!

In this edition, we want to send out some hearty thank you messages to the many people and organizations that sustain the Tacoma Boat Builders mission and activities year-round. 

TBB partners in the community! From the beginning TBB has worked with the Pierce County Juvenile Court to offer restorative alternatives to detention and further entanglement in the justice system for the youth of Pierce County. In just five years we have grown that partnership to include a wide array of referral streams to further PCJC’s efforts to empower youth, strengthen families, and invest in communities.

What’s important for you to know is that this is not merely a contract – it is a boots-on-the-ground style collaboration where staff of both TBB and PCJC work closely to be of use and benefit to the youth who come to TBB. We want to give a special shout out to two of the many women and men who strive to fulfill the goals of youth empowerment: JT Harpel and Tim Westman are here at the shop every week bringing the best they have to offer to the youth and the mentors. Together we are stronger and can do more thanks to them.

Did you know: We also work with the Tacoma Rescue Mission, Safet Streets, as well as Sound Experience and the Schooner Adventuress? Well, now you know! When we pull together, we make way as a team and all benefit from the effort. In the months to come TBB will share more about these collaborations with you. 

JT Harpel, Probation Officer, supported TBB youth during a heartwarming performance with Christian and Keion. Please note! That beautiful ukulele was built by Christian and Mentor Peter Hales. A treasure built by a youth who has a legacy of music to uphold with his family. Thanks guys!
Tim Westman, Probation Officer, and founding member of the Boat Builder crew. He is ever-present with a calming presence and good humor to guide youth and the boat builders in sharing what we have to offer with each other. He’s not bad on the stroke oar either! Thanks, Tim!

HANKS to all of the members of the Tacoma Boat Builders community! Your generosity of spirit, time, gifts, skills and presence make all the difference. Together we raised over $118,000 which will support TBB in continuing to provide excellent and much-needed programming for the youth of Pierce County!  

Take a look at the fun you had on the night of Promising Journeys 2019!

Honoring a Lifetime of Service
Priscilla Lisicich: Lifesaver Award Honoree

 In the news, we hear much of what isn’t working and has gone wrong, but here we want to tell you more about what’s going right and to celebrate folks who bring their great minds and whole hearts to the work every single day. During the 2019 TBB Gala we were so proud to honor Dr. Priscilla Lisicich with the 2019 Lifesaver Award in recognition of her service to Tacoma and Pierce County. It’s not enough though to say that she is the Executive Director of Safe Streets, she is the very embodiment of their mission and vision for a safe, 

healthy and thriving community where members of the community are united and inspired to take charge and make the change every day. Thank you, Priscilla, for all you do, have done, and will do for this community! 

Did you see that? The boys in our boats are dry and warm this Fall! A huge thank you to TWA’s Stanley Selden Maritime Fund for making the first step to giving all of the youth in TBB programs an equal and dignified opportunity to experience the joy and challenge of being out on the water, rain or shine!  TWA is helping to break down the barriers that prevent youth from having access to boating activities whenever it is safe to get them out on the water; cold and rain will no longer keep us in the shop!


Thanks to these partnerships and BECAUSE OF YOUR SUPPORT, Tacoma Boat Builders enters the final quarter of 2019 feeling strong. Over 115 unduplicated youth have come through the doors, and there are more to come.  With your help, TBB is able to expand its reach for greater service of youth.

TBB welcomes new additions to the boat builder crew…
Meet Jason and Isaiah!

Joining us as our new Program Manager, Jason is a service professional with more than a decade of experience studying and applying youth development principles in prisons, schools, and workplaces. He has a deep commitment to learning and believes that youth have masterful capacity to flourish if given the perfect container to pour their ideas into. Jason holds Associate’s degrees in Business and Information Technology from Pierce College, including a Bachelor’s degree in Literature and Political Economy from The Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus. He’s a longtime resident of Tacoma, Washington, boasting more than 30 years in the City of Destiny.
Land, ho!
Hello everyone, my name is Isaiah Rivera and I am the Program Assistant here at TBB.  When I’m not helping youth carve a block of yellow cedar or taking them out to explore the waterway, I’m in school at UW Tacoma studying Marketing and Nonprofit Studies.  I am eager to meet all of those who help make TBB the awesome program it is!

Thank you to our Promising Journey’s Sponsors and Supporters:


The Renewal Awards, a project from The Atlantic and Allstate, recognizes local organizations who are finding creative solutions to deep community challenges—and helps them make an even bigger impact. Want to nominate TBB for recognition and a chance to win $40,000? Click on the image to learn more about the nomination process!

Whether you are in denial or ready, the holidays are upon us!  From the treat-tricksters all the way to the resolution planners, this quarter has you covered.  Speaking of covered, TBB wants to know, what is your favorite top layer for the holidays’ weather? Click the button below to let us know! Hoodies, beanies, or scarves? What do you prefer?

Sweatshirt Swag Preference Survey!

And always remember, Together, we are enriching lives through craftsmanship for Pierce County’s youth.

With much gratitude,

The Boat Shop Crew

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