BI philanthropists honored by foundation

The Bainbridge Community Foundation honored local activists at its Annual Philanthropy Celebration.

Lilly Kodama, Clark Construction, Partners in Health and the Quitslund brothers were all honored at the new Stan Pocock Rowing Center. They were all given awards for their contributions to the community. The awards were created to celebrate individuals and groups who have inspired acts of giving—often realized through the work of nonprofits—and who have laid a strong foundation for others to follow in their footsteps. This year’s honorees have deepened the understanding of history by making it come alive, have contributed energy toward a variety of causes, or have donated time and materials toward initiatives that make the community more accessible, a BCF news release says.

Lilly Kodama/Philanthropic Spark Award

BI City Councilmember Clarence Moriwaki talked in a video about Kodama. “Any historian would tell you, what would they want? They would want a time machine, to go back and talk to George Washington, or whoever. Well, we don’t need a time machine. Lilly is here. She is living history. And you have to treasure that,” he said.

Kodama, a survivor of the 1942 forced removal of Japanese Americans from BI, has volunteered endless hours of her time to tell her story.

Kodama was born in 1934 on BI, and grew up here before being removed with her family to the Manzanar concentration camp in California in 1942. While she left to explore opportunities beyond BI after graduating from high school in 1952, she returned in 1998. She got involved with local nonprofits and has had an immense impact sharing personal and historical stories about Japanese exclusion to further education on this important part of history. She has helped activate the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial’s motto Nido to Nai Yoni (Let it Not Happen Again) as a place of remembrance and action.

Clark Construction/Outstanding Philanthropic Company

Clark Construction has been dedicated to giving back to the community from day one. Volunteerism is a part of its culture, with employees donating numerous hours to a variety of causes. Founded by women, this employee-owned company is committed to sustainability. One of its signature partnerships was the creation of workforce housing at the Morales Farm using predominantly recycled materials. The project was the first of its kind in the region and a model for innovative housing development. In addition, Clark was the construction partner for the Stan Pocock Rowing Center.

Bainbridge Island PIH Engage/Outstanding Youth Philanthropists

Functioning as a chapter of the grassroots global health organization Partners in Health, BI PIH Engage fundraises, educates and advocates for global health issues. Last year, the students raised more funding for PIH programming than any other high school chapter, and while the student leaders continue to graduate, they successfully pass on the torch to future leaders—creating a sustainable global health effort run by BI youth.

Quitslund Brothers and their Wives/Outstanding Bainbridge Philanthropists

The four Quitslund brothers, sons of Ford and Eve, and their wives were awarded for their combined im­pact on the community. They have had a profound and broad reach on BI—serving on multiple nonprofit boards, helping support nonprofits abroad, serving on City Council, and contributing to arts and culture. They have also spread a culture of family and friendship that will last for generations. In the words of Jim Quitslund, “It is the community we want to thank. And it’s the community that has made it easy for us.”