Chelan Fresh, Gebbers Farms, and Apple House Warehouse Donate $110K to Pateros Treehouse Early Education Organization
CHELAN, WA - Chelan Fresh is once again proving its dedication to its community, having recently been a part of a significant donation to help families living in rural Washington. At the Church of Christ building in Pateros, Washington, Chelan Fresh—alongside Gebbers Farms and Apple House Warehouse & Storage—presented a check for $110,000 to help with the purchase and renovation for a new child care and learning center. The companies made the donation after learning about the area’s extreme daycare shortage and the organization’s effort to help families.
“Chelan Fresh is proud to support the Pateros Treehouse project,” said Tom Riggan, Chief Executive Officer of Chelan Fresh. “This project helps meet the basic need for child care, which is fundamental to the health and sustainability of rural communities.”
Kailee Tanneberg, President of the Pateros Treehouse Early Education Organization, a non-profit organization which has worked tirelessly to raise funds for a licensed childcare and early education facility in Pateros, wrote a letter to prospective donors. In it, she explained to the group of companies above that she needed to raise $110,000 in matching funds by April 15, or the non-profit would lose the funds awarded by the Washington Department of Commerce through an Early Learning Facilities (ELF) grant.
According to a release, Gebbers Farms, Chelan Fresh, and Apple House Warehouse & Storage answered the call to help the group and its rural community. Together, the companies donated the entire $110,000 necessary to meet the grant requirement by the April 15 deadline and make the center a reality.
“I couldn’t believe it,” reflected Tanneberg. “I was just hoping for any donation, no matter how small. Not in my wildest dreams did I think it would equal the entire amount needed by April 15. The Board is sincerely grateful to everyone who has so generously donated money, made in-kind contributions, and volunteered their time to get the project this far. We also want to extend a special thanks to Chelan Fresh, Gebbers Farms, and Apple House Warehouse for their tremendous support. Their philanthropic donation has made the Pateros Treehouse Early Education Center a reality.”
Cass Gebbers, CEO of Gebbers Farms, added his thoughts regarding this donation.
“The shortage of licensed child care facilities in rural America is a real problem that affects parents, their families, employers, and entire communities,” commented Gebbers. “The Pateros Treehouse will be a cornerstone of strength and stability for future generations in our area, and we couldn’t be prouder to contribute to this project.”
Corey Riggan of Apple House Warehouse & Storage also commented on the announcement.
“We believe strongly in giving back to the communities in which we live and work,” Corey added. “Apple House feels extreme pride in awarding The Pateros Treehouse Learning Center this donation to help bring high-quality child care to local families.”
Much of central Washington is a child care desert where there are at least three kids, five and under, for every child care slot, and the pandemic has made it even worse. Even before the pandemic, 60 percent of rural Americans lived in a child care desert, according to The Center for American Progress.
The Pateros Treehouse Early Education Organization is still $30,000 short of its total project budget of $780,000. For those looking to help, donations are greatly appreciated and accepted on the website.
For more ways on how those in our industry are working to help out, keep reading us here at AndNowUKnow!