Community

Boeing employees donate $335,000 to build new USO center at Sea-Tac

The Boeing Employees Community Fund has donated $335,000 to USO Northwest to go toward a new USO center at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. - Submitted
The Boeing Employees Community Fund has donated $335,000 to USO Northwest to go toward a new USO center at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
— image credit: Submitted

The USO Northwest was granted $335,000 from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound for the construction of a new USONW Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Center.

The new 7,000-square-foot center, designed to accommodate the 10,000 local and traveling military personnel, will cost $1.7 million.

“Their donation gave us hope that we could make this center happen,” said Bill Baker, USONW Sea-Tac Center manager. “I am grateful for their willingness to support our troops. Their donation will help provide the service members with the larger center they need.”

The $335,000 donation is the largest single donation made thus far in the USO Northwest’s Capital Campaign, Enduring Support. The Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound (ECF) is an employee-owned charitable giving program.

“The Employees Community Fund is proud to award this grant to USO Northwest to support the construction of its new welcome center at SeaTac Airport,” said Rod Sigvartson, local ECF board president. “Boeing employees have a long tradition of supporting the men and women who serve our country, and this grant is another example of our commitment to these heroes and their families. The generosity of our employees – which makes a powerful difference in our communities and the lives of many – is inspiring.”

More than 25 of the USONW volunteers are retirees of The Boeing Co.

“The USONW is overjoyed to receive this donation from the employees of the Boeing Company,” said Pamela Valdez, Boeing KC-46A Tanker Support & Training IPT and USONW board member. “When each service member or family member uses the new USO Sea-Tac Center, they will feel the direct support of the great employees of the Boeing Company.”

The new USO Sea-Tac Center will provide greater access to shower facilities, beds, hot meals and snacks, computers and Internet access, a family room, theater room and more.

The USO Northwest center at Sea-Tac has been open 24 hours a day, seven days a week since 1966, and has the highest volume of visitors of any USO airport center in the country. USONW volunteers work around the clock to provide travel assistance and all of the comforts of home to military patrons.

“Knowing there is a comfortable, welcoming place to call home while service members or their spouses travel, means a lot to them,” said Don Leingang, USONW executive director. “It’s a great privilege to work with individuals like those with the Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound who recognize the sacrifices they make.”

USO Northwest is funded entirely by private donations. Thanks to donations from the Boeing Employees Community Fund, The Norcliffe Foundation, and USONW’s Board of Directors, half of the funds needed to complete construction of the new Sea-Tac center have been raised. USONW needs to raise the remaining funds in the next three months in order to meet a summer 2014 opening.

To make a one-time or recurring monetary or in-kind donation in support of USO and our military, visit www.usonw.org or call USO Northwest Office Manager Shannon McManus at (206) 246-1908 extension 3.

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