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First Financial Northwest Foundation donates $3 million for Family First Community Center

August 15, 2017

City of Renton Contacts:

Preeti Shridhar, Deputy Public Affairs Administrator, 425-430-6569

Renton, WA: First Financial Northwest Foundation has authorized $3 million for the capital campaign to help build the Family First Community Center, a new community center to serve the residents in the Cascade/Benson Hill area. In requesting the capital investment, Mayor Denis Law and Seahawks player Doug Baldwin reiterated to the foundation board the strong need in the Cascade/Benson Hill area for a gathering place to provide a variety of health and recreation opportunities for youth.

 Left to right: Gary Kohlwes, Denis Law, Joann Lee, Charles DeLaurenti II, Norma McQuiller, Gary Faull, Doug Baldwin.

 Photo: Left to right: Gary Kohlwes, Denis Law, Joann Lee, Charles DeLaurenti II, , Norma McQuiller, Gary Faull, Doug Baldwin.

“We are thrilled to receive this generous donation from First Financial Northwest Foundation,” said Mayor Denis Law. “The foundation recognizes the importance of safe and edifying spaces such as the Family First Community Center and the benefits that it can provide for the children and youth in our community.”

The Family First Community Center is a partnership between the City of Renton, Doug Baldwin from the Seattle Seahawks, Renton School District and HealthPoint, a healthcare provider that will provide services at the center. The vision of Family First Community Center is to provide youth and families in the area with services such as health and fitness programs as well as educational and recreational opportunities.

"We are extremely thankful for the incredible donation from First Financial Northwest Foundation,” said Doug Baldwin. “Together, we are committed to the health and wellness of all families in our community. We wouldn't be able to make the progress we want to see without the generous help and support of organizations like First Financial Northwest Foundation. As a member of this community, we are grateful!"

First Financial Northwest Bank (originally First Savings Bank of Renton) believes in a strong community, and in 2007, elevated its philanthropic efforts by creating First Financial Northwest Foundation (FFNWF)–a private non-profit foundation funded with stock offered during the Company’s IPO. Since inception, FFNWF has granted $1.5 M to benefit a variety of community agencies throughout the Puget Sound area, supporting children at risk, low-income families, early childhood learning, domestic abuse, people with disabilities, seniors, and much more. The Foundation holds two funds with the Renton Community Foundation and any requests for funding are accepted via their website.

FFNWF Trustee Joann E. Lee noted, “The Foundation Board has been searching for a large community project that supports our mission statement. The goals of Family First Community Center completely encompass many of the community support services that are important to this Board such as healthcare, afterschool programs, sports, nutrition, academic mentoring, as well as forming partnerships with other local non-profit agencies to provide related services.”

The estimated cost to build the center is about $15 million. The plan is to build the center on land provided by Renton School District next to Cascade Elementary School. In addition to the $3 million from First Financial Northwest Foundation, the Renton City Council has authorized $4 million, Renton auto dealer Car Pros has pledged to make a donation to the community center for every car sold, and King County councilmembers Dave Upthegrove and Reagan Dunn have authorized $75,000 from Kingdome surplus funds. Over the next several months the partners will launch a full-fledged capital campaign to solicit additional partners and funds, develop a design for the center, and establish programs.

The Cascade/Benson Hill area was annexed to the city in 2008. The area has nearly a quarter of the city’s population with 12% below the poverty line. Twenty percent of the population is 14 years or younger and the community is very diverse. The area has also been historically underserved, though after the area was annexed the city increased police services and also made a significant investment in roads and infrastructure. However, there has been no investment in recreation services for family and youth. Family First Community Center will meet that need and offer a whole host of programs including sports and recreation, health and wellness, plus classes in technology, music and English as a second language.

“This significant financial contribution from First Financial Northwest Foundation is a major step towards fulfilling our goal to provide valuable services for local youth and families,” said Mayor Law.

About the City of Renton
The City of Renton, Washington, with a population of 101,300 (2016), is located on the southeast shore of Lake Washington, just south of Seattle. Renton's strong economic base, diverse marketplace and favorable business climate have attracted the attention of nationally recognized companies that are providing employees and their families an outstanding quality of life. Renton is the home of Boeing, PACCAR, IKEA, the Seattle Seahawks, and the eternal resting place of Jimi Hendrix. More information can be found on our website (, Facebook page (CityofRenton) and Twitter (@CityofRenton).