Donor Spotlight: Eddie & Martin Westerman

Donor Spotlight: Eddie and Martin Westerman

“I believe that students who may not thrive in the walls of a classroom can blossom and thrive when given the opportunity to be in nature.”

 

 

Eddie & Martin Westerman

Can you tell us a little bit about how you first came to know about IslandWood, and why you became supporters? 

 

I first discovered IslandWood when I was doing a story about it for Washington Education Association (the union representing more than 90,000 teachers and other educators). Walking from the parking lot into the Welcome Center, I was inspired to host my son’s bar mitzvah in that very space. In the end, we had both of our son’s bar mitzvahs at IslandWood. We loved that the organization combined what we cared about most – environmental stewardship and inspiring our youngest citizens to care for the environment. In addition, I am a lifelong camper who believes that students who may not thrive in the walls of a classroom can blossom and thrive when given the opportunity to be in nature.

 

In what ways do you think IslandWood is important to our community?

 

IslandWood is a treasure not just for the immediate community, but for our whole state. The mission is not only reaching students, but also adults and those in the corporate world. I have always appreciated that IslandWood provides a sliding scale and financial support to any school who wants to attend the School Overnight Program. I’m particularly interested in the JEDI work IslandWood is doing and I hope to see more people of color on staff, as it’s great for kids to see themselves reflected in the staff when they are at IslandWood.

 

What is your favorite thing about IslandWood?

 

I could think for 435 things I love about IslandWood! I love Jim in the kitchen because he makes the best food in the universe. I love the smell of IslandWood. I love the voices of children walking back from the Friendship Circle. I love that teachers get “time to just be” with one another because it gives our educators the opportunity to take a breath in a very stressful job/world.

 

What do you hope for the future of IslandWood?

 

I am hoping that the future brings more of the same plus really allows IslandWood to walk the talk around race and social equity work. I am hoping your core programs return, especially the School Overnight Program which gives students a full four days to learn, and thrive, and be.

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