LIFE IN LONGBRANCH
A lot has changed in Longbranch since the photo at the top of the page was taken in 1909. The Narrows Bridge replaced the Longbranch-Steilacoom county ferry. Local farmers took their eggs, berries, and holly to market using the new highway. But the little village at the southern end of the Key Peninsula continued to prosper and grow.
Today Longbranch is the home of choice for those who value natural beauty, clean air, and the riches of the southern Puget Sound. We have all chosen to live “at the end of the road” for our own reasons, but we all share a love of community, culture, and the pioneer spirit.
Investing in the South Key community, The Longbranch Foundation has been created to perpetuate the best of what’s here, and the potential for what can be for those who follow us. Click here to read our latest news, or click here to read about our grant process.
The Foundation supports the Longbranch Improvement Club and all that it has stood for since visionaries created it in 1921. “To improve the community…” is just as worthy a mission today, and the Foundation encourages charitable support of that goal.
Image Attribution: Alexrk2 / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. HELP OUR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS WHO ARE TAKING CARE OF CHILDREN, SENIORS, AND FAMILIES DURING THIS TRYING TIME! JUST CLICK COVID-19 TO SUPPORT THE KEY PENINSULA NON-PROFIT OF YOUR CHOICE.
The Longbranch Foundation Scholarship Program for 2020 includes three scholarships to deserving Peninsula High graduates (two academic and one vocational). Those students were recognized in last month’s newsletter. In addition, the Longbranch Foundation has continued its commitment to support qualified previous scholarship recipients as they pursue their post-high school studies.
A dedication plaque was recently installed on the back of the Longbranch Sign highlighting those who contributed to its completion.
We live in a wonderful community. Many individuals and organizations are working together to care especially for the young and the old. The Longbranch Foundation has created a centralized system to accept donations for Key Peninsula nonprofit organizations coming to the aid of the KP community during the coronavirus pandemic.
With generous donations and community participation in events, we have been able to increase the Foundation’s investment in the community and building reserves for the future.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is an important part of the curriculum at Evergreen Elementary and The Longbranch Foundation (TLF) recently donated funds for them to equip a STEM recess option for all students.
The Longbranch Foundation incorporated in January 2016 and with your support is making great progress investing in the South Key Peninsula “to improve our community” – our basic mission.
A LITTLE HISTORY of THE LONGBRANCH IMPROVEMENT CLUB
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed,it is the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead
What is an Improvement Club? Many neighbors on the Key Peninsula have heard about The Longbranch Improvement Club (LIC), but don’t know much about it. According to the original Articles of Incorporation, the club formed a corporation in 1921 to buy “Real Estate for the purpose of a Consolidated School, Athletic, and Picnic purposes and to encourage any activity for the betterment of Schools, Homemaking, Roads, Marketing, Dairy, Poultry and all its branches.”
According to Key Peninsula Historical Society & Museum, “Improvement clubs grew out of the Progressive Movement that swept the nation from the 1870s to the 1920s. Civic duty and improving the quality of life were to be based on new learning and technology. This was a national focus, and Teddy Roosevelt tasked communities to focus on rural improvement.” It is interesting to note that even the City of Tacoma had an improvement club at one time; a scattering of improvement clubs remain active today.
In the 1940s when School #328 was discontinued, the LIC assumed ownership of the former gymnasium building, built-in 1934 as a WPA project during the Great Depression. The old Pierce County pier in Filucy Bay had been abandoned in the 1930s when the “Mosquito Fleet” ferry service to Longbranch was discontinued. In 1959, members of the LIC, through agreements with Pierce County and Washington state, took over management and maintenance of the marina. They built a 168-foot pier and attached it to the old county dock.
Today, the LIC continues to be active on the Key Peninsula. The building and marina still serve in the spirit of the founders of the LIC. The marina is open to the public for use by local and visiting boaters. The clubhouse, now on the Register of National Historic Places, is used by the club for events and is available for rent. In addition, the local Fire District uses the property for helicopter evacuation practices, and the Parks District holds a Day Camp at the facility each summer.
The Longbranch Improvement Club has remained committed for nearly 100 years to fulfilling its mission, which is “… for the Betterment of the Community”, and it is now joined by The Longbranch Foundation in that effort. Both organizations are evolving and we look forward to continuing to improve our support for the Key Peninsula. Much credit goes to our members and residents of the broader community – Thank You!
WHY TWO ORGANIZATIONS
The answer turns on federal laws concerning exemptions for charitable organizations from income taxation.
The Internal Revenue Service recognizes the Longbranch Improvement Club (LIC) as a tax-exempt social welfare organization under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. As long as it continues to meet certain requirements, its income is immune from taxation, however, donations to the LIC by individuals or other organizations are not authorized to take income tax deductions. The LIC has significant income from non-qualifying sources such as the rental of its clubhouse and moorage fees at the Longbranch Marina. The LIC has a membership of over 200 members that conduct a variety of educational, social, and philanthropic events and provides support for a number of other community organizations.
The Longbranch Foundation (TLF) was formed in 2016 to raise funds and provide grants for specified charitable purposes that qualify it as a tax-exempt charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Not only is its income exempt from taxation, but individuals, businesses, and other organizations are authorized to take income tax deductions, to the extent authorized by law. Its specified charitable purposes include preserving and maintaining historic properties, maintaining and improving local recreation grounds and trails, supporting scholarship programs and public school activities, enhancing the environment of Filucy Bay, improving public safety at the Longbranch Marina, and supporting community service organizations and activities. Both organizations are managed and supported by volunteers. Both organizations use the same pool of volunteers for LIC Events and TLF Fundraising activities.
The Longbranch Foundation is a non-profit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization associated with The Longbranch Improvement Club. Your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.