European travel expert and Edmonds native Rick Steves has pledged $500,000 toward the redevelopment of the Edmonds Senior Center into a senior and community center on the Edmonds waterfront
Steves’ half-million-dollar gift is a much-appreciated addition to the $1.25 million allocation that the Senior Center just received in the recently approved state legislative budget, said Senior Center Executive Director Farrell Fleming.
The senior center has launched a $10 million fundraising campaign for a new multi-generational activity center that would replace the existing city-owned waterfront facility at 220 Railroad Ave. The existing building has serious structural problems including a sinking first floor, inefficient design and seismic concerns. Construction could begin as early as 2017 on the new 22,000-square-foot building,
“It is totally appropriate and quite wonderful that the first significant leadership gift for the new senior and community center comes from Rick Steves,” Fleming said. “Many Edmonds organizations and programs have benefited from Rick’s generosity over the years. This community is very fortunate to have someone like Rick who has built a very successful business in his hometown and kept his philanthropic activity very local. We are honored to have his support for the new Center which will benefit so many Edmonds citizens of all ages.”
Fleming also praised the efforts of 32nd District State Sen. Maralyn Chase in securing the $1.25 million through the Legislature during the almost-concluded session. “She really charged in and work hard,” Fleming said.