Hard hats and high heels may be a funky combination, but that’s what Betsy Reed Schultz is counting on to draw an enthusiastic crowd to the first fundraiser for the Captain Joseph House in Port Angeles. The event on Saturday, April 6, will feature a dinner, live auction and raffle with proceeds targeted for remodeling her former bed and breakfast into a haven for the families of fallen soldiers.
“I’m calling it a ground breaking event because I hope with the money raised we can do a real ground breaking on May 26,” Schultz said. “This is an important first event and the financial foundation of the remodel.”
To honor her son, Capt. Joseph Schultz, who died on May 29, 2011, while serving in Afghanistan, and the more than 6,500 military personnel who have been killed in the Iraq-Afghanistan wars, Betsy Schultz envisioned a retreat for surviving families to share their grief with each other. To accomplish this goal, it will require making the former Tudor Inn B&B, 1108 S. Oak St., compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act and raising about $495,000 for the remodel.
In creating the fundraiser, Schultz also wanted to have fun and came up with the “Hard Hats & High Heels” theme. Wear your finest for the dinner and pay $25 more for the privilege of taking a whack at a wall in the house while wearing a hard hat sporting an eagle and the American flag. A photographer will be on hand to record the demolishers. Wine and cheese is included at the demo event. The dinner is black-tie optional and tool belts are encouraged as attire accessories.
Cocktails and music begin at Queen of Angels’ O’Donnell Hall, 213 W. 11th St., at 5:30 p.m. with dinner, catered by Michael’s Seafood and Steakhouse, at 6:15 p.m. Call Schultz at 460-7848 for tickets. The Gold Star presenting sponsor is the Jack and Terri Harmon family and D.A. Davidson & Co. is the Medal of Honor sponsor.
Schultz expects the live auction bidding will be feverish with the following goodies going on the block: a Port Gamble getaway; a Celtic Women’s concert and overnight in Seattle; a week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; a Red, White and Blue wine cellar; a set of tires; a giving tree with gift certificates from 10 area restaurants; a progressive dinner in four private homes; a barbecue for 25 at the Sit-N-Bull in Port Angeles; and a weekend stay for up to 12 people in the Captain Joseph House after it opens for guests, among others.
Raffle items include themed gift baskets worth several hundred dollars each. Kevin Benedict will be the auctioneer and Joe Borden of Sequim will be the emcee.
“This small community really is a window on what’s out there to support this project,” Schultz said. “If our small community has the ability to raise this much support and passion, think of what the whole country could do. We have the opportunity in our town to properly respect and remember those who’ve given their lives. This is much bigger than Joseph and Betsy. The house will create opportunities for new memories, to have solace, comfort and time with other families to share mutual losses. I want families to know it’s OK to live again, to laugh and smile. Joseph didn’t give his life so I could go around and be morbid and sad the rest of my life.”
Professionals on the Captain Joseph House project are Bill Feeley, Feeley Construction; Chuck Smith, Lindberg & Smith Architects; and Tom Rankin, ONA Landscaping. The remodel will include installing an elevator, widening doors, upgrading bathrooms to ADA standards, adding a sunroom, doubling the size of the kitchen and establishing a contemplation/reflection garden.
Schultz and members of the nonprofit Captain Joseph House Foundation are planning two more fundraisers: a pickleball marathon on April 20 and a Team Run for Joe as part of the North Olympic Discovery Marathon on June 2, both events in Port Angeles. Register for the marathon at 457-7004 and for the run at www.nodm.com.