#GiveBIG for Inclusion


“I gave BIG today because CWB means friendship and community for everyone.”

This year’s GiveBIG is Wednesday, May 10th. With $8,000 in matching funds, your donation to CWB through GiveBIG on May 10th will make an even bigger impact. Don’t want to wait? You can schedule your gift now!

We asked longtime volunteer and current Facility Use Coordinator, Judie Romeo, to describe her CWB experience, these are her words.

I was raised on the Mississippi River with a grandfather who loved boats of any kind, but particularly wooden boats. He also was a master of carpentry. So I grew up with a healthy respect for skill working with wood and a passion for wooden boats. But I never found a home and an outlet for my passion until I came to Seattle.

Or rather until I came under the spell of The Center for Wooden Boats.

After several years of partaking of CWB’s charms as a visitor, I was walking down the dock with Founder Dick Wagner one day when I idly remarked that I was around CWB so much I ought to volunteer. And the next day I was the Membership Lady. Thirty-one years later I am still here, having served both as a volunteer and a staff member, still enjoying, still learning, still gratified to be a part of the CWB family.

The experience has guided and enhanced my life in so many ways. I have helped little hands turn a brace and bit and hammer in a nail as they made a toy boat. I have written grant applications and thank-you notes for donations large and small. I have checked in wannabe sailors for lessons and checked out books to researchers. I have watched high-school dropouts reach for – and find – the stars through one of our programs for underserved youth. I have boarded boats from around the world – we even had one from the Soviet Union here once – and met sailors of all ages and backgrounds.

And it all has brought me into contact with people who share my passion for wood on water and with those who are just finding out what a thing of beauty a wooden boat can be. I have had the privilege of learning history, sea chanteys, and “measure twice, cut once” from experts. I have witnessed CWB growing from a tiny place not even visible from the street to a beautiful South Lake Union campus that has become a Seattle icon.

I want everyone to enjoy the opportunities, the experiences, the knowledge that I have amassed at The Center for Wooden Boats. I can’t imagine what my life would be without this community – but I know it wouldn’t be nearly as fulfilling. The Center for Wooden Boats is not only highly worthy of my continued support, it demands it so that more people can pick up a tool and build a boat, pick up an oar and go for a row or take the helm and feel the wind. CWB has been described as a place that “changes lives, one boat at a time”. I know it changed mine.

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