top of page

What is the history of the Cool Jazz event?

In 2001, the Olympia Rotary Club wanted to sponsor an international water project in Africa.  From this start, the first Cool Jazz Clean Water Event at The Evergreen State College. The Event netted about $25,000 and the Event was changed to include all Rotary Clubs in Thurston County and five clubs from Lewis, Pierce & Kitsap Counties, sharing the proceeds with several Community causes—purchase of band instruments for use by area School Districts to loan to low income students for the current band year and more recently for a Youth Summit designed as an all day workshop now attended by adult volunteers of area youth programs.  The workshop contracts with experts in youth related issues to help train the volunteers in how to deal with youth problems and challenges. Camp Hope is a camp to help children and youth impacted by domestic violence and trauma.

Where does the money raised go?

Most of the work in setting up of the event is donated time.  However, rental of the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, production costs related to use of the Center, and advertisement/printing costs takes about 10% of the net proceeds.  The Net Proceeds is then allocated to a humanitarian international water project; purchasing new and refurbished donated instruments, which are then distributed to the area school districts on the basis of the student enrollment in the districts; and the remaining funds are distributed for the Youth Summit and Camp Hope.

How are the projects chosen?

Currently, a Water Committee, with representatives from all participating Rotary Clubs, meets and plan which country or village will be the recipient of the funds.  The Cool Jazz funds are managed by a committee that works with the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group to pick the village, design the project and seek matching funds from the Rotary District and The Rotary Foundation.  The local committee has successfully planned projects with other Rotary Clubs and has normally received matching funds from the District and The Rotary Foundation.  Or, for every $1 dollar raised locally we have received another $2.50 matching funds.  This has allowed the local clubs to fund major projects in Africa, South America, Mexico & Papua New Guinea totaling over $1.5 Million.

How many instruments have been given away and to whom?

Since the school music instrument giveaways by Cool Jazz began in 2003, over 500 new and refurbished instruments have been given to the local School Districts that participate in the Event’s all-day High School Jazz adjudication and performance.  The instruments are distributed based on the number of students enrolled that year in the District.  The allocation is generally as follows: North Thurston SD = 35%; Olympia SD = 30%; Tumwater SD = 25%; Rochester and Tenino = 10%.

Can I receive Paul Harris credit for my donation?

Yes and No.  Your gift is tax-deductible. Your donation that goes towards the Humanitarian Africa/Central American Water Project, if it receives a Matching Grant from The Rotary Foundation (TRF), under specified conditions. You (Rotarian) will then receive Paul Harris credit (this does not count towards your annual $100 Sustaining Member account). To achieve this, we must submit the donation, along with your name, membership number, donation amount AND THE MATCHING GRANT amount (i.e. Malawi or Remba Island projects applied, but the Tanzania Girls School did not).

This is complicated.

Yes, but it is worth it. Your donations help fund the Youth Summit, Camp Hope, purchase of band instruments, the Water Project that is generally matched to increase your $100 to a total of $350, you get to enjoy an all day High School Jazz Concert and an evening of sampling wines, micro beers and spirits with some of the best community leaders in Thurston County.   What a deal!

How can I become a sponsor or ask my favorite business enterprise/service provider to be a sponsor?

Simply go to the Sponsor page and pick up the information for sponsors or go here to order your tickets for yourself and two or four friends that will want to join you.

bottom of page