Our Mission

The Chehalis Foundation supports projects that benefit the city, the community, and academic excellence in Chehalis schools. Our purpose is to better the quality of life for our community while lessening the financial burdens to taxpayers and government and provide more opportunities for our children.

Our History

Seventeen years ago, the Chehalis Foundation started renovating our parks and recreation facilities and supporting our civic improvements. The Foundation expanded its vision to include an educational component that first focused on the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs at W.F. West High School and reaching into the lower grades with new and innovative teaching. Today, the educational funding includes supporting a retention specialist with Centralia College who focuses exclusively on helping W.F. West High School graduates be successful in college and so much more.


The goal is to inspire and better prepare our kids for higher educational opportunities and to be creative thinkers.  The success of the projects that have been completed is incredible. They are a testament to what can be accomplished when you combine fantastic vision, committed leadership, focus, and a very supportive community that shares the same vision.

What has been going on here in our hometown is really nothing short of remarkable! It all started in 2003 when Chehalis City Councilor, saw a need to provide opportunities for the community without using taxpayer dollars.  With the support and help of former Lewis County Commissioner, Joanne Schwartz, they recruited like-minded leaders who shared this vision and who would dedicate time and resources to enhance the community. As a result, the Chehalis Foundation was born.


What started as “lessening the financial burdens of the city” expanded to the community and educational excellence in the Chehalis School District. To date the Chehalis Foundation has been generously supported with many gifts. Our community of individuals and business donors, along with various grants and other foundation support has provided approximately $8m in support of our projects. We also are fortunate to be beneficiary of approximately $17m in ongoing support from several endowments that will also continue to assist our efforts in education, and parks and recreation for future generations. You can read more here about our endowments and how they will support our community.

With all of this support, we have made significant improvements to our public education, city parks, and facilities and we are helping to revitalize Chehalis.

The Future

It took a love of this place we all call home, a sense of pride in being from here, and a realization that we want future generations to feel the same way. Working together with community and city leadership, the Chehalis Foundation likes to solve big problems that have positive impacts on our community. We know there is more to be done, and we hope that awareness of our commitment and support of our goals will inspire more to participate.

Since our beginning, Chehalis Foundation has been guided by the strong leadership and vision of its volunteer board of directors. Learn more about our Board and their commitment to our community.