Tacoma Community Boat Builders (TCBB) began in 2012 as a commitment by a few dedicated boat builders and sailors of the South Puget Sound to share their passion for the unique experience of building and sailing wooden boats. Four years later these dedicated community members continue to give their time to a great cause of involving at-risk youth in the Tacoma community in the trade of wooden boat building.
“Our programs engage at-risk youth in a one-to-one relationship with adult mentors. Our aim is to break down the barriers that inhibit at-risk and other youth; help them acquire the skills, integrity and confidence to be citizens and work ready; develop a sense of belonging, learning and growing together; and restore their sense of self-worth and value to the community,” as stated in the TCBB’s mission statement.
Youth are enrolled in one or more 10-week sessions where, under the guidance of their mentors, they learn the craft and practice of woodworking and wooden boat building, boat restoration and boat handling. These meaningful experiences are crafted to give at-risk youth a reason to stay out of trouble and reconnect with the community in a positive way while learning a useful trade for their future.
TCBB, while helping teach the art of boat building, also is actively involving at-risk youth back into the community to build positive relationships for a prosperous future. An example of this involvement is this year TCBB participated in the 2016 Tacoma Maritime Fest in July. TCBB set out to build boats by families and other teams – completely, in two days – and it was a great success. Four teams of people spanning decades of life experience, catalyzed by the incredible energy and spirit surrounding them, made four boats and took them out on the Foss Waterway at the Fest.
TCBB is a leader in the community for building lifelong experiences and relationships that shape the futures of many youth in the Tacoma community. The community is invited to come out and support TCBB on Sept. 8 at TCBB’s “Launch the Future” fundraiser at Foss Waterway Seaport. TCBB will be hosting a fundraiser for their programs like none other they have before. This year, attendees will have a chance to go home with something made by Tacoma Community Boat Builders. There will be raffle and auction items including a TCBB built toolbox, an oar making class, the Little Free Library everyone loves, and more. The evening’s auction will be led by professional fundraising auctioneer Laura Michaelek. The program will be from 6:30-8 p.m. with Kurt Miller, executive director of Community Youth Services, speaking along with others.
In addition to speakers, there will be boat races with the youth in the program before the youth of TCBB will join the festivities for the evening. Check-in and social hour begins 5:30 p.m. Attire for the fundraiser is casual and will be a great event to bring out the whole family to support an influential community program for Tacoma’s youth. To register for the TCBB “Launch the Future” fundraiser, visit tacomaboatbuilders.org/rsvp or call (253) 720-8227.