YAKIMA, Wash. — Yakima Environmental Learning Foundation, which was seemingly on its deathbed four weeks ago — isn’t dead yet. At least, not until Nov. 5.
The departure of several of its leaders over the previous several months had led one of the remaining board members, Stan Isley, to turn the non-profit organization’s Oct. 1 monthly meeting into a discussion on whether or not there was enough interest — and enough volunteers interested in carrying on the group’s mission — to keep the group going.
The result was positive, but not profoundly so. “We did have a few people show at our meeting — people who don’t normally attend monthly YELF meetings,” Isley said. “However, we did not have a substantial showing of new support.
“We still don’t have the critical mass of warm bodies to keep our organization alive.”
Board member Emily Washines, Yakama Nation public relationships specialist and a documentary filmmaker, made an empassioned plea to keep YELF alive.
And it apparently worked, at least for one month: Now the group will consider continuing or calling it quits at its next meeting, set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, at Russillo’s Pizza on Front Street (in the old Grant’s Brewery Pub location). An infusion of new blood at that meeting may well determine the group’s future — of course, so will a shortage of new blood.
YELF created its local niche primarily by screening a variety of environmentally-related documentary films in Yakima, often bringing the filmmakers in to discuss the work with audiences.
People who are interested in helping YELF continue, either by volunteering time or becoming a board member, should either attend the Nov. 5 meeting or call current board members Stan Isley (509-453-5311) or Lori Isley (509-388-5288).