FreddyPink benefit for Peninsula Trails Coalition
When: 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 17
Where: McCurdy Pavilion in Fort Worden State Park, 200 Battery Way, Port Townsend
Who: All ages welcomed. Adult beverages will be available.
Cost: Suggested $20 donation
by ALANA LINDEROTH
Rhythm, blues and plenty of soul are to ignite community support for the Olympic Discovery Trail on Saturday, Oct. 17.
Gordon Yancey, lead vocalist of FreddyPink, a 10-piece Seattle-based band sure to inspire dancing, has collaborated with members of the Peninsula Trails Coalition to host a benefit event aimed at the Olympic Discovery Trail including its eastern extension (the Larry Scott Memorial Trail) that runs through Jefferson County.
“This event is the biggest we’ve ever been a part of,” Chuck Preble, PTC member and Jamestown S’Klallam tribe liaison, said. “It’s part of a larger effort to bring awareness to the need to connect the trail.”
The all volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit formed in 1988 based on a central vision to design and construct a non-motorized transportation path from Port Townsend to the seashore of the Pacific Ocean at La Push — a nearly 130-mile goal.
PTC co-vice president Jeff Selby expects the benefit will provide exposure for the trail, encourage more volunteers and, “if we’re lucky,” he said, raise funds to support steps toward the trail’s completion.
As a Port Townsend resident, Yancey understands the long-shared vision among members and volunteers of the PTC.
“I ride the trail daily,” he said. “Every time I’m on it, I think about what a gift it is.”
Yancey took his appreciation for the trail and offered to partner with the PTC to help raise money, exposure and community support.
“FreddyPink is a draw, but really it’s all about the PTC,” Yancey said.
For Yancey, the opportunity to perform in his hometown is a “big deal” he said, as “being well received” in Port Townsend is of the upmost importance to him. Unlike Yancey however, who has a personal tie to the community and trail, he’s thankful to his band members who are mostly traveling from the Seattle area to make the benefit a reality.
In preparing for the event catered by Jasper’s Barbecue, businesses and individuals from Clallam and Jefferson counties have given silent auction items ranging from a trip to the Cabo Azul Resort in Mexico, a scenic flight over the San Juan Islands or Seattle, gift certificates to local restaurants to a personal training session. These items are among more than 100 goods and services donated toward the cause.
Although all support is greatly appreciated, Yancey noted special thanks to Matthew Henery of Henery Hardware, Jefferson Healthcare and Port Townsend Paper Corp. — all vital sponsors of the event, he said.
“The trail is about 60-70 percent complete,” Selby said.
In Clallam County about 60 of the 100 miles of trail are done and about 10 miles are under construction. But in Jefferson County the trail has been slower to develop.
In Jefferson County, the 7.5-mile Larry Scott Memorial Trail begins at the Port Townsend Boat Haven and ends at Milo Curry Road, just short of Four Corners — leaving about 16 miles needing to be built within the county.
“The concert will benefit the entire PTC, but I think it will be very helpful in augmenting the work on the Larry Scott Memorial Trail,” Selby said.
Planning and constructing the trail between Four Corners and Discovery Bay is of special interest because without it trail users must travel along State Route 20, which is considered “dangerous,” Preble said, noting the 45-mph speed limit and little shoulder room.
Beyond the safety concerns, PTC members seek to incorporate both Jefferson and Clallam counties because the trail is “becoming a major draw,” Preble said.
“Jefferson County won’t share in the tourism and benefits if we don’t get it connected,” he said. “I think the (Jefferson County) commissioners are starting to take more notice though.”
Finishing the Olympic Discovery Trail depends on many factors, such as funding and securing rights-of-way, but completion is anticipated within the next 10 years, Preble said.