Community backs Boys Girls club bus repairs

Affectionately known as the “Big Blue Bus,” the Sequim Boys & Girls Club’s 2005 Bluebird has been a steady transportation force in Sequim for more than a decade.

The large vehicle familiar to so many youths, however, needed some big repairs.

Volunteer bus driver Stephen Rosales estimates “Big Blue” has transported more than 120,000 children during the school years from Greywolf Elementary in Carlsborg to the Carroll C. Kendall Unit at 400 W. Fir St., in Sequim.

For most of that time, Rosales has been its driver after school, and he’s driven riders for non-club members to church functions, tourist events, and even a memorial with donations accepted for the club.

“I feel like it’s mine; a part of me,” Rosales said.

That’s why on Easter Sunday he posted on Facebook a call for help. Prior to Spring Break, Rosales and his wife Kim took the bus in for repairs — to Kingston’s Flying Wrench Services, because of the bus’s particular computer system — and received a $16,000 estimate.

“We are asking anyone who has rode the Bus or knows someone who has or just wants to help to make a donation to the Bus Repairs, to drop off your donation at the BG Club,” Rosales wrote online.

His family pledged a match to the first $1,000 raised.

Within a few days he received $6,000 in donations, and on April 14 received donations from Sequim Sunrise Rotary and an anonymous couple to cover the remainder of the repairs.


Rosales said the repairs are “not dangerous, just continued maintenance things,” including brakes, tires, and more that all happened to need replacing at once.

Janet Gray, resource development director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of The Olympic Peninsula, said the club has a budget for transportation, mostly for fuel, along with routine repairs for three vans in Port Angeles, two in Sequim and the bus. She said two vans in Port Angeles were recently vandalized and staff had to replace their fuel tanks, thus wiping out funds for repairs and maintenance this year.

“It’s really meaningful to us that a volunteer who transports the kids would be putting (the fundraiser) on himself,” Gray said.

The bus was still being repaired as of press time, and Rosales anticipated picking it up on April 21. Gray said the Sequim School District was dedicating a bus to the club in the interim.

“It’s been a lifeline for the community,” Rosales said, transporting 50-60 students each school day at no charge to the district.

He said by driving Greywolf students to the club they can arrive about 45 minutes sooner to do homework and eat a meal.

“I want to thank everyone for their support,” Rosales said. “This is the most compassionate community in America.”

Gray said the Sequim club seeks a summer bus driver for about two field trips a week, with a Commercial Driver’s License required, by applying at

Rosales said ongoing maintenance costs will remain for the bus.

Donors can contribute by calling the club at 360-683-8095 or Rosales at 360-461-6038, by going online to and clicking “donate” and note for the bus repair; and/or mailing or dropping off checks to: Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, Administration Offices, 400 W. Fir St., Sequim, WA 98382.