Bainbridge COVID-19 Response Wins BCF Humanitarian Award

BCF Humanitarian AwardIt was a team effort. More than 600 volunteers, seven organizations, and dozens of organizational leaders made the Bainbridge Island–led COVID-19 vaccination effort a success, administering more than 25,000 vaccine doses in under six months to people in Kitsap County and beyond. Now all of the people and organizations who participated are being recognized by the Bainbridge Community Foundation (BCF) with its 2021 Humanitarian Award, which was presented at a ceremony on November 4.

The seven recognized organizations, including their volunteers and leadership, are the City of Bainbridge Island, the Bainbridge Island Fire Department, Bainbridge Island Community Pharmacy, the Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island, Island Volunteer Caregivers, the Bainbridge Island Senior/Community Center, and, yours truly, Bainbridge Prepares.

In a video produced by BCF to mark the occasion, BP Executive Director Loren Bast recalled how in December he had approached Mark Tan, the owner of Bainbridge Community Pharmacy, to offer the resources of BP to help with administering vaccinations whenever they arrived. A few days before Christmas, Tan was notified by the State that he would receive 300 doses of the Moderna vaccine within the next two days and that all doses had to be administered within the week. He immediately reached out to Bast, and the effort was launched.

During the months that followed, as the numbers of available vaccines increased, the administration site moved from the parking lot in Winslow Green to the Senior/Community Center, to Woodward Middle School, and, finally, to the Commodore gym. Volunteers even took the vaccine off island to clinics and to homes to reach more people in the county and in neighboring counties. More and more volunteers signed up as the process was streamlined and the roles were further defined and focused. Other volunteers found new ways of helping, such as by eliciting meal donations from local businesses to sustain the volunteers or by playing music at the vaccine clinics.

All in all, the volunteers logged more than 25,000 hours. The result was that Bainbridge earned the highest vaccine rate in the county, with the vaccine effort reaching over 82 percent of residents ages 12 and up.

BCF created a video to honor the volunteers and organizations. Watch it here: