The Olga Strawberry Council is the nonprofit created in 2005 to purchase, restore and manage the historic 75-year-old Olga Strawberry Barreling Plant, better known as the Artworks Building.
Last Friday’s tragic fire impacted many lives. The building housed three businesses (The Artworks Cooperative, James Hardman Gallery, and Cafe Olga) and was a source of income for 46 Orcas Island artists as well as the Cafe owners and staff. The building itself is a treasure that will now need to be restored. It is unclear at this point how much funding will be needed, as the damage is still being assessed and insurance coverages evaluated.
We wish to extend our utmost gratitude and admiration for our Island fire departments that swiftly and tirelessly tended to the fire, the aftermath, the rescue of treasured artworks and the ongoing investigation, and to EMTs and community members who came early in the morning and throughout the day to do whatever they could to assist.
The Olga Daze Celebration had a tremendous turnout and garnered an amazing $2,000 in donations to help the businesses. Several individuals have offered spaces to house Café Olga, The Artworks Cooperative and the James Hardman Gallery until they can move back into the fully restored Barreling Plant building.
The outpouring of support from the community has been heartwarming and inspiring. The Olga Strawberry Council is able to facilitate donations for the businesses and the building restoration. If you would like to make a donation, you may send a check payable to OSC to PO Box 214, Olga, WA 98279. If you would like to direct your contribution to one specific business or toward the building restoration, make a note in the memo line of your check. If a donation is not assigned, it will be used for the area of greatest need.
Updates on our progress will be posted on our web site at www.olgastrawberrycouncil.org, so visit often. Our heartfelt thanks again to this amazing community, and we are looking forward to a grand re-opening soon.
Patsy Stephens, Beverly Johanson, Edith Thomsen, Dave Durand, Madie Murray, John Louton and Susan Bentley Gordon
The Olga Strawberry Council Board