STAR gets unexpected boost from trust

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WALLA WALLA — Glenna Awbrey was pretty sure she didn’t hear the Monday afternoon conversation correctly.

The executive director of Project STAR — Successful Tranisiton and Reentry — had returned to her office Monday after meeting with clients and found a message to call a trustee of a local philanthropic foundation, she said. “So I called back.”

She thought she heard the man say $25,000. “‘But maybe I misunderstood him and he said $2,500,’” Awbrey told the agency’s bookkeeper.

She was right the first time. The caller was Jim Hayner, representing the Stubblefied Trust, offering a one-time investment to help STAR stay alive.

The need for what STAR does is there and its work important, Hayner said this morning, explaining that Stubblefield Trust awarded $473,340 to community works in 2011. The organization has a “reputation” for stepping in when nonprofit agencies are gasping for air, he added.

The gift — which made her nearly speechless — allows STAR a stability it hasn’t had, Awbrey said. “If the pledges we got and everything else comes through, we will probably have a little buffer, where we can actually start putting clients back into housing.”

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