Kirkland Downtown Association memberships bring community together, fund events

The Kirkland Wednesday Market at Marina Park is just one of the many events the Kirkland Downtown Association helps produce during the year. Reporter file photo

The Kirkland Downtown Association’s (KDA) new membership program is aimed at connecting residents, businesses and organizations in Kirkland. It is also aimed at sustaining the the non-profit organization and the events it produces each year.

A membership allows an individual or family to be directly connected to the community through a special newsletter, discounts and offers from business members. For Kirkland organizations and business owners, it is a way to connect with the community and expand their reach.

“The membership program is truly for anyone who enjoys the downtown, including surrounding communities,” said KDA Executive Director Barbie Collins Young. “Those who love the feel of downtown and enjoy the many events that happen here can be proud they will have played a part in making it happen. We understand that the community is spread throughout many neighborhoods, but consider the Kirkland downtown to be the ‘living room’ for the community.”

The revenue generated will go directly to the non-profit’s operations budget, which is currently supported through sponsorship and grants. The membership levels begin at $49 for an individual membership and up to $249 for a Platinum business membership.

“These levels offer distinctive business and marketing support and outreach,” Young said in a release. “These members have the opportunity to do specific outreach to other members to assist with their promotions and offer specials to bring people through their doors, while offering benefits to each other.”

All member names will be displayed at kirklanddowntown.org and the first 400 to sign up receive a re-usable “I shop local, I shop Kirkland” shopping bag sponsored by the KDA and the City of Kirkland.

“This program has been in development for about a year,” Young said. “The KDA needed a sustainable stream of funds in order to properly plan its initiatives.”

The KDA began taking members in February during “a soft roll-out,” mainly to ensure the online system was working properly.

“This will help fund our staff and staff expansion, which includes management and operations of the 60 days of events the KDA currently produces each year,” Young said. “The majority of the funds will cover those operational and staffing expenses used for events and community activities.”

The KDA helps to produce many of the events that have become traditions in Kirkland. Some of those events include the Wednesday Farmers Market at Marina Park, the summer concert series, Fourth of July celebration and fireworks, Classic Car Show, Summerfest and Winterfest.

“This brings sustainability to an organization that does so much for the community by providing activities, excitement and events,” said Glenn Peterson, who is the KDA Board of Directors vice president of membership and administration. “It’s a great feeling for a person to know they have skin in the game.”

The Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce and the KDA work together on many projects, and this is no exception. The KDA is offering a 20-percent discount for chamber members on their Silver and Platinum categories.

“We are excited about this partnership that will create an even more robust Kirkland,” Chamber Executive Director Samantha St. John said.

Membership details and sign up information can be found at www.kirklanddowntown.org.