(Photo above | Courtesy of Webfoot Painting and MountainStar Family Relief Nursery)
Celebrate 10 Seriously Great Years Together
Gavin Hepp and Travis Ulrich love painting. As the owners of Webfoot Painting in Bend, they and their company are witty and fun, but they’re also serious about some important things: painting, carpentry and decks, and giving back to the community. In business in Central Oregon for 12 years, they’ve spent a decade of that time directly supporting MountainStar Family Relief Nursery with their Carving for Kids event. “When it comes to community supporters, they don’t come much better than Webfoot Painting,” says Staley Micken, director of development. “Carving for Kids is so much fun and so different from typical events, it doesn’t just raise funds, it also helps us educate new people on how we serve the community.”
MountainStar’s mission as a nonprofit organization is to work directly with vulnerable families in an effort to keep children in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook Counties safe from abuse and neglect. As Hepp puts it, “We believe in their mission and the work that they do. Their impact on the families they serve creates brighter futures in our community.” Now that they’ve been working together for so long, the goal for the tenth annual Carving for Kids is a lofty $30,000. “The first year we were trying to sell lousy jack-o-lanterns outside Ray’s like bad door-to-door salesmen and we made about $800. At this point, we probably have 10,000 hours of carving under our belts. We are basically the Tiger Woods of pumpkin carving.”
Webfoot focuses on supporting organizations in Central Oregon that help children and families be more successful, like Deschutes Children’s Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club and more. “They care about what’s happening in their community, they support organizations improving lives and they bring their own brand of fun, fresh energy and great ideas to the table,” says Micken.
Webfoot’s Ulrich says that if he could have other businesses and residents of the community learn one thing about MountainStar, it’s “that it works. What they’re doing is truly changing lives and changing the direction of lives. They take children from a high risk of abuse and a lack of safety to success and a chance for a real future.”
“We are so grateful for Webfoot’s support over these past ten years. This kind of partnership is what every nonprofit dreams of. Not only do they raise funds for MountainStar year after year, but they truly believe in the work we do and are committed to the prevention of child abuse and neglect in our community,” says Tim Rusk, MountainStar’s executive director. “They have raised over $100,000, and this year’s event will continue to harness that same enthusiasm to raise awareness around child abuse prevention and create a community where we support each parent’s efforts to nurture their children in a safe and loving environment.”
Ten years from now, Hepp says he hopes they’re still working with MountainStar. “With volunteers and everyone who pitches in, it’s about 500 hours in four days to put on Carving for Kids, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Once you’ve found an organization doing something this important, you want to support them however you can.” Although, he is hoping that their good karma will translate into good weather. Carving for Kids happens October 20 in front of Newport Avenue Market from 10am-5pm.
webfootcarvingforkids.com • mtstar.org