Outstanding Philanthropic Family
Woods Family — Outstanding Philanthropic Family
The involvement of the Woods family of Wenatchee spans three generations of active, engaged supporters of the business, environmental, arts, education and other non-profit communities. Rufus Woods Sr. emerged as a Pacific Northwest titan, using his Wenatchee World newspaper to promote local economic advancement of North Central Washington. He was instrumental in the creation of the hydroelectric and irrigation projects that dominate the region and provide economic and societal benefit. He worked tirelessly on civic projects and served as his family's role model for public service. Son Wilfred continued his father's contributions to the region through his involvement in the Community Foundation of North Central Washington and, with his wife Kathy, established one of the first donor advised funds. They donated the historic family home and an endowment to establish the Woods House Conservatory of Music. In his front-page column for The World, Wilfred has been a passionate advocate for economic development, recreation and the arts in the region. At age 93 Wilfred still works five days a week, leads tours with the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center and volunteering with numerous educational, environmental and historical groups. Their son Rufus G. Woods follows the family's legacy by volunteering on numerous boards, establishing the Neighbors Care Fund, chairing the annual United Way campaign. His wife Mary has also lent her leadership to several non-profits. Kara Woods Hunnicutt and Gretchen Woods, meanwhile, carry on the family music legacy by promoting music through teaching, performing and volunteering. "There are few people in our region that have not been touched by the generosity of the Woods Family. Their philanthropy example and optimistic vision for the future multiplies the impact of their gifts by inspiring others to assume greater roles in supporting worthy initiatives," said Eric W. Nelson, executive director of the Wenatchee Valley YMCA.