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Petanque might be a sport that originates in France but enthusiasm for it sits right here locally, as does the desire to help neighbors in need.

The Walla Walla Petanque Club and its members hosted a charity tournament on Saturday, June 1. Over 40 people came to play on a hot pre-summer day and together, they raised over $1,400 and collected 85 pounds of food for the BMAC Food Bank.

Included in the days' festivities were three rounds of petanque, raffles, and a potluck lunch.

BMAC thanks the Walla Walla Petanque Club, and Tertulia Cellars, who hosted the tournament!

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Today marked the celebration of our annual Literacy Volunteer Appreciation luncheon at Whitman's Baker Center. Twenty-one volunteers and some very special guests joined to share a meal and reflect upon the progress that had been made from the year behind us.

Our brigade of thirty-nine volunteer tutors help spread education and opportunity to fourty-two enrolled students. Through one on one learning, we are able to help students achieve their educational and professional goals. For some, that might look like learning English, while others have a targeted goal in mind, like obtaining a high school equivalency diploma or a US citizenship. 

Over the last year, 1031 hours of teaching has helped to break down barriers and pave the way to new opportunities.

Thank you to our many volunteers and to the local AAUW chapter for providing financial support to the program! 

Become a student or a volunteer today!

2019 AAUW Grant


One group from Boise, Four Hundred Twenty-Five Volunteers, Seven Hundred Eight patients = Love Heals Free Clinic!

Planning for the two-day event took months and dozens of volunteers. Over the course of three days, the clinic was set up and hundreds of local people in need received medical, dental, vision, chiropractic, physical therapy and massage services.

The team at Love Heals said "We were incredibly impressed by the dedication and kindness you exhibited over this past week. It is only because YOU were there to serve that this was able to happen! Thank you!"

Patients left with services they otherwise wouldn't have had the money to receive. "This helps the community a lot and many people are in need so thank you! I would have given this a rating of 1,000 if I could. Thank you so much." Another said: " Blown away. People were sweet and helpful. I couldn’t believe people took the time to make this happen. Amazing what you are doing!"

Clinic directors report that because of this clinic one person's life was literally saved! A patient came in for a vision service but had a blood pressure so excessive that they were at risk of a stroke, heart attack and a handful of other life-threatening possibilities. He was sent to the ER and was immediately admitted to the hospital. He spent Easter weekend in the hospital and now his blood pressure is under control and he can return to work.

Local resources will be put in touch with patients for follow up on requested services. "The idea is a continuum of care." says, Love Heals.

WWMOLogo page 001

BMAC friends, we are excited to share that a newly founded organization is in our midst! Walla Walla Music Organization brings opportunities for creative expression through audio education to Walla Walla's youth. 

What started as a project with the Walla Walla Library is growing...and going mobile. Instructor, Rodney Outlaw will bring his 12-week digital music production course, currently held at the Walla Walla Library's 'CrewSpace', to local middle and high schools. This step forward will include adding additional equipment and enrolling up to 50 students, a jump from his initial class size of 12.

Rodney is dedicated and his motto is: "If you show up, I'm going to teach you. Financial barriers will not be a reason not to learn." 

Rodney's mission is clear, sharing, "This community is rich with talent, yet there are few areas where youth can access the education needed to gain skills in fostering creativity in the setting of a professional music production lab." Through his teaching, Rodney will provide guidance and support students need to be successful in the field of music production, while also unlocking confidence in their abilities and dreams.

View their program brochure here
Check out their video here:

Why is BMAC involved? Well, we are Walla Walla Music Organization's fiscal sponsor. Meaning, we sponsor and support them until they are ready to establish their own 501c3. All funds raised here will go to Walla Walla Music Organization. 


Mary Lou

Story By: Walla Walla Union Bulletin's Annie Charnley Eveland

Published: Mar 3, 2019

Longtime BMAC employee retires

Walla Wallan Mary Lou Jenkins retired on Friday, about 15,340 days after she began working at Blue Mountain Action Council.

When she started there 42 years ago, Jimmy Carter became U.S. president, the popular film “Rocky was released, NASA unveiled Enterprise, its first space shuttle, Nadia Comaneci won three gold medals and the $2 bill was issued.

A special reception last week honored Mary Lou’s dedication to the community, said CEO Kathy Covey in a release.

Mary Lou worked primarily with BMAC’s adult and youth employment programs and energy assistance. 

However, her immense institutional knowledge of BMAC, its partner agencies and Walla Walla community “made her an invaluable resource to clients and staff alike. She is beloved in the community for her passion and compassion,” Kathy said.

“To many of our past and present clients, Mary Lou is BMAC. We’ll certainly miss her. She’s been a valued colleague and dear friend,” Kathy said.

Mary Lou came on board as a receptionist/typist in 1976. Soon thereafter, she moved to the employment training and placement program.

“Her rapport with youths and adults looking for work or training was outstanding.” It helped that in some situations she was bilingual in Spanish and English. 

“She proudly hung her GED diploma on her office wall, to be an example to those she worked with. Soon her diploma was surrounded by the certificates and diplomas of those she inspired,” Kathy said.

Coworkers knew her as one who said yes when asked for help — she lent a hand to many BMAC programs. Kathy described Mary Lou as “a sort of living history of BMAC.”

And her active involvement in the community reached beyond the nonprofit social services agency. 

Walla Walla Valley Soroptimist Club named her a Woman of Distinction in 2008 for her tireless efforts toward changing lives and changing the community through her work at BMAC, Los Aspirantes, State Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee and Friends of Children of Walla Walla.

And she served on the Walla Walla City Council from January 2012-December 2015. 

“It has been a privilege and honor to have served the customers at BMAC as I was allowed to do for 40-plus years,” Mary Lou emailed.  

In addition to Kathy, Mary Lou worked with CEOs  Pete Frisvold, Phyllis Pulfer and Steve Moss and is grateful for their guidance and support. She also said her many co-workers became her second family.  

Now it’s onward into the new phase in her life, a time she’s looking forward to. Happy trails, Mary Lou.


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