Councilmembers Hague and Dunn replace vehicle lost in hit-and-run
Councilmember Jane Hague hands the keys to a retired King County vanpool van to KidsQuest CEO and President, Putter Bert as Councilmember Reagan Dunn looks on. The Councilmembers were able to secure the van for KidsQuest after one of the vans used by the group was totaled by a hit-and-run driver
A hit-and-run accident that totaled their van left the KidsQuest Children’s Museum scrambling to find transportation for their program. Today, King County Councilmembers Jane Hague and Reagan Dunn rolled up to the Factoria Mall home of KidsQuest with a “retired” King County vanpool van to replace the van that had been lost.
KidsQuest is an award winning hands-on children's museum that encourages learning through play with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). This summer, a hit and run driver totaled one of their vans in the parking lot outside of the museum. KidsQuest’s two vans are used for transportation and community outreach. Without a second van, they were unable to reach the schools, community centers, festivals, and other places that are essential to their work
KidsQuest approached Councilmembers Dunn and Hague for an “emergency” donation of a surplus van. Working together with, the Councilmembers were able to make the van delivery happen to meet the pressing transportation needs of KidsQuest.
“The hit and run that totaled the van we donated to KidsQuest was going to have a devastating impact on the museum’s outreach to youth on the Eastside, “said Council Vice Chair Hague. “I want to thank Councilmember Dunn and council staff for finding a replacement for the sake of the kids.”
“KidsQuest Children's Museum is grateful to King County Council members Hague and Dunn for responding so quickly to our emergency need for a new van,” said Putter Bert, President and CEO of KidsQuest. “The van is used to facilitate outreach programming throughout King County. Our previous van was damaged by a hit and run driver and we are thankful for the responsiveness of their many staff members that were so helpful.”
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are grateful to King County Council members Jane Hague and Reagan Dunn for their ongoing support for KidsQuest Children's Museum,” said Moya Skillman. “Their quick attention to our emergency need for a van, has allowed the museum's outreach program to go on without a hitch.”
“KidsQuest provides wonderful services for children and their families,” said Dunn. “With the assistance of Councilmember Hague we will allow them to continue their important work.”
KidsQuest serves approximately 180,000 people per year, 43,000 from Bellevue alone, and has had over a million visitors since opening in 2005, more visitors per square foot than any other children’s museum in the US. The Museum offers over 650 programs throughout the year including early learning classes, summer camps, drop-off and whole-family science workshops, free art programs and many special events including movies, concerts and holiday programs.
The van will also support KidsQuest as it seeks to add a new location to help increase the resources the museum provides. This month, KidsQuest Children’s Museum kicked off its Good to Grow Community Campaign, which will raise funds in support of its relocation from Factoria to downtown Bellevue in Fall 2016. Adding a new location will help increase access to the resources KidsQuest provides.
Since 1996, the County Council has transferred more than 460 retired vans from Metro’s Vanpool program to local nonprofit organizations to provide transportation for the disabled, low-income, young adults, and senior citizens. Interested organizations can contact Councilmembers Dunn or Hague for more information on applying for a vehicle.