Dennis Watson Spirit of TEAM Grant

The Dennis Watson Spirit of TEAM Memorial Fund was developed to honor the legacy of long time board member Dennis Watson, a passionate believer in the power of team building.

Dennis was deeply committed to the success of young people in our community and as such he devoted nearly 18 years to the YMCA as a board member, volunteer, and financial supporter. 

During his time with the Y, Dennis lead the charge for the YMCA Middle School Program TEAM devoted to encouraging 8th graders to improve their communication and teambuilding skills, increase their leadership, and to grow as more compassionate individuals.

Dennis encouraged young people to consider how the tone and intention of their communication impacted their ability to build a happy, healthy and vibrant community. He believed that young people, if given the opportunity, could play a vital role in making our communities kinder and more inclusive.

The Spirit of Team Grant seeks to support youth leaders, teachers and those who are engaged in developing programs or projects for middle school students. Individuals who have a program or project idea for middle school students that uphold the ideals of the Y and promote team-building, encourage inclusion, or foster good communication are invited to apply once a year. 

Spirit of TEAM Information


In Dennis’s honor, fund contributions will be used to offer The Spirit of Team Grant to local youth group leaders, teachers and those who are developing programs or projects for middle school students.

Individuals or groups with a program or project idea for middle school students that upholds the ideals of the Y and promotes teambuilding, encourages inclusion, or fosters good communication are encouraged to apply.
Donate to the Fund by naming your donation in honor of Dennis Watson on the Watson Memorial Fund.



Last year, grant awards ranged from $1,000 to $1,500 and were provided to Stevens Middle School to support 125 students in attending their annual Elwha field science and teambuilding day, Chimacum Middle School to support a three-day teambuilding retreat to Cispus Learning Center for their entire 6th grade, Jefferson County 4-H to support facilitator trainings at Gibbs Lake Challenge Course, and Jefferson County YMCA to support the recruitment of challenge course mentors through the Building Futures Program.

A total of $8,500 has been awarded in the past two years.

With your support, we were able to award $3,500 in grants to help fund three projects in 2017. 

Two new projects began at Stevens Middle School in Port Angeles, WA for the 2017-2018 school year. 8th graders had the opportunity to participate in a day of teambuilding initiatives to enhance their communication and collaboration skills and teachers are working to adapt the YMCA TEAM program lesson plans into bite sized chunks that can be implemented as teambuilding curriculum during their daily study skills period. This curriculum was introduced into the classroom in Spring 2018.

The YMCA of Jefferson County, in Port Townsend, WA was also awarded support to create a new program “Builders Club” a new afterschool service learning and teambuilding program for middle school students in Jefferson County.