Vendovi Island sure has some wonderful neighbors…

Sinclair Island’s Ferdi Businger

Directly to the west of Vendovi Island is Sinclair Island, boasting one full-time resident and the “village” of Urban, which (as best we can tell!) is really nothing more than a beat-up county mail dock. Southeast of Vendovi is Samish Island, with approximately 500 homes occupied by full-time, weekend and summer residents. On both of these islands are individuals with special ties to Vendovi. Since the Preservation Trust’s acquisition of Vendovi, Ferdi Businger, one of two year-round residents of Sinclair, has kept a close eye on the island for us, frequently motoring over in his open aluminum skiff to photograph its prolific flower displays, wildlife and breath-taking views. In the meantime, Samish Islander Steve Hopley, the great-great grandson of Vendovi’s original homesteaders, expressed great excitement at the prospect of being able to once again visit this island that is so important to his family’s history but – thanks to generations of fiercely-protective private owners – had been inaccessible since his childhood.

An exhausted Steve Hopley napping in his mother’s arms on the way home from a visit to Vendovi Island.

When Ferdi and Steve learned about our Campaign to Save Vendovi Island, they both became intent on enlisting the help of others in their respective island communities to save this special place. To help them inspire their neighbors, two generous local families stepped up with two $25,000 challenge gifts – one each for Sinclair and Samish – to leverage giving from both communities. As a result of these efforts, the people of these two small islands have generated a stunning $115,000 for the Vendovi campaign. Even better, should the Preservation Trust succeed in raising the final $400,000 it needs in 2013 to fulfill its $1 million challenge grant, both the Sinclair and Samish Island gifts will be doubled once again (from $115,000 to $230,000)! Perhaps even more importantly, Vendovi Island has become reacquainted with its neighboring islands, now forever watchful and protective of their uninhabited, wilder sibling.

Thank you, Sinclair!  Thank you, Samish!

Approaching Vendovi in Ferdi’s skiff.