The ideals of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation were defined long before the growth of The Washington Companies. As a young boy, Dennis Washington worked in gas stations, shined shoes, and sold newspapers in front of the Missoula Railroad Depot that he now owns. Dennis R. Washington and Phyllis J. Peterson Washington married in 1964, and the same year, with encouragement and a loan from a friend, Dennis launched his construction business.
After raising a family, Phyllis was able to follow her interests in antiques and interior décor by opening her first retail store, PJ’s Interiors, and later, Maison Felice and Phyllis Washington Antiques.
In addition to significant monetary gifts and the creation of many scholarships, Dennis and Phyllis donated toward the construction costs for the Washington Grizzly Stadium.
A Shared Vision
In 1988 the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation was founded to serve as a platform for the Washingtons’ personal giving and coordinate the charitable activities of the Washington Companies that also contribute to the Foundation. Besides helping people access the basic necessities of life, Dennis and Phyllis have a particular interest in youth and education. By influencing young people during their formative years and providing opportunity for personal advancement through education, Dennis and Phyllis hope to create a positive and lasting impact on our culture and society.
A Lifetime of Giving
In addition to significant monetary gifts and the creation of many scholarships, Dennis and Phyllis donated the construction of the Washington Grizzly Stadium, a valuable resource for the University of Montana, led other fund-raising efforts, and provided significant financial support to construct the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education Building at UM. The facility provides state-of-the-art training for teachers, administrators and counselors in current technologies and distance learning.
Dennis and Phyllis also have an ongoing commitment to Young Life, a Christian ministry for youth, to which the Washington’s donated the Washington Family Ranch in Oregon as a site for summer camps for teens and middle school age children.
Montana Roots, Montana Hearts
“We started our Foundation to give back to the people and the communities that have been important to our success. Our goal was to create opportunities and open doors for youth and individuals that simply need a hand up. We primarily invest in education to give people the tools they need to achieve success. Phyllis and I, and our sons Kyle and Kevin, look forward to making a difference in people’s lives for many years to come.”
“As a former elementary education teacher, I learned first-hand the importance of education as the key to unlocking the potential of every child. Through our Foundation, we have remained deeply committed to ensure that children, especially those who experience adversity, have access to a high-quality education as well as the programs they need to realize their dreams. By changing one life, we can help strengthen our society as a whole.”