Fund for Oso set up on Island

Islander Barb Hovsepian, owner of Au Courant salon & the DEN, has set up an easy way for Islanders to help out the communities of Oso, Arlington and Darrington in the aftermath of the landslide there.

She was moved to act after yet another night of watching the tragedy unfold on television.

“While watching the news, I was struck by the impact this disaster has had on so many, so close to home. It moved me to want to help, not just as one person, but as a community member and business-owner to rally and encourage those I know and come in contact with, to join me and do the same as the Mercer Island Community.”

The next day, Hovsepian got on the phone.

Her first call was to Islander Dave Ross for some advice. Next, she called Tina Davis, the manager of Union Bank in Arlington who was able to connect her with the Cascade Foundation Coordinator and its chair, Heather Logan.

She then spoke to Kari Koochagian and Michael Pham at the Mercer Island branch of Bank of America. They helped set up the means to transfer funds collected here to the Cascade Foundation fund at Union Bank.

Another KIRO radio friend, Ron Upshaw, offered guidance that helped shape the campaign, she added. Graphic artist Jennifer Craven created the “Mercer Island Cares Oh-So Much” logo and flyers.

Hovsepian proposes that April be a ‘Month of Giving’ by Islanders for Oso and the wider community there. Money is needed to help the community with both the immediate concerns as well as longer term issues.

Hovsepian hopes both Island residents and business owners will pitch in. She has set a goal of $15,000. She hopes that her fellow business people will meet what she calls the “Big Love Business Challenge” with donation of at least $500.

She wants Islanders to donate, volunteer and spread the word.

“Everyone that I have approached to assist in getting this campaign up and running has been first, so appreciative that this idea was being put into action and secondly, thankful, for being able to contribute,” she said.

Hovsepian will speak at both Rotary and Chamber of Commerce meetings this week about the campaign and the need for volunteers.

Volunteers are needed to distribute flyers, take donations and process receipts at Au Courant Salon & The DEN, help conduct a social media campaign and other tasks.

More details:

• All proceeds will go to the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation Relief Fund, a 501 (c)(3) organization.

• All donations are tax deductible and 100 percent of the money goes to the Oso relief for: food, gas, medical needs, housing, pets, livestock, funeral and longer-term needs. Receipts will be provided.

• Make checks payable to: The Cascade Valley Foundation Relief Fund.

• Everyone is invited to drop off cash or checks between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the Au Courant Salon & The DEN at 7900 S.E. 28th St. Suite 100.

For volunteer opportunities and more information, contact Barb Hovsepian via email at or 206-232-1336.


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