$20,000 Matching Gift Challenge for Oakesdale, Washington

An Oakesdale Childhood

For anyone born and raised in Oakesdale, the rolling hills, rich history and close-knit community leave an impression. Larry Stanley was no exception.

Born in the 1920s, Larry watched Oakesdale flourish as a retail hub for nearby towns. As the son of one of Oakesdale’s few barbers, Larry absorbed his father’s business savvy throughout childhood, shining shoes and cleaning up around the shop.

When the Great Depression arrived, his father’s small shop survived as a community gathering place for locals to catch up on the latest news of the town. When Larry’s father passed away, leaving medical bills behind, the town organized a fundraiser dance to support the barber who had built up their community for so long. Scores of residents purchased a ticket, even if they could not attend the dance. Larry’s childhood in Oakesdale inspired a compassionate work ethic that continues to drive his success and his heart for the community. Now retired as the founder of Empire Bolt & Screw Inc., a respected hardware wholesaler, Larry wants to give back to the place that gave him so much.

Larry Stanley in his marching band uniform as a child in Oakesdale.

The Lathen Family Legacy Honored

With family roots running deep in Oakesdale, Tom Lathen was quick to step up to Larry’s challenge. Tom, too, is the son of a former Oakesdale barber and beloved community member, Tommy Lathen. Local residents would gather to get a $1 haircut or just chat at Tommy’s Barber Shop. Crippled from polio, Tommy worked hard, sometimes selling shoes on the side, to provide for his family of six, including Tom. 

A lifelong resident of Oakesdale, Tommy’s mother Cecil Lathen also left her mark on the community. Born in 1884, Cecil arrived in Oakesdale as a young teacher. For many years, it was difficult to find an Oakesdale resident who didn’t spend their first-grade year under Cecil’s careful tutelage. 

By the time Tom left Oakesdale as a middle schooler, the community had captured a special place in his heart. To honor the legacy of his father Tommy and grandma Cecil, Tom and his wife, Kathy, made a gift to the fund, hoping to inspire others to uplift the Oakesdale community that has impacted so many.

The Challenge

Larry Stanley is launching a $20,000 matching gift challenge to establish the Oakesdale Community Endowed Fund at Innovia. Once endowed, the fund will exist for generations to come, preserving and nurturing what makes Oakesdale so special. A council of Oakesdale residents will ensure the fund is making a transformational impact on the opportunities and needs that matter to the community, including:

  • Middle school students from the Oakesdale School
  • District practice during band class.
  • Revitalizing downtown
  • Restoring local historic structures
  • Enhancing public parks and play areas
  • Building partnerships with first responders for community events
  • Investing in local school and youth development activities

Middle school students from the Oakesdale School District practice during band class.

Give both today and tomorrow.

We invite you to consider the ways that you can make a lasting impact through the Oakesdale Community Fund.

By leaving a gift in your will for the benefit of the Oakesdale Fund, you can maximize the impact of your generosity for the needs of today and tomorrow. Innovia Foundation is inspiring people across our region, no matter how wealthy, to expand the impact of their giving by committing just 5% in end-of-life generosity to the local communities they know and love. No matter how you choose to give, every gift makes the future of Oakesdale a little bit brighter.

Will you join us?

We invite you to discuss your giving options with the Innovia Foundation gift planning team at 509-624-2606 or

Gifts and pledges can also be made by mail:

Innovia Foundation
attn: Oakesdale Community Endowed Fund
421 W. Riverside Ave, Ste. 606
Spokane, WA 99201

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