About us

The George Washington Bicentennial Committee (GW200 for short) is a group of volunteers working to honor the memory and legacy of pioneer George Washington. Born in 1817, Washington came west on the Oregon Trail and founded the town of Centerville (later Centralia) with his wife, Mary Jane.

Our group will organize and host a series of events throughout 2017 and 2018 to celebrate Centralia’s founder and educate the community, region and nation about Washington and his legacy. The year-long observance will formally begin with an Aug. 12, 2017 celebration in George Washington Park.

We will also lead an effort to build a life-size bronze statue of George & Mary Jane Washington in George Washington Park. A parallel effort aims to establish a permanent scholarship to be given to Centralia High School graduates who embody Washington’s pioneering, civic-minded spirit. The statue will be dedicated and the first scholarship formally awarded during an August 2018 party in the park, which will conclude the formal bicentennial year.

This statement of purpose was approved by the GW200 committee during the April 10, 2017 meeting.

Planning Committee Members

About 75 individuals have joined together to honor the 200th anniversary of the birth of Centralia founder George Washington. The committee meets as a whole each second Monday of the month in the Centralia Library, with subcommittee meetings held as needed. Our officers:

  • Brian Mittge, steering committee chair (360-951-8554 or chehalisbrian@gmail.com)
  • Penny Jo Haney, treasurer (360-880-9015 or rphaney@comcast.net)
  • Teva Youngblood, secretary (253-677-7371 or looseendsfiber@gmail.com)
  • Chris Chrzan, events chair
  • Tory Graf, marketing & promotions chair
  • Lee Coumbs, Aug. 12 event coordinator
  • Bonnie Canaday, statue committee chair