The Rotary Clubs of Thurston County initiated the Cool Jazz/Clean Water Event in 2001 as a way to raise funds for an International Humanitarian Project that included water projects in Malawi Africa.  That first event combined the offering of a unique venue for area high school jazz bands to participate in an adjudicated music event, and an evening Jazz Concert for the community.  The net proceeds from this ticketed and sponsored event of about $20,000 went to the water projects in Malawi.

Over the next sixteen years, the event has evolved into a program that is presented as “Cool Jazz/Clean Water Capital Jazz Festival and Wine Tasting Event”, with the net proceeds being split with about 40% going to a Rotary Sponsored water project in Africa; 40% going to the purchase of new band instruments and refurbishing used instruments for the four local School Districts to make available to low income students; and 20% going to a jointly planned “working together for youth” workshop attended by leaders from the Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Boy and Girls Scouts and the YMCA programs, plus others.

During  the last few years, all Thurston County Rotary Clubs have supported this event with strong support from individuals from the clubs. Most clubs have also donated to the event itself.