Press Releases – Media Advisories

MEDIA ADVISORY: March 24, 2014

Installation of the Carousel begins!

The Gesa Carousel of Dreams is pleased to announce that the reassembly and installation of our 103-year old carousel has begun! 

Tri-Cities, WA – Assembly and installation of our 103 year-old hand-carved, wooden carousel begins this week in the Southridge Sports and Events Complex. Crews from Carousel Works out of Mansfield, Ohio and dozens of local volunteers will spend the next 10-days piecing together the platform and mechanism, installing the horses, rounding boards, and medallions. Once complete, the carousel itself will be fully functional.

Please keep in mind that the building housing the carousel remains under construction. All visitors will be required to check-in with the site supervisor and follow all safety rules. Construction is expected to be completed later this summer.

We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Clover Island Inn for providing hotel accommodations, Toyota of Tri-Cities for providing transportation, and the following local restaurants for providing a catered lunch each day of the installation; Texas Roadhouse, Bob’s Burgers and Brews, Three Rivers Convention Center & Toyota Center, Outback Steakhouse, Country Gentleman, Bruchi’s, Tony Roma’s, Fat Olives, and Northwest Culinary & Catering.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Monday July 8, 2013

Baker Produce Helps Make the Gesa Carousel of Dreams Go “Round!

Tri-Cities, WA – The Carousel Foundation is pleased to announce that Baker Produce, Inc. a locally-owned and operated produce facility, has generously donated the funds to purchase the mechanism that will enable the carousel to literally go up and down, ‘round and ‘round.

Foundation Board Member and Mechanical Committee Chairman, Mike Thornton, has been working with the team from Baker Produce to finalize this extraordinary gift to the Gesa Carousel of Dreams. Mr. Thornton states, “because of their dedication to the Tri-Cities and their generosity, we are one step closer to making the carousel a reality for our community”.

When asked why Baker Produce became involved with this project, Mr. Al Janke, General Manager stated, “At Baker Produce we are committed to making the Tri-Cities and surrounding area the best place to live, work, and raise a family”. He adds, “The carousel is something that will live on for generations, I for one am very excited to be able to enjoy it with my five grandchildren”.

Read More… (Media Advisory .pdf)

Toyota of Tri-Cities

Toyota of Tri-Cities donates $500,000 to Carousel of Dreams

By Loretto J. Hulse, Tri-City Herald
Published March 13, 2013

The Carousel of Dreams ponies are closer to going round and round late this summer, thanks to a $500,000 donation from Toyota of Tri-Cities.Eric Van Winkle, chairman of the Three Rivers Carousel Foundation board made the announcement at Tuesday’s Kennewick City Council workshop. Read More

Christina Lethlean, President and CEO, Gesa Credit Union
509.942.6109 •
Eric Van Winkle, President, Three Rivers Carousel Foundation
509.727.3337 •
Dwight Marquart, Chairperson, Carousel Foundation Capital Committee
509.366.0873 •

The Carousel Foundation and Gesa Credit Union Jointly Announce a $1 Million Presenting Partnership Agreement for The Carousel of Dreams.

Tri-Cities, WA (October 15, 2012) – The Carousel Foundation and Gesa Credit Union have jointly announced today they have entered into a 12-year, $1 million presenting partnership. The Carousel of Dreams will now be referred to as The Carousel of Dreams presented by Gesa Credit Union.

Construction of the facility and installation of the vintage 1910 Charles Carmel Carousel will be funded in large part through Gesa Credit Union’s $1 million commitment, and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2013. The Carousel of Dreams will be located at the Southridge Sports and Events Complex in Kennewick, Washington.

Carousel Foundation President, Eric Van Winkle, stated, “We are very excited to have Gesa Credit Union onboard as a presenting partner.” He added, “This is a true testament to Gesa’s continued commitment to Tri-Cities’ families and the overall quality of life in our community.”

Christina Lethlean, President and CEO of Gesa Credit Union, stated, “It is a privilege to be associated with The Carousel Foundation to bring such a timeless treasure to the Tri-Cities area. This partnership continues our commitment to providing support for the communities in which Gesa serves, and we are pleased to help provide quality family entertainment to our members, other residents, and the many visitors that will be drawn to the area to enjoy this unique and wonderful carousel.”

Dwight Marquart, Capital Committee Chairperson, commented, “Gesa Credit Union is helping to bring a worldclass piece of art to life in the Tri-Cities. Once completed, the Carousel of Dreams will become a destination for all generations, young and old, to enjoy.”
Gesa Credit Union has served Washington State’s Tri-Cities community since 1953, and is one of the state’s largest credit unions with $1.2 billion in assets and 108,000 members at June 30, 2012. Gesa is a full service financial institution that offers a complete array of consumer, mortgage and business products and services. Headquartered in Richland, Washington, Gesa operates 10 branch offices in the Kennewick, Richland, Pasco, Walla Walla and Wenatchee communities. Gesa also supports seven student-operated high school branches – the most in the state. Gesa’s commitment to local communities includes support for Junior Achievement, Tri-Cities Habitat for Humanity, annual youth scholarships, and free financial seminars open to members and the general public. For more information visit

The Tri-Cities Carousel of Dreams Foundation is a non-profit organization that is restoring a 102 year old big-park carousel to its original condition for the public to enjoy at the Southridge Sports Complex in Kennewick, Washington. The Carousel of Dreams presented by Gesa Credit Union will also provide the area with a new venue open year-round for arts, entertainment, weddings and birthday parties for the entire community. More information about the Carousel of Dreams Foundation can be found at
P. O. Box 500 • Richland, Washington 99352-0500 • 509.946.1611 • 888.946.4372 •


The Carousel Foundation and Gesa Credit Union Jointly Announce a $1 Million Presenting Partnership Agreement for The Carousel of Dreams.


Carousel Ponies and GESA Credit Union, a perfect partnership.

Tri-Cities, WA (October 15, 2012) – The Carousel Foundation and Gesa Credit Union have jointly announced today they have entered into a 12-year, $1 million presenting partnership. The Carousel of Dreams will now be referred to as The Gesa Carousel of Dreams. (Read more.)Gesa puts name on Carousel of Dreams. (Tri-City Herald)

Completion of the Carousel Project – Plan presented to Kennewick City Council

KENNEWICK, WA (January 17, 2012) – With the support of many influential Tri-City businesses and business leaders the Carousel Foundation announced on Tuesday, January 17th to the Kennewick City Council their plans to complete the Carousel Project.

The Carousel will be hosted by the City of Kennewick within the Southridge Sports and Event Complex near the new Sports Pavilion. (map of the complex location)

The Carousel Project has drawn support from several local business leaders such as; Bill Lampson (Lampson International), Dave Retter (Windermere Real Estate / Tri-Cities) Barbara Johnson (Columbia Center Mall), Carlos Martinez (Dura-Shine Clean), and Dwight Marquart (Toyota of Tri-Cities).

In addition, Conner Construction has agreed to take the lead on the construction of this project and is working with numerous local contractors who have graciously donated their time to see that this project is completed.

Direct Contact:

Carmen Marquart
Public Relations Committee Chairperson
Office: 509.735.0966