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Who we are

My name is James Croft, and I am a long time resident of Oak Harbor. Born in Coupeville in 1974 and spending most of my life here I have seen the many changes of our community in Oak Harbor and here on Whidbey Island. My wife Priscilla is also a long time member of our community, both of us graduating at Oak Harbor High School in 1993.

 

When we reminisce about Oak Harbor in the 80's and 90's the same places of interest always come up with fond memories of our days growing up.  The Roller Barn, Kow Korner, Bears Arcade, The Blue Fox Drive In, and Smileys Pizza to name a few. These places are close to our hearts because they all have one thing in common. They create a fun atmosphere where people would meet up, hang out and enjoy activities and great food. 

Our goal as members of this community has always been to serve and give back. When we created Toppins Frozen Yogurt, we first set out to make it fun with great food and a great atmosphere with the idea that we would serve our community any way we can. We still operate with that mindset in mind and we believe it is what has attributed to our success. When I was running the Home Depot, we completed over 50 projects in my 5 years at the Oak Harbor Store. From creating ramps for veterans, working with habitat for Humanity on housing projects and assisting to remove a burned house, we would always look for ways to help someone in need. In 2009 we helped bring Christmas Village back to life so families could enjoy the Christmas Spirit here on Whidbey with a zero cost entry fee. Our whole life has been about giving back.

The Boys and Girls Club of Island County has been presented with a great opportunity to expand into a new space that will better suit the requirements of the club. We are excited about the changes they are going to be able to continue to make in our community. The presents a new challenge for the old Neil Barn as the Boys and Girls Club need the proceeds from the sale of the Barn to go to help them in their new facility. While the barn is a Washington Historic Building, it is not protected from future growth and development. If the barn goes to a developer it could potentially be just another part of Oak Harbors past. It has been part of many long talks at the dinner table with my wife and family and in October we made the decision to reach out and see what we could do to preserve this amazing structure. While this is going to take every ounce of effort we have to pull off, we know this community will help support and see us through it. Our goal is to preserve, maintain and see this barn as part of this community for another 100 years.