Over the 40 years since it began as Awareness Express in 1982, West Sound Treatment Center has seen many changes. When WSTC was located across the street from the County Courthouse in Port Orchard, Awareness Express was also near the county coroner’s office where George R. Fuller worked. Because two of his sons struggled with substance use disorders, Mr. Fuller was already an advocate for the recovery community. He was also a firm believer in the treatment that the organization provided.
Then when a financial crisis brought WSTC almost to the point of closing its doors forever, Mr. Fuller stepped in. Although he didn’t have the kind of resources himself that it would take for resuscitation of an organization of that size, as a leader, he knew how to find them. He went to the County Commissioners to request some “seed money” to keep things afloat. He also went to the Rotary Club. As a Rotarian, he knew a number of people who he believed would join him in saving the treatment center.
Rotary clubs exist to serve their communities and build friendships. So, it was no accident that Mr. Fuller approached his fellow members with the question, “What are you doing for your community?” Three Rotarians joined him in his quest to keep the organization from closing. They went to the bank and put their personal credit on the line to get a loan that, along with new leadership, revived the organization.
The four Rotarians served on West Sound Treatment Center’s Board of Directors for years, and Mr. Fuller served as president as well as being a mainstay of the board through most of the 80s and 90s. When WSTC built a new building in Port Orchard, the organization named it the Fuller-Wise Building in honor of Mr. Fuller and John Wise, the director who was also instrumental in turning the organization around.
Mr. Fuller’s legacy didn’t stop there, though. When he died in 1997, his son, Gary Fuller, joined the board to follow in his footsteps. Gary served on WSTC’s board for more than 21 years, and he continues to be a supporter and advocate to this day.
The location of the Fuller-Wise Building in an industrial park at the edge of town began creating some transportation challenges for clients. Eventually, the Port Orchard office moved to its current location on Bethel Road and sold the building.
WSTC doesn’t want to move away from the gratitude and esteem that the organization owes to George Fuller. So, to continue to honor him, we are renaming our women and children’s recovery house — formerly known as O’Hana House — as Fuller House for Women & Children.