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Heart of the Valley 2014: All-community photo session gets personal

 Participants in Mary Miller’s Heart of the Valley photo shoot keep an eye on the photographer herself as they form a giant heart Sunday afternoon, May 18, at Snoqualmie’s Centennial Fields park. Some 200 locals turned out for the third annual community photo session. Some got singled out for special attention.  - Seth Truscott/Staff Photo
Participants in Mary Miller’s Heart of the Valley photo shoot keep an eye on the photographer herself as they form a giant heart Sunday afternoon, May 18, at Snoqualmie’s Centennial Fields park. Some 200 locals turned out for the third annual community photo session. Some got singled out for special attention.
— image credit: Seth Truscott/Staff Photo

Vicki Tennant Bettes has lived in a lot of places—New Jersey, Hawaii, California.

But, “no matter where I’ve lived, the Valley is my home,” said Bettes.

A fourth generation Valley resident, she was among locals singled out for special attention by local photographer Mary Miller, during her third annual Heart of the Valley community photo session, held Sunday, May 18, at Centennial Fields Park in Snoqualmie.

Miller’s photo was more lightly attended than in past years. So, she improvised, working with the crowd to create memorable images.

When Miller called for people who had deep family roots in the Valley, Bettes came forward. Her family, the Gardiners, go back to William and Louisa’s ranch, near today’s Nintendo plant, in 1883. She received flowers from one of Miller’s helpers, Donna Hayes, and took center stage inside a giant heart.

Bettes has come to each of Miller’s Heart photos, bringing her daughter, Sarah Torres, and granddaughter, Easton Jane, the sixth generation to be raised in the Valley.

Miller looks for the love—she had Hayes give a flower to Snoqualmie firefighter Jason Lee, who will marry fiance Camelia in June.

“It was unexpected,” said Lee.

She singled out the veterans, including Shanda Taylor-Boyd, a new friend from Zumba, for their own photo. All 10 dogs at the event, and their owners, also got attention. One other special shape this year was a giant number 12.

“I did that for all the fans out there of our Seahawks, but especially for Greg Jorgensen, who is a wonderful part of the community.” Jorgensen, son of Bev Jorgensen of North Bend, wore his Seahawks team jersey for the occasion.

Fifteen-year-old Jaycob Callies of North Bend was a little nervous, but he took center stage after realizing that he has the nearest birthday. A couple of hundred people sang him “Happy Birthday.”

Mary’s helper, Rich Seubert, patiently arranged Mary’s many subjects into rows and lines.

“Like herding cats,” he joked. “It’s a matter of communication. Everybody’s gracious and friendly.”

 

 

Valley residents form a giant 12 in honor of the Seattle Seahawks.

Children give a thumbs up in one of Miller's Heart of the Valley scenes.

Veterans also got some special attention, with a photo of them at center field.

Locals with May birthdays form a scene of their own at the center of the heart.

Jaycob Callies, 15, of North Bend had the closest birthday. He got a special photo of his own.

Friends and neighbors raised clasped hands in one of the photos.

Camera in hand, Mary Miller chats with friends below.

She viewed the scene from the tip-top of a ladder truck

Rich Seubert directs participants to their places

Vicki Tennant Bettes, whose family has lived in the Valley since 1883, gets a flower from Donna Hayes.

Firefighter Jason Lee, soon to be married, also got a bouquet.

Some of the patient pooches and their owners wait for their photo.

All dogs in the middle: Pooches get special attention.

Mary tosses Frisbees to the crowd below, following the photos.

 

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