Valley community honors volunteers
October 2, 2008 · Updated 2:44 PM
SNOQUALMIE About 100 people gathered at the fourth
annual Snoqualmie Valley Community Network's Rise and Shine
Breakfast to salute the many volunteers who "rise to the occasion and make
the Valley shine."
"What they contribute to building a healthy future is vitally important
in building a stronger community for all of us," said Ellen Kropp,
coordinator for the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network, of the volunteers' efforts.
Each year the network's Building a Stronger Sense of Community
Team organizes the event and asks for nominations for outstanding
volunteers. This year the group recognized 14 winners, two organizations and
six honorable mentions for their support of Valley activities.
The breakfast was not only a time to thank those people, but it was
also a time to inform local lawmakers about the various needs in the
community, Kropp said.
"It strengthens the ties with the community leaders because we
need their support," she said. "It's
become a tradition for them to attend this event so we can make them aware of
what our purpose is."
Keynote speaker Lt. Gov. Brad Owen confirmed that it was
essential for groups to work together for the good of the community.
"If we all collaborate and read from the same sheet of music,
the music comes out in harmony," he said.
The following volunteers were honored:
Anne Melgaard and Nancy Huestis helped immigrants learn
English through the Eastside Literacy Council. They also taught the
people skills that would help them adjust to the American culture. The
twosome has tutored more than 20 non-English speakers this year at the North
Jonathan Liu, Michelle Liu and Mark Wirkus
helped with the Friends of Youth's newly formed Teen
Job Bank. Jonathan Liu and Wirkus worked many hours to create the
job bank's database, while Michelle Liu prepared all the necessary forms
and information pamphlets to get the program started.
Karen Wallin, who recently retired as a volunteer coordinator for
the Seattle Public Library, helped organize the volunteer efforts at the
Children's Services of Sno-Valley Duvall Family Center. She also taught the
staff how to run a successful volunteer program and assisted in the search for
a volunteer coordinator.
Lisa Burnham is a parent volunteer at the Children's Services of
Sno-Valley Duvall Family Center. She recently moved to the Snoqualmie
Valley and has already helped organize a book fair, facilitated
contributions from a local women's club, organized a major work and cleanup party
and is a member of the Parent Council.
Jeanne Dawkins also volunteers her time with the Children's
Services of Sno-Valley Duvall Family Center. She is a member on the Parent
Council and was the force behind the new exercise group and the popular
book club. Dawkins also volunteers her time at all the special Children's
Services events, teaches a bread-baking workshop and assists with the center's
Sue Tonkin was originally hired as a teacher's assistant at
Children's Services of Sno-Valley in North Bend. But for the last nine months, she
has not turned in a time sheet or collected any wages. Tonkin also drives a
child to and from the Monday Motor Language Group.
Tom Stokes handles the landscaping, painting and maintenance
needs of Children's Services of Sno-Valley in North Bend. Stokes also led
last year's volunteers who helped with the Days of Caring event.
Tove Burhen has been a member of the United Snoqualmie
Valley Scholarship Foundation since 1990. She has served as the co-president
and is currently the chief publicist. Burhen has donated money and
procured scholarship donations to help students in the Valley with their goals of
receiving a higher education. So far, scholarships from the foundation
exceed $27,000 for students in Snoqualmie Valley.
Ruby Wilkie, also known as "Nana" to the children of Cherry
Valley Elementary, has helped for the past six years in her granddaughter's
class and other classes, as well. She also teaches children from Mexico how
to speak English and helps the school's teachers learn Spanish.
Lee and Jennifer Alexander have worked tirelessly for the past 10
years as the chairmen for the Fall City Days celebration. Proceeds from the
annual event benefit various youth programs in the Valley.
The members of the Tolt Congregational
Church have supported and strengthened their community
in many ways. They host an annual pancake breakfast at the Carnation
Fourth of July festival, provide meeting and activity space for community
groups and help people in need through its Good Neighbor Fund.
Snoqualmie Valley Arts Live Board has been bringing
affordable culture to the Valley for the past
seven years. Board members Gloria McNeely, Fred Lawrence,
Robert Nein, Harley Brumbaugh, Sharon Larson, David McKibben, Iris
O'Neal, Gerald Rene, Ken Frost, John Tubbs, George Cook, Adele Strom,
Jeanne Hansen and Doris Reynolds were honored for their efforts.
The network also awarded six honorable mention certificates to
Cherry Valley Elementary teacher Donna Calapp; Carnation Elementary
PTSA President Chuck Johnson; Steve and Paige Denison, volunteers with
the Duvall Civic Club; and Duvall Domino's Pizza owner Norman