Community volunteer and arts advocate Beth Burrows was named North Bend’s 2019 Citizen of the Year recently.
The award was presented at a Feb. 4 city council meeting by North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland.
Jill Green, North Bend Communications Manager, said they lured Burrows there under the guise of needing to present about the Sip Suds & Si event on March 21.
“There couldn’t be a more deserving person than Beth. She’s volunteered so much with different organizations and activities,” Green said. “She’s an amazing human being to know and to be around.”
Burrows is the President of the North Bend Downtown Foundation (the foundation puts on dozens of events each year), a member of the SnoValley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, owner of the North Bend Theatre, and founder of North Bend Art and Industry where she helped save a historic train shed building to repurpose as a new arts center. She has also been involved with historic preservation and the PTA.
Burrows has lived in North Bend for about 30 years, and it’s where she raised her two kids, Maggie and Sam. She said North Bend was a great place to raise a family and they enjoyed the local schools, scouts and soccer teams.
“We had a great time,” she said.
She was surprised and humbled to receive the award, she said.
“They’re so sweet — they’re all such nice people,” Burrows said. “I’m overwhelmed. It’s an honor to be thought of that way.”
She also said she loves the community and sees many other volunteers deserving of recognition.
“I see so many people everyday doing such fabulous things. Everyone should be recognized,” she said.
She hopes to inspire others to volunteer, noting that one of the many benefits is making friends along the way.
“I really encourage people to get out there and volunteer with something that’s important to them, something that speaks to them,” she said. “If you see a need, don’t wait. Roll up your sleeves and get it done.”
Burrows is looking forward to Sip Suds & Si, the art, winery, and brewery walk throughout downtown North Bend. The event draws hundreds of people and features live music.
“It should be a lot of fun,” she said. Other major community events she puts on in her role as North Bend Downtown Foundation president include Holly Days and Trick or Treat Street.
She said the North Bend Theatre also is doing more live events and a film festival.
“I’m dedicated to bringing arts more into the Valley,” she said. “Arts and culture makes for a more vibrant hometown.”
Mayor McFarland, when presenting the award, said it is for recognizing an individual or business that has gone above and beyond to make North Bend a better place to live. He said this could be through professional or volunteer efforts or by an extraordinary contribution to the community.
“This award was conceived to honor those who have shown, through their initiative and actions, that they both care deeply about the community and their hard work, spirit and dedication to make our community great,” he said.
He said there were many nominations this year but Burrows rose to the top, being a strong advocate for the community. He said he feels fortunate to have known Burrows since their daughters were Brownies in Girl Scouts together, and having interacted with her at many community events.
“When we think of people who have shaped our community for the better, this person easily shines in how they have made a positive impact in their 30 some years here in North Bend. Among volunteering for many organizations, this person has a passion for historic preservation and economic development,” McFarland said before announcing Burrows as the recipient.
“I, the mayor of North Bend, am extremely honored and pleased to name Beth Burrows the North Bend 2019 Citizen of the Year,” he said.
In a post on the North Bend Downtown Foundation Facebook page, Burrows’ colleagues wrote a message in honor of her receiving the award.
“Beth is an incredible human, and a vital powerhouse helping who continually advocates for our residents and businesses, making North Bend an even better place to live and work,” the post reads. “She is a constant source of advocacy for residents and businesses in North Bend…”