Congratulations to the fall/winter 2010 West Seattle Volunteer Recognition Award winners! A ceremony this afternoon next to West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Headquarters honored the four winners (more than four people in the photo, since one is a group award) of the twice-yearly awards, which are sponsored by the Southwest District Council, the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, and WSB. The winners this time around are Sawyer Coe (youth), Patrick Dunn (environment), Roxanne Simonds (community), and West Seattle Be Prepared (group). Here’s our unedited video of the entire 6-minute ceremony (held on a busy streetcorner, so a bit noisy/bumpy), emceed by Erica Karlovits, co-chair of SWDC and president of the Junction Neighborhood Organization:
No time to watch? Read on for a closeup look at each honoree:
The descriptions below are from the script prepared for the presentation today, which in turn was written from information provided by those who nominated this round of winners (thanks again to everyone who participated in the process!):
This award has previously gone to people who are adults or young adults who work with youth. In this case, after making the selection based on the description of service, the committee was surprised to find out that Sawyer is only 16 years old!
He has been a volunteer in his community since he was 11 years old and has logged close to 1,000 hours of volunteer service. Sawyer has helped pull invasive species from Lincoln Park and the Duwamish area, has helped plant and harvest at an urban farm in South Park, has done car washes fundraisers, and volunteered at neighborhood food banks.
For the past 4 years, he has been a volunteer with Young Heros / City Heros, a program that helps middle school and high school students to find worthwhile volunteer opportunities to serve in their communities. He has done a tremendous job giving his time and energy to serve our community. He is a role model for us all.
Patrick has done volunteer work with the White Center Food Bank, Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle, and Sustainable West Seattle, and his efforts with that last organization are the focus of his nomination.
Patrick has the greatest working demeanor you could hope for. He also is extremely productive. He took over and completed the 501c3 process for Sustainable West Seattle and is the current Treasurer.
Patrick was a very important leader in the creation of the West Seattle Tool Library. He was the principal Sustainable West Seattle member who pursued all the angles and loose ends which enabled the Tool Library to actually be opened on the grounds of South Seattle Community College. This gives residents a place to donate a used or no-longer needed tool, and to enable more residents to have access to these same tools for personal projects that pursue sustainability, like in backyard gardens, home energy improvements, and water harvesting, or to use the tools in community projects, such as park restorations.
Patrick commits to getting his volunteer assignments done with a humble and quiet process that makes working with him a joy. He also seems tireless in the pursuit of volunteer opportunities. At least we hope so, as we want to see this young man working the grassroots for a long, long time.
Since 2005, Roxanne has selflessly served [Family Promise of Seattle], which is a shelter for homeless children and their families.
Through Roxanne’s efforts, Family Promise has been able to serve over 30 homeless families, providing shelter, food, case management services, and most uniquely a sense of community. Roxanne, through service on the Family Promise Board, service as a host coordinator and as a volunteer organizer has made this effort possible. She steps up whenever there is a need, from cook to clean-up crew, from Board Member to Fundraiser Planner.
One story of Roxanne’s giving: Roxanne made a bunch of purses to sell at a craft fair. These purses from her own labor earned a tidy sum and she took her profit and turned it over to Family Promise. Why? Because Roxanne believes that children shouldn’t be homeless, because she sees the good in caring for parents who are lost, because she’s just a remarkable person and an asset to our community. Roxanne is not a person of great wealth or means. She is a humble person who puts others first. A creative, dynamic leader in our community, Roxanne deserves to be recognized as the exceptional volunteer and person that she is.
(Family Promise of Seattle is still working to raise the money it needs to reopen its full program; you can help by going here.)
West Seattle Be Prepared is working to prepare the communities in Southwest Seattle for major disasters. These volunteers have been working for several years on their preparedness objectives. This includes the establishment of nine emergency communications Hubs where community members can go should we have a major disaster where normal services such as telephones are no longer working.
Critical positions have been established which will be staffed by these West Seattle volunteers during a disaster. The volunteers fill those positions which include Hub leaders, backups so the Hubs can operate 24/7, and radio communications operations personnel and a radio Net Control manager. Radio communications will be established between the nine Hubs as well as with the Seattle Emergency Operations Center. The additional service the Hubs offer is that by going to a Hub site, community members can either offer assistance or obtain assistance.
Should Seattle have an earthquake like we have seen this past year in Haiti and Chile, normal City services will not be available. The result will be that neighbors will need to rely on each other until City services are restored which could be in access of 72 hours.
While we all hope that doesn’t happen, if it does, we’re very happy to have a group like West Seattle Be Prepared working to our benefit.
(You can find out where your Emergency Communication Hub is – and obtain lots of other preparedness information and advice – by checking out the WSBP website.)
Footnote: After the nominations were received, as usual, they were judged by a committee of representatives from the Delridge and Southwest District Councils (though WSB is a sponsor of the awards, we are not involved with the judging). You’ll see the next call for nominees here in the spring; we expect to celebrate that group next summer. Previous winners are listed here (summer 2010), here (fall/winter 2009), and here (summer 2009).