As we continue counting down to Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade, presented by American Legion Post 160, we have news of another honoree who you’ll see toward the start of the parade: Recent Seattle Lutheran High School retiree Shirley Vradenburgh is this year’s winner of the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community.
SLHS honored Shirley, a West Seattle native, just last month – as she retired – with its first-ever Ring of Honor Award. She spent 33 years as teacher and registrar/college counselor at Seattle Lutheran, after spending a few years away from West Seattle, while she studied and taught in the Midwest.
Her community service here has included myriad roles including youth ministry and volunteer work with local nonprofits. In particular, she is well-known at Providence Mount St. Vincent, and explains:
I began volunteering at the Mount in 1996 when my mother spent her last two years there. I went every evening to visit her and began helping at dinner time. After my mother died in 1998, I was back the next day, and I have continued most days since that time. I found the Mount to be a special place; the staff were very supportive, and I have enjoyed many friendships with residents and their families through the years. It is a delight to see the smiles on the faces of residents as I spend a few minutes visiting while I help serve their drinks and the evening meal. They enjoy hearing about my activities with the students or travels, etc. I also spend time visiting with other residents around the building. Spending time with teenagers and the elderly each day makes a great balance – both are amazing groups of people.
The Kiwanis Club of West Seattle celebrated Shirley as an Everyday Hero in 2008, and the Rotary Club of West Seattle honored her recently too. Now, Post 160 is honoring her with the award named after the man who led the Post as Commander when it was first presented, 1984, Orville Rummel. Last year, community advocate/volunteer Cindi Barker was the honoree. In 2010, your WSB co-publishers were honored to receive it; that year, we wrote about its history.
So come to the parade this Saturday and cheer for Shirley – the route is California SW from Lander to Edmunds, starting around 11 am, with the motorcycles as usual launching earlier, so don’t be last-minute if you’re watching from the start of the route!