Junction Tree Lighting report #2: More video; Volunteer Recognition

If you couldn’t make it to last night’s Hometown Holidays Tree Lighting in The Junction (co-sponsored by WSB), our 2nd report begins with the high-definition five-and-a-half-minute video version – a little monologuing from emcee Marty Riemer, more music from the Endolyne Children’s Choir (featured briefly in our first report last night), a bit of West Seattle Christian Church Pastor Dan Jacobs‘ holiday message about light, and of course, The Tree (including the literally crowd-sourced switch-flipper).

We also wanted to make special note of the West Seattle Volunteer Recognition honorees Cindi Barker and Erica Karlovits took the stage on behalf of Southwest District Council (which co-sponsors the recognition program along with Delridge Neighborhoods District Council and WSB). With photos of the recipients, the blocked-in-blue text below shows what was read about them at last night’s event:

As noted in our earlier announcement of the WSVR honorees, Providence Mount St. Vincent has more than 200 volunteers of all ages – this group represented them onstage last night to accept the first Group award.

… there are 200 active volunteers ranging in age from 14 to 92 – this represents five generations working together under one roof to help support The Mount. In 2008, those volunteers donated over 25,000 hours of time and talent, which equates to a half a million dollars of gifted time. Over 65 volunteers have been active there for more than 5 years and several dozen have been active for over 10 years.

The majority of Mount volunteers are involved with supporting the recreation programs at The Mount, those activities include leading group recreation programs; working on teams with staff to bring residents on field trips into the community; and providing one-on-one visits to residents. Other volunteers run their own departments such as the thrift boutique; the Sewing Shop, and the Auxiliary fundraising department. Volunteers of many faiths also serve in the Spiritual Care department and there are several teen and adult volunteers who work with the children in the Intergenerational Learning Center at The Mount. Volunteers also help staff the Gift Shop, escort residents to and from the Hair Salon, assist the art teacher and other valuable services.

These volunteers are absolutely essential to the vitality, diversity and compassion that makes The Mount such an special place and to share their time with our senior citizens represents a true gift to the community. Again, the Volunteers of Providence Mt Saint Vincent.

The other six awards were for individuals:

With Erica Karlovits, that’s Chas Redmond, one of two Community honorees:

Chas is on the board of Sustainable West Seattle, the Morgan Community Association, the Southwest District Council and is a key member of Feet First. As an advocate for walking and public transportation and all things sustainable, he impacts West Seattle from so many angles, from political to social. Chas is always present and willing to help out, drawing on his many skill sets to support in virtually every way imaginable. He is opinionated, and all his opinions are in behalf of the community. The best line from the nomination form reads “I really don’t know his length of service, but if you count the number of organizations and his impact in each – its a lifetime of any normal volunteer/activist/community member.”

The other Community honoree, Pete Spalding, couldn’t be there in person, but we’ve certainly photographed him a few times – at right, one from a Viaduct meeting in West Seattle:

Pete is a tireless advocate for his community. He has a long list of past activities, but most recently been involved in the Delridge Neighborhood District Council and Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council, served on the Alaskan Way Viaduct Stakeholders Advisory Committee, worked on the 2008 Parks and Green Space Levy, and is now on the Levy Citizens Advisory Committee, is President of the board of the West Seattle Food Bank and chair of the Southwest Precinct Citizens Advisory Council. Is tireless not the right word? As a community leader and civic representative, Pete has done an outstanding job. He listens well, considers carefully, and advocates accordingly. If the world is run by the people that “show up”, then we’re lucky to have Pete on the team.

Next, the Environment awards, starting with Judy Pickens. We’ve shown you many of her amazing activities with Fauntleroy Creek – most recently, yet another educational visit by local kids, and the annual drumming event to call the salmon home (there’s a salmon watch wrapup on the Fauntleroy Community Association website). Here’s what was read about Judy last night:

Judy Pickens has been the driving force for over 20 years for the stewardship of the Fauntleroy Watershed. She and her husband Phil donate endless time to ensuring the health of the creek ecosystem, including the salmon ladder that she successfully advocated to have built adjacent to their property. She co-founded the Fauntleroy Watershed Council and organizes events such as salmon releases by schoolchildren and restoration of the reach the beach. She uses these different opportunities to educate our community, especially the youth, about the importance of our watershed systems and how to help improve the water quality. The nominations specifically mentions the “famous dog poop study” conducted by the kids, so anyone who can invent such a creative way to grab attention of children truly is amazing.

(Editor’s note: Errors in the description of Judy’s work have been corrected since this story was originally published.)

Also honored, Jay Mirro, though he wasn’t at the ceremony (the photo at left is from a North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting this fall):

Jay Mirro is a Longfellow Creek Steward and participant in the Longfellow Creek Watershed Council and is also a co-chair of the North Delridge Neighborhood Council. The Longfellow Watershed Council organizes and facilitates creek trail, stream side habitat and water quality improvements. Jay’s commitment to the work of removing invasive plants and the planting of NW native plants at the Brandon Street Natural Area of Longfellow Creek have made this section of the Longfellow Creek Legacy Trail a true pleasure to explore and wander. Jay has sought and obtained extensions to the trail network at Brandon Street and without his dedication this area would not be where it is today. West Seattle nature lovers, walkers, joggers, the creatures and even the plants themselves have all benefited from Jay’s hard work.

Next, the Youth volunteer category honorees, starting with Janet Hillier from the Chief Sealth High School PTSA:

Janet Hillier is a volunteer with the Chief Sealth PTSA, which could be a surprise to some since she doesn’t even have a child that attends Chief Sealth. But she’s a firm believer in what the PTSA does towards creating world class futures for Chief Sealth students. She created and runs the PTSA website, and this past November, she was the backbone of the their dinner and auction. She is behind many great ideas, shows up at almost every event and meeting and her planning and followup efforts are greatly appreciated by the Chief Sealth community.

And at right, the president of Southwest Seattle Pony Baseball, Paul Leonardo:

Paul Leonardo is described as the go-to guy for the Southwest Seattle PONY Baseball league. This is a youth baseball league for kids 11 to 18 years old that serves West Seattle and White Center. Paul has been president of the League for the past 4 years, and, similar to the story of Janet, Paul does this as a service to the community; he doesn’t even have a child involved in the league. Paul has a board of directors to work with, but he’s the guy doing the daily decisions, and attending to all the details that keep a league running. And while the nomination didn’t specifically say it, but we all should remember that Paul gets to deal with the parents, so our hats are off to him!

Again, this was the second group of West Seattle Volunteer Recognition honorees – the first group was honored at the West Seattle Hi-Yu Concert in the Park last July – we’ll let you know as soon as nominations open for the third round! Thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute a nomination.

One other component of last night’s event – the first drawings in the Hometown Holidays $6,500 giveaway – more drawings to come; you can enter at participating Junction merchants – listed here – no purchase necessary. Marty Riemer and West Seattle Junction Association executive director Susan Melrose announced the first round of winners:

Lots more happening in The Junction throughout the holiday season – if you see this before 4, check out our Hometown Holidays Sunday story, still time to go jump into the special events – and Thursday night, the West Seattle Art Walk (6-9 pm) is also a Shop Late event in The Junction – official Art Walk site here, official (recently remodeled) Junction site here.

1 Reply to "Junction Tree Lighting report #2: More video; Volunteer Recognition"

  • Bill Reiswig December 9, 2009 (10:01 am)

    Congratulations to these well deserving volunteers who help make West Seattle a better place! I’m happy to know Chas, Pete, Jay, and Paul personally and think its wonderful to see them recognized here — each has made big contributions to our community.

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