At Wenatchee's All Service Club Luncheon last week, the Community Foundation and The World had the opportunity to honor five individuals for outstanding contributions to their community - Barbara Tilly, Wenatchee; Fred Wiltse, East Wenatchee; Dan Richmond, Malaga; Dian Prentice, Chelan and Sara Rolfs, Wenatchee.
Each of these individuals had been nominated for the state Jefferson Award, which is considered to be the Nobel. prize of community service. Ramon Rivera, who heads the Mariachi program at the Wenatchee School District, was one of five statewide Jefferson Award winners.
We created the North Central Washington Civic Achievement Awards to amplify the efforts of those who were nominated for state awards.
Looking at what these individuals have accomplished demonstrates the commitment, perseverance and care that people have for making things happen in their communities. Service to others is a probably the single most important indicator of a happy and fulfilled life and North Central Washington is full of people who put a high priority on community service. They contribute in a myriad or ways, both small and significant, to make their communities better for the most people for the long term.
Here are the 2014 honorees:
Dian Prentice, the owner of the Apple Cup Cafe in Chelan, started serving free Thanksgiving meals in the 1990s and has inspired the entire community to contribute to the effort. Last year, they served an astounding 1,600 meals.
Sara Rolfs quietly makes her passion for education felt in the Wenatchee School District, whether she's waving a sign supporting a school bond or working to improve the district in a leadership role of the Wenatchee Learns effort. She was instrumental in organizing the recent TEDx event - Connecting the Dots - in Wenatchee.
Barbara Tilly is a tireless advocate for children. She founded the "Packing Friendship" effort, which engages more than a dozen churches to provide nutritious snacks for children in need. She has also served on boards for the Chelan County Public Utility District, the Community Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and others
Fred Wiltse is a truly amazing human being, having volunteered for more than 70 years. The retired Game Department employee is 91 years old and has logged countless hours with the Douglas County Sheriff's office, the Eastmont Metropolitan Park District and others. Like the other volunteers, he considers his service no big deal.
Dan Richmond has spent a good part of his life serving people in Malaga. When something needs to be done, the orchardist is typically first in line to volunteer. As a water district commissioner, he oversaw an expansion of services to residents who needed water. When a school watch was needed, he stepped up and organized the effort.
We are proud of these leaders and everyone who volunteers their time to make our communities better. At the All Service Club Luncheon, a number of other important leaders were recognized: Kirk Mayer, manager of the Apple Valley Traffic Association, was named Apple Citizen Of The Year and Dr. Fred and Ann Deal were named the Lehmnan Johnson Award winners.
Service to others clearly our region apart.