The following is written by Sumner mayor Dave Enslow:
This summer, we’ve already talked about how the Daffodil Valley Sports Complex is being renamed as the Bill Heath Sports Complex. We could talk about Bill and his service in World War II or his many years inspiring students as a teacher.
However, Bill would tell you that it’s not about him and he did not build the sports complex. In fact, he gave us the 38 pages on which he tracked 1884 contributors to the sports complex over the 10 years it took to build.
Thirty-five of those donors contributed $10,000 or more while others gave $10 or even $1. Over 1500 were individual donors while 342 contributions came from businesses and organizations with another 29 from grants and foundations.
Ten gifts were in memory of someone else. Those giving came from primarily Sumner and our neighbors, but gifts also came in from Winnemucca, Nevada; Washington DC; Youngtown, Ohio; San Francisco, California; and even Auckland, New Zealand.
So why is Bill’s name on the complex? Because for 10 years, he’s the one who kept asking, and asking, whether in person, on the phone or in a formal grant request.
Robyn DeLorm said that he was so persistent that people would dive under their desks if they saw him coming. He also valued every gift, from the highest to the $1 contribution. In fact, he tracked every single one on his spreadsheet that stretched to 38 pages.
Our greatest leaders are those who don’t get a project done themselves, but rally and inspire others to join in. It’s that same ability to inspire collaboration that built the YMCA, Rainier View Park, and even Sumner itself.