Four receive White River Communities Champion Award

Four volunteers were honored May 21 as recipients of the 2012 White River Communities Champion Award at a special meeting of the White River Families First Coalition.

The Community Champion Award was established in 2011 as a way to recognize those contributing to communities within the White River School District. Recipients were nominated by members of the community because they have made a powerful difference without holding an office, title or public position.

The 2012 recipients were Ann Trullinger, John McArtor, Bob Howie and Mark Thompson.

Trullinger has been a volunteer with the Ida Marge Guild and has been active in the local fundraising for Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital since 1972. She serves on the Rainier Foothills Community Health Network steering committee with the Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation. A longtime senior center volunteer, she was instrumental in bringing new senior housing to Buckley, involved in everything from the purchase of the land to the details of the housing complex. She has been a Buckley Fire Department volunteer for many years and serves on the Citizens for a Better Buckley board. In that capacity, she helped get the new fire station on the ballot and was instrumental with the EMS levy. She volunteers at the fire station, greeting visitors and answering phones.

Further, she is active in the food backpack program at her church, which provides weekend food for children on the free and reduced lunch program in district schools. She is involved in the church quilt group which makes blankets for veterans and quilts for children, the fire department aid car and the Women, Infants and Children program, as well as pillowcases for children at Mary Bridge.

McArtor has been a teacher his entire life, though he is not certified. Described as a walking book of knowledge and a classic “abstract-sequential” learner, he serves as a volunteer tutor in the White River High School Connections Program. He has volunteered thousands of hours of service during the past 15 years to the program. Students tell of his compassion and magical way with the “differently-abled.”McArtor also is a volunteer and valuable asset for the high school’s Knowledge Bowl team. Attending twice-weekly meetings and often traveling with the team to competitions, he is the resident expert on geography and world events.

Three years ago, when Village Tutors made its home at the Buckley Youth Center, Howie and Thompson became champions to White River students.

Howie made a personal investment of time and energy to establish Village Tutors in Buckley, expanding tutoring services in the district, enlisting volunteers, developing a summer math camp and obtaining resources to create and maintain a computer lab at the Buckley Youth Center. He works behind the scenes, connecting, planning, seeking resources and recruiting.

Thompson also has been there since the beginning, volunteering with Village Tutors three evenings per week and serving as the interim Youth Center coordinator. A talented musician, he offered his band’s services to play at the Buckley Youth Center auction.Both teachers and parents compliment the work of the two volunteers.

The White River Families First Coalition promotes activities and partnerships that support the health and human service needs of individuals, youth and families in order to strengthen White River area communities. Coalition meetings begin at 4 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month at Glacier Middle School, except in July and December.


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