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Bock, a key player in business community, is leaving Buckley

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By Jessica Keller, The Courier-Herald

In the seven years Debbie Bock has lived in and owned a business in Buckley, she has always seen the potential of the town and has worked hard to make her vision materialize.

But now, a job change is taking Bock, the owner of Keepsakes on Main Street in Buckley, out of the area, leaving the town without one of its foremost business and revitalization promoters.

Bock is turning the reins of her business over to a new owner May 1, and will join her husband, who took a job in Everett, in their new home in Snohomish, but Bock does not make the change easily.

"I'll really miss Buckley," she said.

In her almost seven years as a business owner, Bock has done a lot to support downtown businesses, City Clerk Cheryl Proffitt said.

She was one of the original business owner representatives on Buckley's Community Development Committee since it began a couple of years ago and has been a driving force for that committee, Proffitt said.

As a business owner, member of the Chamber of Commerce and a member of that committee, she has also been involved in getting new entrance stone markers for the town, getting the downtown clock and fountain repairs made, ordering and planting flower baskets for the city, sometimes using her own funds, and coordinating volunteers for the planting. She has also always supported other businesses in the downtown, and has organized city sidewalk sales to help promote businesses. Proffitt also said Bock has an elaborate Christmas tree up for auction at the Community Development Committee's annual auction and fund raiser.

Proffitt said Bock has also been instrumental in helping develop Buckley's initial draft for a new sign code. She's helped come up with a family of colors for the repainting of downtown businesses and has also contacted art schools looking for students to paint murals on the sides of downtown buildings. She's also been an advocate of having a monument at the entrance to downtown, listing all the business owners.

"She gives well beyond what is asked from her," Proffitt said. "She's just that kind of person."

Beyond that, Proffitt said, Bock also extends her attention, siting the numerous senior projects she's helped high school students with and her generosity and caring with people in need.

"She just has a real heart for people," Proffitt said.

But Bock modestly states, she has just helped take care of her town, its people and businesses. Bock said her biggest contribution, in her eyes, is her vision and energy in making Buckley a brighter, better place.

From the onset Bock has always believed Buckley has the potential to be a great town for its residents and for tourists, which is why she has taken such a great interest in improving the downtown.

"Because there's no reason that Buckley shouldn't be a destination point," she said.

"Buckley has all the groundwork and all the charm that it needs, but it just needs revitalization, and I just wanted to be a part of that," Bock stated.

Since she has been involved with the Community Development Committee, she has seen the sense of partnership between the city, its residents and the business owners grow, and feels positive about the progress Buckley has made to improve and appeal to tourists and small business owners.

Bock said she has been thankful for all the friends she has made during her stay, the encouragement she has received as a small business owner, and for all the people she has worked with to make Buckley come alive, such as those on the Community Development Committee.

"They're a sharp group of people who are determined to see it through," she said.

She is convinced the Buckley downtown will continue to improve and become even more small business and tourist friendly, and the goals of the Community Development Committee will be accomplished, giving Buckley that destination point on a map she thinks it deserves.

Bock did say, while she is preparing for her upcoming adventure, she is not going to leave Buckley behind, and will come back often, especially to check on the improvements on Main Street.

"I feel really encouraged that it's really going to happen in Buckley, and it's just sad that I have to leave before it happens," she said.

Jessica Keller can be reached at jkeller@courierherald.com

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