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Chamber honors 'Everyday Heroes'

By Kevin Hanson, The Courier-Herald

Those who donate their time, energy and expertise make Enumclaw a better place to live, and their efforts don't go without notice. The Enumclaw Area Chamber of Commerce annually honors a handful of community volunteers through its "Everyday Heroes" program, and this year was no exception.

A roomful of nominated "heroes" and others filled the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall Nov. 19 for the chamber's yearly Thanks For Giving dinner.

Honored in the "Individual Citizen" category was Mike Runland. He has been a member of the Enumclaw Lions Club for 14 years, serving as president and secretary along the way, and is presently chairman of the Scholarship Committee. He has spent two years as a member of the Enumclaw Community Hospital Foundation board, with his efforts directed primarily toward raising money for the hospital. In addition, he has served as chairman of numerous local projects, including Read and Lead, Kids Vote; he has worked on behalf of Enumclaw School District levy campaigns, was involved with adult tutoring at Weyerhaeuser and is an active board member for the chamber. Along the way, he has found time to coach his kids' basketball, T-ball and fastpitch teams.

Selected in the "Pioneer" category was Lewis Baker, a homegrown "hero," who graduated from Enumclaw High School. After serving missions in Puerto Rico and Colombia, he returned to Enumclaw, where he has been active in his church and volunteered as an interpreter for the court system and hospital. He is a board member for Plateau Outreach Ministry and volunteers his time helping area senior citizens with their tax returns. An early participant with the king County Volunteer Driver organization, he has driven numerous Plateau residents to medical appointments in Seattle. He continues to recruit volunteers for each cause he's involved in, helping ensure continued success of those programs.

The "Student/Youth" award winner was Kerry McHugh, a student at Enumclaw High School. It was noted that she spent countless hours last spring organizing a track meet for local elementary schools, which included trophies and ribbons for the winners. She is a member of Young Life, is a shift manager for the school store and is involved in DECA at Enumclaw High, competing at the state level in the student club.

Honored in the "Business" category was Maple Thicket Florist and Gifts and owner Karen Stahley. Stahley has a close relationship with Evergreen Enumclaw Healthcare, donating flowers each month that residents turn into arrangements for themselves and other residents. In addition, Stahley donates corsages and boutonnieres for the formal dances sponsored as part of the facility's working relationship with White River High School's psychology classes and Buddy Up! program.

Honored in the "Organization" category was the Enumclaw Rotary Club. The service organization has assisted the local senior center with holiday dinners for nearly 20 years and operates a poinsettia delivery program for homebound seniors (which has expanded to a spring flower basket program). Recently, the club provided funds for pedometers so senior citizens could participate in the center's Walk Across America program and, just a couple of weeks ago, members painted the inside of the senior center.

Others nominated as "individual citizens" were:

Craig Gammon - has lent his musical talents to numerous worthy causes through the years, is a board member for Arts Alive! and has helped organize musical entertainment for Enumclaw's annual Fourth of July celebration.

Rena Jansen - has been an active member of the Westwood Elementary PTA, has worked on bond campaigns for the Enumclaw School District and volunteered with the district's "reinvention" process. She is a trained volunteer through the Domestic Abuse Women's Network, helps staff the DAWN "crisis line" weekly and is involved with the Enumclaw Domestic Violence Task Force. She is active with the Treehouse Organization, which supports foster children, and was recently named to the city of Enumclaw's Human Services Advisory Board.

Dr. Randy Magley - provides annual physical exams for high school athletes and spends his Friday nights during the football season on the sidelines at Pete's Pool, ready to assist any injured Enumclaw Hornets. In his medical practice, he has continued to visit patients in their homes when they're unable to make it to his office.

Bill Marcum - since coming to the community three years ago as publisher of The Courier-Herald, he has twice chaired the Holiday Fantasy fund raiser for the Enumclaw Community Hospital Foundation, has twice chaired the Chamber of Commerce golf tournament and has been active in Rotary Club, particularly assisting with fund raising efforts. He has been involved with Arts Alive! and Ducks Unlimited and contributes to the King County Sexual Assault Task Force, local schools, youth sports and Relay For Life.

Phil and Louise Poppleton - have completely renovated Veterans Park through countless hours of hard work. They've done everything from recruiting volunteers and securing donations to hauling dirt and digging trenches. They have planted shrubs, trees and other plants, turning barren areas of the visible park into a source of pride for the city.

Others nominated in the "Pioneer" category were:

Ben Graham - was involved with Boy Scouts of America for 28 years, raising funds for buildings and helping operate 10 Scout camps in three states. He was one of the first Food Bank workers in the community, is an active member of Kiwanis Club and his church, has been a reading tutor at local elementary schools and, as a member of the Larks singing group, visits nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Ray Limbo - volunteers at the Visitor Center, volunteered during the last Fourth of July celebration and is involved with the Enumclaw Food Bank. For more than two decades, he has been involved with the local Crescent Lodge and currently serves as secretary.

Herb Lobdell - takes it upon himself to mow the weeds and brush along the old railroad grade north of Battersby Avenue, keeping it clear for the many people who walk the trail.

Margie Waldemarson - has been a volunteer at Evergreen Enumclaw Healthcare and Rehabilitation for almost 25 years. She arrives weekly to set hair for female residents, who appreciate the free service.

Kevin Hanson can be reached at khanson@courierherald.com

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