Burger booth gave a tasty treat in Sumner

If you were one of the 1,100-plus people who followed the annual tradition of ordering an onion burger from the Sumner Downtown Association burger booth at the Arts Festival, you know those burgers were a tasty treat – and should be followed up with a super powerful breath mint. Well, that’s after you had a slice of strawberry-rhubarb pie from the Rotary booth.

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If you were one of the 1,100-plus people who followed the annual tradition of ordering an onion burger from the Sumner Downtown Association burger booth at the Arts Festival, you know those burgers were a tasty treat – and should be followed up with a super powerful breath mint. Well, that’s after you had a slice of strawberry-rhubarb pie from the Rotary booth.

This year Heritage Bank really stepped up to the plate with employees and family members. Sumner branch assistant manager Nina Burlingame, this year’s booth “conductor,” had her whole family (Dale, Shannon and Curtis) involved starting with the booth set-up Thursday night. But a big thank you goes out to Ann, Denise, Dianna, Soozie, Alice, Jackie and Debbie of Heritage Bank for the first shift on Friday morning. Passing the Health Department inspection and getting the first batch of burgers out is huge! Special thanks to Pam Ruggles and the crew from Sunset Chevrolet and Louann Spencer for their help with set-up and sharing their years of experience running the booth.

The next shift was led by Rod Stephens, a Sumner attorney, his assistant Mary, chamber board members Eric Kantor and Melanie Warren and SDA board member Barbara Ford. Nina reports there was almost too much fun during this shift and we’ll have to keep an eye on them next year. Spartan Agency owners Glenn and Carol Whaley and Jack and Sandi Angeline and Susan McGuire from the Daffodil Festival were next in the booth and the Friday night closing shift featured Sumner Home Mortgage owners Sam and Janis Suznevich plus Sam’s parents, grilling up a storm under Nina’s ever watchful, I mean helpful, eye.

More Heritage Bank employees and friends Janine and Marc, Mandy and Johanna started Saturday morning with a big Rhubarb the Reindeer group hug. Sumner, the Rhubarb Pie Capital, loves to see the Rainier’s Rhubarb downtown whenever he can make it and a special thanks goes out to Barbara Skinner for her part in coordinating his appearance. Alan Qualey, of Sumner’s Main Street Dairy Freeze, was new to the grill this year, but with his experience, he took to it like a duck to water. And he stayed for a double shift (bless his heart) and made a friend out of Nina for life. Next, more Heritage Bank employees, Margot and Joan, local dentist, Denise Lo, Ed Forghani, Eileen Smith and Windmill Gardens owner Chef Ben DeGoede, were partnered with Sumner’s own Police Chief John Galle to serve up those burgers. Chief Galle, who is not one for long speeches, said it was “good” and Nina told me it was hard to get Denise to leave as she was having so much fun.

But to me, the best part of working the booth is getting to drive our SDA golf cart. The unofficial police blotter mentions seeing drivers Nina (shocker) and her son Curtis, Marc Severson and our own loveable Gordy Andersen putting around downtown replenishing supplies in the booth. And a big thanks to Nina, Dale, Glenn, Gordy and the Sunset crew for set-up and take-down of the booth.

It was definitely a successful event and we couldn’t have done it without all of you. Plus, 1,100 folks – and one reindeer – thought it was another tasty reason to spend some time in Sumner.

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