It was a wild weekend in and around the Bonney Lake with a couple of wildfires, a mid-day collision on state Route 410 Saturday and a home fire allegedly set by a Buckley man.
East Pierce Fire and the police departments were very busy.
It may have been a tough weekend for fire and police, but the Bonney Lake Food Bank Hot Rods and Harley and Hot Dog stuff-off showed why Bonney Lake is the town it is.
Over the past years I have covered a pile of towns in King and Pierce counties. Political fireworks blast off from time to time in all towns, but only a couple I have covered have the type of community gatherings I see in Bonney Lake.
Maple Valley brings out the troops every time a volunteer event is announced. When I first started covering in Maple Valley I would go shoot one of the designated gatherings for being good and it seemed like half the town was there. Part of the reason is Lake Wilderness is a natural gathering spot. It makes bringing the troops together for almost any cause easier.
Bonney Lake has Lake Tapps, Allan Yorke Park and people who like to come together. That was evident Saturday at the food bank event. Stew Bowen, food bank director, was the perfect host for the affair, working the hot dog eating contest like a pro. I had a blast shooting it and I couldn’t help but be impressed by all the folks coming out to support Stew’s work and the food bank.
When I arrived Stew asked me to take a picture of the Scott Cull Memorial Benefit Ride check for $8,000. I had Stew and Lynda Woods stand next to the blown up check for the picture.
Stew said Scott Cull died in a motorcycle accident and his friends put the benefit ride together in his memory.
These are the actions that make a community like Bonney Lake.
Being a food bank director may seem like an easy-pleasey gig. But I have worked with most of the food banks in the region, and it is a tough and emotionally draining jobs. The Great Recession has made it much more demanding.
For a community to keep all its pieces together in times like this it needs someone like Stew, and many more.
I have another theory that these younger towns like Bonney Lake and Maple Valley have more community involvement than 100-year-old burgs because it takes a century or so to grow the deep roots of intense animosity necessary for true community disfunction.
Maybe Bonney Lake is different and it will become a modern day Shangri-La. We shall see. But so far, so good.