In 2017, Kirkland engaged 5,989 volunteers who gave more than 33,000 hours of their time and talents to the city. Their contributions last year are valued at $1 million.
On April 12, the city hosted its annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration at the Peter Kirk Community Center. Council members Jay Arnold and Tom Neir gave out a variety of awards to volunteers of all ages, including the first Founders Award to Dave Ramsay, the former city manager who started the Green Kirkland Partnership.
The event theme this year was inspired by springtime, as volunteers — including individuals, families, schools, youth groups, neighborhoods, corporate groups and service clubs — help the community to grow and thrive.
City manager Kurt Triplett said the origin of the word “volunteer” comes from the Latin “voluntarius,” which means “willing.”
“Thank you for being willing to keep our parks looking amazing by pulling weeds and planting trees. Thank you for being willing to help us out with police and fire…for being willing to be our emergency radio operators…and for being willing to take care of our street flags and all of the other amazing things you do,” he said to the volunteers before Arnold and Neir started announcing the award winners.
The Leadership award was given to Peter Kirk Community Center volunteer Jeanette Carter and Green Kirkland Partnership volunteer Jim Hunt.
Pedestrian flag steward and parks volunteer Kobey Chew, Green Kirkland Partnership volunteer Norm McKinley, community center volunteer Gail Schaeffer and UW-REN students Audrey, Sam, Elise, Bryan, Alec, Jason and Beth received the Above and Beyond the Call of Duty award.
The Behind the Scenes award was given to Kirkland police youth explorers volunteer Nicole Benson, human resources volunteer Kris Carlson, community center volunteers Rosie and Tina Conforti, Kirkland emergency communications team volunteer Jim Hughes, digital communications/media volunteer Jose Lopez, Green Kirkland Partnership volunteer Doug Murray, human resources/city hall front desk volunteer Sheryl Owens and Sue Contreras, who volunteers for the Cross Kirkland Corridor, parks and Green Kirkland.
Mary De Friel, of the Kirkland emergency communications team, received the Kirkland Fire Milton “Bob” Knight ARES award.
Eileen Trentman Youth Scholarship awards were given to Lauren Peterson and Tamini Smart of the Kirkland Youth Council and Christian Tomisser of the Kirkland Police Youth Explorers.
The city also recognized all volunteers who contributed more than 10 hours last year in the event program.
See kirklandwa.gov for more.