PORT TOWNSEND — Seven volunteers — four of them siblings — will be honored with the Jefferson County Heart of Service award for 2018 at a noon luncheon Tuesday.
The luncheon, which is open to the public, will be at Fort Worden Commons. Sponsoring Rotary Clubs will purchase lunch for each honoree and his or her guest. Others can purchase lunch at the commons.
The volunteer contributions of a family of young people will be recognized along with those of three adults.
• Meigan, Kailee, Jason and Leianna Kunz — Each of the four siblings has contributed mightily to Port Townsend High School.
• Bonnie Douglas — This Quilcene volunteer can be found at the Quilcene Historical Museum, her church, or filling backpacks for children living with food insecurity.
• Barbara Berthiaume — This Port Ludlow volunteer is best known for her work with the Boeing Bluebills, but she also is active in many other capacities.
• Valerie Phimister — This Port Townsend volunteer’s most recent contributions have been as president of NAMI Jefferson County, a Port Townsend nonprofit that offers support and advocacy for those with mental illness.
They will receive framed award certificates honoring the “dedication, sacrifice and accomplishments” of community leaders and volunteers “who have made a difference in Jefferson County, who have made our communities a better place by doing extraordinary things for their neighbors, their community or the environment.”
This is the 13th year for the Heart of Service award, sponsored by the Peninsula Daily News, the Rotary Club of Port Townsend (noon club), the Port Townsend Sunrise Rotary Club and the East Jefferson Rotary Club.
“The class of honorees this year truly represents everything this award is intended to recognize,” said Terry R. Ward, publisher of the PDN.
“These outstanding community-minded individuals possess hearts of service and an honest desire to make a difference in the community.
“Jefferson County is indeed a better place because of each of their efforts.”
Here is more about the honorees:
Meigan, Kailee, Jason and Leianna Kunz — The four siblings, part of a family of eight, were nominated for the award by Lois Sherwood, Interact advisor and Students for Sustainability community co-advisor.
All have been active in the Port Townsend High School Interact Club and all have shown commitment, consistency and dedication to service, Sherwood said.
“Each of the four Kunz young adults is outstanding in a unique way,” Sherwood said. “Over the years, I have seen that their family builds young adults who are leaders and are independent and earnest about service.”
The family — with parents Cindi and Mike Kunz — was spotlighted by USA Today in 2014 for their bluegrass band.
Seniors Kailee and Meigan and juniors Jason and Leianna serve in both Interact and Students for Sustainability.
Bonnie Douglas — Douglas was nominated by Quilcene residents Carol Christiansen, a 2014 Heart of Service award recipient; Cleone Telling, a 2017 Heart of Service award recipient; David and Christine Satterlee; Carol Barker; Bonnie McDaniel and Laurie Mattson of Brinnon, with several others writing letters of support.
They speak of her volunteer work with the Quilcene Historical Museum, the Presbyterian Church, the Quilcene Habitat Store, Quilcene Lions Club,Quilcene-Brinnon Garden Club, the Boeing Bluebills and the Weekend Nutrition Program.
“What would our hungry kids do without Bonnie’s gift of compassion?” said the Satterlees.
“She is the hidden gem in this community,” said Deborah Williams in her letter.
“Bonnie’s passion and dedication to her community makes her a wonderful role model for community caring,” said Barbara Berthiaume, in her letter.
Said Tom and Cass Brotherton of Quilcene: “She is working quietly behind the scene on most projects in the area to help others.”
Linda Herzog, Heart of Service recipient in 2016, told of Douglas’ contributions to Gifts in Kind and the Weekend Nutrition Program.
“Thank you, Bonnie, on behalf of all of us senior citizens who want (and need) the best today’s kids can achieve,” Herzog said.
Barbara Berthiaume — “When Barbara sees a need in the community, she can set up a program, find volunteers, get funding somehow, and develop the leadership to make that program an on-going asset,” said Myron Vogt, who nominated her for the award.
Best know for her work with the Boeing Bluebills, Berthiaume also works to distribute World Vision goods, provide school supplies and organize and participate in the summer feeding program.
She also serves as co-chair of the Dove House Benefit Golf Tournament, on the Jefferson County Hospice board, as an editor and contributor to the Port Ludlow VOICE and as secretary of the Peninsula Support Organization.
She also originated and is a past chair of the Port Ludlow Newcomers Club.
Rick Thompson, Chimacum School superintendent, said in his support letter that Berthiaume “personifies the Heart of Service.”
He mentions her work with the Boeing Bluebills, including the group’s support of STEM for school children and her rallying people to volunteer at the Chimacum Creek Primary School.
“In thinking about Barb for this award, I am struck by the concept of maven as described by Malcolm Gladwell in his book, ‘The Tipping Point.’ Barb enlightens. Barb connects. Barb brings great energy into a room. She is realistic, tough, hopeful and caring.”
Beulah Kingsolver, executive director of Dove House, said that Berthiaume “has made a difference in many ways for Dove House.”
Valerie Phimister — After joining the board of the Jefferson County affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in 2012, Phimister began serving as the president of NAMI Jefferson County in 2014.
“During Valerie’s tenure on the board, she has shown tireless dedication” to NAMI’s goals of providing support, education and advocacy for those with mental illness and their families, said nominator Elaine Nelson, past president of NAMI JeffCo, who provided a long list of activities Phimister had done for the affiliate.
“Valerie leads by example, taking every opportunity to interact with and to support other local organizations and individuals,” Nelson said.
Phimister led the initiative that resulted in NAMI Jefferson County becoming the first NAMI affiliate in the state to be certificated by both the state and national NAMI organizations, said Patrick Johnson, who wrote a letter of support.
“Val has taught many classes, met with innumerable groups and individuals, facilitated many support groups, ensured the financial solvency of our affiliate and attends to the thousands of details that are integral to the success of any organization whose sole purpose is to help others,” Johnson said.
“She is a ball of fire!” said Sydney Ruth Keegan, vice president of the NAMI JeffCo board, in her letter of support.
“Her energy, diligence and dedication are a wonder to behold.”
Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected]