Lee Lawrence named Sequim Citizen of the Year

SEQUIM — Before Lee Lawrence was handed the Sequim Citizen of the Year 2005 plaque, he hailed a fellow award nominee.

Bill Cunningham epitomizes a life of giving and is my role model, Lawrence told the crowd gathered at John Wayne Marina for Tuesday’s award luncheon.

The Citizen of the Year award, first presented in 1968, is sponsored by the Sequim Chamber of Commerce.

Members nominate candidates and past award recipients vote to select the winner while the other nominees receive Community Service Award plaques.

This year’s nominees, Lawrence, Cunningham and longtime schools volunteer Elna Kawal juggle a dazzling mix of non-paying jobs.

Kawal’s lengthy list includes coordinating the Take It Seriously Abstinence media project, work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula; and organization of numerous programs all over the school district.

Cunningham is a behind-the-scenes St. Vincent de Paul Society volunteer, driving people to doctor appointments, picking up prescriptions and groceries for them and performing many other jobs, in addition to fundraising for Knights of Columbus scholarships and Tall Elks programs for disabled children.

He also helps organize the Giving Tree, which buys and gives toys to children in low-income families at Christmas.

And Lawrence, who will be 50 this year, has so many volunteer projects going on at once that he joked, “It sounds like a list for adult ADD (attention-deficit disorder) sufferers.”

A small sample of the organizations he’s worked with includes the Sequim Food Bank, Senior Nutrition Center, Irrigation Festival, Boys & Girls Club, Citizens for Sequim Schools, and Sequim Museum & Arts Center.

“Lee does so many things, and he’s president of our Rotary Club,” said Bob McCrorie, the Museum & Arts Center president who nominated Lawrence.

“He paints homes for the elderly. I’ve seen him doing it,” McCrorie added.

“He’s broken all the records for involvement in our community.”

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