Deon Kapetan at the Sequim Irrigation Festival float unveiling at 7 Cedars Casino in 2016. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Deon Kapetan at the Sequim Irrigation Festival float unveiling at 7 Cedars Casino in 2016. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim chamber picks finalists for Citizen of Year award

SEQUIM — The Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year nominees have been announced, and a Tuesday luncheon will see honors bestowed on the top community advocate of 2016.

This year’s candidates include Sequim Irrigation Festival stalwarts, a couple with varied volunteer interests and perhaps the youngest candidate the annual award’s committee has ever seen.

Finalists for this year’s award include Dave Bekkevar, River Jensen, Deon Kapetan and Dave and Patsy Mattingley.

The community is invited to join chamber members at the 2016 Citizen of the Year Award luncheon to honor this year’s recipient and finalists. The luncheon is set for 11:45 a.m. Tuesday at Sunland Golf &Country Club, 109 Hilltop Drive.

While the RSVP deadline for the meal has passed, others can still attend and enjoy coffee or tea. The cost is $20 for lunch or $5 for coffee/tea only. Those interested should contact the chamber at office@sequimchamber.com or 360-683-6197.

A committee made up of past Citizen of the Year recipients recently met to choose the Citizen of the Year finalists and a winner.

About the finalists

Bekkevar is a member in good standing with the Sequim Elks Naval Lodge, Sequim Prairie Grange, Sequim Masonic Lodge and Sequim Valley Lions Club.

A descendant of two Sequim pioneer families, Bekkevar is a longtime supporter and participant in the Sequim Irrigation Festival parade and was the driving force behind the creation and organization of the festival’s Logging Show for more than 25 years.

Though he is now passing the proverbial torch of Logging Show operations to his sons, Bekkevar remains active in soliciting and organizing dozens of volunteers and show participants for the community event.

Last fall, River — at 10 years old — made more than 500 gift bags to give to the homeless in Port Angeles and Sequim.

Described as “a sweet young lady who is very kind and polite,” River, a Carlsborg native, worked on collecting items for the homeless, made bags of hygiene products for them and wrote handmade cards to each person for every bag.

She personally handed them out, too.

“My favorite part is I get to see the smiles on their faces,” River said.

She has volunteered at the Salvation Army in Port Angeles with her mother, Anna Jensen, every Christmas Eve since she was 6.

Kapetan has been involved with the Sequim Irrigation Festival for more than 16 years.

She took over the directorship in 2011 when the festival was struggling financially and built up its resources to provide security in the event of a disaster.

Under her leadership, the all-volunteer Sequim Irrigation Festival was voted Best Small Town Event by KING-TV’s “Evening Magazine.”

The festival consists of more than 20 events and has more than 30 volunteer board members.

She’s also involved in a number of other organizations in the community, including Sequim Little League, Sequim Food Bank, Welfare for Animals Guild and others.

The Mattingleys

David Mattingley serves as Rotary Club of Sequim secretary, Sequim Food Bank secretary and is an active member of Citizens for Sequim Schools.

He was Rotary’s president, treasurer, parade committee board member, co-chairman of the salmon bake and Boy Scouts liaison for the Rotary Club of Sequim, and served as campaign chairman for a Citizens for Sequim Schools’ bond effort in 2014.

Patsy Mattingley has served the Sequim City Band in multiple roles — as president, chief operating officer and developer of the James Center for the Performing Arts.

She’s also helped organize Dungeness Valley Health &Wellness Fun Walk teams and organized the Sequim Centennial Committee’s Fourth of July Family Picnic.

Among various other community groups — including the United States Pony Clubs Board of Governors — she helped organize the Sequim Education Foundation Variety Show and served on the city of Sequim’s City Hall Site Search Committee.

In 2013, Patsy Mattingley was bestowed the Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce’s Service Award, a runner-up for Citizen of the Year.

Patsy and David Mattingley.

Patsy and David Mattingley.

Ten-year-old River Jensen of Carlsborg hands out gift bags full of socks, hats and toiletries at the Salvation Army in Port Angeles on Dec. 20. (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Ten-year-old River Jensen of Carlsborg hands out gift bags full of socks, hats and toiletries at the Salvation Army in Port Angeles on Dec. 20. (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

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