Sequim chamber picks trio of finalists for 2019 Citizen of Year honor

Robin Bookter

Robin Bookter

SEQUIM — A trio of local volunteers with a multitude of community projects, interests and endeavors are up for Sequim’s top civic honor this month.

Robin Bookter, Deon Kapetan and Captain Crystal Stout are the finalists for the Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Citizen of the Year Award.

The chamber announced the names last week and will name the award winner at its annual award ceremony Tuesday at The Cedars at Dungeness, 1965 Woodcock Road.

The community is invited to join the chamber and celebrate this year’s recipient and finalists. RSVPs/registrations are due by noon Friday at

Sponsored by Sound Publishing and the Sequim School District, the chamber luncheon sees check-in begin at 11:30 a.m. and the program start at 11:45 a.m.

Cost for the event is $35 for non-chamber members having lunch ($15 without) or $30 and $10 for chamber members.

Last year, Clare Manis Hatler and Don Hatler were jointly named the 2018 Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.

Here is more information about the finalists.

Robin Bookter

Much of Bookter’s work has focused on working to help women be successful in owning their own business while having a focus on healthy living, according to the Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce.

She has participated in several KaBOOM! (an organization that builds playgrounds in under-served areas) and Habitat for Humanity projects, bringing a background in the home improvement industry to them.

She volunteered for the City of Hope Breast Cancer event in 2001 and 2002; the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer event in 2002 and 2003 and served as guest speaker in 2012.

She also has volunteered with Olympic Medical Center, which has hospitals in Sequim and Port Angeles.

She has volunteered in many First Federal-hosted events such as the Clallam County Fair, Olympic Medical Center Teddy Bear Tea, Sequim Irrigation Festival Parade and July 4th Parade. She has volunteered at Purple Haze Days, Purple Haze Lavender Festival and the Boys & Girls Club.

Bookter may be best know for her volunteer work with the Sequim Irrigation Festival. She’s volunteered for the Crazy Days Breakfast, Kickoff Dinner & Auction, Scholarship Royalty Pageant, Sponsorship Committee, Grand Parade and has served as Royalty Mom and Executive Board member for the festival.

She graduated from Arlington High School in 1984, attended Fort Worth School of Business 1984-1985 and later attended Peninsula College.

Deon Kapetan

Kapetan has donated her time and energy to many different organizations, according to the Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce.

A volunteer with the Sequim Irrigation Festival for several years prior, Kapetan took over as director in 2011 at a time when the festival was struggling financially.

Deon Kapetan

Deon Kapetan

She helped the organization build up reserves, put the festival in a position to support community organizations by investing in equipment, and created a positive atmosphere for Sequim businesses to partner with the festival, chamber members said.

Under her watch, they said, she worked to expand visibility beyond the Olympic Peninsula and managed to increase attendance at the festival, contributing growth to the region, community and businesses. She also serves as the Irrigation Festival representative on the Sequim Dungeness-Valley Chamber Board.

Kapetan is vice president of the Sequim Food Bank board and treasurer for the Jeffrey Katerina Foundation, a board on which she’s served for at least 15 years.

She and her family actively support and foster dogs with Welfare for Animals Guild (WAG) who are in need of a home. She also twice hosted foreign exchange students.

Her other community activities include helping raise funds to build the Little League Champions Field; leading a fundraiser whose proceeds supported a local Port Angeles cancer group; supporting the Shiso City fundraiser to send Sequim students to Shiso, Japan, and participating as a chaperone for a trip, and participating/supporting in local school booster clubs, Eagle Scouts and the Wolf Pack organization.

Captain Crystal Stout

Best known as Captain Crystal, Stout is a third-generation hot air balloonist who grew up in Vancouver, Wash., and moved to Sequim seven years ago.

Captain Crystal Stout

Captain Crystal Stout

An experienced, licensed balloon pilot with more than 30 years of experience, she owns and manages a for-profit balloon company called Morning Star Balloon Company and is executive director/CEO of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Dream Catcher Balloon.

Stout manages the Annual Olympic Peninsula Air Affaire held at the Sequim Airport each August.

She also volunteers with both the Sequim and Port Angeles chambers of commerce ambassador groups that support and promote local businesses.

She won the Sequim Dungeness-Valley Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year Award in 2018, and her efforts for the disabled through Dream Catcher Balloon earned her the Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellow Award in 2018.

Stout can be found at various ribbon-cuttings, concerts, parades, First Friday Art Walks, special events and festivals. Each November she joins community advocate/2004 Citizen of the Year Emily Westcott in coordinating volunteers to install and eventually remove downtown Sequim Christmas decorations.

She also organizes the effort to find, transport, place and decorate the 30-foot Sequim Christmas tree at Centennial Place.


Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].

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