Sequim Citizen of the Year luncheon on Tuesday

Emiko Brock, Labbe, Olsen to be honored

SEQUIM — Three dedicated Sequim volunteers — Renne Emiko Brock, Carol Labbe and Pauline Olsen — have been named finalists for the 2023 Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award.

The Citizen of the Year luncheon, which will honor the finalists and reveal the Citizen of the Year recipient, is set for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at The Cedars at Dungeness golf course, 1965 Woodcock Road.

The trio was selected from a pool of nominees by a committee of former winners on Feb. 16.

“They each exemplify a different kind of volunteerism and community support,” chamber representatives said in a press release. “All three have generously given of themselves for the benefit of our region.”

Sound Publishing is the Sunshine Sponsor of the event, and chamber board president Eran Kennedy will present the award, alongside Citizen of the Year committee chair Lorie Fazio.

Registration to attend the event is done through the Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce; see sequimchamber.com.

For more information about this or other chamber events, contact chamber executive director Beth Pratt at director@sequimchamber.com or 360-683-6197.

Carol Labbe

Nominated by Kyra Humphrey, Labbe was described as “one of those ‘behind the scenes’ angels for our community.”

After three decades working in the Sequim School District, she has helped raise countless dollars for uncompensated care and research for children at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

In 2023, the Sequim Guild for Seattle Children’s Hospital — under Labbe’s leadership and inspiration — raised more than $75,000. Her work has resulted in creative partnerships, new relationships with other organizations, and new ways to connect with donors, chamber representatives said.

More than 1,000 Clallam County children were seen during fiscal year 2022-23 at Seattle Children’s.

Renne Emiko Brock

For more than 18 years, finalist Emiko Brock has produced and sponsored Sequim’s First Friday Art Walk, as well as acted as director for the North Olympic Fiber Arts Festival.

“Renne puts Sequim ‘on the map’ in terms of art,” noted Laura MacMurchie, Emiko Brock’s nominator.

She also is heavily involved in Sequim’s Botanical Garden, has been a volunteer both for the Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce, the City of Sequim’s Sunshine Festival, and the Sequim Irrigation Festival. From one of her letters of support, Emiko Brock was lauded as “an excellent teacher, a community advocate, and a great role model for women.”

Pauline Olsen

Finding inspiration in her own career, and the care needed for her sister and husband as they aged, Olsen founded the senior support organization Lois’ Legacy.

Dedicated to improving the quality of care both in nursing and assisted living facilities, Lois’ Legacy also provides resources and information to seniors who wish to age in their own home and to direct their own care.

Nominator Petra Reninger said that Olsen’s passion and tireless dedication to serving her community is an inspiration: “Pauline is 89 years old … she is a wonderful role model to other retirees in how to thrive while aging gracefully.”

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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 editor@sequimgazette.com.

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