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2017 Governor's Volunteer Service Awards recipients

Washington celebrates Volunteer Appreciation Day

Olympia - To recognize the countless acts of service performed by one of Washington’s most valuable assets — its volunteers — Gov. Jay Inslee has proclaimed April 11 as Volunteer Appreciation Day.

“I join all Washingtonians in thanking these individuals who contribute tirelessly to benefit others,” Inslee said. “People who volunteer their time and energy are the backbone of our state. I encourage others to look for opportunities that not only provide valuable experience but also help strengthen our communities.”

To celebrate, the 13th Annual Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards will be presented to 18 honorees April 11 at the Executive Mansion in Olympia. These outstanding volunteers range in age from 18 to 90 years. Nominated by public, private, nonprofit organizations and volunteer centers from across the state, the recipients of the 2017 awards are:

Individual Category Volunteer Organization City
Bruce and Beth Cheshier Citizen Corps/CERT German Shephard Search Dogs of Wash. State Tacoma
Wayne Connell Disaster/Emergency Response Snohomish County Dept. of Emergency Management Everett
Natalie Hartkopf Education Reading Partners Seattle Seattle
Glenn Hawley Social Services Whatcom County Sheriff's Office Bellingham
Jack Irby Health Care Seattle Children's Hospital Seattle
Ryan Lazo AmeriCorps Alumnus Center for Civic Engagement at WSU Pullman
Mary Patterson Human Services Port Angeles Food Bank Port Angeles
German Rosas Social Services Children's Home Society of Washington Walla Walla
Harold Vlist Veteran Puget Sound Navy Museum Bremerton
Riann Wishon Animal Welfare Seattle Area Feline Rescue Shoreline
Roberta Woods Environment City of Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation - Park Stewardship Program Olympia
Sophie Yasuda Youth Woodland Park Zoo Seattle
National Service Category Volunteer Organization City
Liliana Fischer AmeriCorps VISTA Rainier Valley Food Bank Seattle
Chuck Sonner RSVP United Way of Thurston County Olympia
William Weatherby AmeriCorps Member Federal Way Public Schools Federal Way
Groups Category Volunteer Organization City
Concur Employer-based Program United Way of King County Seattle
Volunteer Transportation Service Group Sound Generations Seattle
Ramirez Family Volunteer Family Centralia Police Department Centralia

“In April, we celebrate Washington’s dedicated volunteers who do their part to improve the lives of others,” said Debbie Schuffenhauer, executive director of Serve Washington. “We are proud to join Gov. Inslee in recognizing some of our state’s most committed volunteers.”

On the evening of April 11, the Seattle Mariners and Serve Washington will host the ninth annual Salute to Volunteers Night ( at Safeco Field. Pre-game ceremonies will include an on-field special tribute to the volunteers. The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by a recipient of this year’s award.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities, contact the Volunteer Centers of Washington <> at 800-865-8683 or Serve Washington at <> or 360-902-0656.

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