“The City of Tacoma will honor six individuals and four organizations at the 14th annual City of Destiny awards June 13 for the outstanding volunteer service they provide to the community.The event will mark the beginning of a new tradition for the awards. Each winner will receive a colorful glass sculpture created by students in the Hilltop Artists In Residence Program. During the 7 p.m. invitation-only event at Theater on the Square, Mayor Brian Ebersole and City Council Members will present the awards.The City Council-appointed Citizens’ Recognition Committee selected the 10 winners from 61 nominations. This year’s City of Destiny award winners include:- David Sparling, M.D. (Adult Leadership). For the past four decades, David Sparling has tirelessly committed to making Tacoma a healthy community. He has helped countless numbers of people by serving in many different ways. Locally, Sparling has cared for a generation of Tacomans at his pediatrics practice. He has served on dozens of boards and commissions, advocated for programs that keep kids out of gangs and improve their performance and behavior at school and supported HIV Names Reporting-a program that helps people get counseling and education.Globally, Sparling arranged shipments of $2.5 million in donated medicine and supplies to Russia to help prevent cancer and birth defects. – Latasha Evans (Tie – Youth Leadership). Lincoln High School’s career education specialist based Latasha Evans’ nomination on her involvement in activities such as serving as vice president of her church youth group, tutoring middle school children at the 12th Street Learning Center, participating in student government, singing in choirs and leading the pep club.On top of all that, the high school senior has handed out food to the homeless at the Tacoma Rescue Mission every other Saturday for the past year. – Mary Alice Parks (Tie – Youth Leadership). Last year, two students walked into Columbine High School in Colorado and massacred 12 of their fellow students and a teacher. Mary Alice Parks looked around her own school in Tacoma and saw potential for a tragedy like Columbine.Out of that, she created the Sensitivity to Others program, which engages students in monthly non-violence awareness activities. One-third of all Mason Middle School students have signed the Purple Heart Pledge-a sign of their commitment to the program. Throughout the year, students have participated in activities that Parks developed to highlight sensitivity and awareness. When Parks presented the program to the Proctor Merchants’ Association last year, she generated interest by 15 business owners. – Judy Quackenbush (Tie – Adult Sustained Service). Tacoma’s Eighth and I Street residents believe Judy Quackenbush changed their neighborhood from a street of fear into a street of dreams. In 1992, Quackenbush rallied property owners to take on an overgrown, drug-infested lot and turn it into a neighborhood park where children could play. She organized a group of children and formed the litter posse, which picks up litter and plants trees and flowers in the neighborhood. Quackenbush also serves as a board member for both the Wright Park Association and the Hilltop Action Coalition.- Irvin Shaffer (Tie – Adult Sustained Service). The St. Leo’s staff considers Irv Sarge Shaffer a staple at the Food Connection-based on his years of volunteer service.Shaffer spent six days a week at the Food Connection, performing a variety of duties, such as managing the bread delivery area, unloading the food trucks, monitoring the back door and serving as dock foreman. In 15 years, he helped unload nearly 12 million pounds of food. – RaShelle Davis (Youth Sustained Service). Many families in Tacoma agree that RaShelle Davis deserves a City of Destiny nod this year for her efforts in coordinating the Adopt a Family project at Bellarmine High School and her assistance at the Phoenix Housing project, both of which serve needy or displaced families in Tacoma.Her dedication to children shows in the amount of time she has spent volunteering at Nativity House, where she has organized special events for homeless children and at Franklin Elementary School, where she tutors fourth grade students in reading.In addition, when Davis wanted to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award, she organized, initiated and conducted a shoe drive and donated more than 100 pairs of shoes to a Tacoma homeless shelter. – Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy Program (Neighborhood or Community Group). More than 3,200 times a year, volunteer chaplains in Pierce County counsel and comfort citizens in times of tragedy.Whether it’s comforting someone who lost a loved one, helping arrange a funeral or lending a shoulder to cry on, the volunteer chaplains help get families back on their feet. The Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy Program began in 1971 with one chaplain. Today, more than 30 chaplains work with 24 law enforcement and firefighting agencies throughout Pierce County.- Frank Russell Company (Corporation or Business). Each year, employees of the Frank Russell Company log some 30,000 hours volunteering for various civic and community, health and human services, education and arts and culture programs in Tacoma. Currently, 90 associates volunteer in Tacoma schools, working through a tutoring program that has helped increase test scores 22 percent in just one year. In the past few years, the company’s executives have donated their time and expertise to the University of Washington’s Tacoma campus, the Washington State History Museum, the Children’s Museum of Tacoma and the Tacoma Art Museum. The Frank Russell Company has also contributed to creation of the International Services Development Zone in downtown Tacoma. – City of Tacoma Employees, Norma Bretaña Fundraiser (Employee or Union Group). Norma Bretaña worked for the City of Tacoma for 20 years and after a two-year battle with cancer, died on June 24, 1999.To honor her memory, Bretaña’s coworkers and family joined together to sponsor a room in her name at the oncology wing of Tacoma General Hospital.The group organized a rummage sale, a raffle and bowl-a-thon to raise the $12,000 needed to sponsor a room. They raised $21,007. After refurbishing Room 633 in the Oncology Unit, the group donated the remaining $9,000 to Franciscan Hospice at St. Joseph Hospital-which established an Endowment Fund in Bretaña’s name.- PAYO – Pilipino-American Youth Organization (Youth Group). The Pilipino-American Youth Organization has helped 70 youth and 30 adults feel connected to their Philippine culture.Although the group is best known for its traditional dances, PAYO has also taught the traditions of the past through music and karate. Youth involved in the dances spend three hours every Friday, practicing for performances such as the Junior Daffodil Parade, Ethnic Fest and Asian Cultural Festivals in Seattle and Tacoma.Individual City of Destiny nomineesAl Baydo (deceased)Phyllis BenchMary Bockman (posthumous)Mishal BrownAnne BytherHeidi ComfortMartha DavisVirginia EberhardtDerek FoxAngela HaddadFred HoheimGussie JagodKaren KnipherBill LaVergneJohn R. LongBrad LubkenMargie Lee MadisonKathy MartinKae and Robin PatersonBonnie PinckneyGreg PrattAnita PrestonChristine PurdueJeremy RubinMargaret SheldonCarol SlomanBill Smallwood (deceased)Mey Jiao SouvDona StoneGlenda ThayerRobert ThomasAlice K. ThompsonGroup NomineesAmerican Red Cross Disaster Services Responders and Quilt MakersAnnie Wright Middle SchoolBellarmine Senior Class OfficersCool + AidEmpty Bowls ProjectExchange Club of TacomaFoster Grandparent ProgramGreater Tacoma Young Life Leaders for Gray Middle SchoolThe Joyful NoisesKiwanis Club of Tacoma – Terrific Kids ProgramLincoln T & T Off-Campus Vocational TrainingPoint Defiance Zoological SocietyPuyallup Tribal – Local Indian Child Welfare Advisory CommitteeRegence BlueShieldRegence BlueShieldTacoma Chapter, Self Advocates of WashingtonUniversity of Washington – Tacoma American Humanics Students”
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