Pierce County volunteers to be recognized

A woman who was instrumental in the Anderson Island Citizens Advisory Board’s creation and effectiveness has been selected as Pierce County’s 2008 Volunteer of the Year. Debbie Lowe of Anderson Island, who served the new board as chair for three years, will be honored Sat., March 22 during Pierce County’s 30th annual Volunteer Recognition Brunch from 9:30 a.m. until noon in the Landmark Convention Center’s theater ballroom.
The event, which isn’t open to the general public, will feature Gov. Chris Gregoire as guest speaker and Executive John W. Ladenburg and Council Vice Chair Calvin Goings as masters of ceremony. Nearly 100 individuals and groups will be recognized. Entertainment will be provided by Tacoma Musical Playhouse.
Lowe also wrote the board’s bylaws and operating guidelines. As chair, she demonstrated perseverance and determination in getting the board off the ground as a conduit for communication between island residents and the county. She serves on the Ketron/Anderson Islands Community Planning Board.
“Debbie Lowe has shown true leadership in helping establish the successful Anderson Island Citizens’ Advisory Board, as well as offering an unprecedented amount of time and treasure to many island organizations. She is the perfect choice for Volunteer of the Year,” said District 6 Councilmember Dick Muri, who represents Anderson Island and nominated Lowe for the award.
A total of 93 individuals and seven groups will be honored at the recognition event. That group donated 26,922 hours of service valued at more than $500,000 if compensation were provided. They are among 4,000 citizens who provide volunteer service to the county.
Other Volunteer Award winners:
1. Young Adult — Sheriff’s Cadet Lt. Kevin Pressel for leadership in developing policy and procedures for the cadet program. He helped develop the McGruff the Crime Dog program and works with others to deliver the safety message to school-age children.
2. Young Adult Group — The WSU Pierce County 4-H Teen Ambassadors’ service to the community included cleaning up storm damage on a senior citizen’s property, providing 5,700 care kits for children of deployed military individuals and collecting food, clothing and money for several charities. They also organized a weekend event for teens from eight counties and planned and implemented the county’s annual 4-H awards ceremony.
3. Group — The Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition has been instrumental in supporting Pierce County Parks and Recreation in developing and expanding the Foothills Trail between Puyallup/Sumner and South Prairie with a spur in Buckley. The group continues working toward creation of a connected system of trails and greenways from Puget Sound to Mount Rainier and from Pierce County cities and towns to those along other trail systems in King County and beyond.
4. Special Achievement — Walt Bosch schedules Master Gardeners to work in the Extension Office gardening clinic (Bring your sick plants and get the problem diagnosed M-F 9 to 3). When someone has an emergency and can’t work, he fills the slot. The retired orthopedic surgeon’s organizational skills, as well as his wit and wisdom, are appreciated by everyone in the office.
5. Longevity — Bob Cole, Sheriff’s Posse for 36 years, serving as posse captain and State Posse Association president. Represented the Sheriff’s Department in too numerous to count rodeos, parades and other events. Renee Paine, Master Gardener for 25 years and co-leader of the WSU Puyallup Demonstration Garden and oversees the shade garden.