28 April 2011, 9:09 am
25th Annual City of Destiny Awards recognizes top local volunteers Mayor Marilyn Strickland and the City Council will recognize Tacoma's top volunteers - six individuals and four groups - during the 25th annual City of Destiny Awards at 7 p.m. on May 10. This event, which is free and open to anyone who is interested in learning more about the volunteer experience, will be held at the Stadium High School Auditorium, 111 N. E St. This year's City of Destiny Award recipients are: Neighborhood Group or Community Partnership: Tacoma Orthopedic Association In the 1920s, the Tacoma Orthopedic Association (TOA) consisted of a small group of women who volunteered their time to transport children to Seattle for specialty orthopedic care that wasn't available in Tacoma. Each year since then, the TOA has grown. Today, as the TOA prepares to celebrate its 90th anniversary, it has evolved into a strong organization of nearly 1,200 members who are proud of the role they play in making Tacoma a world class location for pediatric care. Corporation or Business: Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitor Bureau In 1986, Tacoma's first Visitor Information Center opened to assist those traveling to and from the World's Fair in Vancouver, BC, and its volunteers have been promoting Tacoma and Pierce County ever since. The volunteers that staff the Visitor Information Center know that what makes Tacoma a great place to live also makes it a great place to visit. And, thanks to their dedication and hard work, they've helped make the Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitor Bureau the resource it is today. Employee Group or Union Group: International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 23 A key element of the Port of Tacoma's success is its longshore labor force, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, better known as ILWU Local 23. ILWU Local 23's labor force includes about 1,500 people. Port management and longshore labor leadership work together to bring more shipping lines to Tacoma. They also cooperate on various projects and committees, ensuring Port safety and high efficiency in handling customer cargo needs. But there's more to ILWU Local 23 than meets the eye. They are deeply involved in local community activities, and they volunteer to work behind the scenes to make Tacoma a better place. Youth Group: Wilson High School Key Club Margaret Mead once said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Since November 1, 2008, the Wilson High Key Club has committed itself to making our local community better by investing in the children at Sherman Elementary School in partnership with the Communities in Schools program. Youth Service: Kaijona Wade Despite a demanding academic curriculum as a sophomore at Bellarmine, Kaijona Wade has volunteered an astonishing amount of time to make Tacoma a better place. She's all about perseverance and drive, plans to go to an Ivy League school, and says that she thrives in highly competitive environments that encourage excellence. She sees herself having multiple career tracks, and her interests include acting, music and entrepreneurship. Environmental Sustainability: Heather and Don Halabisky What does environmental sustainability mean to you? In Tacoma, we are blessed with citizens who see a connection between the vibrancy of our city and a healthy natural environment, and the importance of balancing our environmental, social and economic needs. Heather and Don Halabisky are a couple who, with the support of a determined group of likeminded friends, has given new meaning to the term "environmental stewardship". Adult Leadership: Theresa Pan Hosley Theresa Pan Hosley is an exemplary leader whose commitment, dedication and vision brought together a diverse group of community members. One year after the Tacoma City Council passed a resolution of regret and apology for the expulsion of the Chinese in 1885, Theresa, with the newly established Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation board, made it a priority to educate our community and establish a historical memory concerning the events of 125 years ago. Adult Sustained Service: Bob Mauer Bob Mauer, or "Chef Bob" as he's fondly known, has always treated Tacoma Public Schools teachers and students with respect, good humor and kindness over the years, and his humility has endeared him to virtually everyone. He has helped provide the youth of Tacoma with the high quality education they deserve, and has been a tremendous asset to the teachers at Lincoln High School and to other teachers throughout the district. 25th Anniversary Award: Babe Lehrer Babe Lehrer always makes an impression. Her friends know her as someone who makes chicken soup for anyone who's sick, offers a willing ear and constructive advice for those struggling with their personal or professional lives, and drives efforts that have a lasting positive effect on our community. For decades, she has worked to reinvigorate Tacoma's artistic, educational and cultural richness, and Tacoma is a better place because of her. She has many reasons to love Tacoma, but Tacoma has even more reasons to love her. Each award winner will receive a colorful glass sculpture crafted by students in the Hilltop Artists in Residence Program. The annual City of Destiny Awards event is also covered by TV Tacoma and broadcast on both the Click! Cable TV and Comcast Cable systems. On Click!, TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 within Tacoma City limits and in Pierce County, with the exception of University Place, where TV Tacoma can be found on Channel 21. On Comcast, TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 within Tacoma City limits and on Channel 21 in Pierce County. TV Tacoma is not on the Comcast system in University Place, but is accessible anywhere via the Internet. The City of Destiny Awards ceremony is supported by local businesses and organizations, including Click! Cable TV and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 23, the event's largest sponsors. Background Since 1987, the City of Tacoma has honored over 200 outstanding volunteers through its City of Destiny Awards program. The Citizens Recognition Committee of individuals appointed by the City Council selects the winners. Nominees must have: * Volunteered time and energy, not money. * Volunteered without financial compensation for their work. * Volunteered within Tacoma's city limits. * Volunteered within the past 12 months in projects described for Leadership and Group categories. For more information, visit cityoftacoma.org/DestinyAwards<http://www.cityoftacoma.org/DestinyAwards>.