Spirit of Snohomish County Breakfast
2013 Spirit of Snohomish County Award Winners pose with Dr. Dennis G. Smith (left), president and CEO of United Way of Snohomish County. (L-R):Chau Ly and Yen Truong (parents of Tori Ly); Ed Petersen; Peggy Kennedy; Caren Skube; Chris Kelly and Randy Hamlin of Philips Healthcare
At United Way’s Spirit of Snohomish County Breakfast each year, we continue our tradition of recognizing individuals and organizations who are truly helping to improve people’s lives in Snohomish County. Spirit of Snohomish County Awards will be presented to those who actively work for the betterment of our community and inspire others to serve. Nominations are submitted in June and reviewed by teams of volunteers.
2013 Spirit of Snohomish County Award Winners
Reeves/Sievers’ Founders Award – Ed Petersen
J.A. Reeves and Roy Sievers led the formation of the Everett Community Chest, the predecessor of United Way of Snohomish County, in 1940. The Reeves/Sievers’ Founders Award is given to recognize a lifetime of community service and the spirit of philanthropy.
For decades, Ed Petersen has been the face of financial stability and housing security in Snohomish County. An Everett native since 1948, Ed has traveled the world and leads an active life of service. He has served in the Peace Corps, is active in Rotary International and has served as President of the School Board for Everett Public Schools and the Housing Consortium of Snohomish County.
Ed co-founded Housing Hope in 1987, and remains a strong advocate for financial stability in Snohomish County.
Spirit of Snohomish County Community Partner Award – Philips Healthcare
The Community Partner Award recognizes an organization or corporation that exemplifies the most comprehensive, measurable commitment to building strong and caring communities.
Philips Healthcare in Bothell has been a strong partner of nonprofits in Snohomish County for many years, and consistently runs one of the largest United Way campaigns in the county. In addition to giving strong financial support to United Way, Philips employees are committed to community service, participating in Days of Caring in the fall and other volunteer events throughout the year.
Philips’ commitment to service extends nationwide. In 2013, Philips Healthcare is planning to increase their total employee volunteer hours by 20 percent.
Spirit of Snohomish County Labor Award – Chris Kelly
The Spirit of Labor Award is presented to a union member exemplifying outstanding leadership and community service through the partnership between United Way of Snohomish County and organized labor. The recipient demonstrates a commitment to our community through long-term, notable volunteer service.
The annual Letter Carriers Food Drive is the largest one-day food collection event in Snohomish County. For the past 10 years, Chris Kelly has been the driving force behind this hugely successful event. Chris begins planning the local drive months in advance, making sure each detail is taken care of.
On the day of the food drive, she is the first volunteer to arrive and the last to leave. This year’s Letter Carriers Food Drive brought in 277,263 pounds of food and, in a contest of the National Association of Letter Carriers, garnered second place for the local letter carriers union in their division. Chris’ leadership and support helped make this happen.
Spirit of Snohomish County Adult Award – Peggy Kennedy
This award is given to an adult who improves others’ lives in Snohomish County. It is presented to someone who works or volunteers in human services. He or she manifests United Way’s mission to transform the community to improve people’s lives and to inspire that spirit in others.
When Peggy Kennedy co-founded the Edmonds Food Bank over 30 years ago, it served 34 families each week. Today, it serves an astonishing 500 families weekly, and is still growing. Peggy’s team of over 100 volunteers keeps the food bank operating while remaining strongly devoted to their mission, and to Peggy. Her dedication to the food bank has made a difference in the lives of many families over the years.
Peggy has been voted the Edmonds Citizen of the Year, and at 85 years young, looks forward to
continuing her involvement in the community.
Spirit of Snohomish County Youth Award – Tori Ly
This award is given to a youth who exemplifies leadership and volunteerism. He or she volunteers at a United Way-funded program, initiative or service and has made a significant, exemplary and noteworthy impact.
As a recent high school graduate, service has become an integral part of Tori’s life, and she can’t imagine a life without volunteering. “After being exposed to volunteerism so early in my life, it’s become a part of me, and will stay part of me as I grow up,” she says. For the past several years,
Tori has served on United Way of Snohomish County’s Kids Matter Vision Council. As soon as she began volunteering with United Way, vision council leaders were impressed by her maturity and dedication, especially during the time-intensive grants process.
Tori attends the University of Washington, and plans to continue volunteering with United Way of Snohomish County through college and beyond.
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