Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Who are Unsung Heroes in Highland Park?

Highland Park is the neighborhood resting in the South Eastern corner of the Delridge District. Two community groups strive to help keep the neighborhood connected and doing good things. One of them is the Highland Park Improvement Club. Another is the Highland Park Action Committee. Our nominees come from both groups.

Who are they? What are they doing? Here is what we learned culling through the nomination applications:

  Betsy Harris has been involved in Public Safety issues in her Highland Park neighborhood for a number of years. She was a very active leader in the Weed & Seed program in south Delridge and White Center.

She has led community efforts to have liquor licenses revoked, she has led groups in formulating good neighbor agreements with problem businesses in Highland Park and she is a strong voice for the community within the SW Precinct Advisory council.

  Blair Johnson has volunteered in multiple capacities for over nine years, making Highland Park a better place and contributing to re-visioning the Highland Park Improvement Club. He organized a Highland Park Summit. This gathering introduced many residents and groups to each other — Riverview and White Center, public safety activists, youth mentors, artists, and Highland Park Improvement Club, which then was languishing. Highland Park Action Committee solicited and documented everyone’s ideas for creating a vibrant community.

 In 2008 the community united in response to proposed nearby City Jail sites. Blair supported and advised the many committed activists during the opposition effort under new Chair Dorsol Plants. Knowing that well-maintained properties reduce vandalism, Blair keeps up his corner (and is generous with handyman’s advice). He has been simply good friend to so many neighbors — always willing to listen and lend a hand.

Julie Schickling led the double face lift at the Highland Park Improvement Club, making it relevant to the neighborhood in the 21st century. After renting the Highland Park Improvement Club Hall for a party in 2002, she re-imagining its value to the community. The building and membership had been around Dumar’s Highland Park Addition since 1919, but in the early 2000’s older members were moving away, passing away, and loosing the momentum that had carried them through the 1900’s.

After Julie began attending club meetings in 2006 it became clear that new membership was critical to save the building for the neighborhood, so she began sending out pleas to neighbors, “Come to these meetings, get involved, or the old hall will be lost!”

Highland Park Action Committee chair Blair Johnson petitioned to hold HPAC monthly meetings at the HPIC hall. Julie led the membership in a vote of support to extend the use of the hall free of charge to this grassroots group. This led to HPIC/HPAC co-hosting our first neighborhood summit, bringing citizens of Highland Park/Riverview together to vision what directions we wanted to see our neighborhood taking.

In 2008, led by Julie’s election to the HPIC board as Treasurer, change began to grow in earnest in the little dance hall. She envisioned a facility that would serve as a “heart” to the neighborhood, a focal point for civic engagement and community resource development. She did not just speak eloquently on these issues, she rolled up her sleeves and worked behind the scenes to help organize community events such as dances, classes and a Farmer's Market.

  Carolyn Stauffer is a driving force to be reckoned with in the Highland Park neighborhood. She and her husband are the present Chairs of the Highland Park Action Committee. In addition to being a mom to two little ones (including a new born) she leads this neighborhood council. She also was the driving force behind getting funding for a new Spray-park at the Highland park.

She spent countless hours spearheading this project as well convincing the Parks department to allocate more funds to do the project right since it was underfunded at first. She also was very instrumental in guiding the community side of the process in the West Crest reservoir levy project. And she does all of this with a smile and two kids on her hips.

p.s. This post is shared at the North Delridge Neighborhood Council Blog to inspire future Unsung Heroes! If you would like to share this post, please leave a comment.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Gathering of Heroes: A celebration

The Gathering of Heroes event provided a unique forum for volunteers nominated for their service to the community to gather and thank each other. Most of the 27 nominees were able to attend, and enjoy dinner while listening to some inspirational guest speakers. Christa Mazzone-Palmberg, a Sound Alliance Organizer spoke about the importance of working together as a community, and Sally Clark of the Seattle City Council remarked on the unprecedented event where she had never seen a group gather just to thank each other.

Here is a collection of photos from the event:
Toward the end of the event, we announced the top two Unsung Heroes by letting nominators and guests share about how they serve their community. Then, the Outstanding Unsung Hero was announced: Julie Schickling - she will be the Delridge District Council's Jeffersonian Nominee for 2013.

The event was made possible by dedicated volunteers and the support of:

The North Delridge Neighborhood Council Delridge Day Committee and a generous discount by 

You can read more about the event as reported by the West Seattle Blog here: Gathering of Heroes: Delridge Celebrates it's star volunteers
And the West Seattle Herald here: The Heroine from Highland Park

More information on the nominees and how they serve the Delridge District will be shared on this blog over the next few weeks...so stay tuned to be inspired!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Unsung Heroes: Application and Details

Is there someone in your neighborhood who makes it better? Anyone who volunteers in the Delridge District is eligable to apply for the First Annual Unsung Heroes Award. Please fill out the form here or download it below and send it the old fashioned way.

Where is the Delridge District you ask? The area of West Seattle within the borders of Spokane Street to the North, Roxbury to the South, 35th Avenue to the West and the Duwamish River to the East.

Deadline for applications is March 23rd. The awards will be given on April 20th, and the top 8 nominees will be notified by April 2nd.

Click here to fill out the online application: Apply Online!

Click here to get the Print Application: A Google Document.