Marysville Tulalip Chamber honors volunteers

TULALIP — The Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce honored the hard work and long hours of more than 20 of its volunteers, with help from some friends.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring and Snohomish County Council member John Koster joined Chamber Board Chair John Bell and Chamber President and CEO Caldie Rogers on April 22 in presenting Presidential Service Awards and pins to 2010’s five Silver Medal volunteers, for putting in between 250-499 hours of service that year, and its 15 Bronze Medal volunteers, for putting in 100-249 hours of service that year.

“We’re one of only two agencies in the state to access these White House service awards,” said Rogers, who noted that the staff and volunteers of the Chamber’s Regional Visitor Information Center processed 1,027,585  requests for information in 2010. “It’s very telling when you see volunteers who serve for years with the same organization, as many of our volunteers have done for us.”

The Silver Medal volunteers included three-year volunteers Carrie Wells, Nancy Gronning and Lenore Neff, six-year volunteer Darlene Weiss and one-year volunteer Lynn Rodewald. The Bronze Medal volunteers included Donna Leifer, John Campbell, Bobbie Cheesman, Eleanor Hills, Carol and Jim Johnson, Tim King, Inese Knepp, Ingrid Schneider, Peter Schneider, Donald K. Weiss Sr., David Chin, Dolores Rasmussen and Trudy Downey. Bronze Medal volunteers Deborah Bedford and Rod Liming were unable to attend the volunteer appreciation luncheon, as was Tulalip Tribal Chair Mel Sheldon Jr.

Rogers explained that these volunteers make the Visitor Information Center’s seven-day work-week possible, without having to pay overtime to staff or raise dues on Chamber membership. Nehring echoed Rogers’ reminder that April was National Volunteer Recognition Month, which he felt made this a fitting celebration.

“None of you asked for this honor, but you deserve it,” Nehring said. “Government can’t and shouldn’t be expected to do it all, so people like you step in to fill the gap. You’re ambassadors for the Marysville Tulalip area. You help create people’s first impressions when they come here, and that’s why so many of them choose to stay.”

Koster added that he believed it was a mistake for the state to cut back on its tourism funding, but he likewise credited the “wit, humor, amount of knowledge and dedication” that the volunteers bring to their duties with helping to compensate for this shortfall.

“I didn’t have a clue what a Visitor Information Center was before I joined the Chamber,” Bell said. “As I’ve come to know you all this place has felt friendly and warm because you’ve made it so. After today, though, this place will feel like a family to me.”

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