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Snohomish County welcomes USS Nimitz
EVERETT — On Wednesday, June 6, Snohomish County officially welcomed officers and sailors from USS Nimitz to the community with a luncheon event attended by more than 200 business and community leaders.
United Way of Snohomish County and Economic Alliance Snohomish County, organizers of the event, used the proceeds to make a $6,000 contribution to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, which provides financial, educational and other assistance to members of the military and their families.
Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson issued a proclamation declaring June 6, 2012, as USS Nimitz Appreciation Day, and said, “Our community is enriched by the vitality, spirit and diversity of Navy families. We look forward to engaging the USS Nimitz family as neighbors, friends and colleagues.”
Stephanson, the state’s congressional delegation, local business leaders, the Port of Everett and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon had worked to bring USS Nimitz to Snohomish County.
At the event, Reardon echoed Stephanson’s sentiment when he told attendees, “We are honored to have USS Nimitz and her crew in Snohomish County. We’ve worked vigorously to get you here, so please know that the work you do is appreciated and embraced by everybody in the community.”
According to Troy McClelland, president and CEO of Economic Alliance Snohomish County, Naval Station Everett pumps $463 million into the local economy.
“That’s 5 percent of the local economy,” McClelland said. “Although most of that is salaries, goods and services for the ship, a lot of that is the money sailors are spending at local businesses, car dealerships and in the housing market.”
Military personnel posted at Naval Station Everett have also been generous to the community. Navy personnel frequently volunteer with local community groups, and since 2006 they have contributed $1.5 million to the Combined Federal Campaign, managed by United Way of Snohomish County.
“The Navy is interwoven into the fabric of our community,” said Dr. Dennis G. Smith, president and CEO of United Way of Snohomish County. “It was our pleasure to welcome them to their new home.”
The highlight of the event was a presentation by Capt. Jeffrey S. Ruth, commanding officer of USS Nimitz. After offering his thanks for the “exceptional welcome” they’ve received, he told attendees it was “reassuring to be able to leave our families in the warm, welcoming Snohomish County community while we go out to sea.”
Approximately a dozen sailors from USS Nimitz attended the event, including members of its Color Guard.