Community

United Way to recognize county's top volunteers at annual breakfast

TULALIP — Based on nominations submitted by the public in June of this year, United Way of Snohomish County will recognize five of the county's top volunteers at its annual Spirit of Snohomish County Breakfast on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Tulalip Resort Casino.

"When you look at all the wonderful volunteer work taking place throughout Snohomish County, you realize how strong our community is," said Dr. Dennis G. Smith, president and CEO of United Way of Snohomish County. "Volunteers really form the backbone of our community."

Although the event is open to the public, seating is limited and advance reservations are required. The deadline for purchasing individual tickets is Friday, Sept. 6. Tickets are $30 per person. Please log onto www.uwsc.org/spiritbreakfast.php or call 425-374-5570 for more information or to purchase your ticket.

Community volunteers reviewed nominations in four categories — adult volunteer, youth volunteer, labor volunteer and community partner. The fifth award, the Reeves/Sievers' Founders Award, is given by United Way as a lifetime achievement award for community service. Volunteers from throughout the community, not just those who work with United Way, are considered for the awards.

This year's keynote speaker is Dr. Donna Beegle, who will speak about intergenerational poverty at both the awards breakfast and at an all-day workshop on the following day.

Born into a migrant labor family and married at 15, Beegle is the only member of her family who has not been incarcerated. By the age of 24, she had earned her GED, and then, within 10 years, she received her doctorate in Educational Leadership. She is an authentic voice from poverty, who speaks, writes and trains across the nation to break the iron cage of poverty for others through services provided by her company, Communications Across Barriers.

For more than 23 years, she has traveled throughout hundreds of cities in 47 states and four countries to assist professionals with proven strategies for breaking poverty barriers. State agencies, politicians and other organizations have partnered with her to implement community-wide approaches to improving outcomes for citizens in poverty.

Beegle's inspiring story of moving from 28 years of homelessness to achieving a doctorate, and her groundbreaking work assisting people to move out of poverty, have been featured in newspapers and television around the nation, including CNN and PBS.

On Thursday, Sept. 26, Beegle will be hosting an all-day "Poverty 101" training at the Everett Station's Weyerhaeuser Room. Tickets for this workshop are $25 and include lunch.

Attendees will develop an awareness of the historical and structural causes of poverty, and understand how to develop a welcoming climate for individuals who come from poverty backgrounds. For more information on the Poverty 101 workshop and to register, log onto http://uwsc.org/poverty101.php.

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