2015 Lifetime Dedication Award Recipient

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Billie Howard was born and raised in Mason County and graduated from Irene S. Reed High School in 1953. After graduation, she worked in the high school office and made a huge impact on its students – so much so that the 1966 class dedicated its yearbook to her. For years, Billie has been involved in the community; she was active in 4-H when her kids were young and she went on to volunteer with the Historical Society and Forest Festival, even being named the Grand Marshall of the parade in 1999 among numerous other awards. Even now, Billie acts as the director of Saints Pantry, and coordinates volunteers for the Caboose Visitor Center on Railroad, giving back in a number of ways.


2015 Lifetime Dedication Nominees

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Jane Gruver has been a steady and valued volunteer in many community organizations including the Chamber of Commerce. She dedicates countless hours of her time for many organizations in town including Mason General Hospital, Friends of the Library, the Chamber and others. As a retired school employee, she is dedicated to educatin efforts and sits on a regional scholarship board. Jane is the perfect example of someone who gives without expecting anything in return. She is tireless in her commitment to Shelton and Mason County. One nominator said, “I am honored to nominate her for this award.”

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Vickie Gonzales is a devoted Mason County citizen and an enthusiastic volunteer. In addition to her job at Peninsula Credit Union, where she has served the community for nearly 45 years, Vickie dedicates countless hours to multiple organizations including the 40 et 8, Kristmas Town Kiwanis, and United Way of Mason County. Of course, she is probably best known for her commitment to Shelton Relay For Life, leading efforts in our area for years. “She does all of this so selflessly and without any hesitation. From fighting cancer in our small town to putting Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners on the tables for families in need, Vickie gives back all year long.” Vickie and her husband Vern are happy to enjoy mother Nancy Stuller as well as son Ryan and his wife Ashley living close by.

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Joan Hayes has been active in the community as long as I can remember” said one nominator. Born and raised in Shelton, Joan graduated from Shelton High in 1969 and went on to raise her family here. Joan was a busy mom and spent time leading 4-H, sports, and supporting church activities. Once her children were grown, Joan continued to help out at church as well as serving on the Hospital Foundation board and volunteering at Treasures Thrift Shop. Now that she has retired, after 37 years at Hiawatha Evergreens, Joan remains a strong role model in the community and a dedicated volunteer. “Joan is the most giving person I know and couldn't be more proud of this community.”

 2010 Citizen of the Year

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Frank Bishop was awarded the inaugural Lifetime Dedication award in 2010. Below is a transcription of the award script from that evening:

Because of his involvement, it is hard to find a place to begin listing the accomplishments of Frank Bishop.

Frank is a lifetime Washingtonian and was honored for more than fifty years as a Registered Voter in Mason County. Frank was a Cub-Master and Scout-Master with the Boy Scouts of America.  He has hosted “Kids With Conservation Knowledge” on his family’s farm, Little Skookum Shellfish Growers. He has been a Lions Club member for decades and was the Used Eyeglass Collection Coordinator for years.   

Frank is also a builder.  He has built a commemorative wall plaque for Nita’s Restaurant, repaired picnic tables at Shelton’s Post Office Park, and he built a section of mountain trail that connects Stehikin to Cascade Pass in the North Cascades. Frank has contributed financially to many groups, causes, and events.  A short list of what he has contributed to is replacing a dry well for a community club, purchasing a miter saw for Habitat for Humanity, helping raise a considerable portion of the construction funds for the Shelton branch of Olympic College, matching funds for Mason County Explorer Search & Rescue, sponsoring a group of players in the Tenth Annual Cystic Fibrosis Charity Golf Tournament, and purchasing bricks for the Clock Tower on Railroad Ave.

Frank is also committed to the arts.  He has donated the installation cost for Olympic College’s bronze sculpture Journey and sponsored refurbishing & relocating the Kimberly T statue to MGH.  He hosted a singing ceremony attended by Gov. Gregoire, Chairman Billy Frank Jr. & Congressman Dicks among others.  He’s spearheaded a two page spread in Northwest Art Guide, has written five books and he was a source for two other books. Frank has climbed seven mountains: Rainier, Baker, St. Helens, Adams, Fuji, Kilimanjaro and Olympus. He has served on the Mason County Planning Commission, was a Friend of Olympic College, a PUD Sewer District Commissioner in addition to managing his family’s tidelands.

I could go on and on about Frank’s accomplishments and commitment to Mason County.  He is a visionary who has given his time, sponsorship and passion to seeing our community become a better place.