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Beebe, Priest, Schuberts named top 'Citizen' nominees

The candidates: an advocate for the arts, a volunteer with a heart for civic celebrations, and Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Members from Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce announced last week their prospects for the 2008 Sequim Citizen of the Year, a group of residents with a wealth of volunteerism on their resumes.

This year's nominees are Alice Beebe, Judy Priest and, combined as a single nomination, Walt and Sherry Schubert.

Chamber members and families of the honorees will laud the finalists and announce the Citizen of the Year at the chamber luncheon on Feb. 24.

All members of the community are invited to attend, though reservations are required (see box for contact information).

Beebe was nominated for her involvement with the Sequim Marketing Action Committee, local Rotary groups, the Sequim Rotary Salmon Bake, Irrigation Festival Parade, International Footprint Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary, Lloyd Strand Veterans Relief Fund and Sequim Elks Club.

Bill Littlejohn, the Sequim chamber board president, nominated Beebe.

"She volunteers for everything - you need any help for anything, you call Alice," Littlejohn said.

He said he's known Beebe for about 10 years, meeting her first at Rotary meetings and then getting to know her more at chamber of commerce meetings.

"She's been very active in the Rotary in fundraising (and) she's been in charge of the salmon bake for several years," Littlejohn said.

"She's kind of a full-time volunteer."

Priest was nominated for her work and volunteer efforts with the Sequim Cultural Arts Center and Sequim Museum & Arts Center, Sequim Senior Activity Center and Senior Center Cultural Arts Program and as an art mentor.

Katherine Vollenweider, executive director of the Museum and Arts Center of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley, nominated Priest.

"She would really qualify for matriarch of the arts in Sequim," Vollenweider said of Priest. "She's been an advocate for the arts. She's been a teacher, a mentor."

Vollenweider said she's known Priest for about 12 years, noting Priest's volunteer efforts at the museum, Sequim Senior Activity Center and with various other art groups, as well as putting on her own art shows and coordinating numerous museum art shows by herself.

"(Judy) was one of the first on the arts scene in Sequim," Vollenweider said.

"She's always sought out new artists and gave them a chance to exhibit. She's always willing to give her time and talent."

Walt and Sherry Schubert were nominated for their involvement with the Sequim Boys & Girls Club and teen club, foster care programs, Sequim Food Bank, the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, Sequim Education Foundation, Salvation Army, Sequim City Council, Boy Scout groups, youth sports and dressing as Santa and Mrs. Claus for community events.

Mike McAleer, a local real estate agent, nominated the Schuberts, as did Crystal Van Selus, teen club director at the Sequim Boys & Girls Club.

"The main thing is that they both care about the city of Sequim and they want to be involved," Van Selus said.

"Walt and Sherry have been huge supporters of the teen club, from fundraising to coming to steering committee meetings," she said.

"Anything that I need help with, I can count on them a hundred percent."

A committee of previous recipients selected the top three finalists from a pool of Sequim citizens nominated by members of the community. Traditionally, the chamber chooses three finalists from a pool of eight to 12 nominees.

Finalists are chosen based on their history of outstanding volunteer service to the Sequim community.

An individual or two persons working jointly in a community project or projects, such as the Schuberts, may be nominated to receive a joint award.

You can reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequim

gazette.com.



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