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Schuberts named Citizens of Year

This time, Santa and Mrs. Claus are the gift-getters.

Walt and Sherry Schubert were named Sequim's 2008 Citizens of the Year Tuesday afternoon, when past award winners honored them at Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce's ceremony.

"This is really an award for everyone we've ever worked with," said Walt Schubert, city councilman and former Sequim mayor.

The Schuberts were nominated and won the award for their involvement with a number of community organizations including 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.

"It's an honor and a privilege to serve this community," Walt Schubert said.

"What we did, we did together," he told the audience at a full Sequim Elks Lodge Tuesday.

"You are my heroes. You gave me the impetus to try to improve things in my community."

Sherry Schubert said she simply wanted to help those in need when she took over cooking for the Salvation Army.

"There are so many homeless that wouldn't have a meal without it," she said.

"A lot of times, it's just a hug and something to eat."

Stephen Rosales, Sequim's 2007 Citizen of the Year, hosted the ceremony as master of ceremonies and praised the Schubert couple.

"I noticed (when I moved here) how much he and his wife cared about the community," Rosales said.

The Schuberts, who celebrate 36 years of marriage in 2009, also got support from their friends at the Boys & Girls Club on Tuesday: A congregation of teens took their lunch break to give the Sequim couple support.

"We feel they're real deserving of it," said Kristal Van Selus, teen club director at the Sequim Boys & Girls Club.

Van Selus and local Realtor Mike McAleer nominated the Schuberts for the award.

"There would be no teen club if not for the love and devotion they give to these children," Van Selus said.

Chamber members lauded the other candidates as well at their Tuesday luncheon.

Alice 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.

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

Normally bestowed on a single citizen, this year's Citizen of the Year award marked the sixth time a couple has won the award since its inception in 1968. Bob and Elaine Caldwell won the 2006 honor.

"It was amazing - we had so many good candidates," said Rosales.



Maloneys honored with humanitarian award

Brown and Sara Maloney were awarded the Bill and Esther Littlejohn Humanitarian Award at the same ceremony Tuesday.

The award goes to citizens who contribute significant funds to civic organizations or efforts.

The award was bestowed on the Littlejohns at last year's Citizen of the Year ceremony for their numerous financial bequests and support to a number of Sequim and Dungeness Valley-area organizations.

Paul and Rochelle McHugh nominated the Maloneys for the honor.

Bill Littlejohn presented the award, mentioning that couple earned the award for supporting the Boys & Girls Club, Olympic Theatre Arts, local Rotary groups, the Peninsula College Foundation, the United Way and Helen Haller Elementary School playground.

"The Sequim community has been blessed by the Maloneys," Littlejohn said.

"We never expected this," Brown Maloney said.

"It's been a great town to work and serve in."

Sara Maloney moved to the area five years ago and immediately became involved in the Boys & Girls Club, serving as board president.

"I wanted to get involved," she said. "I'm very passionate about youth and especially underprivileged youth. I felt like I could make a difference."

She's active with the Olympic Medical Center Foundation and now is Sequim Noon Rotary's president.

"It's nice to be able to be in a position to do something meaningful," she said.

Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.

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