Volunteers demonstrate how to build community

Sequim residents Tom Schaafsma and Kathryn Schreiner were two of five recipients of Clallam County Community Service Awards for 2009.

They were honored at a reception April 23 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Port Angeles.

Schaafsma's volunteer service includes working with Rotary International; ShelterBox International, which provides shelter and basic housekeeping supplies for victims of disasters; building projects at Olympic Theatre Arts and the Old Dungeness Schoolhouse; and Robin Hill Park and Discovery Trail work.

Schaafsma, speaking from California where he is spending time with his son who soon will be redeployed to Afghanistan, said it was quite an honor to be in the company of the other recipients but being acknowledged is never the purpose.

The intent as a volunteer, he said, is never is to draw attention to yourself but rather to give back to your community for all you've been given. He and his family have been in Sequim for 25 years. He said he's found Rotary to be his greatest vehicle for community service but he values his work with his church, the schools and other groups and the whole new level of working internationally with ShelterBox.

Schreiner has volunteered as a team member with Sequim's Meals on Wheels, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, Puget Sound Blood Center, Tax-Aide and the Dungeness Valley Health and Wellness Center since she and her husband moved to Sequim in 1993. She is a member of Sequim Sunrise Rotary.

A retired banker, she was the first manager of Washington Federal Bank in Sequim and said it was fun working from ground zero, with no customers, and building up the bank's assets and customers.

She volunteers with Tax Aide to "pay back" for tax help given her mother by volunteers in Iowa.

She said her parents also were volunteers and helped her recognize that it is the right thing to do.

"You can live in a community or be part of a community; to be part, you have to be involved in service organizations," she said.

Before moving to Sequim, Schreiner did community work where she lived in Hawaii.

The other recipients were Chuck Hatten, Jim Lunt and Mikki Saunders, all of Port Angeles.

The award is co-sponsored by Soroptimist International of Port Angeles - Noon Club - and the Peninsula Daily News.

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