By MARK ST.J. COUHIG
After being named the 2010 Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, Jim Pickett delivered a little advice to those who hope someday to join the honored ranks. Noting that he was first nominated in 1998, Pickett said, “If you stick around long enough, it pays off.”
The award, Sequim’s highest civic honor, recognizes Pickett’s many contributions to the community through his work with the Sunrise Rotary Club and more than a dozen additional do-good organizations and causes he has taken to heart.
Sunrise Rotary Club past-president Nell Clausen nominated Pickett for the honor, calling him “a friend and mentor for the rest of my life.”
Pickett was humble in accepting the honor, which he received at a special chamber luncheon Tuesday, Feb. 22. “I hope I’ve demonstrated that I care about the community and it’s what I like to do,” he said.
“I didn’t have time to do a lot of those things when I was working but I have the time now and enjoy doing it.”
Pickett called his good works “a hobby.”
Pickett has been a member of the Sequim Sunrise Rotary Club for 18 years and a Rotarian for 39 years, including time spent as assistant governor for the Rotary district.
In her speech introducing Pickett to the luncheon crowd at the Sunland Golf and Country Club, Clausen said Pickett has been “tireless” in his work on behalf of the Rotary Foundation. She said he has been particularly focused on helping Rotary International reach its worldwide goal of eliminating polio.
In recent weeks Pickett has been handing out “End Polio” pins, Clause said. “His purpose is for people to see the pin and ask more questions, and let me tell you there have been many… .”
She also remarked on Pickett’s work on behalf of ShelterBox, an international organization that provides victims of disasters with boxes containing tents and supplies.
“Jim has logged many, many hours and miles visiting other Rotary clubs in Washington state to share his passion for ShelterBox,” Clausen said.
She also ticked off a list of additional causes that have received the benefit of Pickett’s hard work, noting that he is a founding member and first president of the Sequim Education Foundation, an Olympic Peninsula Discovery Trail volunteer, an AARP safe driving class instructor, and that he led Sequim schools’ 1995 school bond drive.
Picket also served as president of Friends of the Sequim Library, on the City of Sequim Park Advisory committee and as president of United Way of Clallam County. He was an elected member of Clallam County’s last charter review board. Pickett and his wife, Cherie, are both volunteers for Volunteer Hospice.
The Picketts have lived in Sequim for 18 years. They moved to the northwest from Galveston, Texas.
Two other nominees for the award were also honored during the special luncheon, with Joe Borden and Dick Hughes both receiving community service awards to recognize their contributions to Sequim.
Hughes was recognized for his involvement in the Sequim Education Foundation, Rotary Club, Sequim Wolf Pack Youth Football, Sequim Middle School Interact Club and the Dungeness Valley Health & Wellness Clinic.
Elna Kawal nominated Hughes for the honor, saying, “He’s one of those rare do-ers. When Dick leaves a meeting, that’s when his work begins. He never says, ‘I don’t have the time.’ He says, ‘What do you need?’”
Borden’s work with the Irrigation Festival, the Patriotic Guard Riders and on the Chamber of Commerce were highlighted.
Deborah Rambo-Sinn nominated Borden. She said Borden understands that if you want to live in a wonderful place, you have to “get busy” and make it a wonderful place.
Reach Mark Couhig at email@example.com.
Previous Citizen of the Year award winners
Previous Citizen of the Year award winners
1968 — Peter Black
1969 — Carl Klint
1970 — Virginia Keeting
1971 — Virginia Peterson
1972 — Tom Groat
1973 — NONE
1974 — Bill and Katie Merrill
1975 — Jerry Anjuili
1976 — Chuck Southern, Howard Wood and Lorna McInnes
1977 — Nellie Tetrude
1978 — Marcia Welch
1979 — Ruby Trotter
1980 — Iris Marshall
1981 — Howard Herrett
1982 — Guy Shephard
1983 — Don and Vivian Swanson
1984 — Bill and Shirley Keeler
1985 — Ed and Marcia Beggs
1986 — Ruby Mantle
1987 — Jeff Shold
1988 — Annette Kuss
1989 — Jim Haynes
1990 — Bill and Judy Rowland
1991 — Nina Fatherson
1992 — Bud Knapp
1993 — Paul Higgins
1994 — Rand Thomas
1995 — Rochelle McHugh
1996 — Esther Heuhslein Nelson
1997 — Annette Hansen
1998 — Jim and Cathy Carl
1999 — Bill Fatherson
2000 — Robert Clark
2001 — Don Knapp
2002 — Gil Oldenkamp
2003 — John Beitzel
2004 — Emily Wescott
2005 — Lee Lawrence
2006 — Bob and Elaine Caldwell
2007 — Stephen Rosales
2008 — Sheri and Walt Schubert
2009 — Tom Schaafsma
2010 — Jim Pickett