Sunshiners keep shining on Sequim with tradition of giving

Entering their sweet sixteenth year, one group of dedicated ladies have kept the tradition of giving while keeping the gift of gab going strong among friends.

Since 2002, Sunland’s Sunshiners, a group of about 50 women living in the housing community north of Sequim, continue to host luncheons and programs while raising support for local charities and efforts.

Started as a Red Hat Society-affiliated group, many of the same ladies socialized together for about seven years before creating the Sunshiners as a way to give back to the community in some way.

“We started (Sunshiners) with the hope of doing more and giving more to the community,” said Nan Godfrey, an original board member.

Fellow Sunshiner Vonnie Putnam and original board member agreed.

“We have a lot of fun but we do a lot of things for the community,” she said.

Annually, Sunshiners host four luncheons and two coffee klatch dates typically scheduled between March-December in Sunland’s clubhouse at 109 Hilltop Drive.

Putnam said they tend to “chat and chat and eat and then enjoy a program” that may include a community speaker or a local musician.

Food sometimes comes as a potluck from club members or from Sunland’s caterers, or sometimes there’s a special occasion, such as an annual beach bash on Jamestown Beach each August.

The refreshments and entertainment may vary, but the group does make an effort to bring food each event for the Sequim Food Bank.

Over the years, the group has supported a number of efforts, including animal advocacy groups, and group members make an effort to support local, abused women through Healthy Families of Clallam County’s Holiday Joy program.

Godfrey said Sunshiners annually adopt about six families at Christmas time who provide a wish list.

“We try to help give them a good Christmas,” Putnam said.

Sunshiners’ elves have continued the tradition since 2002 and provide items ranging from clothes to sports equipment to a small dinner for Christmas. The group also provides coats and shoes for the Sequim Elks’ Christmas drive, too.

“We really enjoy doing this,” Putnam said. “Our gals are so great at donating.”

The Sunshiners’ original board remains the same 16 years later, including Nan Godfrey, Gloria Robinson, Vonnie Putnam, MJ Anderson, Freddie Kraus, Linda Collet, and Cynthia Edel.

The group is only open to women living in Sunland with its next event chat set for 11:30 a.m. Friday, June 15.

Reach Matthew Nash at