For those of you who attended the January meeting, you saw the new floor that was recently installed at the Legion Hall. Thanks to American Legion Post 66, the facelift is startingly nice. Also, a big thank you to their Post for allowing us to meet in their facility. The Senior Center was gracious in letting us use their facility without charge for a number of years, but we were often competing with other folks whose conversations, music, etc. interfered with our speakers and our business meeting. The Legion Hall gives us the ability to conduct our meetings with the dignity deserved for our protocol.
If you are no longer able to make the meetings or just need help to get to the meetings, please let us know. As our membership gets on in years, those of us still able to drive would be happy to assist you.
Fred Apgar, Past Commander, is our Chair of both of these awards. Every year I am amazed at the quality of both the teachers and the students he selects. A tip of the hat to Fred for his work.
Sue Idso, a 5th grade teacher at Mukilteo Elementary School was named Elementary Teacher of the Year. Sue is a gifted master teacher who has a passion for her profession and makes long lasting connections with her students. Veterans are frequent visitors to her classroom whose presentations provide students with topics for writing essays. Sue also readily assumes a leadership role in the planning of Veterans Day assemblies. She is co-leader of the school’s student government, which provides students with an authentic experience in responsible citizenship and democracy. Sue graduated from UCLA.
The Post’s Middle School Teacher of the Year is Marilyn Roberts who teaches at Cedarcrest Middle School in Marysville. One of her goals in her teaching is to bring to life the extraordinary sacrifices made by ordinary people in the defense of their country. Marilyn also volunteers to coordinate the Veterans’ Day assemblies at her school and prepares extensive bulletin board displays. For the past two years, Marilyn has had her students distribute poppies during the week before Veterans Day, the proceeds of which are donated to VFW. Marilyn is a graduate of Seattle Pacific College.
Becky Heckinger was named the Post’s High School Teacher of the Year. She is a science teacher and Activities Coordinator at Edmonds-Woodway High School and assumes several other leadership positions. Becky serves on the school and district curriculum teams, coordinates the school’s dropout prevention program, chairs the school’s steering committee, and conducts leadership workshops for students. It is Becky’s involvement in the planning process that makes the Veterans and Memorial Day assemblies at Edmonds-Woodway so inspiring and meaningful. Becky serves as a wonderful role model for the students at Edmonds-Woodway. She graduated from the University of Washington, and she her husband, Phil, are the proud parents of a five month old daughter, Alice.
On January 20th, the Edmonds City Council approved our design concept for Veterans Plaza. Above is the Memorial Wall with waterfalls segmenting a granite wall. Each segment will feature a branch of the service. Below is an aerial view of the Plaza, the wall separating the parking lot from the Plaza. The large green area in the lower left will be the Memorial Garden with a circular seating area. In the plaza itself, the round objects are existing trees with seating provided on granite cubes interspersed through the Plaza. The committee recommending this design included Jim Blossey, Post Commander, and Ron Clyborne and Jim Traner of Post 8870. Ron and Jim are also members of American Legion Post 66. The design was selected from a number of submissions of ideas from around the country and even one from Mexico. SiteWorkshop of Seattle was chosen unanimously by the committee who has been meeting since last summer. Other committee members were from the community and included a wide representation of various interests.
At its January 9, 2015 meeting, VFW Post #8870 recognized several area students who participated in the Annual National VFW Essay contest. The Post’s student essay competition is coordinated by Fred Apgar who also serves as our Post Chaplain.
The theme for this year’s Youth Essay contest was “What I Can Do to Make Our Country Better” The contest is open to elementary school students in grades 3, 4, and 5, and participation in the contest is open to all public, private, and home schooled children. This year’s winning essay for 4th grade was submitted by Makayla Tourtellot, who is home schooled. Mohuwa Wahid, a student at Picnic Point Elementary School, was runner-up. Makayla was presented with a $100 scholarship from the Post, and Mohuwa received a $25 scholarship.
The 5th grade students who were recognized were all students at Mukilteo Elementary School, and they were accompanied by their teachers, Ms. Sue Idso and Ms. Aina Green. Grace Hettinger placed first ($100) in the competition, and three students, Allessanda Valmonte, Ella Rohrbouth, and Beckett Talmadge were runners-up ($25 each).
The Patriot’s Pen essay contest is open for Middle school students in grades 6, 7, and 8, and the theme for this year’s contest was “Why I Appreciate America’s Veterans”. The winning entry was submitted by Lara Wahid, a student at Harbour Point Middle School, and she also received a $100 scholarship. Two runners-up were named, Lindsey Lundberg (Meadowdale Middle School) and Ian Crunkilton (Terrace Park Elementary School), each of whom received a $25 scholarship.
Olivia Olsen garnered 1st place honors and a $100 scholarship in the Voice of Democracy contest, which is open to high school students in grades 9-12. While the Youth Essay and Patriot’s Pen competition requires a written essay, the Voice of Democracy competition requires the submission of an audio essay. This year’s topic was, “Why Veterans are Important to Our Nation’s History and Future”. Olivia, who had won the two previous Patriot Pen competitions, is a 9th grade student at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
You are cordially invited to attend the commemoration honoring all Vietnam Veterans on Saturday, February 7th at 11:00AM at the Tulalip Hibulb Cultural Center, 6410 23rd Ave. N.E., Tulalip, WA 98271. Mike Reagan will be the featured speaker. It is suggested you arrive early for coffee.
Our Raffle was another success. We grossed $2,140 and netted $1,550. While this was a couple of hundred short of our last raffle, these funds should give us a sufficient cushion through the 2016 year end. The winner of the 55 inch Samsung HDTV was Otis Wolfe, Commander of Post 921.
Al is originally from Bronx, New York and attended Maritime High School aboard the SS John W Brown (Liberty Ship) in New York. He joined the Navy August 1965, serving for 2 years as a Machinists Mate. He served in Vietnam aboard the USS Bexar APA-237, an attack transport, for nearly 2 years. Al holds a Coast Guard license as a Marine and Chief Engineer and is thus in the Merchant Marine. He is CEO of a Seattle company providing services to the commercial and passenger vessel industry. He volunteers as Chief Engineer for the historic steamer Virginia V. He and hi wife Diana reside in Mukilteo.