People around the region often ask me how we accomplish the community building mission of our organization. I always respond that our mission is achieved through the dedication of our community volunteer leaders. Over 100 residents in Issaquah Highlands volunteer in a leadership capacity for this community! From boards and committees to affinity groups and writers, the culture of Issaquah Highlands is determined by the people who live here. Highlands Council is simply a mechanism for consultation and collaboration.
Annually, we recognize one of these leaders as our Volunteer of the Year. It is with great pride that I announce our friend and neighbor, Alicia Spinner, as the 2018 Volunteer of the Year for Issaquah Highlands!
Alicia has founded three of the community groups currently active in our community: Toddler Play Group, Latino Club, and Club Inclusive. Alicia is also a leader of the Grand Ridge Elementary PTSA, an Issaquah Schools Foundation (ISF) VOICE mentor, and the editor of ISF’s Cultural Bridges magazine. And she has done so much more! Alicia is also known for her love for all people. Darcy Perea says, “Not a day goes by that I don’t see or hear of her giving of herself to ensure others feel comfortable and valued.”
Nina Milligan describes Alicia as a “most versatile volunteer.” Versatile indeed! Lisa Callan eloquently describes her work as, “a magical way of taking the wonderful uniqueness of every individual and weaving us together into a beautiful tapestry; a masterpiece of community full of life, connectedness, compassion, acceptance and love!”
Lindsey Pinkston calls Alicia a “a community treasure.” And Katrin Benders compares Alicia’s spirit for service to Mother Teresa, reminding us of her words, “Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.” And Mary Elena Peralta describes Alicia as a “blessing,” and “truly inspiring.”
Fellow Grand Ridge Elementary mom, Esmari Ferreria, is impressed by Alicia’s calm, get-it-done, demeanor and says she “wants to be Alicia when she grows up!” I think Sharan Sathi sums it up best, “We all can learn from people like Alicia.”
I am most impressed with Alicia’s ability to serve her community while balancing quality time with her family. Alicia travels the world seeking inspiration that she brings back and generously shares with all of us. I trust her completely. If she takes on a project, she delivers with exceptional attention to detail and quality. I can only wonder what amazing ideas she has in her head that she has yet to implement! We look forward to partnering with her for many years to come!
When you see this beautiful face around the community, and you will, stop and thank her for her service and take a moment to tell her what she means to you and your family.
Photo (top): Alicia Spinner received the 2018 Issaquah Highlands Volunteer of the Year Award at a special presentation at this year’s Highlands Day on August 25. Pictured (left to right): Larry Norton, President of the Highlands Council Board of Trustees, Rich Thompson, Highlands Day emcee, Christy Garrard, Executive Director of Highlands Council, and Alicia Spinner, 2018 Volunteer of the Year.