January Volunteer of the Month: Scott Moffat (pictured with daughter Fiona and wife Heather)
Issaquah Highlands has given me so much: a great place to live, new friends, lively events throughout the year, and an opportunity to give back by sharing a passion of mine—photography.
My wife and I moved to The Highlands eight years ago, after visiting our friends several times who had moved here 2 years earlier—we were excited by the potential this young community has, and the opportunity to be a part that. Over the years, this has only been affirmed time and time again—Issaquah feels like “home”, and The Highlands especially so.
Like many people I’m guessing, I watched the club notices in IH Connections with interest, signing up for club emails, but it wasn’t until a few years ago I finally managed to get to a meeting—for the Photography club. My attendance was marked by the unfortunate news that the club needed new coordinators to continue. Faced with the proposition of losing something I had just started, about a topic I feel passionately about, I decided to leverage my professional experience in Marketing Communications, and my personal experience coordinating gatherings and cook-offs to preserve something I feel returns value to the community. Fortunately I was not alone, and fellow neighbor Raza Naqvi also volunteered to co-manage the club.
Inspired by Bill Bryson’s description of community social clubs in industrial-age Britain (Notes from a Small Island, 2001), I pressed “pause” on the club for a few months to research members’ interests in a variety of photography areas and work with Raza and the folks at Blakely Hall to “reboot” the club: Introduce a topic-driven calendar with speakers from the within the club and out, a monthly photo challenge with winners published in IH Connections, invest in building out an online community for those members who couldn’t attend in person, and increased participation in the overall community
Since then we’ve had a variety of speakers on wide ranging topics, had workshops where we’re shared techniques and discussed equipment, taken a photo walk around the Issaquah Alps, and provided photographs to IH Connections. We regularly have eight to twelve members attend the monthly meetings at Blakely Hall, and have about 122 members on our Facebook group, and 66 on our Flickr group. For more information email me at email@example.com, or check us out online: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ihphotoclub/ | https://www.flickr.com/groups/ihphotoclub/.
Looking forward, I’m excited to see where the club goes, and being able to raise my daughter Fiona in a community where she can meet new friends and share her interests (such as photography) with them. For me Volunteering is a fun way to give back—if you haven’t volunteered, find something you’re passionate about and give back that way, or find a way to bring your neighbors together around it and start something new.