Besides the obvious things like, family, health and security, there are two things that I find very important. One is community and the other is our environment. I feel very fortunate to live in an area that values both of these things so highly! And as such, I reap great joy and gratification from contributing as a volunteer to organizations in our community that support and value these things as well.
As a NW native I can really appreciate both outdoor and indoor activities. One day while exploring the Issaquah Highlands Connections newspaper, I was really excited to come across the various clubs offered in our Community. Photography, board games, poker and so much more. I remember thinking, how cool this community is to have such activities freely open and organized by volunteers. Shortly after moving into the neighborhood, I found myself interested in checking out at least one of these groups. I ended up gravitating towards the Poker club, because of the game’s social, entertaining and competitive nature. I thought, what a great way to meet some new people, and have some fun on a Thursday night.
The group, originally formed by Kyle Reynolds, is about 7 years old now. It started from a small home game, that with support from the community and Blakely Hall, that has grown into one of the Issaquah Highland’s most popular clubs. It was only this season that Kyle decided to step down as chair in order to spend more time with his family and focus on career.
It was at our last club meeting in January that we tried to figure out the future of the club and who was willing to fill Kyle’s big shoes. After some deliberation, Adam Brown and I agreed to step up as co-chairs for the Issaquah Poker Club (IPC). Adam covers the volunteer side of the club, coordinating club members to help with set-up and tear down of our events, while I handle the public facing communication and community outreach. Together we run the event and make sure the facility and group’s needs are met. It’s been working out great, and the club is as strong as ever, and the game is as fun and challenging as ever too. We average about 40 participants at each months gathering. And look forward to seeing the club grow.
Beyond just playing cards, and building new friendships and contacts, the IPC has been a great channel to solicit local support and volunteers for other Issaquah area events and organizations. Members are often tapped to help or participate in fundraisers and other events that help support local schools and charities. It’s an all-around good time, which both builds and supports our community. If you have at all be toying with the idea of coming. I encourage you to give it a chance. We welcome you.
Continuing on the topic of volunteering in our community, another local organization I have given my time to, is Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (F.I.S.H).
My step son Marc Webb and I, have both been volunteer docents during the last couple of seasons. Helping with tours and running the gift shop. While spending time at the hatchery, it’s hard not to recall childhood memories of coming to Issaquah and touring the old hatchery on school field trips or going with my parents to the Salmon Days parade and celebration. Given such fond memories from my youth, it was truly an honor for me to actually participate in the Salmon day parade with other docents and my step-son after being a spectator for so many years.
Through this experience, I have come to learn that the work done by F.I.S.H. volunteers at the hatchery is so vitally important for our community, our environment and for Washington State’s economy. In fact, the work they do is so important, I would encourage local community members and businesses to do whatever they can, whether it is to donate time or money, to support F.I.S.H. and our local hatchery.
The Issaquah Highlands and its surrounding community is such a great place to live, work and volunteer. I am proud to say I am a resident, I am happy to do my part to lend a hand and be a volunteer, and I am honored to be The Issaquah Highland Volunteer of the Month.