Posted By: Lisa Syravong
Washington Wilderness Coalition celebrated our 30th Anniversary by hosting our 6th Annual Dinner and Silent Auction on Thursday, November 12, 2009. The event was well attended, with 135 guests and volunteers who gathered in celebration of the work being done to protect wilderness in Washington State. Held at the Shilshole Bay Beach Club in Ballard, guests enjoyed Northwest beer donated from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, wine from Chateau Ste Michelle and a delicious dinner catered by Apulent Catering.
WWC was pleased to welcome David Dicks, Executive Director of Puget Sound Partnership, as our keynote speaker. Mr. Dicks is leading the Partnership in an ecosystem-based approach that includes a clear focus on upper watersheds being vital to the restoration of Puget Sound.
Also in attendance were honored guests: Representative Norm Dicks (WA-06) and Suzie Dicks, and staff representatives from Representative Jay Inslee (WA-01) and Representative Dave Reichert (WA-08) who attended on behalf of the Representatives.
The event featured a keynote address by David Dicks, introduction of our new Board President, Barak Gale, by outgoing President Ted Whitesell, awards presentation, an inspirational, reflecting video featuring interviews by Doug North, Jon Owen & Ken Gersten.
The 30th Anniversary, marked the hard work and dedication of our co-founders, the late Karen M. Fant and Ken Gersten who began in 1979 with the idea of creating an organization to focus solely on protecting wilderness on public lands. To honor this, our history volunteer, Denise Ottoson, wrote a 30 page history of the organization.
WWC was pleased to present two awards this year. The Karen M. Fant Award was awarded to Connie Gallant, a Conservation Activist from Quilcene, WA. Connie Gallant was honored for her tireless work to protect the peninsula's treasures. Connie is an active member of a number of wilderness organizations, including the Olympic Forest Coalition where she serves on the board as Vice-President. Connie received an original black and white framed photograph donated by Steven Fey of Steven Fey Photography.
The New Conservation Voices Award was presented to Tom O’Keefe, Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director of American Whitewater.
Tom is an expert in aquatic ecology, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the conservation community. He has worked with WWC on several ongoing campaigns, including the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers legislation and the Washington Watershed Restoration Initiative. Tom also received an original black and white framed photograph, donated by Steven Fey of Steven Fey Photography.
We were honored to have so many notable guests, members and supporters of WWC to gather in honor of the work being done to protect wild lands around the state. A very special thank you to our staff, Board of Directors, auction committee volunteers and the more than 15 volunteers who gave hours, and months. We would like to especially recognize volunteers Charla Sullivan and Kendra Wendel for their hard work in planning the auction throughout the year.
Thank you for celebrating 30 years of wilderness protection with Washington Wilderness Coalition!
Photo By: Adam Sanders, Frank Blau Photography