Neighbor Day Nominations

Over the past year, we have witnessed the true meaning of community and seen people across the city step up to take care of each other. To recognize these acts of kindness in celebration of Neighbor Day, we asked the community to submit nominations for people, businesses, and organizations who went above and beyond to help and support their friends and neighbors. Below is what we heard from community:


The Arc of King County, Belltown. The Arc of King County serves all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities from prenatal diagnosis through end-of-life care. Their programs include information and family support for parents, guardians, and siblings; supported living services for adults living in the community; representative payee for individuals needing financial management assistance; homelessness prevention for families at risk of losing their housing; and advocacy for people with developmental disabilities, family members, and community allies seeking to make our community more systemically equitable for all people. Throughout the pandemic, the organization has stepped up to the challenge of serving the disabled community by offering online programming including excercise classes and conversations with phone buddies, as well as opening a vaccination clinic.

Nominated by: Marci Asher, Employee; Andres Martinez-Alegria, Board Member; Rick Minutoli, Member; Josh Breda, Board Member; Emily Moser, Board Member; Linda Wilson, Donor.


Jared Howe, Rainier Vista. “Rainier Vista is a highly diverse, broad-spectrum neighborhood. Longtime residents to newcomers to single people to large families reside here. The common thread we share is that we love where we live and care for each other. Jared has been my neighbor for probably 5 years now. In that time he has participated in/led countless initiatives to support fellow neighbors. Only a handful of the many things he’s done: built the local Community Hub from the ground up; started numerous GoFundMe pages to help neighbors in need (both prior to COVID and during); supported the local food bank by helping collect bags and toiletries; led community-building activities during many Neighborhood Night Out events; supported his daughter through engagement in microlocal playtime activities; perpetuated neighborhood-wide emails helping out local homeless; supported neighborhood cleanups…oh gosh I could go on. Placing a monetary value on the work Jared has done could probably quantified in the multi-thousands, and from what I can tell he does it purely out of humility and (most of all!) love. This community has select few warriors who stand up for equity and justice, and Jared embodies all of these traits. I often wonder if he knows how far-reaching his positive impacts have/have had on this community? I know at least 150 people within a three block radius who would vocalize the same. Please help me honor Jared on Neighbor Day!”

Nominated by: Emilie Szeto, neighbor.


person in mask poses for a selfie with two Swedish Medical Center staff in masks and scrubs.
Ellen Kuwana with Swedish Medical Center staff

Ellen Kuwana, Ravenna. “Ellen founded We Got This Seattle, a volunteer organization dedicated to supporting local restaurants and providing meals to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have fed and caffeinated more than 20,000 frontline workers at 70 sites and have helped support more than 71 local restaurants since March 13, 2020. Though she has gathered help along the way, much of the organization and meal delivery work has been done by Ellen personally as she has seemingly tirelessly organizing and delivering meals.”

Nominated by: Dan Berg, neighbor.


person with long dark hair and black coat, smiling
Odetta Owen Boudreau

Odetta Owen Boudreau, Highland Park. “Odetta has been running a food pick-up program at the Highland Park Improvement Club since the pandemic began. She spends hours organizing volunteers and preparing food bags for distribution. Odetta has gone above and beyond to keep the program safe for everyone.”

Nominated by: Alexandria Thompson, Volunteer


Randy “DJ Lucious Leopard Lips” Wiger of South Park.

Randy Wiger, South Park. “Randy is my landlord and neighbor. I moved to South Park right as the pandemic hit, and he started doing community fire pits with chairs six feet apart to help maintain a feeling of community and connection while the lockdown was starting. He is constantly doing things to help people less fortunate than himself. Randy organizes South Park Pride every year and does what he can to unite the white and Latinx communities in South Park. He is our neighborhood watch captain and is, overall, one of the most informed and helpful people I have ever known. When the owner and editor of the Seattle Gay News died, he helped the staff and the owner’s daughter access resources through the University of Washington to archive the past issues so that they could move into a smaller office space and keep the paper alive. In addition, he helps put together the Ravenna Ravine maypole and DJ’s for the Georgetown Artwalk as DJ Lucious Leopard Lips. He does all these things without any expectation, just a true desire to foster community. Randy is just truly a wonderful human.”

Nominated by: Justice McCartney, Tenant.


Madrona Elementary’s Family Resource Center, Madrona. “When schools closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Madrona staff and the Parent Teacher Student Association collaborated to transform the school library into the Family Resource Center (FRC). Many families were struggling with job, health, and housing insecurity, and the staff wanted to make the school a safe, dignified, and welcoming space for people to come to get their most basic needs met. Every week, Madrona families are invited to “shop” for free for fresh produce, meat and dairy products, canned foods/dry goods, and hygiene products – including face masks and hand sanitizer – as well as $25 grocery gift cards. During the past 11 months, they have served nearly 150 families, averaging about 40 families per week. They have provided more than 5,000 grocery bags, 1,500 face masks, and $35,000 in grocery gift cards to Madrona families in need.”

Nominated by: Samara Louton, Volunteer


Barb Burrill, Wallingford. “Barb has been a leader in providing care for fruit trees in public parks throughout Seattle for a number of years. She is active in improving and maintaining part of the Burke Gilman trail; shares advice about fruit tree care with the public; and founded and leads The Friends of Meridian Park. She helps keep Seattle a beautiful place every day.”

Nominated by: Sue Hartman, friend and co-volunteer.


Kathleen Braden of Licton Springs

Kathleen Braden, Licton Springs. “I became president of the Licton Springs Community Council two years ago. Without Kathleen’s guidance and support, I don’t know how I would have managed. She is incredibly knowledgeable, amazingly generous with her time, and cares deeply about our neighborhood. She has been the Licton Springs Community Council secretary for a long time and is our resident historian. Kathleen has also taken it upon herself to join organizations and other community meetings to ensure our neighborhood is either a) represented or b) informed about what is happening in the larger community. Our neighborhood would not be what it is without Kathleen’s continued dedication. Also, she has brought fresh-out-of-the-oven baked goods to my home on more than one occasion. Her brownies are amazing!”

Nominated by: Janice Lichtenwaldt, Neighbor/Community Council Member


Dan Keefe, Lake City. “Dan is involved in numerous activities that benefit the Lake City neighborhood and beyond. Aside from being on the Meadowbrook Community Council for many years, he frequently helps at the Meadowbrook Community Garden, growing crops for distribution to the food bank. He helps monitor E. coli levels in Thornton Creek; supports a clean-up of a city-owned plot of land known as Kramer’s Creek; and is an active participant in a neighborhood tally of significant trees. He sits on various other boards and committees in Lake City as well. He truly embodies the meaning of citizenship. I am proud to be associated with Dan.”

Nominated by: Walt Bubelis, Friend.


Todd Putnam. “He has helped people understand the political power of their money.”

Nominated by: Timothy Muck, Prior Business Partner.


Joe Wadden, West Seattle. “Joe has a family and small dog and is often walking with them in the neighborhood. He almost always carries a plastic bag and collects trash as he walks. It’s just an automatic, normal task for him, and he’s known in the neighborhood for it. He is also very humble about it. No big deal. It is a big deal! Years and years of trash has been collected by this awesome neighbor. One time, I had offered to take his bag and throw it in my trash and he declined that offer; probably because he needed that bag for any trash he found on his walk home and didn’t want to trouble me with it. He’s just that kind of wonderful guy that you feel lucky to know and have in your neighborhood. He’s an inspiration.”

Nominated by: Erika Stromberg, Friend & Neighbor


Allen McLeod, Ballard. “I lived in an apartment above McLeod’s pub all last year and got to know Allen through little conversations on our shared sidewalk as he kept his pub open throughout the pandemic. Allen cares about his neighborhood, keeping his staff safe, and looking out for people who call our little block in Ballard home. On Thanksgiving weekend, we talked about the history of the holiday and the colonialist roots. But the notions of the holiday that focus on feeding each other and being a good neighbor are deeply ingrained in Allen. When I came down to the sidewalk that evening, he was making sure the people experiencing homelessness on our block were safe and was finding ways to share warmth and care. With so many business owners in the neighborhood feeding into misconceptions and fear around homelessness, I’m grateful to know that Allen and McLeod’s Pub is there at the end of the block if you need an ear without judgment, oh and killer fish and chips.”

Nominated by: Camilla Walter, Neighbor to business


Darrell Anderson puts flowers up at an Eastlake bus stop.

Darrell Anderson/Mort’s Cabin, Eastlake. Darrell is an integral part of Eastlake. At his shop, Mort’s Cabin, he has this beautiful carved wooden bench that he welcomes neighbors to engrave their names on. Then he takes a photo of them and their engraving and posts it on the Eastlake Social Club Facebook site. Darrell displays flowers at the bus stop, puts out free books for the community, and faithfully tidies up the area. Inside his shop is an eclectic collection of Americana items. Eastlake is so very fortunate to have Darrell in our neighborhood!

Nominated by: Sandra Wheelee, neighbor.


close-up of person in head scarf, standing outside and smiling
Ella McRae

Ella McRae, High Point. “Ella is very passionate about helping underserved communities! She is always engaged in events, sharing and encouraging community partners to do the same. If she’s not in High Point, she is volunteering at a different community. Ella has only been in her position at Seattle Housing Authority as Community Builder for High Point for less than a year and has made a tremendous impact. She always makes sure that everyone in the community has their voice heard and is not afraid to speak out stand up for the underserved population. Her positive energy is also a plus!”

Nominated by: Melbourn Lagahit, Community Partner.


two masked people rolling cart of groceries into building
Volunteers delivering groceries in Chinatown International District

InterIm Community Development Association, Chinatown International District. “At the beginning of the shutdown in March of 2020, InterIm staff volunteers began a 2-3 day/week grocery, supplies, and prepared meal distribution to residents living within the Chinatown International District that was primarily geared toward medically vulnerable, non-English language seniors and those in urgent need. Though it’s scaled-down now to just groceries one day a week, the distribution still continues to this day.”

Nominated by: Julie Neilson, Agency Contractor


Nancy Jenkins, Maple Leaf. “Nancy is 65 years old and takes care of multiple friends and neighbors in the neighborhood. She consistently puts others’ needs above her own and never fails to say ‘let me know what I can do to help.’ And she means it!! She does shops, cleans, house-sits, lets you stay at her house if you need to have medical care in the Seattle area and live outside of the city, or simply is there for socially distanced support. This year has been really rough for her since she couldn’t teach ski school, and lost her mom, but she kept busy helping others.”

Nominated by: Tina Carpenter, Friend.


Evan Wallace, Central Waterfront. ‘During 2020 Evan Wallace was the catalyst in helping to make the Pike Place Hill Climb area safe and pleasant for neighbors, essential workers, and other travelers. The 2020 lockdown shuttered all of the businesses on Hill Climb. With no business and minimal foot traffic, less-desired activities quickly increased. Evan began four times daily walks through our building and down Hill Climb and reported observations to the appropriate City agencies as well as texting updates to the neighborhood chat group. He also began disposing of needles and trash carelessly left on Hill Climb. Evan’s activities inspired neighbors and several families to adopt days of the week to clean up the area from the Pike Place Parking garage, down Hill Climb to Alaska Way, and back to the bottom of the parking garage. This lasted until area services restarted.”

Nominated by: Deb Carnes, Neighbor.


Trick or Treat Street in Montlake

James Sutherland and Don Zimmer, Montlake. “For about 20 years, neighbors Don and James have hosted ‘Trick or Treat Street’ on E Blaine Street in the Montlake neighborhood. Their extravagant Halloween decorations, up by early October, draw visitors from all over the city, including tour vans from nursing homes. They use their visibility to collect donations for Chicken Soup Brigade and other food support organizations. The community comes together every year for a fun and joyous celebration sparked by this lovely couple, with many neighboring homes pitching in. They are a Seattle treasure!”

Nominated by: Barbara McCann, Neighbor


Paula Mueller, Queen Anne. ‘Everywhere you look in Queen Anne these days, there’s Paula! For that, I am grateful. She brings amazing energy, enthusiasm, and a can-do attitude. Forming the Queen Anne Block Captains Network, organizing the first-ever Urban Survival Skills Fair for the Queen Anne community, and most recently partnering with the Queen Anne Community Council (where she sits on the Board) to launch the Initiative on Community Engagement program, Paula is a breath of fresh, let’s get it done, air! Paula believes strongly that, as residents, we deserve to be better informed about what is happening in our local, city, county, and state governments, and that organizing programs and events to support better community education and information is critically important. Every community could use a Paula!’

Nominated by: Beth Bunnell, Board Colleague/Co-Collaborator


Banchong Douangphrachanh of Greenwood

Banchong Douangphrachanh, Greenwood. “After experiencing discrimination in her neighborhood, Banchong is proactively working to create a welcoming environment in her local P-Patch Community Garden. She is working with the P-Patch director to create a visitor’s map, in English, Spanish, and Chinese to represent the local neighborhood; to improve communication with the community; and let visitors know what they can enjoy and what they can’t. She is a strong and passionate community advocate who brings neighbors together!”

Nominated by: Zanna Satterwhite, friend.


Eastlake Coffee Cafe, Eastlake. “I moved to Seattle during a really rough and unstable time in my life. An Eastlake Coffee Cafe customer purchased a coffee for me the first day I moved to Eastlake. That random act of kindness reminded me love is still anonymous. I made it a routine to visit often and get to know this community corner cafe. A few times my card failed me, but the baristas showed kindness and grace, excusing my shortcomings and offering my caffeinated delights for free. My heart warmed, but I asked to try again, and magically it worked. However, their natural response of humanity and charitable motivation makes me feel safe. As a student without family in Washington, these small acts of kindness encourage my peace of mind and supports my success in my education. The funny thing is, Eastlake closes early and I got home late so I stopped at Starbucks once. Although the customer service was friendly, the experience wasn’t the same. All I thought about was my Black Bear Latte with Honey, bright smiles, and the adorable puppy community!”

Nominated by: Jalisa Bass, Customer.


NEST (North East Seattle Together), Wedgewood. “NEST is part of the national Senior Village movement, the first one established in Seattle. Its purpose is to support, encourage, and empower seniors residing in their own homes in NE Seattle with volunteers, social and educational programming, physical exercise, etc. I have been especially impressed with how they helped their members and others in the community during the pandemic and when they found it necessary to curtail in-person events. They organized a ‘telephone tree’ so that every member received regular telephone calls every one or two weeks to help with isolation. Their volunteers helped with grocery shopping, yard work, and provided transportation to medical appointments. When COVID-19 vaccinations were available, they helped schedule and transport members, and others in the community, so more folks could be vaccinated – especially those most vulnerable to the virus and without easy access to the internet. They offered Zoom and outdoor support, education programming, exercise, and social groups to help keep people connected and feeling the support of community. They are now co-sponsoring a Pickle ball game every Friday in their parking lot with the Parks Department. They are a marvelous organization who really demonstrates care and commitment by engaging with and supporting neighbors!”

Nominated by: Rosemary Blakemore, Founding Member


Santa Claus outside Circa in West Seattle

Circa, West Seattle. “Circa is a small, family-owned business that provides a wonderful, cozy place for neighbors to gather over delicious food and drink. The pandemic changed all of this. While trying to survive, keep the doors open, and feed their family, Gretchen and Bill (the owners) saw that others needed their help. They decided that they would donate 5 percent of their sales every Tuesday to non-profits that were in need- The West Seattle Foodbank and Mary’s Place. If that wasn’t enough, when the high school students wanted to raise money, they stepped up to help with a 10 percent Wednesday, raising over $400 for them! They had Santa come in December so that the local kids could deliver their holiday wishes safely, outside, and have some sense of merriment. Every neighborhood needs a Gretchen and Bill. We are very lucky to have them and Circa here in our little neighborhood on the north end of West Seattle Island.”

Nominated by: Vicki Rova Mueller, customer.


Margaret Sanders, Eastlake. “Margaret was the primary individual leading the effort to implement the Eastlake (emergency) HUB. In addition, she has been a key individual on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Eastlake Community Council.”

Nominated by: Ben Wildman, ‘Fellow’ Board member on the Eastlake Community Council


Tija Petrovich, Pioneer Square. “Despite having to close her own local business, she remained active in supporting and championing others through the pandemic. You rock, Tija!”

Nominated by: BJ Patch, neighbor.


AmPowering Organization, Redmond. “Led by community leader, Menka Soni, AmPowering has gone above and beyond to help those in need throughout King County. Most of their community support is focused in Downtown Seattle. Menka and her organization have provided thousands of face masks, meals, clothing, blankets, and hygiene needs to families, individuals, and the homeless community prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, at the beginning of the pandemic, and throughout the duration of the pandemic.”

Nominated by: Linda Lowry, supporter.


Lori Kothe of Poogooder

Lori Kothe/Poogooder, West Seattle. Laurie has gone over and beyond the call of duty to try and illuminate and reduce the dog waste situation in West Seattle. She is reaching out to schools, individuals, and communities within West Seattle to educate people about the dog poop problems that people keep ignoring. She’s providing dog poop waste bins, hand sanitizer, and dog poop bags out of her own pocket so that people will clean up their dog poop. ”

“Her goal is to have Poogooder stations throughout neighborhoods, thereby eliminating dog poop going into people’s trash cans and increasing goodwill throughout the neighborhoods. Lori supplies the bag refills, hand sanitizer, and can liners. Lori is the best, bright, creative, and kind.”

Nominated by: Grace Lee, volunteer; Christine Clark, follower; Jennifer Streit, friend; Keri Spezzano, friend.


Peggy and Patrick Headstrom, Laurelhurst. “As the lockdown began, the Headstrom’s and neighbor Delphine Yung recognized the precarious and unpredictable financial future of food truck owners/operators. They resolved to reach out to truck owners to bring them, once a week, to our neighborhood. An email list was developed. Food truck operators were initially skeptical that there would be sufficient interest from a residential neighborhood to warrant purchasing supplies and spending hours in preparation for a Friday evening in a neighborhood with little foot traffic. However, Peggy, a physician and a community builder par excellence, was sufficiently reassuring. The financial success of the early, risk-taking truck owner/operators confirmed Dr. Headstrom’s vision. Since then, probably 50 different trucks -including several repeats -have come and will continue to come. The neighborhood is supportive and income is generated for the truck owners. Even in inclement weather neighbors gather, masked, to connect with each other, chat and eat! Everyone wins!!!”

Nominated by: Kathryn Kelly & Eric Schnapper, neighbors.


Candy Cane Lane in Ravena

Marsha Miller, Ravenna. “Marsha volunteers to lead the organizing of all events on Candy Cane Lane. She recruits and motivates neighbors to set up, maintain, and then take down the massive holiday display. She handles everything from fundraising to organizing work crews to build the displays, to coordinating with musical groups who come to perform during the holidays (UW marching band, Roosevelt Jazz). It is a massive effort which she takes on every year. In 2020, she added COVID-19 safety coordinator to her list of duties. We had a record turn out of people coming to see the bright lights during a very dark time. Marsha is deserving of this honor because the impact of her efforts has brought so much joy to the immediate neighbors and to everyone in the city who visits. She doesn’t stop when the holidays are over. She is the kingpin for organizing all the community events on Candy Cane Lane: easter egg hunts, summer BBQs, and Night Out against crime.”

Nominated by: Kim Bylund, Neighbor.


Pat Mork, Greenwood. “Pat volunteers with the Phinney Neighborhood Association/Greenwood Senior Center. She assists neighbors who have chosen to live in place and requests help to maintain their homes. In addition, Pat signs up to perform gardening chores but frequently goes beyond that; she sees a need, hears a want, or determines a way to make a senior’s life more comfortable, and she acts. She is generous with her time and talents.”

Nominated by: Shawna Bliss, friend/volunteer.


Staff of LEVA Apartments, Ballard. “The staff of LEVA on Market Apartments in Ballard, including managers and engineers, work together like clockwork to keep everything running remarkably smooth for a building with more than 200 residents. I’m so appreciative of their hard work keeping the building and common areas clean and safe for all of us who live here, a particular challenge with all the extra things to be aware of, and tasks to be done, in the time of COVID-19. They go about their work with kindness, interest, and efficiency. I’m lucky, and our Ballard neighborhood is lucky, to have such a fine team of leaders helping to keep our community safe and cared for.”

Nominated by: Chris Gorley, LEVA resident.


Michael Reilly of Eastlake

Michael Reilly, Eastlake. “Michael Reilly is known as the unofficial Mayor of Eastlake. He’s always there for a chat and a beer, socially distanced, of course. He has a dump truck and will often help his fellow neighbors with moving, demolitions, or just lending a hand. Reilly lives life to the fullest and would drop anything to help out a friend or neighbor.”

“Helping neighbors and our Eastlake community with yard work, planting flowers for neighbors and parks. Letting neighbors use his lake toys. Always willing to help out of the kindness of his heart and to better our neighborhood.”

“Reilley is like the Mayor and Peter Pan of Eastlake; mowing lawn strips, placing garbages at the park and emptying them. He proliferates paying it forward and acts of kindness.”

Nominated by: Keely McGuire, friend/neighbor; Caroline Treganowan, friend/neighbor; Brenda, neighbor; Alex, friend.


Jeff Daley, West Seattle/Gatewood. “We fondly call Jeff, ‘Mayor of Gatewood’ as he seems to know everyone in a 4-block radius of his home. He’s often seen walking his dog and stopping to chat with anyone who happens to be outdoors. He also makes a point to introduce himself to new neighbors and help them feel welcome and part of our community. Jeff is a professional gardener and happy to give tours of his amazing yard and teach you about native plants, etc. He also offers help with landscape projects to anyone who asks for his advice. While there is not a major gesture or event that makes Jeff stand out, it’s his consistency over the 16 years we’ve known him that makes him so special. And we are one of the ‘newer’ neighbors! Pretty sure he and his family have been in their current home since the 1970s.”


Ryan Moinazad, Meadowbrook. “Ryan and his mom have been regulars at The Meadowbrook Community Center for years. Every Friday night you could count on them showing up for late-night badminton. Ryan volunteered after school and at many community events. We have missed having them around while the building has been closed due to COVID, but instead of being upset about the building being closed, they stepped up and asked, ‘how can we help? Are there any donations needed? Can I come and help?’ We were so happy to hear from them! Seattle Parks and Recreations Staff provide hygiene services for the community at Meadowbrook and have continued during the pandemic. Ryan quickly started going through his supplies in his house and, sure enough, the next day they dropped off a huge bag of supplies. Ryan did not stop there! Over the next couple of weeks, Ryan, with the help of his mom, was able to purchase and drop off even more supplies – hundreds of dollars worth of supplies – including food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, face masks, and more! The shower participants have been very thankful for the items being available, and it has lasted a few months. Ryan took the initiative to ask how to help and what was needed. We really appreciate him and his mom’s efforts, which allows us to serve the people better.”

Nominated by: Heather Wyatt & Kylie Helmuth, Meadowbrook Community Center Staff


Laura Zaske, Wallingford. “Together with her husband Steve and their two kids Grayson and Jillian, Laura Zaske led our block’s enthusiastic nightly Joyful Noise celebration during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Zaske family dressed up in costume for (I believe) 100 consecutive nights, bringing together six households in a socially distanced, outdoor setting to laugh, dance, and listen to music. Laura works as an ICU nurse at UW Medical Center; that a frontline worker would prioritize bringing joy to her neighbors every night is incredible. She brings a whole new meaning to the idea of neighbor.”

Nominated by: Tina Walha, neighbor.