What a great night! On February 6th we celebrated our 20th anniversary and welcomed these inspiring community members into the League of Extraordinary Givers:

The 2019 winners were:

 

Lifetime of Giving Award winners:

  • Mij & Chuck Charbonneau - Chuck and Mij have been active in the Renton region since the 1980s. From coaching Special Olympics for 9 years, to being active board members of Kiwanis, to being on the Mayor’s Senior Advisory Board and volunteering for the Renton Police Department, one gets worn out just reading the long list of commitments and achievements. They are especially well-known and loved for their work in starting the Budkis Fund, named after their beloved bulldog. While they generously supported animal welfare groups while Budkis was still alive, after his death in 2001 they created a fund at RRCF as a way to support low-income seniors who cannot afford veterinary bills. Since then, the Budkis Fund has provided more than $200,000 in veterinary care support for seniors. This means that those seniors don’t have to choose between food or medication or healthcare for their pet, and they have the continued love of their beloved companion. Thank you, Mij and Chuck!
  • Doug & Sonja Kyes - Doug and Sonja Kyes have been active members of the Renton Community since the early ‘60s when they moved here as newlyweds.  Doug was hired at Boeing and became active in community events as an artist, while Sonja was also heavily involved in community events while working as a nurse at Valley Medical Center. Their projects included becoming deeply involved in Allied Arts, and Doug was also very active in Renton River Days, serving as official River Days Artist for many years.  He designed the whimsical little red-haired boy and girl that became symbolic of Renton River Days for over 13 years. Doug helped start the Piazza in Renton and designed and painted the mural entitled, "The Lost Black River" that was on the Sears building downtown. Sonja was often involved in all these endeavors. Since retiring in 1983, she has been active in Allied Arts as Renton River Days Chalk Art contest chair; has worked at the Farmer's Market information booth; and has assisted in all areas of Rotary including Caper.  For the past 12 years she has volunteered at the Renton Police Department.  The Kyes were also a very important part of Renton's Centennial Celebration held in 2001.  Doug designed and coordinated the development of 25 historical markers placed throughout Renton, and he designed a special coloring book about Renton's history that was distributed to the community. Thank you, Doug and Sonja!
  • Nancy Monahan - Nancy Monahan has been fighting for the marginalized since her young adulthood: supporting an organization dedicated to keeping children off the streets; working with groups that work on housing, and homelessness; and being active in various Catholic non-profits. Alongside her professional work, she found time to serve on the Renton Library Board and volunteered at her children’s school library and the Renton Historical Museum, knowing the importance of preserving and sharing our local history. Decades ago, Nancy initiated one of the main local “circles” of Catholic women that have supported children and families of all races and creeds.  The collection of “circles” around the Puget Sound area has a Board of Directors, and Nancy was a Board member for over 20 years, serving on the Financial and Publicity committees, and even as their President. She has provided leadership in raising funds that will benefit children and families in perpetuity.  In short, Nancy’s legacy in this region is one of joyful, selfless giving. Thank you, Nancy!

 

Public Spirit Award winners:

  • Risho Sapano - Risho Sapano has had a major impact in this area since arriving 18 years ago. As she became deeply immersed in the community, as she says, she, “Felt the need to step up and found an organization that can alter the narrative and status quo about African communities. They can be more than just the recipients of services, rather they can be contributors and make a significant impact in the greater community.” This is what led up to the founding of Mother Africa in 2004, whose mission is to assist African refugee and immigrant women and their children to reach their highest potential. Mother Africa works with communities in King County including Kent, Renton, Tukwila, Auburn, Federal Way, and Seattle. Risho is also on the women and children committee of the Islamic Center of Kent, a board member on the Youth Development Executives of King County, a founding member and board member of Living Well Kent Collaborative as well as the Washington State Coalition of African Community Leaders. Risho’s commitment to community, her resourcefulness, and her tenacious sense of responsibility is why she is so deserving for the Public Spirit Award. Thank you, Risho!

 

Rising Star Award winner:

  • Chris Fanco - Chris Franco is a proud combat veteran, father of four, and 2nd generation Mexican-American. He grew up in the Puget Sound region before attending Central Washington University where he met his wife of 10-years, Jamie. Shortly after graduating from Central Washington University, Chris joined the U.S. Army where he served for eight years. While in the Army, Chris deployed to Afghanistan to assist with the first Afghan election and later had the honor of serving as a mechanized infantry commander and a paratrooper commander. In 2015, Chris left the Army to pursue his passion for public service and moved to Renton where he and his family have finally planted their roots. Now Chris serves in the King County government as supervisor and one of the county’s equity and social justice leaders. He currently has the privilege of representing the Latinx community in the county’s native/POC Partnering Team, where he and his colleagues are working to eradicate institutional racism and equitably serve the residents of King County.  In addition to his work on equity and social justice at King County, Chris also helped raise over $25,000 for various charitable organizations by coordinating several giving-events. Most recently, Chris and his family have committed themselves to be a voice and champion for all of our community members by getting involved local politics and several organizations. Chris is excited to continue serving our community and is honored to join the ranks of the League of Extraordinary Givers. Thank you, Chris, for your leadership!

Luminary Award winner:

  • Betty Nokes Capestany - Wherever Betty Nokes Capestany has worked, she has indeed served as a light of inspiration for others as she made a positive impact on the community. Whether it was as President of the Renton Chamber of Commerce, or as Economic Development Director at the City of Renton, or as CEO of the Bellevue Chamber, or where she was just recently chosen after a national search, Economic Development Director for Pierce County… Betty has spent her career championing business and building communities. One of Betty’s biggest local accomplishments was leading the effort to raise $1.5 million for the IKEA Performing Arts Center in partnership with RRCF former board member Char Baker. Other highlights of Betty’s legacy include developing the Renton Blue Ribbon Panel; bringing key stakeholders together to produce innovative community solutions and leverage resources; being a founding board member of the Renton Technical Community College; expanding the Renton Trace and Consumer Show, opening the event to the public;  serving on many boards; and being honored as Citizen of the Year for the City of Renton. Clearly, Betty is an inspiration and more than deserving of the Luminary Award. Congratulations, Betty, and thank you for your service!

 

PAST WINNERS

 

Lifetime of Giving Award - Given to those who have spent decades leading by example - volunteering on community boards, initiating new ideas, serving on committees, making financial donations, inspiring others to engage and participate, building partnerships, and finding resources to get the job done.

 

2018 Winner: Barb Nilson; Dr. Gary Knolwes; Noal and Carol Abrahamson

2017 Winner: Jim & Joanne Medzegian; Harry & Janet Blencoe; Linda Middlebrooks

2016 Winners: Jim & Char Baker; Don & Pearl Jacobson; Judy Schroeder

2015 Winners: Alex & Norma Cugini; King Parker; Marcie Maxwell; Pat Auten

 

Patron of the Year Award - Honors someone who has made a splash recently, perhaps by chairing a campaign, initiating a creative solution, or publicly championing a cause.

 

2018 Winner: Charlie Conner and Anne Simpson

2016 Winner: The Reverend Dr. Linda Smith

2015 Winner: Dale Walker

 

Rising Star Award - Meant to recognize the next-generation of community leaders.

 

2018 Winner: Dr. Quinton Morris

2017 Winner: Doug Baldwin

2016 Winner: Kevin Poole

2015 Winner: Meegan Prince

 

Public Spirit Award - Given to recognize organizations and individuals who have successfully brought multiple resources together to meet a variety of needs.

 

2018 Winners: Pam Teal;  Trina Westerlund

2017 Winners: Elizabeth Stewart; Geri Carlson

2016 Winners: Chris Spahn & Shannon Avery

2015 Winners: Karen Bergsvik; Renton Rotary RotaCare: (Valley Medical Center, Renton Rotary, Renton Salvation Army, Bob McBeth, Jim Sullivan and Dr. Bob Thompson)

 

Luminary Award - Honors an individual who by their very nature, serves as a light of inspiration for others as they strive to make a positive impact in the community.

 

2018 Winner: Dr. Dolores Gibbons

2017 Winner: Terry Higashiyama

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