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SPEECH Recognizes Its Volunteers


On Sunday, August 28, the South Puget Environmental Education Clearinghouse (SPEECH) held a celebration at the Fertile Ground Community Center in downtown Olympia to recognize volunteers who have devoted time to making SPEECH a success during its 21 years of existence. Pizza and refreshments were provided.

Volunteers being recognized received a choice of a one week share of a CSA Community Sustained Agriculture (CSA) from Left Foot Organics or a Community Sustained Sauerkraut (CSS) from OlyKraut. SPEECH selected these options because they symbolize local, sustainable food production. The CSA share was purchased by SPEECH from Left Foot Organics, a local farm that promotes self-sufficiency inclusion and independence for people with disabilities and rural youth through meaningful, paid employment and training in the business of growing and selling quality organic food and farm products.

The CSS was purchased by SPEECH from OlyKraut, a small artisan company in Olympia since 2008. It is completely devoted to producing energetically rich, probiotic, organic, raw and vegan fermented vegetable products.

The volunteers and past board members that responded to our request on their preferred option and received recognition were: Peter Moulton, Gita Moulton, Paul Allen, Thea Davis, Paul Pickett, Erica Guttman, Keith Cotton, Stephen Beck, Joanne McCaughan, Jeanine McGann, Susan Malakoff, Chris Hawkins, and Gail Sheikhizadeh. Many other volunteers were also offered recognition but did not respond or could not be located. Many of the above individuals already have gardens so the OlyKraut option was selected more often. Some contributed their share to Olympia's Emma Goldman Youth & Homeless Outreach Project (EGYHOP).

The SPEECH Board of Directors would like to express its sincere thanks to long-time SPEECH member Jim Lazar for providing a generous $1000 donation towards the event. Lazar's donation, made last year, was expressly restricted to volunteer recognition. "Although it took the board a full year to actively decide how to use these precious funds, it was time well spent," says Janine Gates, SPEECH Board President.

"The board devoted significant time and energy each month in discussing how and who should be honored and researching award options. It was determined, through this process, for example, that current board members, although specifically mentioned by Lazar, should be exempt from the award. SPEECH appreciates Jim's thoughtfulness in recognizing that we have not adequately recognized volunteers. He provided us the means to do just that," said Gates.

The funds were not fully used for this event and SPEECH will use leftover funds to create more volunteer recognition events in the future.

SPEECH is an all-volunteer environmental education and information clearinghouse providing support and resources to those who seek to preserve, protect and restore the environment. The organization, founded in 1991, is responsible for sponsoring educational events, publishing the South Sound Green Pages and helping inform individuals and organizations about local and regional environmental issues and politics. New board members and volunteers are always welcome!

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Updated 2015/01/07 21:14:22