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Good Neighbor Award recipients

2011 Awards:

SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD:  Peter Guttchen, 1310 Central St NE
Peter Guttchen has served the NENA membership extraordinarily well as our president for the last 10 years. Through countless hours of hard work on everything from school safety improvements to addressing the walkability of our neighborhood, Peter has energized this community over the past decade and deserves praise and credit for making NENA one of the most active and respected neighborhood associations in Olympia today! His dedication to community activism has led to better communication and, most importantly, results from city and county leaders to help make where we live a better place. Neighborhoods throughout Olympia have and will continue to benefit from the leadership that Peter has given to all of us. A sincere thank you to you Peter, from the very people you call your neighbors!

NENA BOARD AWARD: Austin Hildreth
Austin is responsible for creating a number of much needed and very useful neighborhood maps. By re-drawing our NENA boundary and adding all of the parcel addresses, we were finally able to conduct a full inventory of the properties within our boundary, over 1,800 total!! Using a series of neighborhood maps, we were able to use this information when we conducted our door to door NENA campaign this summer, which was very successful. In addition, Austin was able to create an outstanding satellite map of our neighborhood. This was a much needed improvement over our old, beat-up NENA map. All of these maps will have tremendous value to NENA for many years to come!  Thank you Austin!


Laurielea Drury, 1418 Oak Ave NE    Nominated by Joan Healey
Laurielea bought the historic Mallory House (built 1894) in 2009. Last year, she had it restored to its previous glory. It is so wonderful to see an old house on the historic register looking so swell. It's something the whole neighborhood should be aware and proud of. Thanks Laurielea!

Joan Healey, 1501 Pine Ave NE    Nominated by Lynn Reese & Abbey the dog
I met Joan one year ago as she walked past my house with her dog, Valla. She asked me if she could walk my dog, Abbey. She was not aware I had back problems. She is at my door four times a week, walking in rain, sleet, or snow after working a 12-hour shift at Tacoma General Hospital as a respiratory therapist.  She also takes me shopping with her.  Most of all, she is a true and kind friend. Joan is a very active NENA member and volunteers generously. Thank you, Joan, for using your “Neighborly Good Spirit.”

Joan Healey, 1501 Pine Ave NE    Nominated by Rozanne Rants
Joan's enthusiasm for increasing awareness of our neighborhood association led her to contact and coordinate volunteers in a major door-to-door effort. These volunteers talked to their neighbors about NENA or, if no one was home, they left an invitation to the Annual Potluck. About 900 homes were contacted, which is about half of the total residences in the NENA neighborhood.

Lynn Reese, 1019 NE Lybarger St    Nominated by Joan Healey
When the folks at 1714 Pine Ave NE moved out, they left boxes of garbage by the full garbage can. As time passed, folks scattered the contents of the boxes up and down the sidewalk. It was an eyesore! This 80-year-young woman donned her gloves and pushed her wheel barrow to the site, picked up the mess and put it in her garbage container. Thanks for making the sidewalk neater and safer, Lynn!

Lynn Reese, 1019 Lygarber NE & Margo Wall, 1004 Lygarber NE    Nominated by Peter Guttchen
This year, Margo and Lynn took over the job of organizing NENA’s annual potluck and neighborhood celebration. They have handled the endless details – tables, coffee, chairs, parking, composting, music, PA systems, door prizes, tents, sign-in sheets, volunteers, signs and lots more - with wisdom and grace. Their hard work and extraordinary skills have brought us back together again this year to connect with our neighbors, eat good food and celebrate our great neighborhood.

Keith Edgerton, 864 Jasper Ave NE    Nominated by Mike Dexel
In 2011, Keith Edgerton was the brain behind NENA's new Facebook page. Through his expansive knowledge of the online experience, Keith led NENA to a whole new way of connecting to our neighborhood members. Now the world can see just how great our neighborhood really is by paying a visit to our Facebook page and "friending" us.  Follow us on Facebook and watch our progress on important neighborhood issues and events.

JOY AVE PATHWAY Project Special Recognition:

Rick, Ken and Christine Mansfield and their company, Brush Clearing Goats
The Mansfield family generously provided their company’s goat brush clearing services to NENA’s Joy Avenue pathway project at a significant discount. Their goats not only cleared a lot of blackberry vines and other vegetation in the pathway corridor, they also helped spread the word about the project by attracting a lot of visitors to the project site. The Mansfields even brought along Retro and Ding Dong, two of the cutest baby goats you’ve ever seen, to one of our project work parties for children (and their parents) to pet and hug.

Angela Gelenscer and her children, Katarina and Anthony, 1703 Bethel St NE
Angela and her children, Katarina and Anthony, live adjacent to the Joy Ave pathway.  Not only are they enthusiastic supporters of the pathway project, they took amazing care of the hungry and thirsty brush clearing goats for more than a week, making sure they had water and enough baking soda to soothe their upset stomachs.

Katharina Gelenscer, 1803 Bethel St NE
Katharina suggested to NENA that we bring in goats to help clear the Joy Avenue pathway corridor of the thick and thorny blackberries and other vegetation that had taken over the site. And her help has gone well beyond just coming up with a great idea. She’s been a strong supporter of the pathway project, worked hard to help clear the site of rocks, concrete and other debris, and helped to pay for goat brush clearing service.

Robert Bylsma, 1707 Tullis St NE
Robert is a neighbor who lives near the Joy Avenue pathway. One day in April, he just happened to stop by during one of our work parties.  After he learned more about the project, he went back to his house and came back with his chipper and chain saw and spent the rest of the day helping us clear debris from the pathway.  Over the last few months, he’s continued to help with the project in many ways including cutting up and removing more than a cord of waste wood from the pathway corridor.  We would never have been able to get the trail installed this summer without Robert’s extraordinary help! 

PRESIDENT’S AWARD:  Ann Torpie, 1018 Central NE
This year's President's Award goes to NENA's own Communications Board Member, Ann Torpie. Ann has been instrumental in helping NENA increase our presence in the neighborhood. The energy and dedication that Ann has contributed to NENA over the past year has been tremendous. Much of the contribution Ann has made to NENA is the behind the scenes work that really helps us operate successfully and professionally. Some of the many contributions that Ann has given to our organization include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • re-vamping our NENA website to give it a new look and keep members up do date on what's going on in our neighborhood;
  • spending countless hours of her time doing research for our organization to make sure we are doing things in the most efficient, practical, legal, and economical way possible;
  • developing and creating signs for many NENA projects, including the new vinyl NENA banner, the neighborhood potluck signs, and Joy Avenue trail signs;
  • improving the layout and making sure people are aware of neighborhood events at the NENA kiosk at the San Francisco Street Bakery;
  • organizing and contributing her own time at neighborhood events.

2010 Awards:

Roosevelt Traffic Safety Improvements : Tim Bryne, Domencio Spatola Knoll, Bob Wolpert, Brian Walsh, Kurt Stiles and Melinda Spencer

Graffiti Busters Diana Cushing & Mark Lally

Code enforcement : Mike Dexel

Making our neighborhood more walkable, bikeable and active-friendly : Karen Messmer
Mission Creek Nature Park Stewards Tom Badger & Wendy Gerstel nominate neighbor volunteers:
Lowell Dickson, John Foster, Kathy Gore-Fuss, Jack Horton, Donna Stallings, Kathy Hume, Peter Impara, Mark Lally, Erica Mulherin

NENA Raingarden : Tom Badger, Wendy Gerstel, Jo Sullivan, David Delong, Eldon and Doris Zeller, Lin Nelson & Peter Kardas, Reva Wittenberg & Matt Grayum                            

Tomi Helm    nominated by Cheryl Hougham                      
Tomi has spent countless hours working in her yard turning her corner lot into a real showplace with many flowers and great landscaping. She is a real asset to our neighborhood.

James Bowers  nominated by Rozanne Rants
Helping convert the NENA membership roster to mailing labels

Emma Guttchen
    nominated by Lilly Love
Emma has willingly shared her artistic talents at several annual neighborhood potlucks

Randy Kline and Jenifer Thacher  nominated by Bill & Georgene Marshma
Randy, Jenifer, and their daughters Charlotte and Olivia are involved in many Roosevelt School activities. Randy is in his second year as president of the PTA and Jenifer volunteers for a variety of on-campus gardening projects.

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