The Olympia Downtown Association turned the tables on one of the award presenters at its annual meeting Monday and presented her with Volunteer of the Year.
Anna Schlecht, the driving force behind the ODA’s Volunteer in Paint program, was surprised with the annual award at the meeting at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts. More than 100 people attended.
Thurston First Bank was named ODA’s Business of the Year because of its decision to move into downtown, at Legion and Franklin.
Mary Corso, owner of Courtyard Antiques on Fourth Avenue, was named Person of the Year. Corso is chairwoman of the Parking and Business Improvement Area, a self-taxing district with about 435 business owners.
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Before being recognized herself, Schlecht handed out Downtown Golden Paintbrush Awards to those who have provided support to the Volunteers in Paint program. The program is responsible for brightening up many of downtown’s alleyways, as well as buildings such at the Eagles Hall and the South Sound YMCA.
Schlecht recognized Ken Rice of Evergreen Christian Center, who helped organize a work party of 40 that included families with children; Alec Johnston of Prudential Realtors, who organized a work party of real estate agents; Jim Haley of Thurston First Bank, for his “volunteer endurance;” McMenamin’s Spar Cafe, for hosting a fundraiser and donating money to the cause; and BJ’s Paint ’n’ Place in Tumwater for its paint donations.
Ron Thomas of Thomas Architecture Studio was the guest speaker, updating downtown business leaders about development projects that are underway or have been completed, as well as projects under consideration.