A woman dedicated to helping homeless families was awarded the Kiwanis Club's Thurston County Citizen of the Year award during a banquet Monday.
Recipient Barbara Lantz, a volunteer for the Family Support Shelter in Olympia and chairwoman of the Social Justice Ministry Team for the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, was one of eight finalists for the 43rd annual award ceremony, said Olympia Kiwanis volunteer Linda Oosterman.
About 100 people attended the ceremony at Saint Martin’s Universitiy’s Worthington Center to honor the finalists and hear from Eli Sterling, last year’s award recipient who created and continues to organize the annual Procession of the Species.
Oosterman said Sterling spoke eloquently about the need for volunteers and their role in society.
“Their work brings dignity to every individual in the community so that we may all live with integrity,” she recalled him saying.
The other seven finalists are:
George Albertson, chaplain and trauma support for Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, crisis counseling and building chaplain program; Doug DeForest, volunteer Thurston Regional Planning Council and Transportation Policy Board; Dr. David Reynolds, president of the Thurston County Drug Court Foundation Board, president of the Capital Playhouse Board; Tony Salas, Timberline High School junior achievement volunteer, participates in Leadership Thurston County, treasurer for Breath for Tomorrow; Debbie Starret-Fry, volunteer coordinator for Aspire Middle School and for junior programs for Boy Scouts; Justice Robert F. Utter, assistant City of Olympia planning commissioner on shoreline master program, Deschutes watershed and Capitol Lake; Derek Valley, coordinates volunteers to work in 10 garden sites that grew and produced 26,000 pounds of fresh vegetables in 2010, volunteers at Washington Center for Performing Arts, on the board for the Law Enforcement Youth Camp.