Stillaguamish Senior Center

The history of our Rotary Club and history of the Stillaguamish Senior Center are linked.  When our club was chartered in 1970 as the Marysville-North County Rotary Club, we had members from both Arlington and Marysville.  Marysville did not have a separate club.  The new club needed a project that would benefit both Arlington and Marysville.
 
Two of our charter members were linked to Cascade Valley Hospital:  Al Remington, the hospital administrator, and Bob Williams, a hospital district commissioners.  The hospital district had initiated the drive to have a senior center to keep seniors more active and thus healthier.  
 
In 1970 the boundaries of the two towns were much different.  The area between the towns was out in the county, including the location of the new senior center in the Smokey Point area.  Neither town had a senior center.  
 
Board members were recruited for the new center from the Rotary Club.  It purchased an old motel site and set about recruiting volunteers to build the main hall.  Local banks agreed to provide some financing with a joint loan guaranteed by the hospital commissioners and by Al Remington.
Roofing Project
One of our club's first hands on projects including roofing the main hall of the Center.  Our club also held fundraisers for the Center, not only when it was just getting started but for years thereafter.  Fundraising included an annual Oktoberfest at the Center.  Our member, Fred Beals, then the owner of Silvana Meats, provided prime rib which was cooked at Weller's Chalet, with other Bavarian foods, and of course lots of beer! Members sold tickets and we always had a packed house which included an evening of dancing with a live band.
 
Before the Indian casinos became legal, non profits were allowed to have fundraisers involving gambling.  Our club put on a couple of Reno nights at the center with our members running the games and dealing black jack.  One of our unique fundraisers included a night at the horse races.  We converted the Center to Stilly Downs.  Videos of actual races from a track in California were used and, with the use of play money, para mutual betting took place on the races.  Prizes could be purchased with the play money at the end of the evening.
Stilly Downs Call to Post-Rotarian Pat Sweezey
 
One of the significant projects we had for Senior Center was the creation of a trust fund that eventually became the Senior Center Endowment Fund.  Our club donated the initial funds and sought contributions from the community.
 
In 1985, our club sponsored a new Rotary Club in Marysville.  We changed our name shortly thereafter to the North Snohomish County Rotary Club.  Marysville still did not have its own senior center so the Center continued to be supported by both communities. Eventually Smokey Point was divided between both communities, with the area that the Center is located being annexed to the City of Arlington. With the City limits of Marysville being just south along Smokey Point Blvd., and across the freeway, the Center still serves seniors from both communities.
 
Rotarians from both communities have served on the Center's board of directors.  Almost every Executive Director of the Center has been a member of our club.  Currently Rotarians on the board include Kathy McCone, Breanne Martin, Dave Duskin, Bob Campbell, Lauren Hunter and Erik Granroth. Former Rotarian board members have included Leroy Jacques, Don Richards, Duane Rhodes, Sue Weiss, Al Hansberry, Joe Hopkins, and Dick Post, to name a few.
 
When the Center was looking for a different fund raiser to replace declining support from United Way of Snohomish County, the idea of a fund raising breakfast honoring someone in our community was proposed.  Rotarians, Dale and Dave Duskin, but their heads together and the Life Time Achievement Award Breakfast was the result.
 
The Duskin twins turned to the Rotary Club for assistance.  Rotarians were recruited for table hosts and to help with the set up for the breakfast.  This year's breakfast on April 25 is the 13th annual event.  Honorees over the 13 years have been Howard Christianson, Don Meier, Ruth and Harry Yost, Dick Post, George Boulton, Yolanda Larson, Duane Weston, Margaret Larson, Harley Robb, Chuck and Bea Randall, Ray McClure, and last year, Darlene Strotz.
 
This year Virginia Hatch will be recognized.  Virginia served for 10 years on the City of Arlington's Park, Arts and Recreation Commission.  Organizations that have been blessed with her involvement have been the Kiwanis Club, Dollars for Scholars, Kids Kloset, Arlington's Arts Council  and Hands Together. In 2003 Virginia Co-chaired Arlington's Centennial Celebration.  Twice the Arlington Chamber of Commerce has recognized her as a Citizen of the Year.
Virginia Hatch
 
The breakfast is on April 25 with check-in at 7:00 AM and breakfast at 7:30 AM.  To attend the breakfast, call the center at (360) 653-4551, or email dklemens@stillycenter.org.  There will be an ask for a contribution to benefit the Center.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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