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Washington Community Hall Of Fame


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Mr. Arnold Hummasti, Ferndale, Washington. Winning Educator: As an elementary school librarian for many years, Mr. Hummasti has touched the lives of countless parents, co-workers, and especially students. I would like to share my own personal story. When I began going to school at Central Elementary, I did not know how to read very well. I was in fourth grade, and way behind. I hated trying to read. Then I went into Mr, Hummasti’s library, and I felt so much interest in the words that Mr. Hummasti was reading with so much passion that I wanted to learn. If it were not for him, you would not be reading this. Thank you Mr. Hummasti. By Echo Westhoff

Barbara E. Miller, Olympia Washington.  Winning Citizen: has worked tirelessly in the Washington State criminal justice system for the last fifty years. When she began working with and helping the women who were incarcerated in Purdy, WA she got hooked. Since then she’s worked in various criminal institutions statewide and been an active member on the Board of Corrections. Barbara has worked closely with inmates, lawyers, and judges. She currently runs and operates two supplemental yet individual companies that serve to better the court system and the defendants within it throughout Washington state. One of these companies is a non-profit organization called Friendship Diversion.  The goal was, and is to provide alternative sentencing options for the prosecutor, defense counsel and the courts in an effort to restore victims, reduce criminal justice costs and offer the defendant an opportunity to avoid conviction. Barbara is undoubtedly one of the kindest, hardest working, honest, selfless, stubborn, genuine, intelligent, beautiful, funniest, and most loving women I have ever known. She is also my grandmother. I love you Baba, and I am so proud of who you are and what you do. By Kourtnei Nibler

Bren, Bellingham Washington, Winner Against the Odds: My fiance, Bren, is a 29 year old man who has overcome a very difficult and abusive childhood and channeled that negativity into music – he’s an amazing musician with great promise. Having been on his own since he was seventeen, he’s carved out quite an amazing life for himself. His strength and perseverance is immensely inspirational and I’d love the opportunity to see a story published about him and what he has accomplished with his life. By Catherine Leggitt

 Dr. David Lemak, Pasco, Washington. Winning Teacher: He is a professor at WSU Tri-Cities. He’s been battling what may be terminable cancer for the last few years. A couple months ago, KNDU covered a story on Dr. Lemak titled, Students Raise Money in Honor of Professor, and can be seen at, http://www.kndu.com/global/story.asp?s=13967934. He is deeply loved by students because he has always gone the extra step, beyond the classroom, to help them. To return the favor, the students recently raised $6500 against a goal of $10,000 to help with his medical treatment. By Shannon Winegardner

Mary Anne Ruddis. Spokane, Washington. Winning Benefactor: She is the Executive Director of The American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest located in Spokane. This courageous woman has made a difference to hundreds of families with children afflicted with cancer. I call her “courageous” because she lost three of her own children at young ages to the disease, and works tirelessly to support children and their families. By Michael Cambron

T. Guzman, Seattle Washington. Winner in Business: He came to live in Seattle ten years ago, as an immigrant, and started out cleaning bathrooms for a living. One year later, he used his marketing expertise (he holds a bachelor in Business Marketing from IPAE), to get clients from local Hispanic businesspeople, and eventually landed a job in sales at a local newspaper. Less than a year later, he opened his own publication, which expanded into Washington and Oregon states, respectively. He made a business out of nothing, and still remains a true humble person. By Manuel Páucar