50+ Year Member Lunch Recap 2024

Our 50+ Year Member Lunch event celebrates a community that transforms lives and makes the world a better place. Read about our 2024 event, featuring Mountaineers Books author Molly Hashimoto.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
June 15, 2024
50+ Year Member Lunch Recap 2024
50+ year members connecting with Mountaineers friends. Photo by Mountaineers staff.

On June 13, 2024, we celebrated the legacy and impact of our 50+ year members with a hosted lunch at the Seattle Program Center. We are thankful for their commitment to our outdoor community and for their steadfast support of The Mountaineers mission.

We welcomed more than 60 members and their guests to the Seattle Program Center with a combined membership of over 3,000 years! This impressive number included:

  • Five members celebrating 70+ years 
  • Seven members celebrating 60-69 years
  • 24 members celebrating 51-59 years
  • 11 NEW lifetime members

Members traveled from as far as Bellingham, WA and Whitefish, MT to join us; it was wonderful to reconnect with familiar faces, welcome new lifetime members, and enjoy the company of this special group of Mountaineers.

Browse Event Photos

After a social hour and lunch, our program began with a welcome and Land Acknowledgment from Bri Vanderlinden, Mountaineers Community Engagement Director, who shared an excerpt and reflection from Chief Si'ahl’s (Seattle) speech from 1854: “Every part of this country is sacred to my people. Every hill-side, every valley, every plain and grove has been hallowed by some fond memory or some sad experience of my tribe. Even the rocks that seem to lie dumb as they swelter in the sun along the silent seashore in solemn grandeur thrill with memories of past events connected with the fate of my people.”

20240613_123931.jpg50+ year members and guests enjoying the event program. Photo by Mountaineers staff. 

Tom Vogl, Mountaineers CEO, shared a recent article from the Seattle Times about the work of US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, on the impact of loneliness and isolation on public health. While the impacts of loneliness and isolation on health are staggering, it highlights how special our Mountaineers community is for serving as an antidote to this public health crisis. We make the world a better place not only by improving physical health, we also create opportunities for connection to the natural world and make the outdoors more accessible and equitable for all people. We create volunteer leadership development opportunities for the outdoor leaders of today and tomorrow. We provide opportunities for all to conserve the places that we love. Our Mountaineers community truly transforms lives and makes the world a better place.

Our publishing also supports our mission to inspire and educate readers to connect with and conserve the outdoors through a wide offering of technical manuals, guide books, inspirational, and aspirational books. Mountaineers Books Publisher, Tom Helleberg, shared some titles that are newly printed as well as some upcoming titles for the Fall such as Birding for Boomers, Salmon, Cedar, Rock and Rain, and Alpine Rising, to name a few. And, of course, a publishing update wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the much-awaited 10th edition of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills this August. You can check out these and many more titles on the Mountaineers Books homepage.

20240613_113520.jpgMolly Hashimoto's watercolor artwork on display. Photo by Mountaineers staff. 

Our featured speaker was explorer, author, and artist, Molly Hashimoto. She explores parks and wildlife refuges all over the West, finding inspiration for her artwork in the natural world. Her books include Colors of the West, Birds of the West, Trees of the West, and Mt. Rainier National Park: An Artist's Tour. Molly has taught for the Yellowstone Forever Institute, North Cascades Institute, Wenatchee River Institute, the Yosemite Conservancy and Sitka Center for Art & Ecology, and has offered many programs for King County and Sno-Isle Library branches throughout the Puget Sound area. She's currently working on new projects for Mountaineers Books.

Molly shared stories from her childhood and how she gained inspiration from the various nature and wildlife books given by her father. She captivated us with behind-the-scenes insights of the images she captured in her watercolors, etches, and block prints, and gave us a view into her process as an artist. We were so grateful to Molly for sharing her time and talent with us and we look forward to the release of her upcoming book.

We’re excited to welcome this incredible group of Mountaineers back to the Seattle Program Center on June 5, 2025, for our next 50+ Year Member celebration. Save the date and look for an event invite in January. We hope you will join us!

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