Olympia Mountaineers Recognize Leaders at Annual Banquet

The Olympia Branch annual banquet is an event where course graduates and outstanding volunteers and leaders are recognized. This year 131 students graduated from 10 different courses. Awards were presented to outstanding leaders, and patches and peak pins were awarded to Mountaineers who pushed their personal boundaries in outdoor activities.
Dee Ann Kline Dee Ann Kline
Olympia Branch Leader & Super Volunteer
December 23, 2019

The Olympia Branch of The Mountaineers has a rich history of developing outstanding leaders.  Each year, one leader in the climbing, conservation, hiking, and sea kayaking activities is honored as  Leader of the Year.  The Branch Service Award is given in recognition of service above the call of duty to the Olympia branch.

Tom Eckhout Presents Richard Kennedy with the Branch Service Award. Photo by Nick Parkinson.jpeg

BRANCH SERVICE AWARD

Richard Kennedy (above right) received the 2019 Branch Service Award. He has played a key leadership role in branch management and the climbing committee. He also carved out a unique niche of service by coordinating the Olympia Banff Film Festival for at least 15 years.  Through his diligence and determination, the Olympia branch has been given a great opportunity for socializing, entertaining, and spreading the word about The Mountaineers to the community. Tom Eckhout presented the award.

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BRUCE TOWHEY SILVER CRAMPON AWARD

Doug Hansen (above) received this award for his leadership in and service to  the Basic Climbing Course. He has been a member since 2015, is a graduate of 11 courses and is a Climbing, Backpacking and Hike leader. Doug is a 3 year Super Volunteer, has mentored many Basic Climbing students, leads the Bolts Course, and is in his second year as Olympia Council Secretary. Janette Zumbo presented the award.

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CONSERVATION CREW LEADER AWARD

Eileen Haydu (above right) was recognized for her hard work and imaginative leadership in Stewardship Activities. Eileen joined The Mountaineers in 2016 and soon developed a passion for the stewardship and conservation program. She is certified to use and maintain cross-cut saws and leads cross-cut saw teams. She is a Super Volunteer.  Eileen's leadership made possible The Mountaineers participation in the four day, multi-organizational Slab Camp Bridge replacement in the Buckhorn Wilderness. Jennifer Fortin (pictured) and Meg Hunt presented the award.

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HIKE LEADER OF THE YEAR

Donna Kreuger presented this award to Becky Andrade (above right). She was recognized for her leadership on the trail and her work on the exploring nature, hiking and backpacking, and conditioning hiking committees. Becky joined The Mountaineers in 2017 after moving here from the Midwest. She found her passion in hiking, snowshoeing and naturalist studies. Becky is a hike leader, Super Volunteer, mentor to new hike leaders, and has been instrumental in developing a partnership with the Tacoma branch's new Conditioning Hiking Series.

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SEA KAYAKER OF THE YEAR

The Kayak Committee recognized Dave Stolier (above, second from left) as Sea Kayaker of the Year. He has made many meaningful contributions as an Instructor for the Basic Kayak Course, Incident Management Course, and Rock Garden Kayak Course. He is a Super Volunteer, kayak leader, and active participant of kayak committee. Dave was instrumental in setting up the Basic Kayak Class partnership with Olympia Parks and Recreation.  Carolyn Burreson, Will Greenough, and Bob Metzger presented the award.

Becky Nielsen.jpegYOUTH OUTREACH AWARDS

Becky Nielsen (above) thanked the many volunteers who have helped to make Youth Activities fun and successful. She recognized Paul Kallmann and Michelle Garcia for their exemplary leadership and volunteerism.

Patches, Peaks, Pins and Awards went to:

Photography Contest

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The Overall Champion of the 2019 Photo Contest was Riley Shiery. His winning photo is featured in this blog. First and Second Place was awarded in each category. The photos are featured in the Olympia Slide show that is shown at all public events. Other winners are:

Climbing and Scrambling
  • 1st Place -  Matthew Pahs: Camp Muir
  • 2nd Place -  Stephen Kornbluth: Quien Sabe Glacier
NATURAL WORLD
  • 1st Place -  Meryl Lassen: Foggy Lake
  • 2nd Place -  Becky Andrade: Nisqually
HIKING AND BACKPACKING
  • 1st Place -  Laurie Choate: Indian Henry's Hunting Ground
  • 2nd Place -  Ginger Sarver: Snoqualmie Falls Trail; Becky Andrade: Hug Point State Park
GENERAL
  • 1st Place and Grand Prize -  Riley Shiery: Mildred Lakes
  • 2nd Place -  Steve Thompson: Briscoe Point
WINTER TRAVEL
  • 1st Place -  Riley Shierry: Mt. Rose
  • 2nd Place -  Bonnie Wennerstrom: Paradise
CONSERVATION
  • 1st Place -  Ginger Sarver: Wynoochee Lakeshore
  • 2nd Place -  Eileen Haydu: Slab Camp
YOUTH ACTIVITIES
  • 1st Place -  Becky Nielsen: Tolmie Peak
  • 2nd Place -  Carla Jonientz: Taklakh Lake
Main image by Riley Shiery, the Grand Prize winner of the Olympia Photo Contest.

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