by Mikaela Montanari '19
It is with great pleasure and honor that I introduce our new volunteer spotlight for this quarter, Deannie Dunbar and John Mathis class of 2013, Camano Island. After joining Sound Water Stewards in 2013 both John and Deannie took up the torch of volunteerism and wove themselves into the foundation of our organization. John was elected to our Board of Directors in 2015 and is presently an active board member. Deannie is our Volunteer Education Training Lead and has coordinated and with her team, has helped plan all our Camano Island trainings since 2015. In the last three years both John and Deannie have participated in Citizen Science, Education and Outreach Events. Together they have volunteered over 2,200 hours!
Before retiring and settling on Camano Island both Deannie and John previously came from professional backgrounds as educators. As lifelong learners and educators Deannie expressed her desire to join Sound Water Stewards because “As a person committed to lifelong learning, I saw the educational programs as a wonderful opportunity to learn about and be involved in a new area of interest… new to me and to my new life as a retired volunteer”. Likewise, John joined because many of his hobbies include, crabbing, fishing, boating, and exploring the beaches with his 8 grandchildren. When I asked Deannie what her family thought about her volunteer work with Sound Water Stewards she said “…Benjamin, my grandson who is 8 years of age, tells his friends I am a Doctor of the Ocean.”
The Salish Sea needs more “Doctors of the Ocean” as Benjamin puts it, because our oceans are changing. Thank you, Deannie and John, for all your hard work and for your leadership within Sound Water Stewards. We could not have had such an excellent Volunteer Education Training program without you. Thanks for your support in helping Sound Waters grow as a new, independent nonprofit. Likewise, thank you for being exemplary role models to your friends and family on how to protect and sustain Puget Sound.