By Chris Hendrickson, Contributing Writer
The Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce will hold its 23rd annual dinner and auction event on Saturday, April 19, at 5 p.m. at Camp Huston in Gold Bar.
“This is our primary fundraising effort for the year and it supports our many events and keeps the lights on at the Visitor’s Info Center,” said Chamber Events Coordinator Elizabeth Emmons.
Sky Valley Chamber Director Debbie Copple recently gave an update on the event which, along with dinner, will include both a live and silent auction. This year’s auction theme is outdoor sports and recreation, and attendees are invited to dress up in costumes meant to represent the adventurous motif.
Copple shared that, during last year’s event, for which the theme was logging, a group of three ladies came dressed as Paul Bunyan, Babe the Blue Ox, and a tree.
“People really get creative with this thing,” said Copple.
The fundraising event will raise money to help finance the Chamber’s year-round efforts to support local businesses and to coordinate community events like Shindig and Gold Dust Days. Donation items are still being accepted and sponsorships are also available.
“We’ve got some wonderful things donated,” said Copple. “We’ve got everything from dinner certificates to a safari in Africa.”
Tickets for the event are $35 each for advance purchase, or $40 at the door. Please contact the Chamber for additional information on sponsorships or to donate items.
Camp Huston is located at 14725 Ley Rd. in Gold Bar. For more information contact the Sky Valley Chamber at 360-793-0983 or stop by the Sultan Visitor’s Center at 320 Main St. in Sultan. Check for updates on the Sky Valley Chamber’s website at http://www.skyvalleychamber.com/.
Executive John Lovick visits Chamber
Snohomish County Executive John Lovick presented his state-of-the-county address during a recent Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce meeting at Sultan City Hall, after which he held a brief question and answer session, inviting a variety of inquiries from attendees.
Lovick, who is originally from Louisiana, was appointed to the Executive position by the Snohomish County Council last June, after the resignation of Aaron Reardon. Prior to that, he served as the Snohomish County Sheriff, and was in his second term. His background includes extensive public service including 31 years as a Washington State Patrol Trooper, earning Trooper of the Year in 1992.
He served in the United States Coast Guard for 13 years, and later served nine years in the Washington State Legislature. His signature piece of legislation was his seatbelt initiative, which is better known as Washington State’s “Click it or Ticket” law. Lovick got his start in politics on the Mill Creek City Council where he served for five years.
Lovick has lived in Snohomish County since 1977 and often refers to it as “the greatest county in the world.”
He told the Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce members that never in a million years would he have believed that he would eventually become the Snohomish County Executive. In addition to talking about the things he wants to accomplish as the county executive, he talked a little about some of the things he accomplished as the Snohomish County Sheriff, including his School Services Unit.
The idea for a direct liaison between law enforcement and the school districts in Snohomish County was born in January of 2013, directly on the heels of the Sandy Hook tragedy in which 26 people, the majority of whom were children, were shot and killed by a lone gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. School Services Unit Lead Sgt. Scott Parker recounted the story recently, recalling Lovick’s urgency and desire to have the unit up and running as quickly as possible.
And so it was. Under Lovick’s direction, the School Services Unit was officially launched on March 15 of last year.
“I’m very, very proud of the great work they’re doing,” said Lovick.
He took a few moments to acknowledge Sultan’s Police Chief, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office East Precinct Lt. Monte Beaton.
“I want to congratulate your police chief here, Monte Beaton,” said Lovick. “Monte is one of those rising stars in law enforcement.”
He then invited questions from meeting attendees.
Sky Valley Chamber Director Debbie Copple asked for an update on the commercial runway that has been proposed for Paine Field in Everett.
Lovick shared that an environmental impact study has been performed, with a favorable result towards the proposed commercial runway plans. The decision, however, was appealed to the 9th circuit by a group called Save our Communities.
Save our Communities is a nonprofit organization that was started in 1992 to prevent Paine Field from becoming a north-end version of SeaTac.
“We’re going to move forward according to the decisions of the court,” said Lovick.
Lovick was asked by several attendees about what his plans are to ease the current difficulties that the county faces when dealing with the portion of the population suffering from mental illness. In his address, Lovick referenced a panel of mental health professionals that he has retained to help advise the county on the best course of action to facilitate treatment for the mentally ill. The panel has recently provided him with several recommendations, and Lovick said that they will be working to find long-term ways to sustainably provide aid to the mentally ill citizens of Snohomish County.
One of the things that the county will be working on is promoting the usage of a non-emergency call center dedicated to health and human services.
“We’re going to start educating people to use 2-1-1,” said Lovick.
Right now, the 2-1-1 call center, which is funded by United Way of Snohomish County and operated by Volunteers of America Western Washington, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Lovick shared that they will be working on providing the resources to ensure that the facility can be open seven days a week.
“That’s going to be a start,” said Lovick.
Lovick thanked Sky Valley Chamber President Kevin Johnson for having him and thanked meeting attendees for their questions.
“I am going to do my absolute best to serve not only with pride as Snohomish County Executive, but I’m going to serve with integrity and the dignity you expect,” said Lovick.