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Renton Volunteers Honored as Citizen of the Year and Outstanding Citizens

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 30, 2008

For more information contact:

Kellie Jordan, Renton Chamber of commerce 425-226-4560
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director, 425-430-6569

2008 Citizen of the Year - Norma Cugini
Outstanding Citizens - Bob Bridge and Becky Nickels

RENTON: The City of Renton, Renton Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Renton will honor Norma Cugini as the 2008 Citizen of the Year and Bob Bridge and Becky Nickels as Outstanding Citizens. This award recognizes their dedication and exceptional contributions to the Renton community. The award ceremony will take place at the annual Citizen of the Year Banquet on Thursday, October 23, 2008, at 5 p.m. at Renton Technical College.

“It is our privilege to recognize Norma Cugini as the 2008 Citizen of the Year and Bob Bridge and Becky Nickels as Outstanding Citizens," said Renton Mayor Denis Law. “I am honored to give the true heroes of our city the recognition they deserve and to thank them for their selfless good work in the community. Renton is truly grateful for their unfailing commitment to make this city a better place for everyone.”

“These individuals are at the heart of Renton and their contributions greatly impact the quality of life of so many people in our community,” said Bill Taylor, president of the Renton Chamber of Commerce.

Several different organizations and thousands of individuals benefit from the combined volunteer efforts of Norma Cugini, Bob Bridge and Becky Nickels. Their volunteer service focuses on a variety of areas, including human services, education, community involvement, business, and arts.

“Norma, Becky and Bob exemplify the spirit of Renton,” said Al Talley Sr., president of the Rotary Club of Renton. “It is an honor to be able to recognize these outstanding individuals, who have looked beyond themselves and helped others.”

2008 Citizen of the Year Norma Cugini’s great-grandfather came from Cornwall, England, and worked in Renton's coal mines. Her husband's family came here from Italy in 1922. Norma Cugini has been involved in most of the major charitable projects in Renton. Norma recently served as the co-chair of the capital campaign to construct the Salvation Army Renton Rotary Food Bank. She also serves on the Renton Community Foundation Board of Directors and plays a key role in the Circle of Giving Campaign each year. Over the years she has served as a board member or an advisory board member in numerous organizations including the Renton Technical College Foundation, Downtown Renton Association, King County Sexual Assault Center,

Renton Piazza Committee, Renton Municipal Arts Commission, Renton Salvation Army Advisory Board, Renton Civil Service Commission, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Opera and more. Whenever something needs to get done in Renton, Norma Cugini is always there to take charge or to lend a helping hand.  

2008 Outstanding Citizen Bob Bridge has been in the automobile business for 49 years and is a well-known leader in Renton’s business community. He is currently the owner of Bob Bridge Toyota Scion, and from 1990-2005, he was the owner of Bob Bridge Toyota Pontiac and GMC Truck in Renton. Bob has dedicated himself to improving education in our community. He initiated an effort to recognize the teachers in our schools and provide them with resources to help them make a difference in education. He visited every school in the Renton School District, personally thanked the teachers, and donated money so they could expand their programs. He also started and funded a tutoring program to help students succeed in mathematics. Bob is a sponsor of Renton River Days and supports several community efforts and area organizations including Vision House, Communities in Schools of Renton and Swedish Hospital.  Bob has served as the President of Western Washington Toyota Dealers Ad Group, President of Puget sound GMC Truck Dealers Ad Group and a board member of Washington State Auto Dealers Association. He recently received Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.’s President’s Award.

2008 Outstanding Citizen Becky Nickels is truly dedicated to improving the Renton community. She worked for 21 years for the Renton School District and has been involved in numerous projects to help the community. She has donated her time to help the Renton Chamber of Commerce with their annual auction and other charitable causes. Becky has served as a board member and secretary for the Renton Community Foundation. She has been an active member of Soroptimist International of Renton for the past 16 years and currently serves as their president. Becky has been a member of the Laureate Gamma Tau Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi for 37 years. Whether it is making peanut brittle to raise money for a worthy cause or spearheading efforts to provide transitional housing to help victims of domestic violence, Becky is always there to help.

All the individuals nominated in 2008 deserve to be honored for their contributions. Representatives of the sponsoring organizations and past Citizen of the Year award winners selected the winners of this year’s award. This year’s winners will be honored at the annual Citizen of the Year banquet at Renton Technical College on October 23, 2008, starting at 5:00 p.m.  Cost per person is $30, and reservations can be made online at www.GoRenton.com or by calling the Renton Chamber of Commerce at 425-226-4560. Reservations are requested by October 17.