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Renton Volunteers Honored as Citizen of the Year and Outstanding Citizens

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

For more information contact:
Kellie Jordan, Renton Chamber of Commerce, 425-226-4560
Preeti Shridhar, City of Renton, 425-430-6569

September 29, 2010

2010 Citizen of the Year - Dr. Bob Thompson
Outstanding Citizens - Terry Higashiyama and Jeff Reynolds

2010 Citizen of the Year - Dr Bob ThompsonRENTON: The City of Renton, Renton Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Renton will honor Dr. Bob Thompson as the 2010 Citizen of the Year and Terry Higashiyama and Jeff Reynolds as Outstanding Citizens. These awards recognize their unwavering dedication and far-reaching contributions to the Renton community.

Numerous organizations and thousands of individuals benefit from the combined volunteer efforts of Dr. Thompson, Terry Higashiyama and Jeff Reynolds. Their volunteer service focuses on a variety of areas, including health and human services, education, community involvement, public safety, business, and arts.

Renton’s Outstanding Citizens program is sponsored by the Renton Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Renton, and the City of Renton. Representatives from the Renton Chamber of Commerce, City of Renton, Rotary Club of Renton and past winners select the outstanding citizens, who will be honored at a special banquet Thursday, October 28, 2010 at the Renton Senior Activity Center.

“It is my honor and privilege to recognize Dr. Bob Thompson as the 2010 Citizen of the Year and Terry Higashiyama and Jeff Reynolds as Outstanding Citizens," said Renton Mayor Denis Law. “I am pleased to recognize their dedication and passion for this city and our community.”

“I wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to these individuals who have set an example for all of us through their devotion and exemplary public service,” said Bill Taylor, President of the Renton Chamber of Commerce.

“Through years of service Bob, Terry and Jeff have proven their dedication to our community," said Dan Kellogg, past president of the Rotary Club of Renton. “They serve as amazing role models thanks to their selfless service.”

2010 Citizen of the Year Dr. Bob Thompson has been actively improving access to quality healthcare in our community for over 25 years. His contribution to the Renton community goes far beyond his family practice in Valley Medical Center’s clinics and his executive role with the hospital. His innovative leadership has helped to develop programs to ensure that those with limited means can access and receive the treatment and care they need. After hearing his patients talk about their challenges he became acutely aware that without insurance patients cannot access a wide variety of medical services. After hearing of a Rotary-sponsored free clinic in Bellevue he was certain that he could get the support needed to do the same in Renton. Thanks to Dr. Thompson, generous support from the Rotary Club of Renton, and with a cast of other volunteers from Valley Medical Center, Renton Technical College, and the Salvation Army, the doors to the Renton RotaCare Free Clinic successfully opened in October 2003. Since their opening they have provided basic health care and free medication to thousands of uninsured and underserved residents of Renton and Southeast King County.  In 2008, he rallied the members of King County Project Access, Valley Orthopedic Associates and staff at Valley Medical Center and was able to open the VMC Acute Specialty Access Clinic for uninsured patients who now receive free orthopedic consultation and surgery at Valley Medical Center.  Dr. Thompson once wrote “What has become very clear to me is that what we receive in return for our involvement in serving others in need is always greater than what any one of us gives individually. To witness a patient who has fallen on hard times experience healing and full return to health is the best feeling ever.”

2010 Outstanding Citizen Terry Higashiyama has been an active and supportive leader for a number of causes in the greater Renton area. Aside from her role as Community Services Administrator for the City of Renton, she was a founding member of Communities In Schools of Renton and served many years on the board, is the current president of Renton Rotary, and is the president of the Renton Technical College Foundation. She has also served on the IKEA Renton River Days Board and been involved in the one night count for homelessness.  Her hours of service have been dedicated to helping those in need. She always does more than is required of her, exhibiting a rare dependability and initiative that is refreshing, and has the tremendous ability to handle any responsibility assigned to her. Higashiyama also does not look for recognition—she works quietly behind the scenes to deliver results and gives credit to others. She and her husband, Dennis, have been activity involved in the Community Service field for over 30 years and continue to express the importance of safe and healthy opportunities for all citizens no matter their age or ability.

2010 Outstanding Citizen Jeff Reynolds, an officer with the City of Renton Police Department, has provided security services for the Renton Farmers Market for several years. Reynolds’ service to the community goes well beyond the call of duty. He always volunteers his time to work with some of Renton’s most at-risk students, works with current students and former students who seek him out to share stories or receive advice, and is always available to help staff and volunteers at the Farmers Market and to promote safety downtown. The downtown businesses greatly appreciate Reynolds’ personal interaction with them and credit him with the enhanced perception of safety and security in the downtown core. Reynolds volunteers his time to attend sport practices and provides guidance to youth who may not have a positive male role model in their lives. Reynolds has positively influenced our community for many years and has had a significant impact in the downtown Renton area.

For more information and banquet reservations, visit www.GoRenton.com or call 425-226-4560.