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Renton Volunteers Honored as Citizen of the Year and Outstanding Citizens

October 11, 2013
Kellie Jordan
, Renton Chamber of Commerce 425-226-4560
Preeti Shridhar, Deputy Public Affairs Administrator, City of Renton 425-430-6569

RENTON: The City of Renton, Renton Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Renton honored Jim Sullivan as the 2013 Citizen of the Year and Maggie Breen and Marlene Winter as Outstanding Citizens. These awards recognized their unwavering dedication and far-reaching contributions to the Renton community. The annual Citizen of the Year Banquet took place on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, at the Renton Senior Activity Center.

Numerous organizations and thousands of individuals benefited from the combined volunteer efforts of Jim Sullivan, Maggie Breen and Marlene Winter. Their volunteer service focuses on a variety of areas, including health and human services, community involvement, building partnerships and education.

“It is my honor and privilege to recognize Jim Sullivan as the 2013 Citizen of the year and Maggie Breen and Marlene Winter as Outstanding Citizens," said Renton Mayor Denis Law. “I am pleased to recognize their dedication and passion for this city and our community. These awards are just one small way to say ‘thank you’ to individuals who dedicate their lives to making a difference, and help make our city a better place to live, work, and grow.”

2013 Citizen of the Year Jim Sullivan has contributed to the Renton community since his arrival in Renton 40 years ago. Jim has been the president of SHAG (Senior Housing Assistance Group) for the last 19 years, an organization that currently serves approximately 5,000 people in over 28 communities in our region by providing affordable rental apartments for low-income seniors. Jim has also been an active and financial supporter of many community causes including Friends of Renton Schools and King County Sexual Assault Resource Center. He was also instrumental in establishing RotaCare, a free health clinic for people with no other access to health care. The clinic meets every Saturday morning at the Renton Rotary Salvation Army Food Bank and has partnered with Valley Medical Center, which provides not only monetary support but physician and medical personnel as well. Jim is there nearly every week and his caring demeanor is appreciated by all who come to the clinic. His active participation in all these organizations has made a difference in the Renton community.

“Jim’s dedication to helping those without access to medical care through our local RotaCare Clinic is just the latest example of his service through Rotary,” said Renton Rotary President John Bauman. “I join with other members of Renton Rotary in congratulating Jim on his selection as Renton Citizen of the Year. We also offer our congratulations to Maggie Breen and Marlene Winter on their selection as Outstanding Citizens.”

2013 Outstanding Citizen Maggie Breen is an excellent example of a Renton resident who has impacted Renton in an extraordinary way, demonstrating strong character and leadership. Maggie is currently the Executive Director of REACH (Renton Ecumenical Association of Churches), a faith-based collection of organizations whose slogan is “Community for the Sake of the World.” During her three-year tenure with REACH, the number of organizations involved has increased by 50%. Maggie has expanded REACH’s partnerships beyond the faith-based community to include the Renton School District, the City of Renton and local businesses and individuals. Maggie was visionary in starting the REACH Center of Hope Women’s Shelter with Dr. Linda Smith. Maggie is currently working to develop the Meal Coalition and “Safe Parking” designated locations in Renton for homeless to park overnight. Maggie has an immense talent for building partnerships, and Renton has benefitted greatly from her work.

2013 Outstanding Citizen Marlene Winter is a member of the City of Renton’s Parks Commission, the Renton Community Foundation, the Kennydale Neighborhood Association, a founding member of RUFF (Renton’s Unleashed Furry Friends), and the volunteer manager of the Cedar River Dog Park. For the last ten years Marlene and her husband Roger have picked up litter on Lake Washington Boulevard. She donates her time as a reading tutor at Campbell Hill Elementary School. She was instrumental in starting the bus pass donation program for the Renton Community Foundation and donates both time and money to support the needs of our community. She is a leader and caring community volunteer is so many ways!

“Citizen of the Year is a wonderful program to recognize the hard-working volunteers in our community who help make Renton a great community,” said Lynn Wallace, President/CEO, Renton Chamber of Commerce.