Fred Cushman and Jasmyn Friend earn Citizen of
the Year honors
This year’s Citizen and Junior Citizen of the Year recipients are prime examples of all that is good in our fair city.
The Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce has chosen Fred Cushman, 80, a lifetime resident of Lake Stevens as their 2008 Citizen of the Year and Jasmyn Friend, as their Junior Citizen of the Year, both of whom are very deserving of this award.
“I don’t do things for awards, I do things because they should be done,” Cushman said of his award. “But, it’s nice to be recognized.”
Each of these individuals have given countless hours of service with no expectation of recognition and both have spent the majority of their lives right here in Lake Stevens.
Cushman, or “The Rose Guy” as many around town call him, is best known for the beauty he brings to the city, especially in his diligence in keeping the War Memorial flower beds in constant bloom and weed free and for the roses he planted back in 1998 and still takes care of today, bringing roses to downtown businesses and those who may be in need of a little pick-me-up.
“I planted all of the rhododendrons and started with 63 rose bushes back in 1995,” Cushman said.
After all of Cushman’s achievements, the Chamber made no hesitation in choosing Cushman for this honor.
“Fred has been active in this community for longer than most residents have been alive,” Chamber President Doug Warren said. “In nearly every community activity and project you will see Fred hard at work, outworking anyone half his age.”
Cushman and his wife Betty were married for 53 years and raised four daughters here in town. He served his country during the Korean War and has been a member of the American Legion for 33 years, serving as Commander from 1975-1980.
Cushman also served as Fire Commissioner for 12 years and has been a member of the Lake Stevens Kiwanis since 1980 where he served as President from 1999-2000.
He has also served on the Lake Stevens Civil Service Board for over 20 years and as a Board Member on the Lake Stevens War Veterans Memorial Foundation.
Cushman was instrumental in the construction and landscaping of the Lake Stevens War Memorial.
I am so thrilled,” Jack Sahlbom, fellow member of the American Legion Post 181 said. “What a beautiful memorial this turned out to be in honor of the very young Veterans who gave up their lives that we may all live in freedom. It’s breathtaking with all of its beauty they deserve nothing less.”
These are just a few of the highlights of Cushman’s life of service.
It’s always been Christmas at the Family Center. There were some odd requests and
Jasmyn Friend, a 13-year-old, has provided over one thousand hours of community service over the past four years and is extremely modest when it comes to talking about all she has done and was a little skeptical about the recognition she is getting from this award.
“I was a little nervous,” Friend said when asked how she felt about this honor. “I’m excited to be in the parade.”
Friend has spent much of her summer volunteering working on the Youth Advisory Council and is a constant presence at the city’s annual National Night Out, Aquafest, Downtown Halloween celebrations and many activities for Elim Lutheran Church.
Friend has followed willingly in her parents’ footsteps. Michael and Kathleen Friend are fixtures in the Lake Stevens Community and serve on many boards.
“With a lineage of community service it was only a matter of time before Jasmyn would be knee deep in community service herself,” Warren said. “She has done more in her young life than many people will ever do for this community. I look forward to seeing what she brings to the community in future years.”
Friend has also been actively involved in programs at her school, Cavelero Mid High School including the Peer Accountability Board, creating prevention posters for the Cavelero Drug Prevention and Awareness presentations and she also spends her spare time reading and tutoring at Hillcrest Elementary School.
Friend was also an instrumental part of forming a Youth Advisory Council for the Lake Stevens Family Center.
The Advisory Council’s job is to make programming recommendations to the Family Center.
“Jasmyn’s recent volunteering at the Family Center has shown the depth of her commitment to making a difference in her community and the breadth of her talents in effecting positive change,” Linda Rudat, Program Coordinator for the Lake Stevens Family Center said. “Jasmyn assembled a moving PowerPoint presentation to complement a Family Center presentation on bullying for a Cavalero Mid-High “Cup of Sugar” event. Her presentation powerfully portrayed the many ways that violence touches the lives of teens and set the tone for a meaningful discussion of solutions.”
Her most memorable experience is at the Family Center during the holidays.
“It’s always been Christmas at the Family Center,” Friend said regarding her favorite memory of serving.
This is just a small sampling of Friend’s volunteer service.