Stephanie Haynes, above, with her son
Each year the Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce chooses citizens within the community who they feel have helped out the community in a positive way.
This year the Chamber has chosen Stephanie Haynes as their Citizen of the Year and Brownie Girl Scout Troop 40830 as the Junior Citizens of the Year.
“The Chamber likes to recognize individuals and groups within our community who go above and beyond their peers,” Chamber President Randy Celori said. “Both Stephanie and the Brownie Girl Scout Troop are very well deserving of this distinction.”
Haynes is a quiet, behind-the-scenes volunteer who doesn’t like the limelight.
“Stephanie Haynes is a tireless community member who goes about helping others and we never hear about her deeds,” friend Tonya Christoffersen said. “She is an incredibly humble person and yet the biggest advocate for helping others.”
Haynes is actively involved at Elim Lutheran Church, where she is a member.
She is a perpetual member of the pre-school auction committee and assists the Pastor with their Marriage Course. Haynes also volunteers countless hours at her son’s school, Grace Academy.
“Helping in the community gives me an opportunity to do work that I enjoy, while benefiting others: people that are our neighbors, that we go to school or church with, and people that we do business with. There’s no better place to be than in your own community where you can see the direct benefits of your efforts,” Haynes said.
She is also involved in The Sky Valley Stock & Antique Tractor Club and has been the Chairperson for the Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce Gala Event for the past few years.
With her new membership in the Lake Stevens Lion’s Club, Haynes will be finding new ways to serve the community.
The Junior Citizens of the Year are local Girl Scout Brownie Troop 40830. The girls in the troop are 8 and 9-year-olds and include Hannah DuByne, Marin Nielsen, IzSabella Haviland, Katie Stevens, Ashlyn Burgess, Madeline Davis, Carly White and Rory Flinn. They are led by Troop Leader Cassandra White.
While there are many local Girl Scout Troops who help within their communities, these girls stand out because of their eagerness to make the community a better place not only for those of us who live here but for the wildlife too.
“The girls are deserving of this distinction because they have worked very hard,” White said. “At this age level they basically have chosen the activities and community service. Every year they work toward what is called the Top of the Totem, this is a blueprint of what a quality troop should be. They must perform 10 duties out of a list of 30. I am always happy that they choose things like writing thank-you notes, community service work, and putting on events. I let all the decisions be their own. I am only there to guide them along the way.”
Not only have these girls planted flowers in front of North Lake Middle School and the Lake Stevens Boys & Girls Club but they have consistently helped out in planting trees and bushes along Lundeen Creek to help the salmon spawn and swim upstream.
These girls have also used money they have earned from selling Girl Scout Cookies to benefit animals and needy children.
“The first year when they sold cookies I suggested that they maybe donate some of the money to a good cause. At the time I was trying to teach them the “pay it forward” slogan,” White said. “It worked and they gave money to the Woodland Park Zoo by ‘adopting’ the new sumaritan tiger cub.”
The following year, the first thing they said when discussing how to spend the money was “lets decide who to donate to first and how much that will be’.
“That was the moment I knew that these girls understood the meaning of giving. ‘They adopted’ Cookie, an Orca whale in the Puget Sound,” White said.
This year, the girls knew they wanted to donate their cookie money to children with cancer even before cookie sales had begun.
“Almost all of the girls in the troop have had cancer touch their lives in the past two years, either through a teacher, a fellow student, or a family member so we began to study a program called Zink the Zebra,” White explained.
Girl Scouts Carly White, Rory Flinn, Katie Stevens, Ashlyn Burgess, Marin Nielsen, Hannah DuByne
and Madeline Davis posed at Girl Scout Camp.
Not pictured: IzSabella Haviland.
They took a portion of their cookie money and bought gifts, games and books for children in the cancer ward at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
These girls are learning invaluable lessons through their service within the Girl Scout program and the example of their Troop Leader. They will continue to be great assets to the Lake Stevens community throughout their lives.
“My girls know that I believe in two things; community service and that they need to try new things. I believe that you should give back where you can and to be thankful for what you have,” White said. “I also believe that girls can do anything! Girls can become a scientist and can be good at math and can become a heroine. Girls can have their voices heard and a right to their own opinion without someone making them feel bad. I believe that these girls are understanding this and will go far in life.”
Watch for Haynes and Brownie Troop 40830 as they pass by during the Aquafest Grand Parade.