Mary Van Meter feted as Edmonds’ 2012 Citizen of the Year

Mary Van Meter, Edmonds' 2012 Citizen of the Year (Photos by Char Blankenship)

Bill Lambert of the South Snohomish Historical Society talks about why he nominated Van Meter for the award.

By Harry Gatjens

With a packed house, the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce hosted a luncheon today honoring Mary Van Meter as Edmonds’ “Citizen of the Year” as selected by the Edmonds Kiwanis Club.

Van Meter was introduced to the crowd at the Edmonds Yacht Club with a stirring recital of just a few of her many contributions to the City and its organizations. South Snohomish County Historical Society Board President Bill Lambert cited her exemplary work on the Edmonds Historical Museum, where she has served on nearly every committee within the organization including membership, fundraising, as a founder of the Museum’s summer market and using her accounting background to oversee the finances.

She acknowledged several of those in the audience, including a woman from the Girl Scouts. “I was delighted to see the Girl Scouts represented here,” Van Meter said. “I was able to fly home to Oklahoma City for the 65th reunion of my Brownies. All 12 of us were there. Even though I moved here (to Edmonds) in 1974, we are all still close.”

She also acknowledged that she was glad to see someone in the room who provided coaching on public speaking, because “if you are a bean counter no one ever wants to hear you speak.”

Van Meter became emotional when thanking all people who have worked with her on her many projects, and offered special thanks to her family for their support. In addition, she paid homage to all of the previous winners of the award.

The crowd gave Van Meter a standing ovation when she completed her remarks.

Chamber President Ron Clyborne also announced that Van Meter will be riding in a sporty convertible at the annual 4th of July parade this summer, and advised the new Edmonds Citizen of the Year that she should start practicing her parade wave.

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