Bill Brayer, founder of an Edmonds-based non-profit that helps those with multiple sclerosis and other disabilities, has been named the 2013 Edmonds Citizen of the Year, sponsored by the Edmonds Kiwanis Club.
In 1999, Brayer founded the MS Helping Hands Donor Closet, a nonprofit that provides durable medical and mobility equipment for a minimum suggested donation. Brayer originally located the facility in his garage in 1998, then in 1999 moved it to warehouse space underneath the former Petosa’s Family Grocer (now Edmonds IGA) at 409 Howell Way. He retired as president of the organization in late 2012.
MS Helping Hands also provides direct financial assistance to people in need who are living with MS in the state of Washington.
The Edmonds Citizen of the Year is aimed at recognizing a civic-minded citizen active in civic affairs, community activities and/or business pursuits. It is open to individuals as volunteers or professionals in the line of duty.
Former Edmonds City Councilmember Dick Van Hollebeke, who nominated Brayer for the award, called Brayer “one of the most amazing people I have ever known.”
“He has more than enough reasons to reach out and seek the help of others since he has lived with mulitple sclerosis for more than 59 years,” Van Hollebeke wrote. “But this 79-year-old man went in the opposite direction.”
“Many thousands of people have been able to achieve a higher standard of living and better quality of life because of Bill Brayer,” Van Hollebeke added. “He is an extraordinary person who has given so much without ever asking for anything in return.”
Brayer will be honored at an Edmonds Chamber of Commerce luncheon this Thursday, May 23, at the Edmonds Yacht Club. You can register for the luncheon here.