Rick Steves is 2017 Edmonds Kiwanis Citizen of the Year

Internationally-known travel expert Rick Steves grew up in Edmonds and continues to live and operate his business in the community. (Photo courtesy Rick Steves)

The Edmonds Kiwanis Club announced Friday that it has named Edmonds native and internationally-known travel expert Rick Steves as its 2017 citizen of the year.

According to Kiwanis members close to the selection process, Steves was selected based on the many years and many ways his generosity has touched and benefited the Edmonds community, particularly noting his recent pledge of $2 million to the Edmonds Waterfront Center, with a promise of an additional $1 million matching fund.

In addition to his monetary support across the community, Steves is a big supporter of local businesses, drawing hundreds of people to Edmonds during his regular Rick Steves Travel Days, Test Drive a Tour Guide, and other events held right here in town. These events never fail to give a big boost to the local economy, as attendees patronize Edmonds shops, cafes and restaurants.

Rick Steves at a summer barbecue with Trinity Place residents. Steves established Trinity Place in 2005 to provide housing for homeless single mothers. (Photo courtesy Rick Steves and Trinity Place)

A person with a strong sense of community and social responsibility, Steves walks his talk locally. In January of this year he donated the Trinity Place transitional housing complex — which he has owned and operated in partnership with the Rotary and the YWCA since 2005 — to the YWCA. Located in Lynnwood, Trinity Place offers housing to homeless moms and their children, providing a transitional housing safety net.

“People say we have an economic crisis,” said Steves as he made the donation. “But it’s a crisis of distribution, not societal wealth.” Tired of hearing people say homeless mothers should “work harder,” he decided to help our “most innocent victims” by finding a place for them to call home. (Learn more about Rick Steves’ establishment and donation of Trinity Place in the My Edmonds News article here.)

Steves will be officially honored as the 2017 Edmonds Citizen of the Year on Thursday, May 25 at the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce luncheon, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Beck’s Tribute Center, 405 Fifth Ave. S. in downtown Edmonds.  Want to attend?  Sign up and purchase tickets at the Chamber Events web site here.

— By Larry Vogel

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