An estimated 50 attendees filled the back room at Edmonds’ Salt and Iron restaurant Thursday to honor Teresa Wippel, recently selected as Edmonds’ 2019 Citizen of the Year.
A tradition going back to 1994, the Citizen of the Year is chosen from nominations drawn from the community by a selection committee comprised of Edmonds Kiwanis Club members. The winner is traditionally recognized at the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce luncheon in late May.
“The purpose of this award is to recognize those who have contributed community services to the City of Edmonds and deserve our recognition,” said Kiwanis member and selection committee member Juliana van Buskirk. “It’s open to individuals and groups, volunteers and professionals.”
The first award in 1994 went to to Stan and Valerie Dickison. Other winners have included city officials like Dave Earling (1995) and Laura Hall (1996), business owners like Rick Steves (2017) as well as organizations like the Edmonds Floretum Garden Club (2015) and the Edmonds Petanque Club (2016). Wippel is the 26th recipient.
“The nominations really poured in this year,” said Frannie Cohen, selection committee member and 2014 Citizen of the Year. “I’m always impressed by the number and diversity of deserving nominees, both sung and unsung. We viewed and reviewed each with care, and as we did Teresa’s name just kept rising to the top.”
After reading several quotes from the recent My Edmonds News article announcing Wippel’s selection, Cohen introduced her as this year’s winner.
“I’m honored to be standing here today,” said Wippel. “When I got the call from Juliana and Mary Lou of Kiwanis telling me I’d been selected, my first reaction was ‘there are so many people besides me in our community who deserve this.’”
“And you know, the whole thing started because almost 10 years ago my husband said to me, ‘there’s an online news thing in Mountlake Terrace; I think you should start one in Edmonds.’ I remind him of that on those long nights when I’m busy at the computer making sure my readers can have the latest news with their morning coffee,” she quipped.
Wippel was presented with a ceremonial paving brick to be added to the Edmonds Historical Museum Plaza later this year, and in keeping with the Citizen of the Year tradition will ride in this year’s Edmonds Kind of Fourth of July parade.