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August 2015

Nominations sought for 2016 Seattle-King County First Citizen Award

Seattle-King County First Citizen Award logoFor 77 years, big-hearted individuals, families and organizations have enhanced the quality of life for King County residents. In recognition of their vision, leadership and compassion, a select few have been honored with the Seattle-King County First Citizen Award.

Sponsors of the prestigious award are seeking nominations for the 78th recipient, to be honored at a not-for-profit civic banquet in 2016.

Letters of nomination for the 2016 First Citizen, together with any supporting material, should be sent by Sept. 11 to First Citizen Selection Committee, c/o SEATTLE KingCounty REALTORS®, 12410 SE 32nd St., Suite 100, Bellevue, Washington 98005 or submitted by email to Val Towler. Nominees should be current or former residents of King County.

"Since its inception in 1939, this award has celebrated the many ways to give back," said Tyler McKenzie, president of the Seattle King County Realtors (SKCR), which created the award. "Some have given their time and wisdom as volunteers, some have shared their treasure, and some have done both," he added.

The list of past recipients reflects a broad cross-section of citizens from myriad interests and causes. Former honorees have been associated with humanitarian organizations, charitable, health and educational institutions, arts groups, environmental and economic development causes, and various civic endeavors.

Earlier this year, businessman Theodor "Ted" Baseler, president and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, was saluted as the 77th Seattle-King County First Citizen. In addition to being a leader in the wine industry, he is widely respected as a strong advocate for higher education, a champion for underserved students, and a generous supporter of the arts and Seattle Children's Hospital.

Other recent past recipients include former Seattle Mayor Norman B. Rice, a trailblazer who devoted 40 years to public- and private-sector service (2014); Lenny Wilkens, a dedicated advocate for children and former player and coach with the Seattle SuperSonics (2013); Rotary International District 5030 (2012); former Seattle Mariner Jamie Moyer and his wife Karen (2011); U.S. Senator Slade Gorton (2010); retiring Seattle Symphony conductor Gerard Schwartz (2009); and Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen (2008). The complete list of First Citizen honorees is online at seattlefirstcitizen.org.