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July 2014

Five community leaders to pay tribute to Norman Rice

"First Citizen" civic event honors his 40 years of service

By NWREporter

July 2014

Five community leaders to pay tribute to Norman Rice at "First Citizen" civic event honoring his 40 years of service

Norm RiceFive speakers will pay tribute to former Seattle Mayor Norman B. Rice when he is honored as the 76th recipient of the Seattle-King County First Citizen Award. The civic celebration recognizing Rice, who is retiring as president and CEO of The Seattle Foundation, will be held Wednesday, June 11 at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. (For reservations: SeattleFirstCitizen.org).

Artists from The 5th Avenue Theatre will also be part of the tribute to Rice, whose distinguished career has covered broadcasting, banking, academia, politics and philanthropy.

Rice is being recognized for 40 years of public- and private-sector service, during which time he played pivotal roles in revitalizing downtown, advocating for social and economic equity, and supporting public schools. As an elected official, he was a trailblazer, becoming Seattle's first African-American  mayor in 1990, assembling the team that preserved Major League Baseball in the city, convening a first-ever Education Summit, and creating a model welfare-to-work program.

The lineup of speakers who will honor him on June 11 includes:

  • Sonya Campion, president, Campion Advocacy Fund;
  • Matt Griffin, principal and managing partner, Pine Street Group;
  • The Hon. Charles V. Johnson, retired presiding judge of King County Superior Court;
  • Andrew Lofton, executive director, Seattle Housing Authority; and
  • Sue Taoka, executive vice president, Craft3.

This year marks the 76th anniversary of the annual awards gala, which is presented by SEATTLE KingCounty REALTORS®. Since 1939, the event has recognized individuals and organizations that enhance the area's quality of life through visionary leadership, civic engagement, and dedication to building healthy communities through volunteerism and philanthropy.

Several former First Citizens are expected to attend the celebration, including the spouse of this year's honoree, Constance W. Rice, Ph.D., recipient of the award in 1993. Recent past recipients include former NBA coach and player Lenny Wilkens (2013), former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton (2010), former Seattle Symphony conductor Gerard Schwartz (2009), Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen (2008) and Seattle jeweler Herb Bridge (2001). Over the years, the inductees have represented humanitarian organizations, charitable, health and educational institutions, arts groups, environmental causes and various civic endeavors.

The Seattle-King County First Citizen Award and civic banquet, believed to be this region's oldest such recognition, has no fund-raising expectation, but instead is designed solely as a not-for-profit celebration of community involvement.

This year's event is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (event partner), Windermere Real Estate (silver sponsor) and the YMCA of Greater Seattle (bronze sponsor).

About the First Citizen Award and Banquet
Since its inception in 1939, the First Citizen Award continues to celebrate community leadership, volunteerism and public service. The Award is believed to be this region's oldest such recognition. It has no fund-raising expectation, but instead is designed solely as a not-for-profit celebration of community involvement.

About the SEATTLE KingCounty REALTORS®
The SEATTLE KingCounty REALTORS® is a nonprofit professional trade association whose goals include promoting business practices that reflect a strict code of ethics and supporting policies that preserve and expand real property rights and housing affordability. Based in Bellevue, SKCR has around 5,000 members and is one of 1,400 local associations of the National Association of REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.