Citizen and Jr. Citizen of the year named
Serving the community has become a passion
Each year the Greater Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce chooses a Junior Citizen of the Year, someone who is 18 years old or younger who has gone above and beyond when it comes to serving the Lake Stevens community.
This year the Chamber chose Macy Berg, 13, because of the countless hours she has given to not only Lake Stevens but also surrounding cities and organizations.
Berg, who actually lives in Everett, has always had a love for Lake Stevens and throughout her short life, she has become an integral part of the community.
“Growing up with my mom working for the city, I’ve been exposed to so many ways to get involved in the community and being involved in the Miss Aquafest Pageant has given me even more opportunities to help out,” Berg said.
She has served at Community Supper several times over the past three years, bowled in to help Sherwood Services, raised money for Relay for Life of Lake Stevens, N.O.A.H. Animal Shelter, the MS Walk, Domestic Violence of Snohomish County and the Lake Stevens Food Bank.
According to one of her nominations, “Macy has spent her time to bring awareness and raise funds for causes and organizations she believes in.”
When you ask her what she enjoys doing the most, she can’t really say. What she does admit is how surprised she was when she realized that she was Junior Citizen of the Year and not at the monthly Chamber meeting to talk about the upcoming Aquafest.
“I was so surprised! My mom had told me I was going to speak in front of everyone about Aquafest so I was prepared but when they announced me as the Junior Citizen of the Year, I was completely shocked,” she said. “Honestly, I really don’t have a favorite. I’ve done it all from serving food at community suppers and bowling to raise money for the Family Center to spending hours handing water to bikers at Ironman and volunteering in numerous places all Aquafest weekend. I just love it!”
Berg will have her own float in this Saturday’s Aquafest Grand Parade, but she will be close to her fellow Miss Aquafest princesses.
She is also continuing to help others by creating her own foundation.
“I’m in the process of establishing my own foundation to continue bringing awareness about understanding and giving compassion to people with disabilities,” Berg said. “There are so many opportunities and fun ways to give back, it just feels good to know that I can make a difference.”
Preparing kids for kindergarten is a priority
At this Saturday’s Grand Parade you will see retired Lake Stevens kindergarten teacher Leslie Elsemore riding in a flashy convertible waving at the crowd. Why you might ask?
Well, Elsemore has been chosen by the Greater Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce as this year’s Citizen of the Year for all of her work ensuring that Lake Stevens students are ready to start kindergarten.
“I was very surprised and honored when I heard I’d been chosen,” Elsemore said.
Elsemore has dedicated countless hours over the years through the Lake Stevens Education Foundation and Academic Beginnings for Children, or ABC, encouraging parents to read to their children every day and even helped bring the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to those living within the Lake Stevens School District boundaries.
Imagination Library delivers age appropriate books to the homes of children birth to five years old. All parents have to do is sign-up.
Elsemore has always had a passion for reading and keeping kids enthusiastic about learning, even as a kindergarten teacher.
“I enjoy working with the dedicated people on both the LSEF Board and the ABC Committee to bring educational opportunities to families in our community. As a retired Lake Stevens elementary teacher, I want to see all children come to school ready and eager to learn,” Elsemore said. “ABC’s goal is to support parents as their child’s first and most influential teacher, to encourage them to ‘READ together 20 minutes every day’ and have fun learning together.”
Each year LSEF brings free Nancy Stewart concerts to town to help parents, toddlers and pre-schoolers get excited about learning.
“The best part is seeing children and parents enjoying our annual Spring Literacy Concerts, knowing how excited children are to receive their Dolly Parton Imagination Library books in the mail each month, and working with parents in READY for Kindergarten classes to help them help their child be ready to be successful in school. ABC works in partnership with the L.S. Library, Lake Stevens School District and United Way to bring all this and more to our community.”
“Elsemore was instrumental in bringing the Born Learning Trail activities to both Lundeen Park and Lake Stevens Community Park,” her nomination said.
These too, encourage parents to get involved in their children’s learning.
Elsemore’s work with other volunteers at LSEF and ABC encourages not only parents to help their children and become active in their children’s education but also supports teachers throughout the district.
“The work we do through ABC and LSEF is important because it directly benefits the students and teachers in our school district. Research shows that children who enter school prepared and ready to learn are more likely to stay in school, graduate and be successful in school and in life,” Elsemore said. “Teachers throughout the district may apply for Innovative teaching and learning grants for their classrooms, it’s exciting to see the creative projects and programs for students provided through these grants. LSEF also gives scholarships to graduating seniors to help them achieve their goals.”