Letters to the Editor

Heartwarming show of support for Greg Sawyer

Our outstanding community has done it again.

A huge “thank you” to so many who made the fund-raiser for Greg Sawyer so successful! Well over $17,000 was raised to help defray medical expenses, and it was heartwarming to see so many in our community come together to support Mr. Sawyer.

We are grateful to those who helped us, and the list is long.

From the start, Purple and Gold said “Tell us how to help.” They helped transport food, serve, set up, and clean up and also stepped in to be the fiscal agent for the event. Thank you, Sherry and Chris Lawson, Kerri Starr, Becky Nash, Diane Jangard, Staci Baker, Rachel Dietzman, Sue and Don Neilsen for all of the help. You are an amazing and caring group of volunteers.

When our event quickly was becoming too large for the high school to accommodate everyone, Roche Harbor gave us a perfect venue on a beautiful afternoon and evening. They set up indoors and out, donated coffee, and made more dinners to make sure we could feed everyone. Thank you to Brent Snow, Sam Jacobson and Bill Shaw for your magnanimous donations, the use of your kitchens, all your help, and all the staff who helped with the setup, breakdown, and working out the details of dinner for more than 300 people.

Thank you to the Friday Harbor High School kitchen and kitchen staff, especially all of Liz Varvaro’s and Andy Radzialowski’s help and expertise.

Another huge thank you to all of the community members, students, team members and business owners who generously, thoughtfully and repeatedly donated to the silent and live auctions, as well as lent a hand wherever we needed it; we can’t thank you enough. Also, thank you to everyone who showed up or just helped spread the word. We hope that everyone remembers to buy locally and use local services to give back to those in our community who stand behind us. We would like to support them in return.

On the other side of the coin are all of the people who bid on the auction items. Thank you so much for your amazing contributions. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Jane Burton Bell and Liz Covert helped us with the auction format. With Catherine Buchanan, Beth Spaulding, Deslie English, Jo Sandwith, Sally Waite, Darlene Clark and Molly Walker all pitching in to keep the tabulation of auction items organized, it all went smoothly. Thank you so much for helping out.

There are many on our island who have been touched in some way or another by kidney disease. It was a goal of ours to educate people and share real life stories. We have gratitude for Gordy Waite and John Sandifer for being willing to share their stories. You both hold out hope to Mr. Sawyer and others in their difficult time of waiting for a transplant.

Friday Harbor should be proud of their schools, teachers and students. The Jazz Band led by Mrs. Olsen was great! Thank you to everyone for making time to come out and play. You were amazing as always.

Thank you to Chris Bevens for helping with all of the logistics of moving a band, not to mention all of the donations and making the Costco runs.

Desserts were donated from the teachers; we know how busy they already are … and there were enough to last all evening.

We also owe a big thank you to Shannon Plummer, who we called at the last minute to ask if we could put him on the spot as an auctioneer. We are grateful for your booming voice and caring heart. You were outstanding.

Thanks also to the Leo’s Club, the Futures Class, the football team, and students from Mr. Saywer’s classes past and present, for all standing together serving food, and donating time, money and projects. It makes us all better people to come together as a caring student body and school.

Lastly and most importantly, thank you Mr. Sawyer. You obviously are an amazing inspiration to so many. We feel honored and lucky to be able to give back to you for a change. You are a gifted and fabulous teacher who believes in us. Thank you for all of the encouragement and learning along the way. This is our chance to support you and wish for you all of the best.

We owe a great deal to everyone who helped us make this event a success. We know that this is only a short list, and if we left anyone off, we apologize. We owe you our heartfelt gratitude, and can’t begin to thank you enough.

If you were unable to attend the event, or still wish to contribute, monetary donations are still being accepted for this great cause. Donations can be made through Purple and Gold and dropped off at the high school office, attn: Hannah, Catherine or Genevieve.

Thank you everyone, so much,

Hannah Waite
Catherine Bevens
Genevieve Iverson

Friday Harbor High School

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