Submitted by Migael Scherer
Everyone is invited to a celebration potluck honoring Joanne and Trevor Bryant, this year’s Lopez Spirit Award recipients. The event takes place on Saturday, June 22, 6 p.m. at Lopez Center.
The Spirit Award has been given since 2000 to a Lopez individual, couple or partners who have consistently improved the lives of all Lopezians. These people give to the community in extraordinary ways: unselfishly, reliably, lovingly, with tolerance and integrity. They are often the community’s unsung heroes.
The Bryants were stunned and deeply touched to be selected. “We’re not that social. We try to keep a low profile.” Only when asked does Trevor mention the volunteer work he and his wife Joanne have done since they moved here in 1996: for Lopez Hospice, Lopez Island Clinic, SWAP, the sailing program, their church. Neighbors and friends enthusiastically describe the boats and floats Trevor has fixed, the comfort quilts Joanne has sewn and given away.
Kate Scott, a past recipient and in charge of this year’s decorations, explains that the problem for those planning the party is how to get everything the Bryants have done for Lopez—and continue doing—into the program: “They’re in their 80s and still tuned to what others need.”
The award celebration embodies Lopez spirit. Everyone is invited, and everyone contributes. Lopez Center donates the space, sound/video help, nonalcoholic beverages and setup for a no-host bar. Friends and family create the program and decorate to make it a memorable evening. Everyone who attends brings potluck dishes and their own cutlery, plates, cups and glasses.
Officially named The Andy and Dolly Holland Spirit Award, it was inspired by the retired couple who, after a working life of public service in forestry and education, moved here before Lopez Center had been built. Seeing the need, the Hollands presented a check for $50,000 to the board. “Get going with the project,” Andy said, kicking off a fundraiser that paid—up front—for construction of the building that stands today.
Recipients of the Spirit Award are selected by a committee of Lopezians from a list of nominations. “By design it’s a good and difficult process,” says Lopez Center board member Shawn Westervelt, who has chaired the committee for the past five years. “The best part is reading all the nominations. And the party.”
The Bryants join 31 Lopezians who have been recognized over the past 17 years:
2000 Gordon and Barbara Rydberg.
2001 Mary Ritchie.
2002 Jan and Bob Sundquist.
2003 Len Kanzer.
2004 Dick and Mary Schoenman.
2005 Bob and Vivian Burt.
2006 Norma and Bill Brimmer.
2007 Ron Hall and Robert Herrmann.
2008 Rip and Julie Van Camp.
2009 Paul Berg.
2010 Gregg Blomberg and Irene Skyriver.
2011 Lynn and Marlys Waller.
2012 Rhea Miller and Sandy Bishop.
2013 Marty Clark.
2014 Carol Steckler and Al Lorenzen.
2015 Nick and Susie Teague.
2016 Kate Scott.
2017 Jim Smith and Connie Harris.