Corporations for Communities Award

(L-to-R) Kelly Liske, Larry Hueth, CEO, FFS&L, Sec. of State Kim Wyman and Bret and Trisha Wirta

(L-to-R) Kelly Liske, Larry Hueth, CEO, FFS&L, Sec. of State Kim Wyman and Bret and Trisha Wirta

Trisha and I drove to our state capitol in Olympia, Washington, yesterday to meet the Secretary of State. Secretary Kim Wyman led a ceremony recognizing the nominees for the 2015 Corporations for Communities Award. This award honors exceptional Washington businesses that make it a priority to help the community in which they do business. We accepted the nomination on behalf of our Black Bear Diner in Sequim and for Danny Banwait, owner of the Federal Way, Black Bear Diner who couldn’t attend.

Trisha and I enjoy being community supporters. One of the reasons we chose the Black Bear Diner franchise for our Sequim location was that they care too. One example of franchise giving is the support of Make-A-Wish. Together with donations from customers, franchisees like us in Sequim, and Danny in Federal Way, plus corporate matching funds, the Black Bear Diner as a whole has raised almost $1,000,000 for the Make-A-Wish organization.

In addition, our Black Bear Diner in Sequim supports local organizations. We’ve raised money, and our employees have donated time for the Captain Joseph House, a remodeled bed and breakfast that houses grieving military families. This year, with our popular Dine-to-Donate program, our restaurant donated a percentage of our daily proceeds to Peninsula Friends of Animals, Clallam County YMCA, Dungeness Valley Clinic, The Helen Haller School and KSQM Community Radio. Our Black Bear Diner also supports the Washington’s National Park Fund, where as President of the Board, I helped raise $600,000 for the three National Parks in our state.

Trisha and I were proud to be part of a group of such remarkable companies and enjoyed meeting Secretary Wyman. We were very excited to see First Federal Savings and Loan, Port Angeles, win the award. Larry Hueth the FFS&L CEO asked for us to pose for a photo with them. I think we make a pretty good Olympic Peninsula team.

Lastly, if you ever have a chance to attend a function with Secretary of State Wyman, don’t pass it up – besides being a caring steward of our state, she is a very funny and enjoyable person!