City honors I Celebrate You founder Nandell Palmer

Nandell Palmer introduces Federal Way Mayor Skip Priest during the I Celebrate You event held in November 2011. - Mirror file photo
Nandell Palmer introduces Federal Way Mayor Skip Priest during the I Celebrate You event held in November 2011.
— image credit: Mirror file photo

The Federal Way City Council announced that its Volunteer Spotlight for the month is I Celebrate You, the annual showcase of local volunteers started in 2009 by Federal Way resident Nandell Palmer.

"These quiet heroes, devoted parents, helpful neighbors, caring teachers, do their work out of the public eye, but change lives for the better and make our community stronger," said deputy mayor Jim Ferrell on March 5 at the city council meeting.

"Nandell realized that these quiet heroes often go unrecognized, so he founded I Celebrate You to provide that recognition. I Celebrate You is a joyous acknowledgement of the many ways that people can make a difference and provide stories that inspire others to do good works."

Palmer took to the podium to share his thoughts on the recognition for his ever growing event.

"I've wrestled with the thought as to why don't we say 'Thank You' as a society more often," Palmer said. "And, I just could never get to the crux of why we don't. For one, honestly, I don't feel that people set out to not celebrate or say 'I thank you'…It's not a sense of ungratefulness or ingratitude."

Palmer said he thinks it might be a case of people in general just taking for granted those who work hard, who strive to make a difference, because of their proximity in the community.

"We're showing the world that our people don't have to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame before we can celebrate them," he said. "Because we know, the moms, and the dads…those are the ones we really need to pause and say thank you to."

In the three years of I Celebrate You, Palmer said he's found a consistent theme among those awarded by his event. For most, it's a difficult thing to get up on stage and accept an award for doing something that they just know and feel is right. But again, Palmer said, this is the reason why I Celebrate You is important.

"If we can be mindful of giving back, of saying thank you on a daily basis to these unsung heroes, my dream will have come true," he said.


Click here to learn more about the 2011 I Celebrate You event.


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