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Federal Way/Auburn Boys and Girls Club says farewell to Shelley Puariea | PHOTOS
The Federal Way/Auburn Boys and Girls Club hosted an appreciation gathering Dec. 6 for executive director Shelley Puariea, who is transferring to the Ballard branch. (SEE PHOTOS)
Needless to say, she will be missed. To many, Puariea is a mentor and a guide with a passion for serving children.
Over the past decade, Puariea has helped raise millions of dollars to expand and improve the club's services and facilities. One key accomplishment during her tenure was the construction of the EX3 Ron Sandwith Teen Center. Other proud moments include seeing a positive difference in the academic performance of children as a direct result of the club's programs.
"The community in Federal Way was amazing," Puariea said, wiping tears as she spoke to the dignitaries, volunteers and community members who gathered to honor her service. "Everything we have ever done has been for the kids."
Suzy Petrich, who is president of the club's board of directors, praised Puariea's contagious enthusiasm and ability to connect with families.
"She has some sort of magical power over people," Petrich said. "She is a dynamo of a fundraiser and is totally committed to each and every kid. She is a problem solver who makes sure kids get what they need."
Federal Way Mayor Skip Priest said Puariea turned the Boys and Girls Club into a cornerstone of success for local children.
"There are hundreds of young men and women under your tutelage who benefited because of your leadership," Priest said.
King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer announced a proclamation in honor of Puariea and her service. Earlier that day, he arranged a donation of a van for the club that will be called "Shelley's van."
"Shelley, you carry the load for a lot of families," the councilman said. "This club began as a process of being a second parent."
Mark Hendricks, the new director for the Federal Way/Auburn branch, encouraged attendees at Thursday night's gathering to jot down special stories and best wishes for Puariea.
To see photos from the Dec. 6 gathering, click here.