Letters to the Editor

Shelley Puariea is a hidden treasure in FW | Letters

Who would have guessed? I use myself as an example, and I am sure there are many other residents of Federal Way and the surrounding area who do not know of this very special place so close by.

I am speaking of The Boys and Girls Club of Federal Way. This place is not a big fancy building, with artwork on all of the windows to show off the accomplishments of our children. There are no big elaborate signs. A designer has in all probability never seen this place as a palette to show off their talents.

However, this is a place that is inviting, and alive with energy, happy and hard-working kids and adults. This is a place that can warm the heart, give a shoulder to cry on, and share and build lives. When you walk through the doors of this building, you hear laughter, playing, books being read and sharing taking place in every room and corner, and at every level of childhood.

How can a not-for-profit organization survive in these hard times? Through the dedication and sacrifice of people who have a heart to help, who challenge themselves to become involved, open their hearts and offer themselves to the work of the community.

One person from this building in particular is departing Federal Way to work for kids in another community. You may not know her or even know her name. She has the energy of three people and the commitment and determination that most of us can only wish for.

This person is Shelley Puariea. Over the past 11 years, her accomplishments have not only given energy to this place called The Boys and Girls Club, but also new ways and places for the kids of Federal Way to be safe, learn and just be kids.

Through the hard work of Shelley and her team of employees, volunteers, community and corporate sponsors, there have been many changes over the years.

The main building needed updating and repairs. New entry doors, windows and bathrooms were all either repaired or installed. Through an expansion, there was office space and storage added. Kids can’t play if there is not a safe and fun area. The playground was added and, wow, what a success. They love it.

The Boys and Girls Club is all about kids and having a place for them to belong. Shelley helped organize and build the child care program to become the success it is today.

Ever alert to the needs of the center and community children, Shelley worked tirelessly in the implementation of the EX3 Ron Sandwith Teen Center.

Living in a community means more than existing in one.  Shelley set the example for many by being involved at every level of Federal Way. Through her hard work in fundraising efforts, relationships with board members and community leaders, and her communication with local businesses, AmeriCorps and Federal Way schools, Shelley has helped to make this Boys and Girls Club a strong and dependable part of the community, dedicated to our children.

I send a big thank you, a heartfelt send-off and wishes of additional successes to Shelley. You will be missed.  Thanks for your leadership and great example of dedication.

Diane L. Messner, Federal Way


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