Our Voice: Volunteers and hard work, two Tri-City traits that go together

Volunteerism and hard work are the theme for today. They are often the same thing. We appreciate all the volunteers in the Mid-Columbia and their hard work.

Spirit Award

Susan Sparks is an excellent choice for the Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Award. This is at least her second notable award in the past few months. (And our second round of kudos for her.)

In November, Sparks was honored as Distinguished Elementary School Principal of the Year for our region, which automatically puts her in the running for the national title as well.

We're sure it's difficult to be on the committee that has to make these selections.

We know for a fact that there are many good people in the Mid-Columbia.

And Susan Sparks is definitely one of them.

Kennewick accolades

Other decision-making boards that would be difficult to sit on would be the ones that selected this year's Kennewick Man of the Year and Kennewick Woman of the Year.

Judging from this year's recipients, it would have been safe to rename the award Kennewick Volunteer of the Year.

It's inspiring to us that Timothy Doyle and Donna Vance have amassed such long lists of volunteer gigs.

Some of their projects are big ones that benefit the whole community, some are on a smaller scale -- almost personal.

It sets a good standard for the rest of us. We can all give something -- and many already do.

Working for schools

Volunteers keep many of the programs in the Mid-Columbia running. They also are responsible for helping to raise money for our schools.

There is a law that prohibits school employees from working on bond or levy campaigns. That leaves the banner to be carried by volunteers.

Some of these people have children in the school system. A good many of them don't.

Regardless of how you vote in the bond election, you have to admire the dedication of people who work so hard to promote school bonds and our kids' education.

Major decisions

We have no idea how many Tri-Citians attended President Obama's inauguration this week, but we do know about the young man that was leading a band for the parade: Hanford High grad Stephen Grindel.

It's impressive that he was in the inauguration parade. But it's equally impressive that Grindel is the drum major for the Boston Crusaders.

Another musician who participated in the event is former Tri-Citian Alicia Miles Olatuja, soloist with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.

It's fun to see the local kids get a big break, but we're sure they've worked hard to get where they are.