Woodinville City Council members (L-R) Art Saulness, Barbara Solberg, and Lucy DeYoung watch as Ben Lawrence receives a proclamation honoring his efforts to collect coats for needy children.
Photo by Jeff Switzer/Woodinville Weekly.
by Karen Diefendorf
Through the efforts of young Ben Lawrence, an 11-year-old Wellington Elementary student, 380 coats, 35 hats, and eight pairs of mittens for children in need were collected during the past holiday season.
Ben's story was told in the Dec.18 edition of the Woodinville Weekly, and last week, his achievement received official commendation.
With friends and family in attendance at the Jan. 8 City Council meeting, Ben was presented with a proclamation recognizing the "importance and value of helping others in need." The proclamation congratulated Ben for "single-handedly organizing the 'Coats for Kids' drive at his school" and noted that he "was committed to the spirit of working to assist those less fortunate."
"I think Ben exemplifies what Christmas is all about," Councilmember Lucy DeYoung added after reading the proclamation.
Ben described his experience in the council chambers as "pretty cool." "I was interested to see how things work," he said. "And it was exciting to be introduced." Ben said he is already thinking of organizing a canned food drive for next year.
His official proclamation, signed by Mayor Robert Miller, is now sitting on the television set at the Lawrence home in full sight of the entire family, who are understandably proud.
His volunteerism and accomplishment led to a discussion at the City Council about naming a Citizen of the Month for Woodinville, recognized by the council.