April 5, 1999
CARNATION--Paulette Quiroga-Jacklin, local fitness expert and community activist, is one of 211 state residents who have been nominated for the 1999 Jefferson Awards for public service.
The Jefferson Awards are sponsored by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and honor individuals who make a concerted effort to help their communities. According to the P-I, the Jefferson Awards program has been sponsored nationally since 1972 by the Delaware-based American Institute for Public Service and in Washington state by the P-I since 1977.
A Seattle native, Quiroga-Jacklin moved to Carnation four years ago and opened Total Health and Fitness.
"I love this town and this Valley," she said last week after hearing of the nomination. "I want to see it stay the way it is. When I see changes I don't like, I try to do something positive."
Those positive activities include her involvement with young people and the town's senior citizens. She began as an activist when her son complained there was nothing to do in town. Her response was to hold a town meeting to ask the kids what they wanted. Those ideas were passed on to the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network and eventually led to a Youth Summit. From that, a youth group called T.A.F.T. (Teens Acting for Tomorrow) was established that continues to meet monthly to work towards developing a skate park and a youth service activity center.
"The kids say they need to keep meeting so it doesn't end up as just a dream," she said. "The kids are busy raising money for the skate park and volunteer at the senior and multi-service centers and the July 4th celebration to have something to do."
Quiroga-Jacklin has also branched out her fitness classes to include the North Bend Senior Center and Mercer Island Community Service Center. She also helps local youngsters with "Kid Fit," an after-school fitness program. She recently was awarded recognition as a Post-Rehab Conditional Specialist by the American Academy of Health and Fitness Professionals.
She says she tries to keep prices low so everyone can afford to take advantage of the fitness programs. "I am doing what I want to do, that's the main thing," she says. "I try to keep it in perspective and try not to bite off more than I can chew."
She says, because her husband of 26 years works nights, she sets aside time twice a week so they can go horseback riding together. The couple have three sons, ages 24, 17, and 15.
At an April 8 City Club luncheon in the Sheraton Seattle Hotel, local judges will select five people to receive the Jefferson Award medallions. The recipients will be announced at the luncheon. Gov. Gary Locke will be the keynote speaker.