Hotel Bellwether’s Local Community Hero 

The team at the Hotel Bellwether has commenced a new program, honoring special individuals with our ‘Community Hero of the Week Award’ to recognize those that make a difference through their work or volunteer efforts within Bellingham. These nominees understand the importance of community and that a single person can make a difference. Our Community Hero contributes in creating an atmosphere that makes Bellingham an amazing place to call home.  

Our intention is to honor those within our community who contribute to their organization in a positive and helpful way and have frequently gone above and beyond for others while being on the frontlines throughout Bellingham during the pandemic. 

WEEK ONE – LIZ COOGAN

The Hotel Bellwether is thrilled to honor Liz Coogan (right) as our first Local Community Hero of the Week, which has been nominated by Bellingham Food Bank Operations Manager, Melanie Danner (left). 
 
Liz is the Bellingham Food Bank’s Whatcom Unified Command liaison. During her tenure as Human Services Chief, Liz has gone above and beyond to ensure that she and the Whatcom Unified Command are supporting the Bellingham Food Bank in every way possible. 
 
“She clearly understands the importance of the work that Bellingham Food Bank does and wants to ensure we are successful by providing the tools, resources, and effective communication that supports our mission to provide food to Whatcom County families.” 
– Melanie Danner, Operations Manager at the Bellingham Food Bank
 
Liz demonstrates compassion, kindness, a commitment to our community and a dedication to make Bellingham the best place to live, work and visit. Hotel Bellwether is proud to present a VIP experience including a one-night stay in a luxury waterfront room and dinner for two guests in our Lighthouse Grill.   The Hotel Bellwether is honored to be a part of such a wonderful community and would like to recognize those that make a difference. Liz, you have truly done great things for our community, we thank you for all your hard work. 

WEEK TWO – JAMI PITMAN

The Hotel Bellwether has named Jami Pitman this weeks “Community Hero of the Week” Award for her commitment to the Bellingham School System.

Jami Pitman is a parent volunteer, paraeducator and has served as co-chair of the Parents Advisory Committee to the Superintendent (PACS) for the past two years. She has been recognized for her countless hours and service on four separate teams this summer to assist in preparing the Bellingham School District for the upcoming school year.

“Jami is such a dedicated and enthusiastic parent advocate and loving staff member. [She] is also inspirational; those who know her appreciate her willingness to be vulnerable and real when she shares her own story.”
– Jacqueline Brawley, Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations at Bellingham Public Schools.

Jami has demonstrated a passion for fairness and a commitment for advancing the education system within our community. She has shown a dedication towards making Bellingham the best place to live, work, and learn!

WEEK THREE – JEFFERY TOM

The Hotel Bellwether is thrilled to honor their third Local Community Hero of the Week nominated by Lydia Place. Jeffery Tom has been a volunteer “extraordinaire” at Lydia Place for over a decade. During his time at Lydia Place, Jeffery has demonstrated his passion for our community and carrying out the mission of Lydia Place; to disrupt the cycle of homelessness and support sustained independence for current and future generations.

“Jeffery has been a dedicated volunteer for over a decade, and his passion and support has only increased during the current COVID pandemic. He has been willing and able to support a variety of different tasks to help keep our programs running smoothly while we transition due to the pandemic.”
–Tally Rabatin, Community Engagement Director at Lydia Place

Jeffery demonstrates compassion, kindness, an incredible work ethic and genuine enthusiasm for volunteering. His commitment to our community assists in making Bellingham the best place to live, work and visit.

WEEK FOUR – BEN & AMY WHEELER

The Hotel Bellwether is thrilled to honor their fourth Local Community Hero of the Week, Ben and Amy Wheeler.

Ben and Amy have stepped up too care for three siblings during the mist of the pandemic with no previous experience fostering children and have dedicated themselves to ensuring the health and wellbeing of the three children.

“They’ve done exceptionally well managing and learning throughout the pandemic. They continue to work hard and dedicate themselves to these kids ”
– Kiara Bogovich, Foster Care Specialist at Skookum Kids

Ben and Amy demonstrate humility, compassion, love, and dedication to their foster children. Their selflessness shows  their commitment to our community and carrying out the mission of Skookum Kids – to reform the current foster care system.

WEEK FIVE – ERIKA WENDAL

Hotel Bellwether has named Erika Wendal as their fifth recipient of their Community Hero of the Week Award for her commitment to the Hospice House.

Erika Werdal is a Registered Nurse apart of the Admit Team at Hospice House. During her tenure apart of the admit team at Hospice House, her brightness and gentle nature has been recognized by all. She has an incredible ability to support the staff as they learn the importance of the work done at Hospice.

“She is often the first face of Hospice and is able to calm nerves and answer to needs swiftly I cannot imagine our team withoutErika, she is a shining light.”
– Jodi Newcomer, Program Manager at Hospice and PC

Erika continues to demonstrate compassion, kindness, resilience, humor, and an abundant amount of skill and a dedication to make Bellingham the best place to live, work and visit.

WEEK SIX – BRIDGET REEVES

The Hotel Bellwether is thrilled to honor this weeks Local Community Hero nominated by The Lighthouse
Mission. Bridget is the Associate Executive Director at the Lighthouse Mission and was the main contributor in transitioning the Mission’s 160 person Drop-in Center to Bellingham High School when the Coronavirus first broke out. She hired and overlooked a temporary staff of 20 individuals to assist with the Mission’s newly developed Isolation & Quarantine Facility. She quickly moved the entire operation over to the Public Market building, where the Mission is still currently located. Her extraordinary effort assisted in housing all of those in need while respecting the social distance mandates and keeping individuals safe.

“The added capacity and service that Bridget had a hand in is a Godsend to our community, and especially so now as COVID’s negative impacts with the economy/mental health/addiction/domestic violence, etc, will likely increase homelessness over the next couple years ”
–Hans Erchinger-Davis, Executive Director at the Lighthouse Mission

Bridget continues to demonstrate courage, endurance, leadership, integrity, justice and the heart of a lion. Her commitment to our community assists in making Bellingham the best place to live, work and visit.

WEEK SEVEN – KYLE NELSON

The Hotel Bellwether is thrilled to honor their seventh Local Community Hero of the Week, Kyle Nelson, nominated by the Bellingham Police Department. Kyle is a Sergeant within Bellingham PD and has shown his commitment to the wellness of his department, which includes developing a departmental nomination system to highlight those who have done excellent work in the field and orchestrating financial trainings for all officers. Kyle is also very involved in the ‘Behind the Badge’ foundation, which supports families of fallen officers, in addition to organizing the ‘Fun with the Fuzz’ fundraiser, to which the proceeds go to the foundation.

“He is gracious and kind throughout his work and treats those he comes in contact with the way he would treat a family member”
–Florence Simon, Deputy Chief of the Bellingham Police Department

Kyle continues to demonstrate a caring nature, patience, forward thinking and courage. His commitment to our community assists in keeping Bellingham safe and making our community the best place to live, work and visit.

WEEK EIGHT – WES WITHROW

The Hotel Bellwether is thrilled to honor their eight Local Community Hero of the week, Wes Withrow, nominated by Brigid Collins. Wes is an Administrative Associate with Brigid Collins and has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the staff at Brigid Collins have the equipment and technology needed to continue effectively serving families in our community.

“He is one of the invisible engines that keeps the wheels turning at Brigid Collins so that we can serve children and families. He does this work with humility and dedication.” –

 Jenn Lockwood, Program Director of Brigid Collins Family Support Center.

Wes continues to demonstrate kindness, humility, selflessness, compassion, a helpful nature, and integrity. His commitment to our community assists in keeping Bellingham safe and making our community the best place to live, work and visit.

Wes is a beacon of light in Bellingham and we appreciate all that you will continue to do.