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What others say about Jim Engstrom and Larry Corradini | HOMETOWN HEROES
The Record accidentally omitted community quotes associated with Hometown Heroes Larry and Jim in the Aug. 10 issue. So many people voiced disappointment over the absence that we decided to run them in today’s issue.
“Jim and Larry are two of my favorite people. They are generous with their time, always willing to help, and passionate about their hometown community. They are two of the most genuine people you will ever meet. If you happen to run into Jim and Larry, stop and say hello and it will truly brighten your day.”
— Greg Willis, retired LMS principal
“Larry and Jim would come in and help out; they always had smiles on their faces. They make everyone happy and bring joy wherever they are. They have a great attitude, and always a hug — they are just good people. They would do anything for anybody if they could. When they are around I just have a good feeling, because they are so genuine and good-hearted people. I don’t know what makes them like that, they just have good hearts. They are part of the ‘heart’ that keeps Good Cheer beating. Without them, Good Cheer wouldn’t be so strong. They are an inspiration to each of us, to be genuine and real and give with an open heart.”
— Marilyn Brown, retired Clinton Food Mart employee
“This is the team you want to have around. Jim and Larry seem to be everywhere at once and always with a smile and words of encouragement. I first met these outstanding individuals when I came to work for the Senior Center at Bayview several years ago. At first I thought they were just volunteers at the center, washing dishes, setting tables, serving food and donating items for our auctions. Slowly I began to understand how special Larry and Jim were. They were doing this all over the community. I can’t begin to tell you the number of places where they give their time and hard work. I’ve heard mentioned Community Thrift in Freeland, Brookhaven in Langley, The Soup Kitchen, pancake breakfasts, their church and importantly, care of their aging parents. They are so deserving of this award for the thousands of hours they have given with smiles and a positive word.
— Sheila Foster, Bayview Senior Center
“I have worked with these two gentlemen on several occasions and they are top notch. Thanks guys for all you do as volunteers and as human beings.”
— Carol H. Edgar, Time Together assistant Senior Center
“Opening the store one morning, I noticed an old truck parked in the parking lot. Inside the truck were two gentlemen (Larry and Jim), deep in conversation. It was quite obvious that they enjoyed each other’s company. After some inquiry, I was told that their routine was the same each morning. Get coffee at the store and sit in the truck conversing.
One morning, I changed my parking spot. Lo and behold two smiling faces appeared with the friendliest gestures. So open and caring they were. Welcoming me as if they knew me all their lives. The warmth and kindness I felt from Larry and Jim was genuine. They did not have any other agenda except to spread their friendship. They looked me in the eye while talking, never flinching or being mistrusting. This kind of character only comes once in a long while. These two gentlemen have lifted my spirits on more than one occasion.
Why, I remember the time we laughed so hard over a talking moose at the Good Cheer. I wanted to buy it for Clay at the store, what a crack-up.
Larry and Jim brought me a fish, a really nice trout from Deer Lake. I never tire of the stories and the smiling faces of these two genuine souls. Always smiles and truth, not a false bone in their bodies. Larry and Jim bring a light to an otherwise cold and untrusting world. They truly have heart.”
— Debbie Bitts, volunteer
“When I think of what Good Cheer has brought into my life I feel so blessed as the gifts have been many. My most treasured is my friendship with Jim Engstrom. Jim has been a part of Good Cheer for over a decade. Jim is not only a member of our team, he is a member of our family. For years Good Cheer served as Jim’s home away from home. He worked at least 40 hours a week mainly in the Food Bank. He was the volunteer that answered all the other volunteers’ questions when a staff member wasn’t available. When Larry Corradini began volunteering he buddied up with Jim. It wasn’t long before a strong friendship bond began to develop. Jim and Larry started hanging out together after work. I’ll always remember when Jim’s mom called me looking for Jim. He hadn’t come home from work and she was beginning to worry. We found out later that Jim and Larry had gone to a movie. I felt such gladness in my heart knowing that Jim now had a good buddy to hang with and to just ‘be’ with. Larry opened up Jim’s world. Soon they weren’t only volunteering for Good Cheer but they were also volunteering at Senior Services and at their church. They are now inseparable; you never see one without the other. I love them both and would do anything for them as they will do anything I ask of them. They are loyal, giving, caring and a true blessing to our community.”
— Kathy McLaughlin McCabe, Executive Director Good Cheer
“We arrive at church very early, Jim and Larry are always there greeting us with a smile and a story. We have served with them in the homeless ministry, they are always eager to help at our monthly lunch at church … they know how to work a barbecue. They love whatever is cooked and let you know it. They have a way of making you smile.”
— Cindy Boyer, Calvary Church
“These two gentlemen are a blessing to the South Whidbey Island community. They volunteer for everything. They have been especially helpful with the move of Jim’s Hardware to its new location at Ken’s Korner Shopping Plaza.”
— BikerBob, Jim’s Hardware
“They magically appear daily at my hardware store to help me and the ladies move lawn and garden products outside the premises. They also advise inquiring fishermen as to what bait and tackle to use at Deer Lake. They are both fun-loving people. They deserve great recognition.”
— Becky Bell, owner, Jim’s Hardware
“I became acquainted with Jim and Larry, also referred to as ‘the boys’ when they began coming to lunch at South Whidbey Senior Center. As the level of comfort and familiarity increased, the boys began to help volunteering. I think they first helped at a pancake breakfast. Then you couldn’t stop them. Always in tandem, Larry leads the way in helping however they can. Yes, they wash dishes but they have also served the patrons their dinner, dished up dessert, served coffee to table mates, encouraged new diners by showing them the sign-in sheet, as well as always cleaning up the area like pros. They always have a wonderful attitude. It’s easy to tease a bit and get Jim laughing. Just before Christmas, the best joke was when Larry was trying to get Jim to play Santa Claus. Jim just kept saying, ‘No, no, no’. So I joined in the attempt to convince him to agree to put on the costume. We came up with lots of reasons. He was laughing so hard he had to sit down for a while. So naturally we all laughed with him. I must say we miss their help if they are not able to make it in.”
— Emily MacCormick, volunteer
“When I met Jim and Larry, I saw that they loved to help where needed. They have a very positive attitude. They bring out the best in others. What a great team.”
— Les MacCormick, volunteer
“What Jim and Larry bring to our community is an unfiltered sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves. They are happiest when they are helping someone else. When I see Jim and Larry, I know that I will enjoy the visit. Jim and Larry have been great volunteers for Good Cheer in just about every capacity. They have worked in the food bank, helping sort and price in the back. They moved on to the stores and began testing electronics at Good Cheer Two for a long time. They are two of our best barbecue volunteers. Whenever we have a barbecue at the Good Cheer Two store, they step up to do all the cooking. Mainly what they bring to Good Cheer is a wonderful enthusiasm for helping others and including everyone along the way.”
— Shawn Nowlin, community outreach coordinator, Good Cheer
“When somebody gives and gives and gives like these two, you can’t help but be inspired and in awe. They are always willing to help out anywhere. They are forever in a good mood, and fun to be around too. Our community is better with these two living here.”
— LaVena DeClercq, Senior Center’s front desk and assistant cook
“Whenever I see these two they are both courteous and so friendly. They give a wave and a big smile to everyone they see.”
— Jean Matheny, Time Together and soup kitchen volunteer