Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Volunteer coordinator is unstoppable

To the editor:

Did you know the South Whidbey Island Visitor Information Center located at the corner of Highway 525 and Langley Road served over 3,000 visitors from 25 countries and 44 states last year? At the end of June this year there were already 3,125 visitors who were aided by volunteers!

Many more visit when the kiosk is not staffed but open to “self-serve” customers. On any given day there can be as many as 80 visitors who stop seeking information about Whidbey Island.

The visitor information center has been a combined project by the Greater Freeland and Langley Chambers of Commerce. With the donations of materials and time commitment from South Whidbey businesses and individuals too numerous to list, the visitor kiosk has been a very successful enterprise.

The directors of the Greater Freeland Chamber of Commerce wish to extend our heart-felt thanks to all who have participated and an extra special thank you to Katy Shaner, the volunteer coordinator.

Katy’s commitment to our community is unstoppable and we appreciate her enthusiasm and dedication to an integral part of our island economy. She is an invaluable part of our team and a remarkable individual with a “can do” attitude. Katy is in her second year of service in this important position. A large part of Katy’s job is recruiting, training and scheduling our very qualified and competent volunteer force.

A tireless advocate for Whidbey Island tourism and all that goes with living and working here, Katy has implemented many new and exciting programs including the familiarization tours.

These are excursions hosted by local businesses. Volunteers are invited on “field trips” to the locales recommended to tourists so they can learn firsthand what the business does and what they offer. This includes meeting the owners and employees and getting behind the scenes tours. This strategy has enhanced the knowledge of the volunteer staff and better enables them to give even more ideas to people looking for information about our island. Our volunteers are quite pleased to share their own experiences with visitors who ask about local activities, places to see and things to do.

Some recent familiarization trips have included visits to the Greenbank Farm, kayaking excursions, restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts and galleries. An upcoming tour to the Whidbey Island Naval Station is being planned.

Thanks to Katy Shaner’s remarkable gift of hospitality and management we are seeing an increase in requests to volunteer.

If you, or somebody you know has a couple of hours at a time available and would like to share in this great experience please contact Katy at ktshaner@whidbey.com or 206-356-0555; the Greater Freeland Area Chamber of Commerce at freeland@whidbey.com or 331-1980; or the Langley Chamber of Commerce at langley@whidbey.com or 221-6765.

Again, we salute you Katy! Thank you so much for your efforts.

Greater Freeland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

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