Sue Contreras, the guiding force behind the recent restoration of Kirkland’s historic 1935 ferry clock -- and so many other important causes in the city -- was honored Monday night as the winner of the 3rd Annual Mayor’s CACHET Award.
The winner of the CACHET Award for an organization went to Studio East Training Center for the Performing Arts. Studio East and Contreras were selected from 10 nominees.
The award honors an individual and/or an organization for contributions to Kirkland’s arts, culture and/or heritage.
“It was so fun,” Contreras said Tuesday. “It’s kind of embarrassing. I don’t like the attention much. I do realize it’s important to thank people for the things they do. So I guess I have to be gracious about it.”
Said Kirkland historian Matt McCauley, one of those who nominated Contreras: “Sue does more for the Kirkland community than anyone I know and she really deserved this.”
Studio East posted the following on its Facebook Page Tuesday morning:
“We are SO excited and SO thrilled. Many staff and board members were present. Lani accepted the award and also thanked everyone who supports Studio East. THANK YOU to all who nominated us!”
Over the years Contreras has volunteered for countless civic efforts and causes in Kirkland. For more than a year she pushed for and led the effort to restore the city's historic ferry clock, which was re-installed in February at its original location on Kirkland Avenue near the marina. Last year she helped found the successful event SummerFest.
She spent 10 years on the board of the Kirkland Performance Center, and is on the Kirkland Park Board. She volunteered with the Eastside Literacy Council (now Hopelink Adult Education) and works with the Green Kirkland program at Juanita Bay Park. She helps run at least one charitable auction a year.
See this earlier Patch story about her tireless efforts to enrich Kirkland.
The non-profit Studio East in 2012 celebrated 20 years of working with youth in the performing arts. It is housed in a modern space on 118th Ave NE in the Totem Lake area and offers classes for a wide range of ages, home school programs, outreach programs with many local schools, teen intensive programs, mommy and me classes and more. Over the years, it has touched and introduced the performing arts to hundreds of local kids and their families.
The other nominees were:
- Loita Hawkinson, president of the Kirkland Heritage Society.
- The Heritage Society itself.
- Kathy Feek, former member of the Kirkland Arts Commission and long active in the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce, among other things.
- Deloss Webber, a Kirkland artist.
- Kirkland Performance Center.
- Kirkland Women’s Club.
- Kirkland Choral Society.
- Eastside Science Cafe