SMOKEY POINT — "They twisted my arm," George Boulton said laughingly of the number of fellow Kiwanians who encouraged him to accept the position of lieutenant governor of the Pacific Northwest District 21 of the Kiwanis Clubs. "I guess I'm finally old enough."
Boulton's lifetime of service was noted on Wednesday, Oct. 3, when Greg Holland, governor of the Pacific Northwest Kiwanis Clubs, installed Boulton in his new role in District 21, which includes clubs in Arlington, Marysville, Everett, Lake Stevens, Stanwood, Mukilteo and Silver Lake.
Although George has ceded ownership of Flowers by George in downtown Arlington to David Boulton, one of his two sons, George and his wife Analee still work in the shop, while George also remains active in community organizations such as the Arlington Dollars For Scholars Foundation and the Arlington United Church.
George Boulton even used his post-installation speech at the Kiwanis banquet on Oct. 3, at the Medallion Hotel in Smokey Point, to promote the Kiwanis Children's Cancer Program.
"We need another meeting like this for that cause," Boulton said at the well-attended dinner. "We've all been touched by cancer, whether directly or through someone we love."
Boulton's praise for his fellow Kiwanians' energy and willingness to "dig in the dirt" — sometimes literally, as with the hundreds of trees throughout the area that he credited them with planting over the years — was echoed by Jim Rankin, the former fire chief of Arlington who was installed as president of the Kiwanis Club of Arlington that same night.
"Al [Forar] did a good job of setting the pace," Rankin said of his predecessor, who was also honored by Boulton. "We've got a lot of energy carrying over into the next year, but this is a no-guilt club. Not everyone can do everything. I'd invite every member to do some projects, but you don't have to do every project. This is not my club. It's our club. It's your club. I'm just here to stir the bucket."
The Arlington Kiwanis Club officer installations on Oct. 3 also included Julie Good and Bob Nelson as directors, Katie Ellis as secretary, Jim Chase as treasurer and Crystal Knight as president elect. Jim Lambright, the former Washington Huskies football coach who noted that he lives "just up Fire Trail Road," served as the evening's guest speaker, praising Kiwanis while crediting his own family's struggles with illnesses as underscoring the importance of perseverance and of focusing on what matters in life.
"Whether it's the Rotarians with their polio campaign or us with our own projects, all service groups have the same goal of doing good," Holland told his fellow Kiwanians. "Let's have fun with it. If it's not fun, it's going to be difficult to get people to join us. If we work hard and have fun, the problems of the world will solve themselves."