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Ruth and Harry Yost honored at fundraising breakfast
ARLINGTON Ruth and Harry Yost donned big smiles at the Stillaguamish Senior Center fundraising breakfast Sept. 19 when a crowd of 200 supporters enjoyed breakfast in their honor. The Yosts are the third and fourth recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award after Howard Christianson and Don Meier.
A slide show of the Yosts lifetime of service to the community showed the two together as students at Arlington High School, of Harry Yost in the military, of their two sons and daughter growing up and getting married, and their many years of projects and service to the community.
The guest speaker for the early morning affair was Larry ODonnell, one of several authors of a comprehensive history of the county, Snohomish County: An Illustrated History. He pointed out some of his entries in the book about Arlington, including the Arlington Eagles state championship in 1924 and the Jim Creek Dam, which at the time claimed fame as the highest dam in the world.
Its volunteers like you who make Snohomish County one of the special counties in the state, ODonnell concluded his speech.
The senior centers executive director, Jo Olson, made a very brief and heartfelt contribution to the program.
I thank you all for your support, Olson said. Following the event, Olson said they had 25 full tables with 200 people in attendance and had collected $18,000 so far.
I am just so pleased with the turnout and they were all so generous, Olson said, adding that the Rotary Club of Arlington was been very helpful by helping fill the place as table sponsors and her staff of 14 served all 200 attendees and she had a crew of volunteers who did the cooking.
It was really truly a community effort, Olson said, adding that the cooks were Pat Kraetz, Pat Seiber, and Shar Weston, with special help from the Eagle Crest Restaurant who rallied at the last minute to prepare quiche for 200, after their employed cook was ill.
The Rotary Club also helped set up the tables, Olson said.
The proceeds will go into programs and services to maintain current services as well as building new programs, Olson said.
It all goes back to the seniors themselves, Olson said.
You can tell by the turnout that the Yosts are really special people, Olson said.
Olson was program administrator at the senior center in the early 1980s, and she came back in 2000 as executive director, surprised to see the David Duskin was still on the board of directors. Now he is president of the board, which made the choice of honorees for this year.
There was never a question that to recognize one was to recognize them both, Duskin said about Ruth and Harry. Because for the 62 years of their marriage they have been working as a team. Duskin is the brother of Harry and Ruth Yosts son-in-law, Dale Duskin, who emcees the annual fundraising breakfast.
Ruth and Harry Yost first met attending school in Arlington. Ruth was born Ruth Wangsmo to Paul and Anna Wangsmo in the family home on Cemetery Road. Harry was born to Joseph and Carolina Yost on Jordon Road. Both graduated from Arlington High School Harry in 1941 and Ruth in 1942.
In high school Ruth was a cheerleader and ASB treasurer while Harry played football and was ASB business manager. Harry enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the South Pacific and then was posted to the Naval Air Station in Arlington. They married in 1945 and produced three children, Marvin, Carol and Merlin who provided numerous grandchildren.
Through the years, Harry and Ruth volunteered their time coaching youth sports, leading Scout and Camp Fire groups, and they both served in various rolls in P.T.A. Whenever a civic activity needed volunteers, Ruth and Harry have always been there to help. Harry offered his carpentry skills to build floats for several organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Boy Scouts, Frontier Days or the American Legion. Harry served as Santa for the Arlington Chamber of Commerce for five years with Ruth standing in as Mrs. Claus. When a mobile Santa House was proposed, Harry built it.
When volunteers were needed to organize celebrations for our states centennial in 1989 Ruth was there to help and again for Arlingtons centennial in 2003.
After retiring, the Yosts became active with the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Association. During Harrys term as president, plans were drawn for the new building and he resigned as president in order to spend his time helping with construction. At that time Ruth was busy helping catalog the many artifacts to go into the museum.
Harry and Ruth have also taken leadership roles at Our Saviors Lutheran Church.
The Yosts good works have not gone unnoticed in their community of Arlington. They were chosen to be the grand marshals of the Frontier Days Parade in 1983. In 1988 the Rotary Club recognized Harry and Ruth with a community service award. The Chamber of Commerce bestowed the honor of Citizens of the Year to Ruth and Harry in 1996. Mayor Bob Kraski and the City Council recognized the Yosts as One of a Kind Citizens in 2001 and the Rotary Club of Arlington again recognized Harry in 2006 by making him a Paul Harris Fellow.