Well, you, our readers, did it again! We set a goal of $15,000 for the 2018 Lynden Tribune Readers Care Fund and you met the challenge!

In spite of the many hurdles facing us — locally with a difficult agricultural economy and nationally with bitter partisan politics leading to a prolonged government shutdown — you did not forget the importance of helping those most in need in Whatcom County.

This past year marked the 13th anniversary of our Readers Care Fund campaign, and together we have raised over $160,000! This year we added a couple of new recipient organizations to go along with Project Hope Food Bank and the Lynden Community Center. 

My good friend Monte Maberry’s life experiences and passion for helping others led to the formation of Beacon for Life. This local nonprofit provides emotional and financial support for those people and families struggling with addiction and mental health issues. Beacon openly admits the need is overwhelming and if they can help just one person it is a success.

Backpack Buddies and Open Hands have stepped up to fill an important nutritional role in helping many county school children stay fed instead of going home to hunger on weekends. They now serve over 450 children and the demand continues to grow!

The Lynden Tribune is privileged to have the forum and the opportunity to help facilitate the Readers Care Fund effort each winter. And we would be remiss not to extend a special thank-you to the Mt. Baker Rotary Club and the Mt. Baker Rotary Foundation for a wonderful partnership.

As our Readers Care Fund campaign concludes, we offer our sincerest congratulations to our 37th annual Sol H. Lewis Community Service Award winners from the Lynden Youth Sports organization!

We proudly recognize Rich Waldemar, Jerry Kok and Becki Berendsen for their leadership, as well as the entire LYS board of directors for their passion and commitment to carrying on the program started over 40 years ago by the late Hub DeJong.

The effort to oversee and organize nearly 1,500 kids per year coming through the sports program is just short of amazing! Such success in providing a range of sporting activities for kids of all skill levels at an affordable cost is more than deserving of recognition.

LYS captures the true essence of what makes a community special! Dedicated, hard-working, caring individuals just looking to give back to the community they call home.

Congratulations to the entire Lynden Youth Sports family and thank-you to our community of Lynden Tribune readers! Happy New Year.— Michael and Mary Jo Lewis