Lakewood Historians Receive 2012 Heritage League Awards

By Phil Raschke

The Heritage League of Pierce County recently presented their Third Annual Recognition Awards at the Washington State History Museum. Karen Hass, President and Master of Ceremonies made the awards following recommendations from the League’s awards committee.

Left to right: Phil Raschke, Becky Huber, Steve Dunkelberger

Left to right: Phil Raschke, Becky Huber, Steve Dunkelberger

The Lakewood Historical Society received the Heritage League 2012 Institutional Achievement Award for their acclaimed “The Future Remembered” program which highlighted the 50th Anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair and related events in the Lakewood area. The program included a special 12 page edition of the Society’s “Prairie Gazette” newsletter. Becky Huber, President of the Lakewood Historical Society accepted the award.

Lakewood resident Phil Raschke received the League’s “Community Connections” award for his “Historical Phil” radio series which airs daily at 9:30 a.m. on KLAY Radio, 1180 AM. The “Historical Phil” show provides Pierce County listeners with a daily historical look at interesting people and events in the Pierce County area. Cited programs included “Tacoma’s Old Women’s Gulch”, “The Cushman Indian School and Hospital”, “Spanaway, How a Unique City Got Its Unique Name” and “Early Steilacoom Pioneer Laura Belle Downey Bartlett”. Raschke is one of the original members of the Lakewood Arts Commission and a Board member of the Lakewood Playhouse.

Local journalist and historian Steve Dunkelberger received the League’s “Heritage Advocate Award” for his books, numerous feature writings, lectures and his untiring efforts to preserve the local history of the area. Dunkelberger was one of the original founders of the Lakewood Historical Society and a former Board member of the Historic Fort Steilacoom Association. He is currently the Chair of Lakewood’s Landmarks and Heritage Advisory Board. Dunkelberger along with Walter Neary co-authored the “Images of America” book on the history of Lakewood. The book is currently on sale at the Lakewood History Museum.

The Heritage League of Pierce County helps gives voice and exposure to over 44 historical organizations located within Pierce County. Guest speaker for the event was Bennish Brown, President and CEO of the Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau.