Submitted by Ellie Wilson.
What an exciting moment this was!! Witnessing the first wall raising in this project of building twelve new Townhomes in Tillicum!! And surprisingly, enough donations came in to dedicate the first two homes in honor of Dr. Claudia Thomas! This memorable event was attended by Friends of Claudia Thomas as well as Humanity staff and many volunteer workers from Tacoma Public Utilities.
Dr. Claudia Thomas was a devoted Army wife, a mother, grandmother, educator, activist and civic leader. When she retired as Assistant Superintendent for the Bremerton School District, she devoted her efforts, along with General Bill Harrison, to laying a strong foundation with the first Lakewood City Council. Claudia was committed to her civil duties and was passionate about our children, youth and their families. She insisted that 1% of our city budget be dedicated to social services and those less fortunate in our community.
Dr. Claudia Thomas initiated Lakewood’s Human Service Community Collaboration, Lakewood’s Youth Council, the first Youth Summit and brought General Colin Powell’s national youth movement “Five Promises” to Lakewood and was a staunch supporter of Communities In Schools. She was a model of service and hope for our youth.
Dr. Claudia Thomas was also known for bringing diverse groups of people together… and here we were, together on this very worthwhile project of affordable homes for our community. It is fitting that we should honor Claudia Thomas and her legacy in this way. Again, thank you to those who have generously donated and those who have already given of their time and talents in making this project a reality.