Renton recognizes this year's top volunteers

Renton recognizes this year's top volunteersShe makes Renton's neighborhoods stronger, he helps preserve Renton's history – and likes to cook.

Norma and Kevin McQuiller were honored at a banquet Thursday night as Renton's 2012 Citizens of the Year.

She's an advocate for Renton (maybe its biggest), women and everyone's health care and he's an advocate for the homeless and others who need a home.

Bernadene "Bernie" Dochnahl and Bob Bliesner were honored Thursday as the 2012 Outstanding Citizens at the salmon dinner at the Renton Senior Center.

All four have much longer resumes of community volunteerism.

They were chosen for the honors by the event sponsors, the City of Renton, Renton Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Renton, for helping "nurture the soul and sense of community in Renton through their selfless acts of generosity and volunteerism."

The McQuillers both work for the City of Renton; she's the coordinator of the city's award-winner Neighborhood Program and he's a water utility technician.

They've been involved in Renton Rotary, King County Sexual Assault Resource Center and Habitat for Humanity. Both have been mentors with Communities in Schools of Renton.

Norma McQuiller in 2006 received the President's Volunteer Service Award from President George W. Bush.

In addressing the banquet crowd, the McQuillers said they are "behind-the-scenes" people.

Both see a strong caring community in Renton. "This room is filled with volunteers," said Norma McQuiller.

In serving others, Norma said, "I get back so much more than I ever give."

The McQuillers often work as a team in their volunteer efforts.

"We make a great team," said Kevin McQuiller. He drew applause when he said, smiling, "Behind every great woman is … ."

He told the crowd he's had many great role models in his life, including his 98-year-old mother, who attended the banquet.

"This community is awesome," he said.

Bernie Dochnahl was introduced by Rich Roodman, CEO of Valley Medical Center. They've worked closely for years on health-care and hospital issues in Renton and across the state. Dochnahl serves as a trustee on the Harborview Medical Center Board and on the UW Medicine/Valley Medical Center board.

"She is clearly one of Renton's biggest advocates," Roodman said of Dochnahl.

She said of volunteering: "It's the right thing to do."

Bob Bliesner retired from the Boeing Co. in 1994. Statewide, he's been active in restoring hundreds of miles of trails. He's served as vice president and on the board of Habitat for Humanity.

And he was a founder of the Area of Renton Interfaith Shelter Endeavor – ARISE – a shelter for homeless men. "Our goal is to go out of business," he said.

Photo caption: Left to right: Jay Covington, City of Renton's Chief Administrative Officer, Rich Roodman, Valley Medical Center CEO, and Bernie Dochnahl.