Tireless volunteer Jeff Wise is Lake Stevens’ go-to guy

LAKE STEVENS — If there’s a community event in Lake Stevens, Jeff Wise probably will be there.

The 54-year-old Lake Stevens Lions Club board member grew up in Edmonds and Snohomish. He lived in Lake Stevens for 30 years before a new marriage brought him to Arlington.

He ran a printing company in Snohomish before retiring about six years ago.

These days, he volunteers with the Lions Club, Catholic Community Services and the American Cancer Society.

In some of those roles, he drives people to medical appointments who no longer can drive themselves.

Around town in Lake Stevens, it’s common to see Wise in doctors’ waiting rooms, City Administrator Jan Berg said.

Wise also helps with Aquafest, Relay For Life, the Health and Safety Fair, National Night Out and the Santa Float.

“I think he’s one of those community individuals that just does a lot, not for the glory, but just gets it done,” Berg said.

One of Wise’s big tasks for the Lions Club is running the “Weenie Wagon,” the club’s mobile hotdog concession stand, said President Steve Strong. Wise hauls the stand to events and works inside.

Wise was Lion of the Year for the 2011-2012 club season, Strong said.

“He really steps up to the plate,” Strong said. “If he can do it, he’s going to do it. He’s just a good guy to have.”

Wise often chips in manual labor, said Tonya Christoffersen, another board member.

“He is there to give back. He is an active member, and he is always willing to help another person,” she said.

“He’s just one of those guys that you know you can count on. He is a reliable, faithful member and he’s also a friend.”

Wise drives for Catholic Community Services almost every day, in addition to trips with the American Cancer Society, he said.

The trips take him as far as Darrington, Mount Vernon and Renton.

He mostly drives older folks who still live at home.

“After I retired, I figured I needed something to do,” he said. “I figured I know how to drive, so I can probably do that.”

Wise likes getting to know each person — veterans, retired nurses, former pilots and the occasional centenarian.

He likes learning about the 20th century through their experiences, he said. They’re often delighted to have someone to talk to.

“Sometimes they can tell some tremendous stories,” he said.

Wise hopes people will continue to volunteer to keep organizations such as Catholic Community Services strong.

“If those organizations weren’t around, a lot of people would find it very difficult to get the care that they need,” he said.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449, rking@heraldnet.com.

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