Helping hands

MARYSVILLE — Brenda Pannell climbed up a ladder onto the roof of the Marysville Boys & Girls Club.

The broker from Granite Falls wasn’t alone. Several volunteers from Keller Williams Realty Marysville eagerly agreed to help scrape chipped paint off the top of the building Thursday during a joint community service project with the Tulalip Tribes’ Adult Education and Services Division.

“This is the day we put our business aside,” said Pannell, 59.

People who work at the company nationwide donate their time every May on what is called RED Day, a volunteer service day in recognition of the birthday of Mo Anderson, vice chairman of the company. RED stands for “Renew, Energize and Donate.”

The idea was taken a step further in October when Keller Williams Realty and the Tulalip Tribes partnered to improve the grounds of the Tulalip homeless shelter. Organizers decided the event was the first of a two-phase project under the motto, “We give where we live,” and started looking for a service project in Marysville to complete this spring.

Bonnie Ramsey, unit director of the Marysville Boys & Girls Club, said she thought of work for a group of volunteers to do. She said the Marysville Boys & Girls Club building needed to be painted and outlying areas of the property could stand to be spruced up some.

Volunteers spent one day before the event pressure-washing the side of the building, said Mike Hansen of Keller Williams Realty. Local businesses donated topsoil, cement, work equipment and other supplies. About 50 volunteers were on site Thursday to continue washing and chipping paint off the building, to plant trees and shrubs, and to fence off an area next to the property often used by residents and the Marysville Little League.

“Everybody’s donated materials to bring this all together,” said Hansen, 48. “Getting people working together is just a real fun thing.”

Organizers met multiple times to make sure plans for the day came together, said RoseAnn Green, adult services manager for the Tulalip Tribes. A group plans to paint the building when the weather is better, she said.

The club is located in the former 10th Street School building at 1010 Beach Ave. It has been “a work in progress” since the doors opened in January 2010, said Paul Seely, director of community development for Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County. While grant money will help fund other improvements to the building and kitchen, the club didn’t have money set aside for painting and to improve the grounds, he said.

“This is like watching a TV show of a makeover except we’re the recipients of it,” Seely said.” I know they want to do it but I don’t think they understand truly what an impact it is for us.”

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said the Boys & Girls Club is an asset for the community and one that will hopefully continue to grow,

“It couldn’t be a better project for us from the standpoint of investing in the community,” he said. “The partnership between us and the Tulalip Tribes is a really valuable one and this is just another example of reaching across the freeway.”

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491;

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