Twelve-year-old Addie Tom was gravely ill.
She needed regular kidney dialysis, which would have been hard enough, but she lived in Stevensville, Mont., (pop. 1,553) and her treatments were in Seattle. The travel costs would have been immense.
Enter Edmonds’ Dale Terwedo, and his compatriots in Angel Flights West, a group of small-plane pilots who shuttle needy patients to hospitals around the West Coast.
Named Edmonds’ Citizen of the Year for 2008 in part because of his work with AFW, Terwedo was part of a team that flew a series of flights in 2003 and 2004, which allowed the Toms family to stay put.
“With all of her medical care, we would have had to move,” mother Gayle Toms told an AFW publication. “The pilots never made us feel guilty. They were just there for us.”
Terwedo continues his work with AFW. In 2007, he made 17 flights for the organization. Now a wing leader, he made six flights in just one week last month, he told the Enterprise.
One of those flights moved a 16-year-old basketball star from her home in Pasco to Seattle, where she made a bone marrow transplant for her younger brother, and back to Eastern Washington in time for a game.
“It’s a great organization,” he said.
And Terwedo is a great citizen, according to officials with the Sno-King Kiwanis Club of Edmonds and the Edmonds Senior Kiwanis. Terwedo is the owner of Terwedo Financial Associates in downtown Edmonds.
The 2008 award was the 15th annual Edmonds Citizen of the Year Award. Terwedo was one of four finalists, and one of 16 individuals nominated.
In addition to his work with AFW, he was honored for his work with Children’s Hospital Legacy advisory board, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, officials said.
Terwedo was a worthy winner picked from a competitive crowd, said Chuck Kaltenback, with the Sno-King Kiwanis Club of Edmonds. The other finalists were Bill Brayer, Rick Steves and Jim Wassall.
Brayer founded the Multiple Scelorsis Helping Hands organization, Wassall works extensively with the AARP’s local tax-aid services and Steves is the well-known travel expert. He also helps provide sanctuary for abused women and children.
Knowing the competitiveness of the field and the works of past winners made Terwedo especially glad to win.
“It was a big honor,” he said. “The philanthropy (of past winners) has been amazing.”
While receiving his award from last year’s winner, Port of Edmonds director Chris Keuss, Terwedo made fun of his work with AFW as a “way for my wife to get me out of the house.”
He thanked his family, and his employees.
Friends who attended the ceremony said Terwedo was deserving.
Ron Linnane, a friend and a client of Terwedo’s, said Terwedo’s big heart shines through.
“He doesn’t just stay a financial adviser,” Linnane said. “He becomes like family.”
Reporter Chris Fyall: 425-673-6525 or firstname.lastname@example.org