2016 Ms. Wheelchair Washington

2016 Ms. Wheelchair Washington
Nicole Martini

Memorial Day-Ms Wheelchair Washington Honors America’s Veterans

Memorial Day is a federal holiday set aside for the United State of America to commemorate all the men and women who have died while in the military service. We are reminded to take a moment to remember the people who have served our country, and pay tribute because without them we would not have the freedom we have.

This past week Jannette Saxton, Ms. Wheelchair Washington spent the day with some veterans in the Northwest. Once a month the Board of Directors of the Northwest Chapter of the Veterans Association (NWPVA) meets at their headquarters in Burien, WA, and Jannette was invited to come and speak. The NWPVA hosted the Ms. Wheelchair Washington Pageant in February, but not all of the Board members could attend, so this was a great chance for Jannette to not only meet the Board of Directors, but thank them for serving our country!
Every day when Jannette gets up to go to work, she doesn’t just go to her desk and do paperwork or answer phones, she is providing services to soldiers at Fort Lewis, WA. As a Deployment Specialist, she meets men and women who serve our country and she assists the families with services they need before they are deployed far from America’s shores. So, she feels a very personal connection to anyone in the armed forces because every day she sees the honorable and brave soldiers during her workday.

As the State Coordinator I was able to spend the day with Jannette and also got to meet many of the incredible members the NWPVA. As I sat there and listened to Jannette speak to the chapter members, I could tell just how much she is grateful for the role she has as a Deployment Specialist. Although, Jannette utilizes a wheelchair, and is not officially in the armed forces, she is doing her part to serve her country. As Ms. Wheelchair Washington, she takes great pride in her role as the titleholder, but to be able to give back by thanking the chapter members of the NWPVA, it meant so much to her.

After the Board of Directors meeting, we were both invited to the monthly “Pizza Party” that is hosted by the Board Members at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Seattle, WA. Going to the NWPVA Board meeting was just the first part of the day, but to also be invited the VA hospital made the day complete! I offered to volunteer to serve the pizza to people that attended the gathering so that Jannette could visit with the Veterans, plus I didn’t want her getting pizza sauce on her sash. Jannette and I were only there for a few hours, but we were both just so honored to have been in the presence of men and women that have served our country, and visit with some others who have sustained traumatic injuries. When the day came to a close, and I drove Jannette home, we reflected upon our day and how special it was. So, on this Memorial Day, Jannette, Ms Wheelchair Washington and I will remember the day we spent with the Veterans of the Northwest, and think of them and many others, especially those who are no longer with us!
Thank you !!
Tammy Wilber & Jannette Saxton, Ms Wheelchair Washington 2008

Ms. Wheelchair Washington's Article- West Seattle Herald

Here is the ink to West Seattle Herald Magazine article: http://www.westseattleherald.com/2009/05/16/features/miss-wheelchair-washingtons-gather

Ms. Wheelchair Washington’s May Birthday Celebration Held on May 16th

It has been a strange coincidence that all 4 Ms. Wheelchair Washington’s from 2006 to 2009, all have May birthdays. This also includes Elaine Stefanowicz, who was Ms. Wheelchair Washington in 1996, who then went on to become Ms. Wheelchair America in 1997. If anyone is interested in applying to be a contestant in the 2010 Ms. Wheelchair Washington Pageant, and you were not born in May, don’t let this scare you off- anyone can apply, as I said before just a coincidence
We had a great day on Saturday May 16th! We started the day off with a reporter from the West Seattle Herald, come and interview us all (link to article to below), then we had, Vivian Bell a wonderful Mary Kay Consultant come and give up facials and beauty tips!!

The weather was great, we were all dressed to our best, and it was the one day that I told all the former Ms. Wheelchair Washington’s to break out their sashes and crown’s and for one day only- we were all just Ms. Wheelchair Washington’s celebrating our birthdays, our accomplishments and our lives. We were blessed with amazing weather, and it was a hectic afternoon, but so nice to have all Ms. Wheelchair Washington’s get together to share our stories of going to the National Competition, and give advice to Jannette, Ms. Wheelchair Washington 2009. After we had our afternoon of beauty, our local news station, King 5 showed up and took footage of us blowing out the candles on our birthday cake, and it aired that night!! We were so excited that the media came out to help cover our celebration, and help promote the Ms. Wheelchair Washington Program. (I don’t have an online video link to the news report)
I would like to thank my mom Sharry for all her help to make our celebration possible! She catered the get together, helped all of us girls with hair, make-up and primping to put on our sashes and crowns to be ready when the media arrived! Thank you mom!!

Ms. Wheelchair Washington May Birthdays:
Elaine Stefanowicz (1996) – May 5th
Tammy Wilber (2006)- May 7th
Sigrid Laegreid (2007)- May 8th
Meg Paulsen (2008) – May 1st
Jannette Saxton (2009) – May 21st

May 6 - Jannette attends Donor Appreciation Event for TACID (Tacoma Area Coalition for Individual with Disabilities)

Last year the non-profit TACID invited last year's Ms. Wheelchair Washington to an event, but she was unable to make it, so Sigrid Laegreid, Ms. Wheelchair WA 2007, took her place to help out a wonderful organization in Tacoma, WA. This year they have asked Jannette, our 2009 Ms. Wheelchair Washington to be involved with their organization at events trhoughout the year.

Jannette, will be attending the TACID donor appreciation evening, themed "Woven Lives"- Here is more information about the event: http://www.tacid.org/WovenLives.php

Here is some history on TACID:

TACID was formed in 1980 of four disability organizations representing the Deaf, blind, multiple sclerosis and physical disabilities. Two of these organizations are still active and involved. TACID incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non profit corporation by the end of 1980. The TACID Center was built under Referendum 37. Through this initiative the voters of Washington approved $25 million in general state obligation bonds for facilities to train, rehabilitate and care for handicapped persons. In TACID's case the Referendum agreement enabled a new, fully accessible community center to be built at a cost of $1 million on the grounds of Tacoma Community College, South 19th Street, Tacoma. This fully accessible facility opened in 1984. Over the years since then the range of support groups, disability programs and other activities has grown.

TACID Today:
2009 is TACID's 29th year and the Center is 25 years old!

Over 50 disability support groups and 3,000 individuals met at the TACID Center during 2005 and we served over 4,000 different people through the center and other programs. There are 20 members of staff (full and part-time), an active board and over 151 regular volunteers.