IKEA Honored with 2016 OSA

Since 1991, the volunteer Renton River Days (RRD) Board of Directors has selected an individual, team or organization to receive the festival’s Outstanding Service Award.   This year, the Board selected community partner IKEA, for its nearly twenty years of financial and resource support, festival engagement, and in acknowledgement of the many ways IKEA has supported the greater Renton community.

Since 1999, IKEA’s dedication and impact to RRD has been far-reaching and comprehensive.   IKEA has been the largest financial contributor to RRD.  With their annual support, 35,000 to 40,000 people are able to enjoy Renton’s community family festival, which is non-gated with free admission and nearly all activities are free of charge for children.  Over the years, IKEA has helped to cross-promote RRD not only in their store, but also within e-newsletters and their Kids Club.   IKEA has hosted the festival’s Annual Appreciation Event in their restaurant, where free of charge, committee volunteers and festival sponsors were invited to an evening of appreciation and recognition.  Each year, IKEA donates numerous gift cards which augment the festival’s family of sanctioned events with prizes and awards.  And, for the last several years, IKEA has donated the displays and items from their on-site festival booth at Liberty Park (furniture, home decorations, and children’s toys) to the Creative Kid’s Preschool at the Community Center, Sunset Preschool at the North Highlands Neighborhood Center, and an elementary-age afterschool program at Teasdale Park, called “Club Teasdale.”

Above and ikeabugbeyond their multi-faceted support to RRD, IKEA has supported Communities In Schools of Renton (mentor and family liaison program in the Renton School District) with matching-gift funding, resource supplies such as hundreds of backpacks and desk sets, and has served as a school supply collection site.  Over the years, IKEA has also provided support to Renton Area Youth Services and Vision House.  IKEA provided major funding for the Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center, adjacent to Renton High School.  And, among other areas of support and involvement (too numerous to list them all), IKEA promotes environmental responsibility through their restaurant’s recycling of plastic, glass,  aluminum, and food-composting, plus the recycle center for customers, located in their main garage, to help keep used light bulbs, cardboard boxes, and Styrofoam out of our landfills.  The generosity and commitment of IKEA has enriched the lives of many people in the greater Renton community.
The festival’s Outstanding Service Award recognizes exemplary pride and dedication towards the continued success of Renton’s community festival, and gratefully acknowledges the commitment and efforts of a volunteer, team, organization, or community partner who help ensure the legacy of Renton’s festival traditions and community spirit.   Past recipients have primarily included well-deserving individuals, but also teams such as the City of Renton Parks and Recreation Departments, and employees of First Financial Northwest Bank who volunteer in large numbers to help organize, manage, and stage the parade.

Outstanding Service Award recipients include (1991-2016): Doug Kyes, Char Baker, Don Persson, Toni Nelson, Sylva Coppock, Pat Newberry, Joyce Williams, Sam Chastain, City of Renton Park Maintenance & Recreation Divisions, Sandy Chastain, Tim Searing, Jeff Lukins, Chuck Tiernan, Jerry Rerecich, Pat O’Dell, Mark Kotlan, Suzanne Thompson, First Financial Northwest Bank Parade Volunteers, Helenanne Botham, Kiwanis/Lions/Rotary Service Clubs, Norm and Carol Abrahamson, Rene Hart, Kent Phillips (STAR 101.5 FM), Bonnie Rerecich, Jerry Kavesh and IKEA.