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Three Islanders vie to be crowned Vashon’s next unofficial mayor

Three Islanders have announced that they are running for the role of Vashon’s unofficial mayor. According to the rules of the mayoral race, each will collect monetary votes for a nonprofit of his or her choice, and the person with the most votes — the most money — will win the title of mayor.

Votes cast for Jake Jacobovitch, a former president of the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council and a former school board member, will support co-curricular activities at Vashon public schools.

Islander Thea Jones, a 30-year resident of Vashon, is running for mayor to support Guide Dogs for the Blind.

And Bridget Lehet, former co-owner of Fireside Hearth Shoppe in Burton, hopes to support two efforts — the Island’s Afterschool Adventures program and the Vashon Island Parkinson’s Support Group.

Jacobovitch explained the importance of his cause in a statement.

“These programs are ex-

tremely important to our de-veloping youth in our schools as attested to by the fact that more than two-thirds of our students choose to participate,” he said. “Many of our students find that the place they truly learn the lesson of teamwork, discipline, communication, conflict resolution, physical fitness, sportsmanship, honor, commitment, focus, mentorship, self worth, right mind or compassion is in the co-curricular activity that sparks their inner fire.”

Jones recently suffered a fall that took her left eye and has greatly weakened the vision in her right eye. She may someday be a candidate for a Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy and is hoping to raise awareness of the nonprofit on Vashon through her campaign. The organization provides well-trained guide dogs to blind people free of charge.

“I thought I would help them out,” Jones said. “I would like to see more puppies and more puppy trainers available, especially here on Vashon.”

Lehet wrote in a statement that her experience as a daughter of a victim of Parkinson’s has driven her to take part in the newly formed support group on the Island. Coordinator for the group, she said she wants to raise awareness for and support of local Parkinson’s sufferers.

She also said she hopes to support Afterschool Adventures, an enrichment program for young people on the Island that is seeking its nonprofit status.

“I would consider it an honor to serve the people of our beautiful Island and support our nonprofit organizations that benefit so many,” she wrote in her statement.

Lee Ockinga, executive director of the Vashon-Maury Island Chamber of Commerce — which administers the mayoral race — said she’s looking forward to the race. Islanders can expect to see donation cans popping up around town for each of the three candidates soon, she said.

“What an interesting group of nonprofits they’re supporting — everything from Parkinson’s to cocurricular to guide dog puppies to Afterschool Adventures,” Ockinga said. “This is going to be cool.”

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