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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Help us find the Difference Makers for 2019

Sponsored By:

Numerica Sponsorship

As has become tradition, The Spokesman-Review plans to end 2019 with a full slate of good news.

Difference Makers, the annual series, will return in December, thanks to generous support from Numerica Credit Union, with a fresh batch of stories about Spokane-area residents who have done extraordinary things to improve life in the Inland Northwest.

But first we need your help to identify 10 people from our region who have have shown courage and generosity toward their neighbors, who have stepped up to do the hard work needed to implement change, or who have quietly worked behind the scenes to bring cheer to residents of the Inland Northwest.

If you know of someone who went above and beyond in 2019, please consider filling out our online form at

Last year we wrote about:

    Sydney Lyman, a Mead High School student, who launched a new club at her school called Mead Serves, a student-run group that volunteers to help not only the homeless but also neglected pets, land conservationists and young families in crisis.

    Chris DeForest, conservation director of Inland Northwest Land Conservancy, who has helped preserve as open spaces roughly 17,000 acres of land across Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

    Mark Anderson and Rick Romero, who brought together their two organizations – Spokane Public Schools and the city of Spokane, respectively – to collaborate on a landmark effort: passing $572 million in school and library bonds.

    Sather Gowdy, a student in Gonzaga University’s School of Law who founded Heal Spokane. The grassroots nonprofit is dedicated to lending a helping hand wherever it can, whether it be by helping an elderly neighbor clean up her yard or collecting toys for needy kids.

    Megan Hulsey, manager of StartUp Spokane, Greater Spokane Incorporated’s entrepreneurship program. In 2018, she met with 315 clients to evaluate business ideas, assess needs and connect them with resources in the community to help launch companies.

    Karen Mobley, an artist, art teacher and arts advocate. The former director of the city’s arts department, her fingerprints are all over town through the public arts projects she spearheaded, from the underpass murals and sculptures in the city core to the large-scale installations that grace the Spokane Convention Center and the First Interstate Center for the Arts.

    Julie Farley, a well-known makeup artist in Spokane who founded Project Beauty Share to distribute makeup and hygiene items to low-income and homeless women.

    Lynn Everson, who for three decades helped prevent the spread of disease as coordinator of the Spokane Regional Health District’s needle exchange program. She also helped found Hope House, Spokane’s first women’s shelter, during a time when serial killer Robert Yates was preying on sex workers.

    Barb Wharton, a minister, chaplain, nurse and counselor. As a Red Cross volunteer, she’s helped flood victims in Republic, Washington, and those displaced by the eruption of Mt. Kilauea in Hawaii. In 2018, she earned praise for helping staff at Freeman High School process the events surrounding a shooting that killed one student and injured three others.

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