Describing Kathi LaTourrette as a bundle of energy and enthusiasm, infused with passion for this community seems like an understatement! Since moving here in 1977, she's found numerous ways to both take advantage of what the community has to offer and to ensure that others love Evergreen half as much as she does!
From leading story hour at the Evergreen Library to taking a calligraphy class at the Hiwan Homestead 30+ years ago, she's always been "involved." Trained as a teacher, schools have benefited from her volunteerism at every level as her two children passed through elementary, junior high, and high school. She was Marshdale's PTA president in 1985-86, introducing a school newspaper as well as the highly successful volunteer recruiting program called "Tickets for Time." She co-chaired the All Night Party for two years and was involved in a support role another two years. She has been a presenter at state PTA conventions multiple years.
For 5 1/2 years she penned a monthly column in Upbeat (a monthly publication in Evergreen during the 1990s) covering the good news from each of the area schools, always finding it an uplifting and affirming experience each time she walked into a school.
She joined Friends of the Evergreen Library as Children's Advocate. She would bring books to life using puppets and even taught the audience how to make puppets. Sharing her skills and knowledge have always brought her great pleasure.
"I loved all the programs at the library, especially the Christmas tradition of the Bird Tree Trimming party held in december by Evergreen Audubon." said Kathi in her typical exuberant style. "You brought an ornament for the birds ... peanut butter on a pinecone rolled in bird seed or grapefruit rind filled with suet. As a part of this, you sang the 12 days of Christmas with bird names inserted and toasted marshmallows. It was a favorite family tradition as well as taking the Girl Scouts to this. It was a non-commercial event and one of the most endearing Evergreen traditions -- one that I would love to see happen again so that my grandchildren could participate."
She's been a leader of Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts and has taught Sunday school for 32 years at the Christian Science Church. At different times she's been Sunday school superintendent, last year organizing the Sunday school re-model. Spiritual education of children is a priority in her life. She's ben a presenter at national and regional Sunday school workshops.
She was on the founding board of Drive Smart and worked to reduce the number of teen fatalities related to driving in the mountains.
With the Nature Center reopened for the season, you just might see her volunteering there, helping with school field trips, sharing her knowledge of birds, animals, and the ecosystems around the lake.
She's the kind of person who will fly to Paris for a 2-day visit using family privileges on United, get up at 3 am to prepare food for 100 people for a friend's memorial service, and make and decorate a 150-pound cake with 60 pounds of frosting to celebrate something special at a school -- possibly all in the same week!
To borrow some words written about her in 1994 by Ellen Stiner, "Her spark and sparkle have enlivened these events for adults and young people alike." Kathi echoes her father's philosophy that "there are two kinds of people ... those who are participants in life, and those who are spectators."
How fortunate Evergreen has been to have this woman as a participant!