John “Jack” Chappell was the kind of civic-minded person that local communities lean on for leadership and to help make them good places to live, which made the timing of his recent passing ironic.
Chappell died May 22, just a few days after the filing period for candidates for local offices in this fall’s election. The offices include school boards and fire district commissioner. There can never be too many people willing to give the time and energy to those positions that make crucial decisions for their constituencies, and fortunately, Chappell was one of those folks.
He was an Eatonville School Board member. He also was a commissioner for Fire District 23, the Ashford-area agency he helped form and served as fire chief.
In the obituary for Chappell that was published in The Dispatch, his family enumerated several other ways he strengthened communities where he lived most of his life, including Ashford, Elbe and Eatonville. Among other things, he was one of the workers who helped build Alder Dam, which led to electricity sources for thousands and put Alder Lake and its adjoining recreation areas on the map for popular places for outdoor fun. He also served his country overseas in the Army during World War II. And back home, he was a member of the Mount Rainier and Mineral clubs of Lions, which is pretty much as good a community service organization as they come.
I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Mr. Chappell, but lots of other people did. And even more can understand why his type is to be treasured.
• A popular feature of The Dispatch is News Next Door, the weekly compilation of aptly capsulated news items about fund-raisers, community outings, club meetings and just about anything else you can think of – as long as it’s a non-profit activity or event. That’s our rule. Otherwise, money-making ventures might get what amounts to free advertising by promoting one activity or another as news, when it really is their attempt to make a buck (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
For that reason, it’s a little tricky managing the content of News Next Door. Sometimes we hear from a commercial entity that is doing something good for a non-profit organization, which is nice. But if we blur the line and make that an NND item, we’d have to blur it for everybody or else look like we’re playing favorites.
But often in those cases, recognition and publicity is still due. For instance, the ConAgra company of food products, in conjunction with the national Feeding America program, is sponsoring Child Hunger Ends Here. Through Aug. 31, social services with food banks such as Eatonville Family Agency can benefit from the program with the following cooperation of consumers: Look for participating ConAgra Food brands (Banquet, Healthy Choice, Peter Pan, Orville Redenbacher, Marie Calendar’s, Chef Boyardee, Hunt’s, Snack Pack, Manwich, Wolf Brand Chili, Rosarita, Van Camp’s, Kid Cuisine, Blue Bonnet, Reddi Wip, Crunch ‘n Munch, Egg Beaters, PAM, Ultragrain), then locate the red push pin symbol and eight-digit code on the label. Write down the codes and give them to the Family Agency, or enter them at www.childhungerendshere.com. The more codes that are entered from the Eatonville area, the more help the program will give Family Agency’s food bank in the local fight against hunger.