Volunteer Spotlight: Bill Thorness connects neighbors

Volunteer Spotlight: Bill Thorness connects neighbors
By mattc

PNA Board Member Bill Thorness staffs the King County Seed Lending Library table at the Phinney Farmers Market on June 3, 2022. Photo: Rand Peterson 

By LeAnne Chow, PNA Volunteer Program Manager

Bill Thorness makes connections. He’s a Master Gardener who organizes Seed Swaps at the Phinney Center and helps on the grounds of the Ronald McDonald House. He’s a writer who helps coordinate the annual Holiday Bookfest to support local authors, an independent bookseller, and a youth writing center.

He’s a bicyclist who helped make it easier for northwest Seattle homeowners to convert their homes to use solar panels. And he’s a PNA Board member who is willing to be part of the team by helping to prepare meals, staff info tables, clean up events, and he sometimes even wears a cape.

Bill Thorness first heard about the PNA in 1992 when considering a move to a fixer upper in the neighborhood. He heard then-Tool Librarian Roger Faris on the radio and followed up to get some recommendations for his renovation project.

Bill Thorness wears a cape with other guests at the PNA Back in Action Spring Fundraiser on Sat, April 30.Bill happily dons a cape for the superhero-themed spring fundraiser event Back in Action! on Sat, April 30, 2022. Photo: Rand Peterson

Bill continued crossing paths with the PNA over the years—participating in one of the PNA’s first Home Tour events; organizing events on the PNA Campus (for the King County Seed Library, Solarize NW, and Seattle 7 Writers); staffing the King County Seed Lending Library table at the Phinney Farmers Market.

After years of being invited to share his experience and deepen his commitment to the neighborhood by joining the PNA board, Bill joined the group of passionate volunteers! Together, they support financial oversight and leadership to help the PNA achieve its mission of building community.

“Serving on the PNA Board is rewarding because you get a deep dive into the wide variety of things the PNA does for the community,” says Bill. “In addition to welcoming partnerships with other organizations, the PNA delivers such an array of activities to support us all.”

Bill Thorness behind the info counter during the PNA Winter Festival & Crafts Fair on Dec. 4 & 5, 2021.Bill volunteers in the event info booth during the PNA Winter Festival & Crafts Fair on Dec. 4 and 5, 2021. Photo: Rand Peterson

Bill also chairs the Champions Committee and is one of the PNA’s most stalwart advocates. Executive Director Christi Beckley is quick to chime in, “Bill shows up—he’s the first to sign up and encourages others to do so. He’s able to see the big picture, and willing to ask hard questions, but is always positive and people focused. He’s a great example of the PNA mission to connect neighbors and be a welcoming and caring community.”

Bill encourages anyone thinking about joining the PNA Board to give it a try by volunteering on one of our PNA Board Committees. “You’re gonna meet some great people and have a lot of fun.” Thank you, Bill, for being a connector, our neighbor, and a cape-wearing friend!