A South Hill Rotary member since 2000 and current assistant governor for Area 12, Curtis Thiel knows all about how much good works individual service clubs in Puyallup do on their own.
But he’s convinced that when united, all the service clubs in town — Rotary, the Lions, Kiwanis, the Masonic Lodge and Altrusa — can do a lot more. That’s why Thiel founded Service Clubs of Puyallup last year, which brings together all the service clubs for various events and fundraisers.
One of the organization’s first combined event is set for 7:15 a.m. May 3 at the Pioneer Park Pavilion, where Brig. Gen. Jack Haley, commander of the 593rd Sustainment Command at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, will speak.
The command oversees about 4,400 soldiers in the 42nd Military Police Brigade, the 62nd Medical Brigade and what was the 593rd Sustainment Brigade. They’re units that generally train to support combat units on the battlefield or to deliver assistance in other kinds of emergencies.
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“You really don’t see the (JBLM leadership) come out and speak in Puyallup,” Thiel said. “It’s good for the community to hear (the message).”
Haley has been at JBLM since June 2015, previously serving as the Army’s chief of ordinance at Fort Lee, Virginia. His major awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Airborne Badge, the Combat Action Badge and the Vice Presidential Service Badge.
“He’s got a very interesting military career,” Thiel said of Haley.
The program will have a very strong community feel, Thiel said, with Haley likely touching on the positive impact JBLM soldiers have the Puyallup community.
The military’s presence is an important economic benefit to the community as well, he said.
But more than anything, event organizers are hoping the breakfast is a chance for all members of the various service groups to come together as a community.
“The bottom line is this is a community event,” said John Adamson, a member of the Masonic Lodge. “It’s a time to forget who you are as an individual member and realize that we are all Puyallup.”
Doors open at 7:15 a.m. with a continental breakfast, and Haley will speak at about 8 a.m. Tickets are $12 in advance or can be purchased the day of the event for $16.
Tickets can be purchased from members of the participating Puyallup service clubs or by calling Thiel at 253-219-6000.