2009 Awards: Stephanie Loveless

On any given day, rain or shine, you are likely to see our next good neighbor scooting around town on her bike, or flipping papers on to a porch, lately, unfortunately, limping on a broken toe. Stephanie Loveless, known fondly to most Ferndaliens as “Steffie,” is an outstanding example of a “good neighbor.” As the creator and editor of the community paper “Ferndale Friends,” Steffie has become a significant source of information about our community. This homegrown paper has blossomed to serve as an important connection point with its very thoughtful articles about members of our community. The paper helps to creatively connect with the artists among us, with the local business community and with our civic leaders.

Steffie herself embodies important values that resonate with and inspire so many of us in this community. We celebrate her long history of political activism, with notable leadership in the Green Party as a candidate for State Representative as well as her effort to make Ferndale a leader with Instant Runoff Voting. We laud her efforts to keep her environmental footprint small with the use of her bike, even in the coldest winter months.

On a personal note, we want to point out her kindness, warmth and sensitivity. Many have experienced her outreach in time of need, her listening ear, and her willingness to make important connections among us to help us help one another. Very importantly, and finally, we admire her courage to live with integrity. She has helped many of us to confront our gender and gender role stereotypes, often using candor and humor. Even in a community that claims to be as open as Ferndale, this takes a lot of courage.

Even with her broken toe, Steffie is constantly on the move — keeping us connected and helping us to remember and celebrate what is great in our community. Her commitment to this community and her endless energy inspire us all to be better neighbors.