City of Mercer Island recognizes Flash Family award winner

  • Thursday, September 14, 2017 9:46am
  • Life

Jack Sameshima, left, receives his award from Mayor Bruce Bassett and MIYFS Manager Derek Franklin. Photo courtesy of the city of Mercer Island

At the Sept. 5 Mercer Island City Council meeting, Jack Sameshima was recognized for his leadership and sportsmanship in the senior community, receiving the Flash Family Inspirational Award.

Each year, the city’s department of Youth and Family Services gives the award to a Mercer Island senior (55 and older) who exemplifies the spirit of good sportsmanship or community leadership, and who possesses an optimistic attitude and friendly demeanor while acting as a role model to others. Seniors may be nominated for their role(s) in the area of organizing, or promoting sports or activities.

The Flash Family Inspiration Award was founded in 2009 by the late community artist and activist Phil Flash to recognize the power of positive role modeling by seniors.

Sameshima won the 2017 award for his outstanding work with organized pickleball on Mercer Island and his welcoming presence to others, including newcomers in particular. A longtime resident, Sameshima has been playing pickleball weekly since the sport began locally in the 1970s, and at the Community and Event Center since it opened. He’ll be 92 this month.

Although he would say he’s “just an ordinary guy,” Sameshima has lived through some extraordinary times, according to the city’s weekly newsletter. As a teenager, he served in WWII with the 442th Infantry Regiment, the highly decorated Japanese-American combat team, enduring severe injuries to his right leg and foot. After the war, he raised a family in Washington, and worked at Sandpoint naval air station.

With his positive and welcoming attitude on and off the court, Sameshima “embodies the spirit of the Flash Family Inspiration Award and is a man respected by many, demonstrating sportsmanship, leadership, a winning attitude and sincere friendship,” according to the city.

More in Life

75th Mercer Island Directory to be mailed this week

Mailing day volunteers can meet at the Presbyterian Church at 9 a.m. on March 16.

Youth Theatre Northwest’s latest show opens this weekend

YTN presents “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” from March 9–April 1 on Mercer Island.

Four MIHS graduates to be honored with Pathfinder Awards at Breakfast of Champions

The 2018 awardees are Dawn Bennett (‘82), Mary Lindquist (‘67), Marty Lott (‘68) and Joel McHale (‘91).

Mercer Island students cut loose with Dr. Seuss

Schools had festivities for Read Across America Day, held each year on March 2, Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

Covenant Shores unveils metallic mermaid sculpture

Dr. Kevin Au donated the art piece to the Mercer Island retirement community.

Mercer Island legislators to host Town Hall

In other community news, there’s a dance on Friday and city offices will be closed Monday.

Mercer Island retirees get into Olympic spirit

Covenant Shores residents and staff have been participating in their own Olympic Games this week.

Mercer Island dog wins Sunrise Pet of the Year contest

Moose, who was adopted by the assisted living community last year, beat 61 other pets for the award.

A revived Mercer Island Historical Society opens up the past

The group plans to digitize past issues of the Reporter and more.

Mercer Island Center for the Arts forges a new path

MICA to embark on public engagement process, expresses openness to explore alternative sites.

YTN brings international art project to Mercer Island

Japanese artists will teach the community about Kamishibai at Sunday workshops in February.

New endowment at UW to continue legacy of Islanders Aubrey, Henrietta Davis

Former Mercer Island mayor’s children honor his commitment to “knowledge, excellence and altruism.”