Reed inspires for ‘Flash Award’

Pauline Reed spends time at the beach with granddaughters Samantha and Sophia Scull, who are students at West Mercer Elementary and Islander Middle School. - Contributed Photo
Pauline Reed spends time at the beach with granddaughters Samantha and Sophia Scull, who are students at West Mercer Elementary and Islander Middle School.
— image credit: Contributed Photo

The Flash Family Inspirational Award was established in 2009 by the community artist and activist Phil Flash to honor a Mercer Island senior adult 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. Pauline Reed (Mackay) exemplifies these qualities.

Reed moved to Mercer Island in 1967. Her first community involvement was through the Mercer Island Preschool Association, including early organization of the well-loved Circus Mcgurkus and the construction of the dragon at “Dragon Park.”

Reed has been physically active and has set an example in the community of how to both enjoy sports and use them for community service for over 40 years.

She was among the first members of the Mercer Island Country Club, and from the onset of its swim team was a regular volunteer for nearly two decades, as her children swam in the program.

By 1973, Reed had become yet another “athletic” leader of the community by persisting against considerable “hazing” to become the first female firefighter in not only in the Island community but  throughout King County as well.

Reed was first a volunteer, then became a part-time paid firefighter for a decade. But she went beyond the fire station to teach others about fires and fire safety. Many Mercer Island children remember her as the lady firefighter who taught them CPR.

And she learned from the best; she was an EMT  taught by Islander physician Dr. Michael Copass.

Reed’s volunteer career grew to include the National Ski Patrol by 1976, and she was awarded National rank #6,465 for service at Ski Acres and Alpental, where she patrolled for over 30 years, leaving only three years ago when ordered by her doctors to stop hauling toboggans.

She was often recruited by Mercer Island Boy and Girl Scout troops to assist in winter badge outings, and served as a troop leader for several years.

Reed helped organize rowers into forming the Mercer Island Rowing Association, which is now part of the Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department.

After years of service to the community and that of the greater Seattle area, her life recently took a curve ball with a diagnosis of rapidly declining ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) this spring.

Despite this struggle with ALS, and the loss of the ability to walk, Reed has been out biking around on a semi-recumbent bike peddled by her son-in-law, Grant Scull. She hopes to be on the slopes skiing this winter on a sitz-ski with Outdoors for All.

Her community spirit and positive nature have inspired many people to get active and to give back to their communities.


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