Beth Anders, one of this year’s Volunteer of the Year recipients, giving of her time, talents and energy is in the family. “I was surprised,” she said about receiving the annual honor, adding, ” I don’t do it for any kind of reward. I do it because I want to give back to the tribe. We have a lot of need for volunteers.”
Beth’s first venture into volunteerism came when her son (now 44 years old) was in the first grade Sequim school system. Late Tribal Elders Harriette Adams and Edith Cusack asked her to join the Sequim School District Parent Committee. This was when all committees were volunteer based. From there, she served on the Tribal Higher Education Committee, where she still is a member to this day.
Other groups Beth is serving on include the Health Committee, Welcoming Committee, Elders Committee and working with the Elders making gifts for various events. Just last year, she volunteered to make new button vests for each of the Jamestown Singers and Drummers to wear when appearing at ceremonial and public events. Others who help make these vests are Lana Kerr, Julie Powers and Mary Norton as well as other volunteers sewing on the 70 buttons required for each vest.
“The group (of Singers and Drummers) keeps growing, so our plan is to keep up with this project!” she said.
For the yearly canoe journey landing at Jamestown Beach, Beth helps out in the fry bread shack and where needed.
As a member of the Prince family, daughter of Lyle and Patricia Prince, and great-great-granddaughter of Chief Chetzemoka, Beth remembers the challenges of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe before it was federally recognized.
Beth’s earliest memory of the Tribe was being around a group of Elders sharing stories and memories when she was a little girl. She also recalls clam bakes and picnics held at Jamestown beach, and learning beading from Helen Shaw at Boardwalk Square, the original site of the Tribal office.
Volunteering is “something my dad has always done,” Beth said of her volunteer work within the Tribe. Her father, the late Lyle Prince, a former Tribal Council Member, would also help out gathering clams and cook the fish for the annual picnic held at the Blyn campus. Her mother, the late Pat Prince, would support Lyle in any Tribal efforts and Pat also volunteered in the Sequim Ladies Lions Club.
Beth’s involvement in higher education also grew from a young age. Lyle Prince would encourage Beth, her sisters and brother to wait to get married until they could support themselves and not be dependent on others. This principle has carried on, as she feels that higher education is essential to accomplish just that. Beth went to beauty school through funding of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as the Tribe hadn’t been recognized on a federal level at that time.
“I think in my family, we were all raised to be self-sufficient and not just because we weren’t a federally recognized Tribe,” she said. “That is the very thing the Tribe is doing now. In that way, it has continued from what we learned from our Elders.”