JoAnne Gunderson Carner – Professional Golfer
During her professional golf career, Ms. Carner had recorded a total of 42 victories as of 1988, including the esteemed U.S. Open in both 1971 and 1977. In 1982, in recognition of her extraordinary accomplishments, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LGPA), the world’s foremost women’s golfing organization, honored Ms. Carner by inducting her into the LGPA Hall of Fame. JoAnne Carner was chosen to be the first Kirklander honored in the Plaza of Champions, in recognition of her accomplishments as a professional athlete and champion, and as a community role model.
Richard M. Acton - Professional Golfer
In 1989, Mr. Acton had won more major Pacific Northwest golf tournaments than any other player in the history of the Northwest. His many triumphs have included:
- Pacific Northwest PGA Champion – 1975, 1977, 1980, 1982
- Washington State PGA Player of the Year – 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988
- Washington State PGA Championship – 1973,1975, 1984, 1985, 1987
- Pacific Northwest Open – 1973,1978, 1983
- Oregon Open – 1972, 1977 1978, 1985
- Washington Open – 1979, 1981, 1982
- Spokane Open – 1981, 1983
- Alaska Open – 1981, 1982
- Idaho Open – 1982
The Professional Golf Association (PGA) recognized Richard as the Top Golf Teacher in Washington as well as the Pacific Northwest region for 1988 and 1989, it's the first time a teacher has won the award two years in a row.
Dorothy (Didi) Anstett – 1968 Miss USA
Opportunities for educational scholarships initially attracted Didi to pageants. She was crowned Miss Kirkland on April 23, 1966, in the old Junior High School auditorium on Waverly Way. Other pageants and awards soon followed. In 1968, Didi represented Kirkland at the Miss Washington Universe Pageant in Ocean Shores, where she won the Miss Washington title. It was on May 18, 1968, in Miami Beach, Florida, with a viewing audience of over 60 million when Didi was crowned Miss USA.
Hot Dog USA –World Rope Skipping Team Champions
When Bob Melson first organized a group of rope skippers at Mark Twain Elementary School, it was to promote physical fitness and to help raise money for the American Heart Association. Hot Dog USA went on to become the elite rope skippers in the world. Competitors were always astonished to learn the team was not a state or even a city all-star team, they were just a group of elementary school kids. The team has competed in more than thirty states and six countries. The American Heart Association was so impressed they flew the team all over the country to promote the “Jump Rope for Heart” program. In 1989, Mr. Melson was presented with the prestigious Presidential Award by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance for his work with Hot Dog USA in promoting physical fitness.
|Bob Melson - Coach
||Sarah Hamlin - 1988
||Marie Nobriga - 1987
|Allison Bell - 1989
||Randi Kimura - 1989
||Caryn Shiroyama – 1984, 87
|Rene Bibaud – 1984, 87
||Shelby Kraus - 1988
||Jeni Smedberg - 1986
|Kellie Cheadle – 1985, 86
||Stacie Kraus - 1989
||Amy Smith – 1984, 87
|Amy Dawson - 1988
||Kristi LoDolce - 1984
||Gerry Tritz - 1989
|Lisa DeGuire – 1985, 86
||Kellie Neilsen - 1988
||Heidi Wharf - 1985
|Katie Funai - 1989
||Heather Nobriga – 1985, 86
||Kari Zwiefelhofer - 1989
1980 Kirkland National Little League All-Stars – First team from Washington to play in the Little League World Series
Third in the world, second in the nation, and the first team from Washington state to play in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
|Don Cochran - Manager
|Pat Downs - Coach
|Richard Miailovich - Coach
1982 Kirkland National Little League All-Stars - Little League World Champions
In June of 1982, coaches from the Kirkland National Little League Association gathered to choose an all-star team to compete in the upcoming district tournament. No one knew just how far the team would go over the next two months. They practiced twice a day while the coach and manager took leave from work so they could prepare the team. Soon after, the all-star team had won district and state championships. Once they had won the title, it was off to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. After beating out other teams for the chance to play in the World Championship and with family and friends in the stands and millions of others viewing from home, the Kirkland All-Stars beat Taiwan 6-0 and were crowned the Little League World Champions.
|Don Cochran - Manager
|Pat Downs - Coach
Andrew S. Okada – 1981 National Collegiate Boxing Association Champion
Andrew Okada had been an achiever ever since his high school days. He distinguished himself by becoming a wrestling champion during his sophomore and junior years. Unfortunately, Andrew was hit by an automobile, shattering his leg and preventing him from competing in his final season. After graduation he moved on to college where his focus turned to boxing. After only 10 lessons Andrew won the regional title for his weight class. By his junior year he had won the Silver Medal at the National Collegiate Boxing Association Championships. In his senior year, Andrew was selected as a wild card entry and went on to win first place in the 112 pound division, National Collegiate Boxing Association Championships, where Sugar Ray Leonard was one of the judges.
Steven Earl Todd – Wheelchair Athlete and Coach
Like many young boys, Steve loved sports and his dream was to be a professional baseball player. He was a star athlete and excelled as he advanced through the Kirkland baseball system. But when Steve was 15 he started having terrible pains in his back and legs, by the time he graduated from Lake Washington High School, he was paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Victimized by a rare malformation of his vascular system, Steve’s professional sports aspirations had ended. He found new ways to enjoy his love for sports, becoming president of the Kirkland Slow Pitch Softball Association and leading a team of able-bodied players as a coach and pitcher. He became the star on a champion wheelchair basketball team and even found time to coach local Little League Baseball. Steve also worked with Bellevue Community College administration to help make the campus more accessible for handicapped individuals. In 1980, three years after Steve passed away, he was inducted into the Seattle Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame for significant contributions to the advancement of local and national wheelchair athletics.
1975 Tyee/Bel-Kirk Senior Babe Ruth Team - National Champions
In 1973, two Kirkland teams combined to form the Tyee/Bel-Kirk Senior Babe Ruth Baseball Team. Players were chosen from the best baseball players in the greater Kirkland area. The 1975 team quickly proved they could be world champions. After capturing the Chinook League championship, they won the 1975 state championship in Redmond. Then it was off to the Pacific Northwest Sectional Tournament in Oregon, where, after losing the first game bounced back to win six straight games and the Pacific Northwest crown. Fans traveled from the Peter Kirk Park grandstand to Sicks Stadium in Seattle to watch their home team compete in the National Tournament of Champions. The championship game was fierce. Finally, in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 0-0 game, Tyee/Bel-Kirk scored the only run and the 1975 National Senior Babe Ruth Championship.
|Ron Brown - Manager
|Jerry Zylstra - Coach
|Ken Broches - Asst. Coach
|Mike Brown - Bat Boy
|Bill Petter - Sponsor
|E.B. Sargeant - Sponsor
Demetri Corahorgi (Dan Corey) - U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor
Mr. Corahorgi, Fireman First Class, U.S. Navy, was awarded the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor in 1905 for extraordinary heroism in saving the lives of fellow seamen aboard the U.S.S. Iowa. Following a boiler explosion, Mr. Corey, braving the scalding water, jumped in and saved several men. Mr. Corey was severely disfigured in the incident.
1974 Kirkland National Little League All-Stars – First female team from Washington to play in the Little League World Series
In the first year of the Little League’s National Girls’ Softball Program, the team from Kirkland finished second at the World Series competition in New York.
|Carol Larson - Manager
|Linda Fosse - Coach
1988, 1990, 1991 Northwest College Women’s Basketball Teams – National Champions
The women’s basketball team from Northwest College won the National Christian College Athletic Association Division II (NCCAA II) National Championship three out of four years. In 1989 the team finished in second place.
|Kristi Brodin - Coach
||Joanna Lowell - 1991
|Kari Brodin - Asst. Coach
||Aiyanna Marcus - 1988, 90, 91
|Dena Cambra - 1990, 91
||Jen Mickelson - 1990, 91
|Becky Capps - 1988
||Chris Montgomery - 1988, 90
|Joanne Faagau - 1991
||Shelly Schu - 1988, 90, 91
|Stephanie Harden - 1990
||Debbi Simonsen - 1988, 90, 91
|Rachelle Jorgensen - 1988
||Kristin Steenes - 1991
|Sharlene Lammers - 1991
||Nicole Yoder - 1991
Julie Ann Gregg - Bicycle Racing
Ms. Gregg has competed nationally and internationally, her achievements have included:
- 1990 - Washington State Track Championships, Gold Medalist
- 1991 - Pan American Games, Silver Medalist
- 1991 - United States National Track Championships, Silver Medalist
- 1991 - United States Olympic Festival, Silver Medalist
- 1992 - United States National Track Championships, Silver Medalist
- 1992 - Washington State Cycling Championships, winner of six events
Chris Sharp - 1990 Peabody Award
Independent Producer/Director Chris Sharp won the prestigious honor for a nationally aired documentary feature on truck “backhauling”. The film led to national legislation to curtail the practice whereby truckers carry chemicals one way and return with food in the same container. The Peabody Award is the highest possible honor in the field of broadcasting and has often been referred to as the Pulitzer Prize of Broadcasting.
Rick Colella - U.S. Olympic Swimming Team
- 1970-1973 - University of Washington, NCAA All-American
- 1971 - Pan American Games, Gold Medalist
- 1972 - U.S. Olympic Swimming Team
- 1975 - Pan American Games, Gold Medalist
- 1976 - U.S. Olympic Swimming Team
- 1976 - Olympic Games, Bronze Medalist - 200 M Breaststroke
- 1975 - World Swimming Championships, Gold Medalist
1993 Kirkland/District 9 Big League Softball Team - World Series Champions
|Terry Merritt - Manager
|Sparky Parker - Coach
Maxine Conover - Bicycling Champion
- 1958 - United States Women’s National Bicycling Champion
Glen Evan Ethier - Broadcast Advertising
For excellence in broadcast advertising, Mr. Ethier was the 1972 International Broadcasting Award recipient for World’s Best Local Radio Commercial. In 1973, he received the Clio Award for World’s Best Radio Series and World’s Best Use of Sound.
1963 Lakeside Gravel Connie Mack Baseball Team - National Champions
- 1963 - Connie Mack Baseball National Champion Team
|Preston Nouwens - Manager
|Joe Amato, Sr. - Coach
||Al Van Kemseke
Randall Garretson - Junior National Champion
- 1964 - Junior National Ski Jumping Champion
- 1964 - Nordic Combined Junior National Champion
Chris Warren - Emmy Award for Excellence in Broadcasting
Kirkland native Chris Warren was hired by NWCN and King 5 in Seattle in 2003. He worked for Northwest Cable News during the week and was the weekend weather anchor for King 5 Television. He brought viewers stories from out in the field as a reporter and photographer and from the newsroom as a news anchor and video editor. In 2008, Chris won an Emmy for best weather forecast of the year. The same year, NBC hired Chris to co-anchor a national daily prime time show at their weather channel in Atlanta, Georgia. Chris frequently appears on the Today Show, NBC Nightly News as well as MSNBC and CNBC. In 2010, Chris was recognized again as he was chosen to represent the United States at the Worlds Fair in Shanghai, China.