By Senators Parlette, Fraser, Angel, Pearson, McCoy, Liias, Rolfes, Fain, Dansel, King, Chase, Kohl-Welles, Conway, and Roach
WHEREAS, It is the custom and tradition of the Washington State Senate to recognize the contributions of individuals who reflect the standards of excellence that advance the well-being and quality of life of all citizens of the State of Washington; and
WHEREAS, Ms. Bonita "Bonnie" Henderson has been a key figure in the Senate Page Program for 30 years; and
WHEREAS, Bonnie first came to the Senate while raising three teenagers and actively participating in her local Parent Teacher Association, where she helped to run football game concession stands, worked as a dance chaperone, and volunteered for a variety of other school and after-school events; and
WHEREAS, Bonnie, every week of every session since 1986, has been directly responsible for a group of young people ranging in number from twelve to as large as forty-two; and
WHEREAS, Bonnie guided excited, nervous Pages through orientation, daily work schedules, a labyrinth of offices, accidents, sickness, teenage angst, protests, and an earthquake; and
WHEREAS, Bonnie supervised Pages performing a myriad of tasks both large and small, during what was for many young people their first "real" job and for others their first time away from home; and
WHEREAS, The scope of a Page's daily duties has changed over the years--Pages were once dispatched early each morning to deliver some 1,200 documents, including calendars, status sheets, and meeting schedules, across the capitol campus to every Senate office, the Senate Chamber, Ulcer Gulch, and other public areas; today, many of these documents are delivered online or through email, available at the touch of a button; and
WHEREAS, Bonnie, each week, made every effort to instill in each Page a sense of the value of hard work, good manners, professionalism, promptness, and even good posture and, most importantly, the importance of the legislative process to our great state; and
WHEREAS, Bonnie has personally managed, mentored, and mothered an estimated 7,500 students, some of whom were inspired by their experience as a Page to such a degree that they returned to the Legislature as interns, lobbyists, staff, and even legislators; and
WHEREAS, Bonnie has seen former Pages bring their children to the Capitol to be Pages, and on her trips around the state frequently encounters former Pages who recognize her from their time in the Program; and
WHEREAS, Washington's legislative page programs, which constitute one of the two most comprehensive programs of their kind in the United States, have received several awards for their contributions to civic education, including the Kevin B. Harrington Award from the National Conference of State Legislatures in 2012 and the Youth Civic Education Award from the Seattle City Club in 2013; and
WHEREAS, Bonnie has decided, after thirty successful sessions of supervising young people from across the state, to retire from Senate service; and
WHEREAS, As Page Supervisor, Bonnie has been firm but fair, demanding yet giving, sometimes stern yet always supportive, with a constant desire to find special ways to enhance the week's experience for each group of Pages, all with a steady hand and ready smile that will be sorely missed;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Washington State Senate recognize and honor Mrs. Bonita "Bonnie" Henderson for thirty years of gracious and selfless dedication to the Senate, to students placed in her care, and to their families across Washington State; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Washington State Senate offer its gratitude to Bonnie, Jerry Henderson, and the Henderson family for sharing Bonnie with the Senate, congratulate her on a well-deserved retirement, and hereby bestow upon her the title, "Page Mom Emeritus."
I, Hunter G. Goodman, Secretary of the Senate,
do hereby certify that this is a true and
correct copy of Senate Resolution 8666,
adopted by the Senate
April 22, 2015
Secretary of the Senate