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Sue Bird Becomes the 85th First Citizen

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May 19, 2023

Energized by Elise Woodward’s basketball stories and walk-up music provided by Deejay Hershe, the First Citizen Award event successfully celebrated the community work of Sue Bird, recently retired point guard of the Seattle Storm. Sue Bird is the 85th recipient of the First Citizen Award and the first female athlete to be honored.

From helping girls gather tools to build confidence with ZGiRLS to advocating for LGBTQIA+ inclusion in sports as an Athlete Ally, Sue Bird has “contributed to the wellbeing and enrichment of our community in numerous ways,” said Trish Coy, Chair of the First Citizen Award Committee. “Sue Bird is so deserving of this recognition.”

First Citizen Committee

Members of the First Citizen Award Committee at the event.

Master of Ceremonies Elise Woodward

Elise Woodward, longtime Seattle Storm broadcaster, served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, adding her own anecdotes about Sue’s incredible basketball career.

Marty Hartman and Sue Bird

Mary’s Place, an organization helping women and families get out of homelessness, was the 84th recipient of the First Citizen Award. Marty Hartman, executive director of Mary’s Place, attended this year’s event.

Darnell Samuelson

Darnell Samuelson, a REALTOR® and broker with Lake & Co, is Sue Bird’s real estate agent, and spoke about watching Seattle Storm games with her grandmother.

Jillyne Jarvis

Jilyne Jarvis, the founder and executive director of ZGiRLS, spoke about Sue’s involvement with girls in their confidence-building program.

First Citizen Scholars with Sue Bird

Twenty high-school and college students were awarded First Citizen scholarships this year, and 5 of them were honored at the First Citizen event.

Seattle Storm player Sami Whitcomb

Seattle Storm player Sami Whitcomb honored Sue with touching stories of her leadership on and off the basketball court.

Sue Bird Acceptance Speech

Sue Bird accepted the First Citizen Award, expressing her love of Seattle and her desire to continue her work. She also shared about her love of air conditioning.

As Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury has said, “There’s just no one like Sue. She’s one of a kind.”

Thanks to everyone who attended. See you next year!

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