Amber Hansen has made Sunnyside her home since 1981, and in doing so she has taken great pride in her community and its potential.
That's why she has been selected to serve to lead the procession during Sunnyside's annual Sunshine Days Parade to be staged this coming Saturday at 10 a.m.
Hansen said she worked for Old National Bank when she first moved to Sunnyside.
Nearly 22 years ago, she took on the responsibilities of serving as executive director at the Port of Sunnyside, focused on economic development in the community.
During her time at the port, Hansen has seen the development of Darigold, a wastewater treatment facility that serves local food processors and other industries and numerous expansions resulting from property purchases.
Hansen served on the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce board for a decade and has been a member of Sunnyside Daybreak Rotary Club since 1994.
She said she is on the Yakima County Development Association/New Vision board and nearly 20 years ago helped establish Yakima County's Supporting Investments in Economic Development board.
"I helped write the grant for Rural Enterprise Community and served with that organization for five years," Hansen said of other community service efforts she has been involved in.
She said she jumped in with both feet, working to help Sunnyside become a better community.
"I raised my son here and my grandchildren were raised here," Hansen stated, noting she believes Sunnyside is a great place to raise a family.
Nearly seven years ago, having been noticed as someone whose staff is well organized and interested in cars, the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce approached Hansen with the idea of adding a car show to the Sunshine Days celebration.
Not shy of promoting community activities, Hansen and the staff at the Port of Sunnyside willingly took on the responsibility of what has become a highlight to the annual event.
Hansen admits she is one of the first to evaluate the needs of the community to see how she might help meet that need.
"I believe we can always make Sunnyside better," she said, stating community involvement means citizens collaborating efforts to make Sunnyside the community everyone wants to live in.
"It's our responsibility," she said, stating everyone can step up and make a difference if they set their minds to doing so.
For more on the car show and other Sunshine Days activities see the Daily Sun News special section in print or click the link at www.dailysunnews.com