Women want what she has

If you believe in synchronicity, you will understand how a chance meeting had a profound impact on several local women.

As DEBBY SPENCE of Dugualla Bay tells it, “From the moment I met her at the pool where we both swim faithfully, I knew I could learn from her. I can’t describe it other than to say I fell in love with her the first time I met her.”

Her praise of TRUDY SUNDBERG of Scenic Heights is not unique. Trudy is a dynamic lady who advocates that we take an agile mind, body and spirit with us on our individual journeys. Her wisdom is turning the heads of younger women who seek to emulate her.

Not every meeting of a local ladies book club brims with intellectual discussion. Sometimes the ladies just need to get away and catch up with friends. But when Debby learned her swimming buddy was a published author, she jumped at the chance to invite her to their regular book club meeting as a special guest.

“We had read her book, ‘The Valiant Virginian,’” said JOY THOMPSON of Coupeville. “It was about a Marine Corps hero of the early 1800s, 1st Lt. Presley O’Bannon.”

Trudy explained who O’Bannon was and why she wrote the book. Because everyone had read it, her lecture made the subject come alive.

“Trudy radiates goodness and energy,” said Debby. Trudy is a former English and PE teacher back east, a familiar face in local community theater and political sage.

“I hope to emulate her vivaciousness,” said Debby. “After Trudy left we looked at each other and simply said, ‘WOW!’”

In more Spence news, Debby describes the recent St. Croix triathlons she and husband MIKE SPENCE took part in as, “Pretty darned fun.” Debby came in first out of 75 women in the sprint-triathlon, composed of a 750-meter ocean swim, 8-mile bike ride and 4-mile run.

In other Virgin Islands competition, Mike cut his time of two years ago by 30 minutes in the half-Ironman which is a significant improvement. He placed seventh in his age group (55-59). The half-Ironman consists of a 1.24 mile ocean swim, 56 miles of biking followed by a 13.1 mile run.

Both Debby and Mike are members of the North Whidbey Masters swim team at John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool.

I brake for Elvis …

The Impaired Driving Impact Panel of Island County’s popular fundraiser on June 17 benefits our youth (through underage drinking prevention) and communities (through safer roads).

Girls Night Out 2: Aloha Style is a unique event open to both women and men from 6 to 10 p.m. at OHHS Parker Hall.

The evening includes an international buffet features eats and treats donated by over 25 local businesses and 24 Pamper & Please booths offering free services and goodies such as massages, chocolates and more.

There is also a mini-silent auction, Danny Vernon’s “Illusion of Elvis” Hawaiian Extravaganza Show. There is more information and info on ticket sales at Because food planning must be done in advance, no tickets will be sold at the door.

Costs for this year’s fundraising event were offset by Washington Traffic Safety Commission (underwriter), Soroptimist International of Oak Harbor and Del-Jen, Inc., /A Fluor Company (sponsors), and Oak Harbor Senior Center, Oak Harbor School District and Whidbey Playhouse (in-kind sponsors).

IDIPIC, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit , was established in November 2000 as one of Washington State’s 27 DUI impact panel thanks to a grant from Island Thrift. Its proudest achievement is the over 1,500 Whidbey driver’s education students that have attended an IDIPIC presentation since then, many accompanied by a parent. Besides its twice-a-month panels, IDIPIC provides education and awareness programs to local middle and elementary schools, adults and at community events. It is in these ways the organization strives to makes the roads safer or us all.

Sisterhood of friends…

Enduring friendships are one of life’s most important relationships. A sisterhood of eight women calling themselves the BUNCO BUDDIES share laughter and camaraderie each month at the home of one of their eight members.

It’s a refreshing break where one can let her hair down and this appeals to member ELLEN SMITH because, “You don’t have to think. You just have fun. Roll the dice and if you get three of a kind, holler ‘Bunco!’”

Their fun doesn’t stop when they put away the dice. The ladies just returned from a three-day, two-night getaway to a condo in Sequim.

Two events taking place June 2 and 3 need our support. They are the Knights of Columbus rummage sale and Relay For Life. Have a safe Memorial Day and I’ll see you on May 31. Call or write (360) 675-6611 or

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