Living the simple life: Volunteer Spotlight on Dallas Amidon, Herron Island community volunteer

Donna Smeall, KP News

With private access to a small island, 1.5 miles across and .5 mile long called the “Jewel of the Puget Sound” only 10 minutes away from the Key Peninsula mainland, Dallas Amidon calls Herron Island home. More importantly, Dallas helps to make Herron Island what it is today.

Dallas is a real estate broker who works for Windermere Key Real Estate of Gig Harbor and has devoted his energies to making life a pleasant experience for the 55 permanent residents of Herron Island and approximately 100 summertime families that make Herron Island their home.

Dallas was blessed with his move to Herron Island from Federal Way in 1996 in that he found his soul mate through the “Windermere Matchmakers” in his office, a lovely home on the island, a couple of near and dear community projects that help center his life and a simpler life.

As a member of the Herron Island Homeowners Association (not a formalized name for the group), he is more relaxed about praising the efforts of the whole group rather than center his attention on his own significant contribution to the well being of his island home.

Recently remarried, Amidon and his wife Rondi were once active baseball players in the adult league that plays on the island year in and year out. The league introduced the idea of “American pie, baseball, and community involvement” all in one.  Dallas helps to coordinate the efforts of maintaining, what were once a shabby baseball diamond and the concessions plus the environment surrounding the baseball playtime.  He also coaches the youngster’s league on the west side of Herron Island while another resident coaches the east side.

“There are two groups that play here on Herron Island; one is the adults who want to play like 21 year olds and the other is the youngsters who want to play like their favorite professional ballplayer complete with the spitting traditions and rowdy routines that make up professional baseball games,” he said. “ It is great to watch them play.”

Dallas recently gave up the game of baseball to become a considerate and compassionate spectator while monitoring the other players’ needs on the field and the many residents who attend to cheer their favorite baseball players on.  Health matters prohibited him from continuing active play.

Perhaps the most significant contribution that makes Dallas very proud is the introduction and implementation of an annual Easter Sunrise service to the Herron Island family.

Herron Island is so private and relatively limited in its accessibility that there are no church services on-island year round. Except for the one annual Easter Sunrise service put on by the dedicated community-centered residents of Herron Island.

This small core of volunteers includes: Dallas and Rondi Amidon, Harvey Roberts (service speaker), Brigett Vogel, island resident who makes the clam chowder for the event and DJ “Tommy Boy” who provides the music for the Islander’s dance held later in the evening under moonlight. These volunteers plan and set up the warm and welcoming day of Easter service that takes place from 7 a.m. until shortly after 10 a.m. Vogel’s hot clam chowder along with hot coffee, hot chocolate and other goodies like donuts and dancing time entice the service-goers to stick around for a meal and socializing before heading home.

If that is not enough, when Windermere sets out to contribute to the wellbeing of the Key Peninsula, Dallas is on hand to help.  Windermere Key Real Estate has made many invaluable contributions to the aesthetic and physical presence of the Key Peninsula over the years and they do encourage their employees to volunteer in the community.