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Varness to be honored with community service award

Corby Varness will be honored next week with a community service award by the Friends of the Montesano Timberland Library.

Varness, a Montesano resident, is lay preacher at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Montesano. She’s also the chairwoman of the Timberland Regional Library Board and the official appointee of the Grays Harbor County Commission.

Varness will be honored with the annual Margaret Downey Memorial Community Service Award, created by the Friends of Montesano’s W.H. Abel Memorial Timberland Library in 1996 shortly after the death of the award’s namesake. The recipients are recognized for their volunteer work, must have ties to the library and also “reflect Margaret’s love of learning, strength of faith and respect for nature,” the award requirements state.

Varness will be honored during a special celebration set for noon, Nov. 19 at the W.H. Abel Memorial Timberland Library in Montesano.

Varness has lived in Montesano since 1995 with her husband Kevin, the public services director for Grays Harbor County, and son Jeffrey.

She was appointed to the Timberland Regional Library Board of Trustees in 2012 and, after two senior appointees left at the end of last year, soon found herself as chairwoman of the group. Varness had input as the organization coped with budget issues and strategic plan issues and hired a new director.

“I’ve been a huge fan of libraries my whole life,” Varness told The Daily World for a profile. “I grew up in Calexico, Calif., and my favorite childhood activity was going to our Carnegie library and coming out with a huge stack of books. I thought I was the richest person on earth because I had access to so many books.”