SOURCE: Port Blakely Communities

February 27, 2009 11:00 ET

Issaquah Highlands Names 14-Year-Old Matthew "Dima" Hallberg Volunteer of the Year

More Than 70 Issaquah Highlands Residents Honored at Volunteer Appreciation Event

ISSAQUAH, WA--(Marketwire - February 27, 2009) - Issaquah Highlands community members have named 14-year-old Matthew "Dima" Hallberg as the 2008 Volunteer of the Year. Hallberg is the youngest recipient to receive the honor, which celebrates Issaquah Highlands residents who have made a meaningful contribution to community life. Located 20 minutes east of Seattle along the I-90 corridor, Issaquah Highlands was developed by Port Blakely Communities and is a 3,250-home urban village that blends homes, shopping and businesses.

Hallberg, who is a student at Issaquah Middle School, volunteered consistently throughout 2008. His first volunteer activity was a tree-planting initiative at the Issaquah Highlands water tower. Inspired by this day of volunteerism, Hallberg pursued new opportunities to lend a helping hand at neighborhood events such as Highlands Day, the annual Easter Egg Hunt, Arbor Day and the Green Halloween Festival.

"I love our community here in Issaquah Highlands, and I will always help it as much as I can," said Hallberg. "Let's keep it beautiful, friendly, and make sure to respect each other, our community and our environment."

The Highlands Council, a non-profit organization based in Issaquah Highlands, and the Issaquah Highlands Community Association, presented the award to Hallberg at the community's annual volunteer appreciation event on February 20. More than 70 volunteers were honored for giving their time, energy and enthusiasm to volunteer activities such as governance, clubs, and events. The event was generously sponsored by John Thompson, Coldwell Banker Bain, and Port Blakely Communities.

"Every time Dima volunteered, he inspired others with his strong work ethic, enthusiasm for Issaquah Highlands and team spirit," said Renée Zimmerman, executive director, Highlands Council. "What is most impressive about Dima, especially for his age, is his willingness to do whatever task is needed."

"Issaquah Middle School students are very active as volunteers in Issaquah Highlands and Dima sets an excellent leadership example for his peers," continued Zimmerman.

The recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award is selected by Issaquah Highlands residents from the 12 volunteers of the month, who are featured each month in the community newspaper, "Connections."

Volunteerism and community building are the cornerstones of Issaquah Highlands. Every year, more than 400 volunteers give back to the community through leadership and hands-on work to make dozens of free clubs and family-friendly events possible.

About Port Blakely Communities

Port Blakely Communities applies its family values of integrity, quality, innovation and stewardship to the business of real estate. Working with neighbors, regulators and elected officials, Port Blakely Communities creates residential and mixed-use urban villages that embrace the principles of smart growth. In partnership with the region's premier homebuilders, the company builds communities that are known for their quality construction, innovative design, small-town feel and respect for the environment. Founded in the 1990s, Port Blakely Communities' latest and largest effort is the award-winning Issaquah Highlands community, a 3,250-home urban village. Its innovative design, smart growth philosophy and cutting-edge environmental safeguards make Issaquah Highlands the standard for others to follow. For more information, visit and

About Highlands Council

Highlands Council is a non-profit organization in Issaquah Highlands with the mission to "foster the development of a vibrant and caring community committed to service, diversity, and well-being." Highlands Council is based at Blakely Hall, the Issaquah Highlands community center.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Suzanne E. Lee
    MWW Group for Port Blakely Communities