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THE ISSAQUAHPRESS

Section

B

COMMUNITY

Wednesday April 24, 2013

Family Fridays return for the summer

BY GREG FARRAR

Susie Nutzhorn (left) takes an order last week from regular customers Eastgate residents John and Wilma Huber, the second to last week before her retirement.

END OF AN ERA

IHOP institution, Susie Nutzhorn, is ready to hang up her apron after 30 years By Christina Corrales-Toy newcastle@isspress.com Longtime IHOP waitress Susie Nutzhorn has a certain philosophy about her line of work. The way she sees it, she doesn’t really work for the famous pancake house, rather her true employers are the men, women and children who enter through the Issaquah restaurant’s doors every day. “The customers have been my boss all of these years,” she said. After more than three decades in the building, during which Nutzhorn estimates the ownership changed about 10 times, the popular server has decided it is time to hang up her blue apron. “I think it’s time to get on with a different phase in my life, and be able to enjoy family and the things that I like to do while I’m physically and mentally still able to do so,” she said. Nutzhorn’s last day at IHOP is May 3, a day that will likely be bittersweet for her loyal customers, of which there are many. ‘You couldn’t find a better person’ The popular waitress only works the busy morning shifts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but she’s so likable that her regulars don’t mind waiting just to sit in her section, an act that truly warms her heart, she said. “That makes me feel wonderful,” she said. “It makes me feel that I’m kind of successful at what I’m doing, bringing happiness and a smile on people’s faces. That’s what it’s really all about.”

“I really like the way she treats people. Customers always want to sit in her section because she takes care of them really well.” — Yesenia Roldan

Sock hop helps those in need

IHOP waitress

Nutzhorn has the innate ability to make her customers feel as if they are the only ones in the room, despite the fact that she’s busily serving a row of other diners. She has that curious talent to anticipate her patrons’ needs before they even realize what exactly it is that they require. “You couldn’t find a better person. She’s very peopleoriented,” said John Huber, a loyal IHOP customer. She does it all with an unceasing smile that seems to light up the room and inspire others around her. “To me, she’s very special,” said Yesenia Roldan, one of Nutzhorn’s coworkers. “I really like the way she treats people. Customers always want to sit in her section because she takes care of them really well.” That’s how Nutzhorn is with everyone she meets. She strives to treat everyone as if they were a celebrated guest in her Mirrormont home. “The most important thing is to recognize those people when they come through the door and make them feel comfortable like they are coming into your home,” she said. “That’s the way I’ve treated

Family Fridays return to the Julius Boehm Pool on May 3. The monthly events, hosted by the city’s Parks & Recreation Department, will feature a number of fun swimming activities for all ages. The events are from 6:30-9 p.m. the first Fridays of the month, until the finale Aug. 2. May 3 will be Underwater Adventure night. With ambient lighting, artificial seaweed, hoops, rings, toys and various sea creatures will be placed into the water for exploration. June 7 will be Family Skwim Night. Skwim is a game that is a cross between water polo and Ultimate Frisbee, which utilizes flotation and flippers to ensure a good time for all. Family Game Night will be held July 5, featuring a treasure hunt, toss-itback, water limbo, buddy swimming and relay races. Games will be for all ages and swimming abilities. Squirting Toy Fun Night will be the event’s finale, on Aug. 2. The Parks & Recreation Department invite participants to bring their own squirting toys to the pool and prepare for target practice and battle zones. Drop-in fees are $10 per family, $4 per adult and $3 per youth/senior. Learn more by calling 837-3300.

BY GREG FARRAR

Susie Nutzhorn delivers a breakfast order of peaches and cream brioche French toast to one of her customers. my customers.” Nutzhorn will retire as the building’s longest-serving employee, having witnessed decades of change as a carousel of restaurants filtered through the establishment. Through it all though, Nutzhorn remained the only constant. “I just kind of go with the building,” she joked. A passion for life Once Nutzhorn officially

hangs up her apron, she and her husband will pack up their Mirrormont home and move to their vacation house in Oregon. Retirement will allow her to focus on some of her other passions, including family, music and cars, she said. Nutzhorn recently began playing her prized cello, a childhood gift from her parents, afSee RETIRING, Page B3

PHOTOS BY CHRISTINA CORRALES-TOY

Above, Susie Nutzhorn, of Mirrormont, jokes around with her fellow youth orchestra musicians during their April 15 practice session at a SeaTac-area church. At left, Nutzhorn plays a classical piece on her cello during a practice of the Normandy Park String Orchestra.

Get hopping at the Kiwanis Club Sock Hop Dance and Auction on April 26. Your $40 ticket gets you into the dance and auction, two drink tickets and your choice of dinner. Meal choices are three different sliders: smoked chopped brisket, smoked chopped pork, Thai lamb, or a vegetarian burger. All meals also include salad and dessert. Dancing will start at 6 p.m. at Pickering Barn, 1730 10th Ave. N.W. All proceeds from the auction benefit the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah organization and will be used to help those in need in the community. Get tickets at www.auctions.readysetauction.com/ kiwanisofissaquah.

NAMI walk fundraiser aids mental illness awareness The Washington state chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Health hopes national awareness will inspire record participation in its efforts to raise money and support, according to a press release. At 9:30 a.m. May 18 the state chapter of NAMI will hold its ninth annual NAMI Walk to raise money and awareness for mental illness. The 5K walk will begin at Marina Park in Kirkland and follow the shoreline of Lake Washington to Carillon Park and loop back. There is still time for participants to register and form a team, or just join the festivities at the finish line. Register or donate at www.namiwalks.org. Individual and team fundraising pages are updated consistently. The state chapter of NAMI has set a goal of $225,000 and as of April 12, 25 percent of the goal had been raised. Registration starts at 8 a.m. May 18; the walk begins at 9:30 a.m.


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