On a recent day, United Way of Lewis County Executive Director Debbie Campbell received a surprising gift in the form of a note and $500 left in the mail.
“We would like to honor Peter Abbarno for all he does to further education in Lewis County,” read the short letter, written by a local woman who had recently lost her husband.
She didn’t know Abbarno particularly well, but his work in the community had inspired her and her late husband to contribute to a cause he supports.
To Campbell, it’s another piece of tangible, heartwarming evidence of the impacts made by Abbarno, a prolific local volunteer, Centralia city councilor and attorney who has for years dedicated his time, money and expertise to dozens of causes and organizations in both Lewis and Thurston counties.
“Peter has a heart to make our community a better place,” Campbell said. “He believes that improving a community is about solving problems and he not only gives of his time, talent and resources, he supports the good work of others with strategic brainstorming and connecting people with resources. Peter has good will in his heart, and with his energy and perseverance, he has achieved great things for our community.” Indeed, it might be quicker to name the organizations Abbarno has not volunteered his time to than those he has.