Valentine’s Day Social unites community for joyful celebration

By Wade Sheldon, Tulalip News 

On February 14, the Greg Williams Memorial Gym became a hub of delight and celebration as 477-TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) hosted a lively Valentine’s Day Social in collaboration with Child Support Enforcement. As a heartfelt way to express gratitude to their clients, the memorable occasion brought together supporting staff, clients, and their families in an informal and lighthearted setting.

 The atmosphere was brimming with excitement as parents and kids alike reveled in various activities, games and face painting, to pizza, cookie decorating, and a cakewalk. Tulalip tribal member Aiden Leora, who was having a blast running around and playing games with his mom, said, “my favorite part was the skatepark and painting cookies.” 

“It was a wonderful event,” tribal member Rosemarie Runningwater said. “I have five grandkids and live in a one-bedroom apartment, which means a lot. The kids get to be themselves, and grandma gets a little break. It’s wonderful.”

 “The highlights of this event are collaborating with the other departments and seeing all the kids run around and enjoy themselves,” 477-TANF manager Laura Wiggins said. “That’s what we live for. We are here for the children and keeping families together. As the saying goes, it takes a village, and following that, it takes all our departments and community members to enable a great path forward for our tribe.”

Laura continued,  “With staff turnover and new clients coming in, this event gives the clients and the staff a chance to meet one another in a not-so-formal event. It’s a great way to show our appreciation for our clients. We wouldn’t have a job if we didn’t have them.” 

As the Valentine’s Day Social ended, the lively atmosphere lingered, echoing the successful efforts of 477-TANF, Child Services, and our community. Laughter smiles, and meaningful connections defined the day, reinforcing the essence of our tribe. A special thanks to all who contributed, and as a parting gesture, each attendee left with a gift bag—a token of appreciation. Stay tuned for upcoming events and initiatives.

If you have any questions or want to know more about 477-TANF, call (360) 716-4719 or email