Senator Murray Hosts 27th Annual Golden Tennis Shoe Awards, Highlights Outstanding Changemakers

Press Release | June 17, 2022

Senator Murray: “We hold the pen for our collective future, all of us do. Let’s win this November and choose a better, brighter future for everyone in Washington state.”

***WATCH: Video Highlighting Stories of the 2022 Golden Tennis Shoe Awardees***

(Seattle, WA) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) hosted her 27th annual Golden Tennis Shoe Awards at the Seattle Convention Center. Murray’s Golden Tennis Shoe Awards are an opportunity for Senator Murray to help recognize outstanding individuals from across Washington state who demonstrate that anyone–even a mom in tennis shoes–can make a real difference in their community. This year’s Golden Tennis Shoe awardees were Rick Clark, Jennifer Stuber, and Liselle Pires and Quena Batres. Video highlighting the stories of this year’s awardees can be viewed HERE.

The annual awards highlight Murray’s longstanding belief that the most powerful forces for change aren’t special interests or giant corporations, it’s people who see a problem and decide they’re going to stand up and fix it. Senator Murray was introduced on stage by Seattle City Councilwoman Teresa Mosqueda, and was also joined virtually by former U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).

“Each one of our awardees today faced a point where they could’ve given in to feeling lonely, they could’ve hunkered down and turned inward,” said Senator Murray. “Instead, they chose to stand up, they chose to reach out, and they chose to be the person they had needed, for someone else.”

“They used their experience to connect with others and bring them together to make change happen, to get people the care they need, to build the kind of community, the kind of world, they wanted to live in,” 
continued Senator Murray. “As Rick would say, they choose to be a light, and they helped attract more light. And in doing so, I hope their stories have inspired everyone here—I know they have inspired me so much.”

During her remarks, Senator Murray also outlined her focus on the economy and lowering costs for working families as well as her vision for a brighter, more hopeful future, drawing a clear contrast between Democrats and Republicans.

“Democrats are fighting for a future built for everyone—by everyone,” said Senator Murray. “Middle-class tax cuts—not tax breaks for giant corporations. Investing in our kids and schools—not banning books or bullying trans kids. Affordable health care for everyone—not repealing the ACA. Lower prescription drug costs— not defunding Medicare. Lower everyday costs for the basics like child care—not higher taxes for seniors and retirees. Democrats are fighting to deliver a positive, more hopeful vision for our future.”

“We hold the pen for our collective future, all of us do,” 
continued Senator Murray. “Let’s win this November and choose a better, brighter future for everyone in Washington state.”

More about the 2022 Golden Tennis Shoe Awardees:

In 2015, Rick Clark was on his way to enroll in Spokane Community College when he met a man experiencing homelessness. Rick spoke to the man and learned that his backpack—and everything he owned—had been stolen. Despite not having money for rent, Rick spent his last $8 purchasing the man food, and posted on Facebook to ask for help giving him a new backpack. The next day, Rick had enough support to provide 25 backpacks filled with supplies for people experiencing homelessness. After this experience, Rick realized his potential to help vulnerable members of the community and founded “Giving Back Packs,” which has donated thousands of backpacks filled with supplies to people experiencing homelessness. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Rick created the “Spokane Quaranteam,” which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support businesses across Spokane and provide homeless shelters with food. 

Liselle Pires and Quena Batres first met while hiking Mount Saint Helens in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pair quickly bonded over their shared experience as women of color who loved the outdoors, and they resolved to build a more inclusive outdoor community. Liselle and Quena started the Trail Mixed Collective to overcome the racist, cultural, and social barriers that prevent women of color from participating in outdoor recreation. The Collective pairs participants with women of color mentors and provides equitable access to gear and training, creating a safe and accessible space for everyone to enjoy the outdoors. 

Jennifer Stuber’s life was upturned in 2011 when her husband—who had been struggling with anxiety and depression—died from suicide. In the wake of the tragic loss of her husband, Jennifer asked ‘how can we make sure people struggling with thoughts of suicide get the help they need? Ever since then, Jennifer has worked hard to lower the stigma around mental health and built coalitions to prevent suicide in our communities. Jennifer founded the “Forefront Suicide Prevention Center at the University of Washington,” which has distributed free gun safes at gun shows across Washington, worked with pharmacists to improve suicide prevention and training and distribute medication disposal kits, partnered with Facebook and suicide survivors to connect people to suicide prevention resources, and has worked with partners to provide suicide prevention training to health care professionals in communities and schools.