Volunteer of the Month- April

Steven Townsend- EDA Supporter

If you are involved with downtown Ellensburg, or have been following the construction buzz around town, you are undoubtedly familiar with the name Steve Townsend. Steve and his wife Ruth are heavily involved with downtown Ellensburg committees and programs. They are also two of the partners with Hotel Windrow, a 59-room boutique hotel connected to the recently renovated Elks building.

Steve began his hospitality career as a Front Desk Clerk at a Holiday Inn in Tallahassee, Florida, in 1974, while attending Florida State University. He moved on to the “big hotel” in town a year later, to become a Front Desk Supervisor at the Tallahassee Hilton.

From there, the rest is history. Steve and his wife Ruth now reside in Ellensburg, and give back to the community in a variety of ways.

“When Ruth and I decided to move to Ellensburg full time in 2014, having owned a home here since 2007, we made a decision to immerse ourselves in the community,” he said. “We were very excited to become a part of Ellensburg, and wanted to take the opportunity to get to know people while ‘giving back’ to our newly adopted community.”

For Steve, it was no question that he’d find a volunteering home base with the Ellensburg Downtown Association.

“The EDA was my first stop.”

Former Executive Director Carolyn Honeycutt helped Steve get involved in a variety of programs, including the Downtowners (then a committee of the EBDA), the Landmarks Commission, and eventually as a board member of the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce. Meanwhile, Ruth was asked to join the Elmview Board, and eventually the CASA board.


Building Community through Hotel Windrow

While Steve volunteers regularly with EDA events and programs, he currently spends a large amount of time on the Hotel Windrow construction site, helping their dream come to life.

“For Ruth and I, Hotel Windrow is a labor of love,” he said.  “Since literally the first time I wandered around downtown in 2006, I thought that the missing ingredient in this charming downtown was an iconic hotel. After studying the history a bit and learning of the vibrant hospitality industry of yesteryear, it made us all the more confident that the downtown needed a hotel.”

The hotel, which incorporates history and tradition through storytelling, art and construction elements, represents the spirit and tastes of Ellensburg’s diverse community. Steve looks forward to hosting community events and celebrations in the years to come.

“Hotel Windrow will become a gathering place for the community, and hopefully a point of pride that citizens will want to share with their visitors and family. We want it to be the place that people celebrate the great events of their lives.”


The Importance of Volunteering

Steve and Ruth affirm that people need to get involved in the communities they reside in.

“We truly believe that if you really care about the community, you should do what you can to help determine its goals and then play a part in achieving them.”

Whether it’s volunteering to assist at an event, or working to become a committee or board member, there is a place for everyone to get involved within the EDA.

“As we did, just show up, find out what needs to be done and get involved. Everyone has something they are good at and that can be a benefit to an organization like EDA. You just need to raise your hand and the rest will take care of itself.”

The EDA looks forward to hosting events in Hotel Windrow later this year!

For more information on Hotel Windrow, click here!

You can become a volunteer with the EDA!

Discover volunteer opportunities at ellensburgdowntown.org/get-involved 

Written by: Hayley Harrell

EDA Organization Committee