Spotlight with Laurie Hardie

Each week host Laurie Hardie brings you the issues affecting the Pacific Northwest and the people making a difference in our community and sometimes beyond. Expect compelling conversations with local leaders and influencers. Spotlight is dedicated to presenting you with issues that matter - including education, health, mental health, and the environment.

Latest Episodes

Spotlighting Beat the Bridge JDRF

Zane Alexander Youth Ambassador for JDRF and Andrea Williams with JDRF working on the “Beat the Bridge” project. For the second year in a row the Nordstrom Beat the Bridge fundraising event for JDRF will be virtual. It is the 39th year of the Nordstrom / JDRF Event and nothing is going to stop them. Zane shares what it is to live with type 1 diabetes as a 13 year old and Andrea shares she was diagnosed at the age of 20. To join/participate/support the 39th Annual Nordstrom Beat the Bridge to beat Diabetes go to beatthebridge.org.

Spotlighting Aboutdads.org

Marvin Charles with Aboutdads.org was going to sign his baby girl over to the authorities because he couldn’t raise her. Instead he got into rehab, got all his kids back and created a ministry to help other dads who needed support in getting well and reuniting their families. He dropped that baby girl off at college instead. Marvin has also written a book called “Becoming Dads: A mission to restore absent fathers. https://www.findmespot.com/en-us/

Spotlighting Suicide with Dr. Josh Middleton

Suicide is on the rise. Superintendent of Granite Falls School District Dr. Josh Middleton, shares his insights and his powerful story. Suicide is a Leading Cause of Death in the United States
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54. There were more than two and a half times as many suicides (48,344) in the United States as there were homicides (18,830).
Just a few stats. The suicide hotline is available 24/7 800-273-8255. Josh says he often tells students “Tomorrow needs you.”

Spotlighting Treehouse Legislation

Treehouse’ Dawn Rains, VP and Chief Policy and Strategy Officer tells us about the commitment Treehouse has to helping foster kids graduate from high school. Not only do they have a store to support the needs of the foster kids and their families, but they have programs to support as well. The program Dawn stresses in this interview is the mentors that work with the foster kids to keep them on track to graduate from high school, moving from 50% or less that graduate to 75%. Currently they are trying to pass legislation to get more funding to help foster kids graduate and also change the school system within the Juvenile Delinquent Centers. Go to Treehousekids.org click on “Take Action” on the left of the page put in your info and it will show you your reps and will type the letter for you, go ahead, takes less than 2 minutes.

Spotlighting Suicide with Josh Middleton

Josh Middleton is the Superintendent of Granite Falls School District. 5 years ago he lost his wife to suicide. He recently shared his story with his staff. He says the best thing we can do is show up for each other. That we will get through the rest of Covid with speaking words of encouragement to each other. He says he often tells students that “Tomorrow needs them.”

Spotlighting Ms. Wheelchair USA

Lowery Lockard the CEO of Ms. Wheelchair USA and the Dane Foundation along with Candy Kayne Ms. Wheelchair California USA 2021 join us to talk about the mission of Ms. Wheelchair USA. The Ms. Wheelchair USA program has been in existence for more than 23 years. It began as a state program, selecting winners in the state of Ohio to do a national service platform. As the program grew in popularity and was televised live, potential candidates began coming from all over the country asking to compete in the outstanding program. The program became a national competition 14 years ago and has been going and growing strong! The Ms. Wheelchair USA organization promotes glamour, self-confidence, and community service; celebrating the accomplishments of women with disabilities! https://www.mswheelchairusa.org/
Candy’s FB Page https://www.facebook.com/MsWheelchairCaliforniaUSA/

Spotlighting Cleaning up the Mental Mess Dr. Caroline Leaf

Dr. Caroline Leaf is a communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist with a Masters and PhD in Communication Pathology and a BSc Logopaedics, specializing in cognitive and metacognitive neuropsychology. She shares her 5 step Neuro cycle system. Gather/Reflect/Write/Recheck/active reach. It is all in her new book called “Cleaning up the Mental Mess. She addresses mental illness/trauma and brain injury. She believes our mind can change our brain. She also has a weekly podcast called Cleaning up the Mental mess.
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cleaning-up-the-mental-mess-with-dr-caroline-leaf/id1334767397 https://drleaf.com/

Spotlighting Volunteers of America WW

Volunteers of America Western Washington working to meet people right where they are joining me is Steve Corsi, Psy.D. – President/CEO, Suzan Sturholm- Board Chair and Jessica Moore- Director of Development. Like all non profits VOA WW also had to pivot with their fundraiser this year, as well as serve more community members than usual. They talk about the services VOA provide including feeding the hungry, helping the homeless and their 211 community resource help line. www.voaww.org

Spotlighting Catalyst Mentoring

The Executive Director of Catalyst Mentoring, Jenna Berry, talks about the impact of mentoring, shares stories about kids who have done better due to mentoring and shares the podcast where she gives tips and tricks to the mentors to help them stay engaged with their student, especially during Covid. Jenna says if you are looking to start a mentoring program in your community you can contact her at

Spotlighting American Heart Association

February is Heart Health month so we had a conversation with Mariko Harper, MD who is board-certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, nuclear cardiology and echocardiography. She practices at Virginia Mason Heart Institute. Along with The Go Red For Women Ambassadors Andrea Engfer a stroke survivor. Just Six days after giving birth to a beautiful baby girl, 34-year-old Andrea suffered a stroke. The cause? High blood pressure during pregnancy. Recovery has been a challenging journey as Andrea has had to re-learn how to walk, read and write. After spending over 43 hours in the hospital and many weeks in rehab, she celebrated by running her first 5K post stroke in October 2020 and Shree Saini, with congenital heart disease and heart block is the reigning Miss World America Washington is also a heart disease survivor and advocate. She was born with a complete heart block, which causes irregular heartbeats, and had surgery at just age 12 to implant a pacemaker in her chest. Shree has volunteered at over 100 non-profits and leverages her platform to advocate for many causes, including heart health. She has been invited to speak about her service work in over 100 cities, 30 states and 8 countries where she shares her story to raise awareness of heart health and provides messages of encouragement and gratitude.