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‘Mr. Silverdale’ honored with scholarship namesake

Hank Mann-Sykes is being honored for his dedication to Central Kitsap. The first-ever Whaling Days, Hank Mann-Sykes Scholarship will be awarded to a CK student. - Photo by Kassie Korich/ file photo 2004
Hank Mann-Sykes is being honored for his dedication to Central Kitsap. The first-ever Whaling Days, Hank Mann-Sykes Scholarship will be awarded to a CK student.
— image credit: Photo by Kassie Korich/ file photo 2004

Hank Mann-Sykes has been a dedicated, involved member of the Central Kitsap community for many years.

His hard work and devotion is being recognized and making college more affordable for high school seniors.

The first-ever Whaling Days, Hank Mann-Sykes Scholarship will soon be awarded to a deserving CK student.

“We felt we should be more involved in the community,” said Barry Iles, Whaling Days president. “We wanted to start putting more money back into the community.”

Iles and the Whaling Days committee decided to honor Mann-Sykes because he has been an important figure in the CK community for many years. Mann-Sykes introduced the idea of the Great Kitsap Duck Race, helped form the Central Kitsap Community Council (CKCC) and served on the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for nine years. He also has emceed several events in CK throughout the years. He was recognized as Citizen of the Year in 2004.

“He’s just given so much to the community that this would be a great way to honor him,” Iles said.

Although Mann-Sykes works closely with Whaling Days, the committee honored him with the scholarship without his knowledge.

“I was speechless, I’m not usually speechless,” Mann-Sykes chuckled.

A friend told Mann-Sykes about the Whaling Days, Hank Mann-Sykes Scholarship. He couldn’t believe the news.

“I couldn’t believe it when I found out about it,” Mann-Sykes said. “I’m very honored and flattered.”

He was so touched by the scholarship that he donated a substantial amount of his own money to the cause.

The scholarship committee is comprised of five people, including Mann-Sykes. They received roughly 10 applications and hope to select a winner for the $1,500 scholarship soon.

Starbucks auctioned off gift baskets and gave the money to the Whaling Days, Hank Mann-Sykes Scholarship fund. The Whaling Days committee also donated money to the fund.

This year marks the 35th annual Whaling Days and Mann-Sykes hopes to work with the festival for years to come.

“I hope to continue working with Whaling Days,” he said. “There aren’t a whole lot of communities anywhere that have traditions like that.”

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