Tradition of generosity

Some of the many Stanwood Camano Food Bank volunteers worked to give away 2019 Thanksgiving baskets.

This is the first Christmas season since Pat Richardson passed away, but his tradition of generosity continues.

In 2008, Richardson called Randy Heagle and Craig Olson to propose an annual pact. Christmas was coming, and each would each chip in $1,000 to give to the Stanwood Camano Food Bank to help fill holiday baskets.

“He said, ‘We’ll call ourselves the three amigos,’” Heagle said. “Pat was just a wonderful generous awesome guy. He was such a force. He did so many things for so many people and did so much of it under the radar, too.”

Richardson really liked to go shopping — the other guys, not so much, Heagle said. But they were happy to pitch in money. Then Richardson would shop and find deals on shampoo, soap, hams and food.

Over the years, it became a family affair for Randy and Marla Heagle, Rose and Craig Olson, and Pat and Carrie Richardson — and even their son, Michael.

“Ever since I was a kid, we’d go to the Dollar Store and pick out shampoo and toothpaste — the essential products — and take it in,” Michael Richardson said.

“Pat just loved doing that; it was always a big deal. He had a passion to do the big buy,” Rose Olson said. “Usually we do it in December to contribute to the Christmas baskets, when the Food Bank goes above and beyond to have special foods for the holidays.”

Pat Richardson also served as a board member with the food bank and the Community Resource Center of Stanwood Camano.

He died in January. At the celebration of Pat Richardson’s life, his son Michael Richardson approached the Heagles and Olsons and said he’d love to keep the Food Bank tradition going with them.

“I just thought it was the right thing to do,” Michael Richardson said. “He always wanted to help people. He would have wanted me and my mom to still be part of this and donate money to the food bank.”

Heagle said it’s wonderful to see that generous spirit in someone so young. Michael Richardson, 21, attends Central Washington University.

Heagle said that people at the Food Bank would do the shopping now that Pat’s gone. Besides, they have buying power that gets three to one with the same money.

“He really did his best to participate and give what he had to the community,” said Michael Richardson. “It’s important to uphold my dad’s memory.”

Contact reporter Peggy Wendel at or 360-416-2189.

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