City Names Victor and Laurie Raisys 2017 Citizens of the Year

June 25, 2018 | by Erin Sirianni

Explore +

The Mercer Island City Council began recognizing outstanding efforts of citizens in 1990 and has continued this tradition for more than 25 years.

Honorees are individuals or entities whose achievements may have gone unrecognized in some settings, but who have improved Island life through a broad base of community service, fundraising, or other means.  This year’s recipients are Laurie and Victor Raisys, who have made a significant impact on the community as residents and as owners of Island Books.

As third generation Islanders and both Microsoft alumni, Laurie and Victor bought Island Books in July of 2015 and have worked diligently to preserve the sense of community found at the bookstore and to enhance its local legacy ever since.

Supporting the Mercer Island community and giving back to local organizations is second nature to Laurie and Victor. They have sponsored special events like the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Giving From The Heart Breakfast & Shopping Day, The Mercer Island Schools Foundation Breakfast, the Farmers Market, Summer Celebration, and supported the local business community through the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce, where Victor is a board member.

In addition to sponsoring events, they also host fundraisers in their store. Not only do they donate the space for the event, they contribute a percentage of the profits from that night to the fundraising group – groups such as school sports groups, band and arts programs, and Island chorus groups.

In their little corner of the Island, the Raisys’ are building a better community, simply by creating a gathering space for senior and adult reading groups, author readings, children’s sing-alongs, book signings, new book release parties, and Independent Bookstore Day.

Laurie and Victor have preserved Island Books’ mark in the community and in the Puget Sound region as much more than just a place to buy books. It is “a true community experience,” and distinguishes itself from online booksellers with high levels of customer service and a professional, experienced, and knowledgeable staff of booksellers.

It’s people like Laurie and Victor, and enduring legacies like Island Books, that help make Mercer Island the best place to live in Washington.

Laurie and Victor were honored with the award at the City Council’s June 19th meeting. Click here to view past Citizens of the Year.

[This article originally appeared on the City of Mercer Island website / Photo credit: Microsoft Alumni Network | Jane Gershovich]