On Friday night, Mar. 1, 2024, Discover Burien held its annual “Best of Burien” Awards Dinner to an enthusiastic crowd at the Burien Community Center.

This year’s event included new rules for winners based on their locations in the neighborhoods of Boulevard Park, Ambaum Blvd., First Ave S. and Downtown Burien.

VIDEO: Highline High’s ‘Mariachi Tesoro’ Band

The night included a dinner, silent auction and a wonderful performance by Highline High School’s band ‘Mariachi Tesoro,’ which had a spontaneous fundraiser that brought in over $8,500 for the program. After the raise-the-paddle portion, an attendee donated an extra $7,500 to reach the goal of $16,000 raised for the school’s new band. They had already raised $2,000 for a grand total of $18,000, so they can get now their uniforms.

The band is new this school year, and is taught by Camilo Aristizabal – below is a video showing their performance of two songs:

YouTube player

Burien Police Chief Honors Staff

In addition, Burien Police Chief Ted Boe surprised First Sgt. Henry McLauchlan with a “45-year pin” for his service at the King County Sheriff’s Office, with his last 27 right here in Burien. Then Burien Police Mental Health Professionals Allison Smith and Daisy Espinoza were selected as Public Servants of the Year.

“These amazing MHPs are on patrol in Burien with their commissioned partners, Detective Eric Turner and Detective Scott Mandella (newly promoted to Sergeant), bringing the ‘right response’ to people in crisis,” Chief Boe said. “This specialized team has responded to over 1,000 people in crisis in the last year.”

Awards Presented

Awards for businesses were given out based on nominations made by the public. Businesses with the most nominations in each category were then voted on by the Discover Burien Board.

“It was such an awesome event to see the community come together for the awards and celebrate Burien,” Discover Burien Executive Director Debra George told The B-Town Blog. “To see the audience give the Mariachi Tesoro a standing ovation and then raise the paddle raising $16,000 for uniforms was amazing! You could really feel the love and respect this community has for one another. I want to thank our community for their generous support, the Discover Burien staff, volunteers, Board for all their hard work, making this the most successful dinner yet.”


Business that Makes a Difference in Boulevard Park: Duane’s Garden Patch

Best Customer Service in Boulevard Park: Flight Path

Business that Makes a Difference on Ambaum Boulevard: Huckleberry Square Restaurant

Business that Makes a difference in Downtown Burien: Three Trees Books

Best Customer Service in Downtown Burien: Tori Sake and Grill

Business that Makes a Difference on 1st Ave S: Casa Italiana Cultural Center

Favorite Restaurant South of 148th SW: Centro Neighborhood Kitchen

Special Shout Out for Outstanding Individual or Business: Burien Community Acupuncture

Non-Profit of the Year: Highline Heritage Museum

Discover Burien Volunteer of the Year: Cathleen Schilling

Public Servant of the Year: Allison Smith & Daisy Espanoza

Jeff Kearny Award: Harold Martinson

Additional Award Winners unable to attend:

Best Customer Service on 1st Ave S: Trader Joes

Favorite Restaurant North of 148th SW: The Pizza Gallery

Best Customer Service on Ambaum Boulevard: B & E Meats

Spotlight Employee: Mitchell Allen


Below are some photos from the event by Scott Schaefer (click arrows or swipe images to view slideshow):

Proceeds of this event benefited Discover Burien, a non-profit focused on local community and business development, education, and promotion. Membership and contributions are tax deductible. 

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One reply on “Discover Burien’s ‘Best of Burien’ awards honor local businesses, people at Burien Community Center Friday night”

  1. Re Discover Burien Awards, I thought that the Shorewood Community was part of Burien. The City limits go up the 12th Avenue.

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