Who we are

Once upon a time, in a land not so far from you. Some people looked around and saw so much sadness, so much pain and so much to be done. They said to each other, “how can we help?” and so Operation We Care Tri-Cities was born. Here are the people trying to help.


Merrilee (May) Hays- President

May Hays has worked as the Executive Director of the West Richland Area Chamber of Commerce for 20 years and Owner/Operator of the Mayfield Gathering Place and Event Center in West Richland. She is a Tri-Cities Native who’s passion is helping those in need. May started Operation We Care Tri-Cities as she saw a need in the community and wanted to help.

Elise Stone – Vice President

Elise Stone is currently a Sergeant for Washington State Department of Corrections at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla but spends a significant amount of time in the Tri-cities volunteering for the West Richland Area Chamber of Commerce and now as the Vice President for Operation We Care Tri-Cities. Her goals are to make the community as safe and as happy as possible and wants to give back to those who have sacrificed so much for everyone else.

Marsha Petty-

Marsha Petty resides in Kennewick, Washington and has lived in the Tri-Cities most of her life. She recently retired from Columbia Basin College working in Student Services for 13 years. Prior to CBC, Marsha was the owner/operator of Marsha’s on Jadwin Ave in Richland for over 20 years. Marsha is honored to be a part of Operation We Care Tri-Cities. She has worked with May for the last few years helping with the Holiday Families program. Marsha is looking forward to serving our community and those in need. Marsha believes that at some point in our lives we all need help of some kind and she believes giving back to others is a privilege as well as a responsibility.

Deborah Duran-

Deborah has been with the West Richland Area Chamber of Commerce for the last 5 years and is still a part of helping with major events and other non-profits organizations. She has worked in the medical field for 25 years and has worked in the past with the American Cancer Society at Kadlec Regional Medical Center and volunteers for Elijah Family Homes. She is active with her church Cornerstone Church Tri-Cities. Her goal is to support Operation We Care Tri-Cities succeed in helping those who are unfortunate and support our Veterans.

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