Portland, OR. “Sparks” lit up the night during an evening dedicated to fun and fundraising on behalf of the more than 3,000 youth served by Camp Fire Columbia. At the April 18th event, Camp Namanu Counselors serenaded supporters with an original song, “Years Go By.” (Photo credit, Andie Petkus)

Camp Fire Columbia President & CEO, Emily Gilliland, and former Camp Fire Columbia CEO, Keith Thomajan.

Camp Fire Youth Advisory Committee member, Ashe, along with Camp Fire Middle School Site Supervisor, Kate Westfall.

Dana Spielmann, Robin Castro, Karol Collymore, Nancy Schmuggie, along with Camp Fire Board Member, John Halseth.

Spark attendees enjoying the night at the Sentinel: Earl Hines, Dwight Adkins, Jaime Soltero Jr., Sarita Amaya, Kari Chisholm, Carrie Wynkoop, Karla Elias, Miguel Elias.

Camp Fire event guests: Bryce Helgerson, Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center, Jake Kindrachuk, Village Family Capital and Camp Fire Columbia Board Chair, John Lowe, The Standard, Dana Comella, Foods in Season (and Camp Fire alumna), Mary Hart, Merriweather Group, Kent Walker, Tillamook County Creamery Association.

Presented by The Standard, Spark: Gathering Around Camp Fire featured youth leaders at the helm of the event. Their voice was present in all aspects, from designing the logo, creating a photography project, and sharing their stories throughout the night. Held at the Sentinel Hotel, the event brought together attendees and businesses to support the organization’s work to build caring confident youth leaders.

Youth shared their stories with poetry, song, and videos throughout the evening. Featured at the event was Youth Advisory Committee member, Ashe, who has been involved with Camp Fire for 3 years as a middle school student. Ashe relayed how Camp Fire feels like a family to her, and provides a safe place where she has grown to become an even stronger youth leader.

Attendees were able to connect with Camp Fire youth representing elementary, middle, and high school school-based programs, as well as Camp Namanu, the region’s Best Summer Camp according to Willamette Week’s 2016 reader poll last year.

Hear more about Ashe’s story in her featured video online.

The evening included a collaborative photography project with Portland’s Artist Laureate, Julie Keefe. Select photographs were featured in a silent auction. Guests enjoyed cocktails and camp inspired snacks, while having fun at the photo booth by Phototainment Portland. Grab bags for purchase included surprises from local businesses such as Salt & Straw, the Portland Trailblazers, Jacobson Salt, Thomas & Sons Distillery, Portland Thorns, and so much more. Following the reception, Oregon Governor Kate Brown welcomed everyone to the dinner program by video. Governor Brown shared with the audience that as a child she was a Camp Fire kid. She gained many critical skills and a better sense of herself as a result of the program. Governor Brown stressed that, “Now more than ever Camp Fire is helping all Oregon kids fulfill their greatest potential.”

Guests took the live auction by storm and won packages that included regional and tropical travel, wine tastings, custom shopping packages and cocktail experiences to name just a few!

From Camp Fire Columbia:

Camp Fire Columbia’s programs directly serve over 3,000 kids ages 5-18 each year across the greater Portland metropolitan region in programs that include in-school, before and after school, and summer programs. Thousands more children and families are impacted every year through partnerships and special projects.

Camp Fire is a place where every kid belongs.

The money raised at Spark empowers us to work with kids who need us most. Camp Fire is making sure that youth have opportunities to explore, discover, and raise their voices as leaders. 

For more information and to volunteer with Camp Fire Columbia visit: http://CampFireColumbia.org.