Portland, Or. Edwards Center held its 13th annual fundraising luncheon, “Live Happy” at the Multnomah Athletic Club on October 10th. The luncheon was held to support the needs of Oregonians experiencing developmental disabilities. They have services pertaining to housing, employment, and recreational opportunities. During “Live Happy” the Edwards Center met their match offered by The Minson family. The offer was $100,000, and they ended up raising over $300,000. Dirk Fournier, owner of Fournier Group Insurance, emceed and introduced speakers, Doug Minson and Gail Grodem. The speakers shared their personal stories of how their lives are impacted by loved ones with developmental disabilities. Another highpoint of the fundraiser was Max Monty, owner and creative director of YesBox Digital along with Portland comedian, Susan Rice helped to highlight what it means to “Live Happy” each day. Pictured above is Paul Bryant, Marla Kleinheinz, Dr. Jean Edwards (Founder) and Chad Bode – interviewed about Living Happy in Edwards Center programs (Photo credit Andie Petkus).

Doug and Susan Minson – offered a $100,000 match for the day.

Pat Reser, Dr. Jean Edwards (founder) and Bill Westphal

The Edwards Center was founded by Dr. Jean Edwards, who dedicated her life to supporting people who have developmental disabilities. When Edwards was a child, she had a neighbor and friend named David. She noticed that he was unable to attend school or participate in the activities that his twin brother was able to enjoy. This started her journey of studying at the University of Oregon, and then Columbia College where she studied Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling. She planned what would eventually be known as Edwards Center, which provides programs and activities for people with disabilities and allows them to be able to live a more fulfilling life.

Former Governor Barbara Roberts and Donald Nelson

Donors Bobbi Lampros, Robbyn Foggia and Mary Lee Boklund

Here is a video from Edwards Center:

From Edwards Center:

“Our mission is to enhance the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities by helping them reach their highest potential through training, education, employment, housing and social opportunities in safe, healthy and stimulating environments. Our vision is where adults with developmental disabilities enjoy opportunities in all aspects of their lives, including housing, employment, community activities, quality health care, and support, preserving their dignity & independence, while motivating, celebrating and connecting with family, and community across their life span. We believe that people with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, and other developmental disabilities have tremendous potential.  That’s why we’ve created a lifelong plan of services to provide our participants with homes, jobs, and a chance to participate in the world around them. Since 1972 we’ve worked with our clients, their families, and their friends to ensure that adults with developmental disabilities have the opportunity to live and thrive in Oregon.”