Portland, OR. Over 300 supporters joined SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) for the organization’s Alphabet Ball fundraiser at The Nines. The event on February 8th raised $502,000 which will help support over 11,000 children in the SMART program this year with one-on-one reading support and books to keep. Alphabet Ball guests David and Thuy Blair and Triston and Jazmine Dallas joined SMART Board Member Joe Mueller and his wife, Holly Mueller.
SMART volunteers Kent Lewis, Michelle Cheek, SMART volunteer Erica Lewis, Renata Morris, SMART Board member Adam Morris, Vanessa Dichari, and Tabitha Lovett enjoying the cocktail reception.
Generous guests raise their paddles to support SMART.
Guests celebrated winning the Book Pack Frenzy, a competition to donate the most book packs for SMART students, with the gift of Carson Ellis’ book, Home. From front left, clockwise: Sarah Gates, Brenda Fox, Corbett Fox, Stephanie Gates, Stephen Dudley, Bud Borja, Nancy Dudley, SMART program alum Marissa Paulson, and Phoebe Peterson.
SMART Executive Director, Chris Otis (far left), and SMART Board Chair, Terri Browning (far right), celebrate SMART’s regional and statewide Volunteers of the Year. Volunteers from left: Judith Pearson; North Coast Area winner; Heidi Gaither, South Central Area winner; Julie Ehlers, Metro Area winner; Karen Brkich, Rogue Valley Area and Statewide winner; and Jim Linker, Central Area winner.
Learning to read is one of the most important steps in a child’s life, laying the vital foundation for future knowledge and education. Research proves that shared book reading and access to books in the home during a child’s first, formative years are the strongest predictors of early literacy skills. At SMART, this is what we do.
Founded in 1992, SMART’s proven model engages community volunteers across Oregon to read one-on-one with PreK through third-grade children for one hour per week during the school year. SMART volunteers model reading aloud and ignite a love of reading in children, helping build reading skills, motivation and self-confidence. SMART students also receive up to 14 new books to take home and keep each year.
Portland, OR. The Oregon Humane Society honored heroic people and pets at the annual Diamond Collar Awards luncheon on February 28th. Recipients were recognized for their kindness, diplomacy, resiliency and courage. Their inspiring stories represent OHS’s vision of a more humane society. At the benefit, KGW Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino, Dr. Kris Otteman from OHS, Diamond Collar winner Rojo, Shannon Joy and Lori Gregory from Mountain Peaks Therapy Llamas & Alpacas posed for a photo. Award recipients include a compassionate veterinarian from Klamath County; a dog whose road to recovery saved a young girl’s life; a canine social media superstar and a horse rescue powerhouse.
Dr. Kris Otteman from OHS, Diamond Collar winner Shannon Priem, Anne Christofferson and Diane Young
Dr. Kris Otteman, Mikee Smith, Sticky the kitty, Diamond Collar winner Chuck Hawley and KGW Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino
Dr. Kris Otteman, Denise Emmerling-Baker, Diamond Collar winner Jackie Chan, and Matt Zaffino
Matt Zaffino and Dr.Otteman
The Diamond Collar Awards are also one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the Oregon Humane Society. Wentworth SubaruCity and Subaru of America were the presenting sponsors of the event and have offered to match donations, up to $10,000, to OHS through Sunday, March 4. Here’s a link to donate.
“The OHS Diamond Collar Awards are a wonderful way to honor the people and pets who are making a difference in our community,” said Sharon Harmon, OHS President and CEO. Harmon hosted the awards with KGW chief meteorologist Matt Zaffino.
OHS put together videos of their winners:
Picasso: The dog with a twisted snout who became a social media superstar and taught the world that it’s ok to look different. There’s a video about Picasso.
Jackie Chan: This little dog is helping one woman overcome trauma and has opened a dialogue about mental health and the healing power of pets. There’s a video about Jackie Chan.
Chuck Hawley: After rescuing an abused kitten he named Sticky, Chuck used his newfound fame to promote kindness and fight bullying. There’s a video about Chuck Hawley.
Rojo: Nicknamed the world’s most beloved llama, Rojo spreads joy and happiness wherever he goes. There’s a video about Rojo.
From Oregon Humane Society:
The Oregon Humane Society is the Northwest’s oldest and largest humane society, with one of the highest adoption rates in the nation. OHS receives no government funds for its adoption, education, medical and behavior programs. Visit oregonhumane.org for more information.
Portland, OR. Special Olympics Oregon organizers are thanking participants, including law enforcement officials, who took part in the 2019 Polar Plunge. The Special Olympics Oregon team is still totaling donations from all 5 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Oregon events. (So far the Portland Plunge alone has raised $198,116.) The organization is still working to get back on sound financial footing after overspending on events left the group $2.5 million in debt. That debt prompted some hard decisions. Summer, fall and winter statewide games were canceled. Well-known fundraisers, like Bite of Oregon and the Governors’ Gold Awards, were called off as well. However, at the 2019 Portland Polar Plunge, spirits were high. Organizers are hoping fundraisers like the Plunge can help turn things around. Here are some of the photos from the event: (Photos credit Peter Van HoutenPeter Van Houten Photography)
From Special Olympics Oregon:
The heart and soul of Special Olympics Oregon begins in the hometowns of our athletes. While SOOR is rebuilding a sustainable organization that will provide Olympic-type year-round sports and athletic competitions for children and adults with intellectual disabilities for decades to come, we had to make the difficult, but responsible decision to temporarily suspend regional and state competitions.
However, our mission continues to live in communities across the state as our athletes train and engage with their friends and teammates, which is being funded through locally-raised dollars. Your participation and fundraising for Polar Plunge directly impacts athlete experiences at this local level, as $25 from every plunger goes directly to the Local Program in the plunger’s community!
The Polar Plunge is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations, and businesses to support Special Olympics Oregon athletes by jumping, walking or slowly crawling into the frigid and icy Oregon waters. The event is open to the public, and all spectators are welcome free of charge.
For more information about the 2020 event, please contact Special Olympics Oregon at 503-248-0600, [email protected].
Portland, OR. The Red Lion Jantzen Beach Hotel, was packed with over 600 supporters on February 23rd for the IMAGINE Dinner & Auction. The 10th annual event raised $460,000. IMAGINE is the theme because Northwest Association for Blind Athletes imagines life-changing opportunities through sports and physical activities for all children, youth, and adults who are blind or visually impaired. (Photo credit, Andie Petkus)
Speakers included Billy Henry (Founder & Executive Director), Erik Selden (Board President), C.S. & Angela Sheffield (Presenting Sponsor), as well as many NWABA athletes, like Octavio, and his family, who shared their personal stories and experiences. The evening was co-hosted by Mark Matthias and Kim Capeloto, along with assistance from local NWABA Athletes, Jovany and Gabe.
Board President, Erik Selden, thanks the community for coming out to celebrate and support NWABA.
In front: Dr. Robin Virgin, Jim Virgin, Harrison Lynch, Billy Henry, Ashlyn Salzman, Carly Lowder, and Mason O’Lennick. In back: Kimberly Woodside, Jeff Woodside, Monica Gilberg, Jay Gilberg, and Marty Forsmann
A sea of supporters hold up bid cards high to win trips to Paris, Edinburgh, and Iceland!
Stacey Gibbins, Gabe, and Jovany. In back: Ella, Anita, Rick, Elwin, Logan, and Lillian.
Portland, OR. The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (FCCO) is kicking off a countdown to its 100,000th spay/neuter surgery. Every cat which comes to the clinic between now and the 100,000th cat will be entered into a drawing to win $1,398. The number is intentional because according to the feral cat equation, one unaltered female and her offspring, can produce 1.398 million cats over the span of 10 years. To schedule an appointment with FCCO and enter the drawing, please call 503-797-2606 or go to feralcats.com.
Organizers say the drawing is a way for the nonprofit to say “Thank You” and bring awareness to how quickly cats can multiply.
Having spayed and neutered more than 97,000 cats since the program was established by local veterinarians in 1995, FCCO is encouraging the community to help spay/neuter feral, stray and pet cats as a simple, humane and effective way to curb pet overpopulation and reduce the number of homeless pets in Oregon and SW Washington.
“Our goal has always been to make spay/neuter clinics accessible and affordable to caregivers of feral and stray cats, and more recently pet owners that struggle financially. We are very proud to be reaching this incredible milestone with the help of so many people who care so deeply about cats,” said Karen Kraus, Executive Director of the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon. “As a community, we’re actively working together to combat pet overpopulation, ultimately reducing the number of homeless cats that come into our shelters, or are getting by on our streets.
About the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon:
The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, a 501c3 organization supported solely through donations, is a unique spay/neuter program with a state-of-the-art clinic for feral, stray, and pet cats serving over 22 counties in Oregon and SW Washington. Our mission is to improve the welfare and reduce the population of feral and stray cats through spay/neuter programs and education. Holding 4 clinics per week, spaying over 6,000 cats per year, enables us to prevent litters and reduce the number of animals for whom resources are not available. Our unique program offers feral and stray cat services to caregivers at no charge. Low-cost services are available for pet cats. For more information please visit feralcats.com.
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