Top Ten Portland Society Page Stories of 2018

Top Ten Portland Society Page Stories of 2018

Portland, OR. It has been our biggest year to date at We have tens of thousands more readers and featured over 500 local nonprofits in our stories during 2018. Those admirable organizations have raised millions of dollars for worthy beneficiaries. It’s our privilege to be the only nonprofit news resource for local charities and the supporters who love them! Did you miss any stories? Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter by CLICKING HERE! Have a great idea for 2019? Contact Editor & Publisher Elisa Klein, at [email protected]

So…here’s the list of the top ten stories (in reverse order to build your suspense) on during 2018.

10. Oregon Symphony 2018 Gala Raises Record $1.15M

Portland, OR. Following a drum roll by the Obo Addy Drummers, Oregon Symphony President Scott Showalter took the stage at the 2018 Oregon Symphony Gala to announce that $1.15M was raised in support of the orchestra. This marks the fourth consecutive year the Symphony has broken its fund raising record, making it one of the highest grossing benefits in the region. Attendees at the April 14th gala cheered loudly as a fireworks display lit up ten large video screens in the Portland Art Museum’s Kridel Ballroom. Chanteuse Storm Large, Oregon Symphony Music Director Carlos Kalmar, Oregon Symphony President Scott Showalter, and songwriter Naomi LaViolette all took time for a photo together. READ MORE

9. Oregon Made Film About Father/Daughter Living in Forest Park Premieres at Sundance

Park City, UT. Leave No Trace premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaimDirector Debra Granik adapted the screenplay for the film with her writing partner, Anne Rosellini, from the Peter Rock novel, My Abandonment, which was based on the true story of a father who lived with his teenage daughter in Forest Park for four years. READ MORE

8. Classic Wines Auction Raises Nearly $3 Million for Five Local Nonprofits

Portland, OR. More than 825 guests gathered on March 3rd at the Oregon Convention Center for the 34th annual Classic Wines Auction, raising nearly $3 million for five local nonprofits. Guests bid on distinctive auction items while enjoying gourmet cuisine presented by top local chefs and, of course, the gala’s signature fine wines. Proceeds support children and families in our community served by the beneficiaries, including: Metropolitan Family ServiceYWCA Clark CountyFriends of the ChildrenNew Avenues for Youth and Unity Center for Behavioral Health. Classic Wines Auction events have raised more than $43 million since 1982. (Photo credit, John Valls Photography) READ MORE

7. Riverdale Auction Raises $140,000 for Programs Including Technology Upgrades and Emergency Preparedness

Portland, OR. City Lights was the theme for the Riverdale School District Auction at the Leftbank Annex. Benefit Chair, Kristen Best and committee member, Allison Williams, helped coordinated the volunteers, donors, student artists, sponsors, attendees, and entertainers at February 24th event. The auction raised funds for Riverdale PTC programs including $50,000 during a paddle raise for District-wide technology and emergency preparedness/safety initiatives. READ MORE

6. Top Ten Portland Society Page Stories of 2017

Portland, OR. “Classically American” Oregon Symphony’s Gala Raises Over $1 Million was the number one story in 2017. The popping of celebratory champagne, the Rex Putnam High School Marching Band, and applause from the nearly 400 attendees provided a fitting end to the Symphony’s annual gala, which marked another first in the organization’s 120-year history – shattering the $1 million gala fundraising mark. Guests included State Architect Alice Wiewel, Liz Fuller, President of Gard Communications, Representative Brent Barton, Jordan Schnitzer, OSA President Scott Showalter, Portland State University President Wim Wiewel, and Mayor Ted Wheeler. READ MORE

5. Portland Center Stage 2018-2019 Season Will Include ‘Color Purple’ & Return of Storm Large in ‘Crazy Enough’

Portland, OR. Portland Center Stage at The Armory’s 2018-2019 season will feature 11 productions along with a special 10th anniversary return engagement of Storm Large in Crazy Enough, a show that had its world premiere at The Armory in 2009 and became one of the company’s biggest hits. READ MORE

4. Portland Father of the Year Honors Benefit American Diabetes Association

Portland, OR. The American Diabetes Association and the National Father’s Day Council honored four local dads at the “Father of the Year” awards dinner on June 15th on Center Court at the Moda Center.  Similar events are hosted in cities across the country to recognize men who have made family a priority while balancing demanding careers and community involvement. 2016 Portland Father of the Year Honoree’s are: Terry Porter, (Former Portland Trail Blazer, Men’s Basketball Coach, University of Portland) Jay Haladay, (Retired CEO, Viewpoint Construction Software) Randy Miller, (President, Produce Row Property Management Company) and Michael Snaadt, (Owner, Helen Bernhard Bakery). The dinner is also a fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association because supporters are encouraged to make donations in support of the honored fathers. (Photo credit, Andie Petkus) READ MORE.

3. VIPs Flock to Portland International Auto Show Sneak Peek Charity Preview

Portland, OR. Hundreds of nonprofit supporters had the VIP treatment at the Auto Show Sneak Peek Charity Preview on January 24th. Lindsey and Brian Holcomb joined Randi Inukai and her husband, Co-owner of Dick’s Auto Group, Scott Inukai at the gala. Last year, the event raised $610,000 for local nonprofits and organizers say they’re on target to raise even more this year. As the official kickoff of the Portland International Auto Show (PIAS), the Sneak Peek has raised over $3 million for deserving charities at the Oregon Convention Center over the past five years. (The auto show dates for the public are Thurs., Jan. 25th – Sun., Jan. 28th.) This year, the charities which benefited include: Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland; Juvenile Diabetes Research FoundationMeals on Wheels People; Victory Academy; the Brian Grant Foundation; The Dougy Center; and Self Enhancement Incorporated. READ MORE

2. Poolside Party Makes a Splash for New Avenues for Youth

Portland, OR. 130 friends and neighbors were mixing and mingling at the Dunthorpe home of Mimi and Doug McCaslin on June 27th, to learn more about the work of New Avenues for Youth. The nonprofit is celebrating its 20th year working toward the prevention and intervention of youth homelessness. Since 1997, its programs and services have impacted more than 20,000 young people as they work to overcome barriers, pursue goals, and realize their potential.

1. Opening Night VIP Party for RH Portland Benefits Doernbecher

Portland, OR. Over 1,000 invited guests converged on the new 46,000 square foot Restoration Hardware (RH) gallery store in the Historic Alphabet District for its gala opening. This new four-story showplace, at 474 NW 23rd, features RH furnishings, artwork, and accessories in a gallery-like setting. The VIP opening was also a benefit for the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation and drew supporters like Judi Inglis, Bella Hunter, RH Chairman & CEO Gary Friedman, Maddie Andrews, and Peter Andrews. READ MORE.

Well, there you have it, the top 10 Portland Society Page stories of the year. Society Page is a free community platform where you can make a difference. If you enjoy reading our positive news about the great things happening in our area, you can help and here’s how:

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We are excited to continue “Building Your Community” in 2019!


Elisa Klein, Editor

[email protected]

Patricia Reser Center for the Arts Awarded Oregon Community Foundation $250,000 Match

Patricia Reser Center for the Arts Awarded Oregon Community Foundation $250,000 Match

Beaverton, OR. The Patricia Reser Center for the Arts has been awarded an Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) grant of $250,000. “The Oregon Community Foundation is excited to be part of the community giving toward the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts. The center will not only provide a place to celebrate the arts, but a versatile place to meet for the vibrant Washington County community,” said Kirby Dyess, OCF Board Chair.

The gift, which will support construction of the first performing arts center of its kind to be built in the Portland-metro in more than 30 years, is exclusive to contributions made by Washington County donors, and will be allotted in 10 matching $25,000 increments. The grant announced on December 26th is valid for gifts of $25,000 or greater, and the first $25,000 of each individual gift will be matched.

Nestled adjacent to The Round between SW Cedar Hills Boulevard and SW Hall Boulevard, the facility will include a 550-seat theater, art gallery, rehearsal, workshop and meeting space, lobby, outdoor plaza and parking structure. With innovative offerings in the performing arts – theater, music and dance – the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts will be a beacon for civic engagement, creative learning and greater social cohesion.

“Everyone who supports the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts shares in our belief that art is essential to our identity and ability to build community, attract visitors and drive progress,” said Lani Faith, executive director for the Beaverton Arts Foundation, the fundraising partner for the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts. “With this generous gift from our friends at the Oregon Community Foundation, we are not only closer to bringing our vision to life, but we also have the opportunity to further engage with our fellow Washington County neighbors.”

This summer, the Beaverton Arts Foundation announced a transformative pledge – made possible by Pat Reser, through the Reser Family Foundation – of $13 million to its new center for the arts, providing nearly one-third of the $46 million needed for the project. The pledge represents the largest single investment made-to-date by the Reser Family Foundation and largest single philanthropic gift to the arts in the Portland metro area to date.


The Patricia Reser Center for the Arts will feature:

  • A 550-seat theatre
  • A spacious lobby for receptions and other events
  • Outdoor plaza for art exhibits, community festivals and other events
  • Rehearsal, workshop and meeting space
  • Art gallery to feature regional and traveling exhibits
  • Adjacent public parking structure

This state-of-the-art, world-class multidisciplinary performing and visual arts center will serve as a catalyst for personal, cultural and economic growth, as well as increased civic pride and engagement. This vision truly has been built from the ground up; an intentional, cooperative effort between public/private project champions.

View a 360-degree rendering of The Center hereFor more information on this matching opportunity, please contact Lani Faith at [email protected].

For more information: and

About the Oregon Community Foundation:

Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) puts donated money to work in Oregon – more than $100 million in grants and scholarships annually. Since 1973, OCF grantmaking, research, advocacy and community-advised solutions have helped individuals, families, businesses and organizations create charitable funds to improve lives for all Oregonians. Impactful giving – time, talent and resources from many – creates measurable change. For more information about OCF, please visit:

Seattle’s Annual Gingerbread Village Benefits Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Seattle’s Annual Gingerbread Village Benefits Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Seattle, WA. Here’s a look at a colorful fundraiser popular with people in the Emerald City. For 26 years fans have visited the Sheraton Seattle’s Annual Gingerbread Village benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The theme for this year’s celebration is Welcome to Whoville. Donations are collected for JDRF and more than 200,000 people are expected to visit the village before it closes on January 2nd.

The village is set up in chronological order to tell the story of how the Grinch Stole Christmas. The five jumbo-sized gingerbread houses have a total of over 1,200 pounds of dough, 800 pounds of icing, 200 pounds of white chocolate, 250 pounds of almond paste and hundreds of pounds of candy.

First up in the display is Whoville Town and Mount Crumpit. Organizers say it took close to 8,000 hours to put together the stroll through the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. 

Next, it’s the Grinch’s Lair where he plots with his loyal dog Max.

The next gingerbread house the mischievous Grinch hard at work in his sleigh stealing Christmas. He drives the sleigh up Mount Crumpit.

Next is the presentation of the Whoville Christmas Celebration, with the Whos surrounded by the Christmas tree with their joy and love for Christmas.

Last is the depiction of the Whoville Feast, where Grinch, Cindy Lou Who, Max and the Whos of Whoville find their peace.

Viewing hours of Gingerbread Village through January 1st, are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Sheraton Grand Seattle, 1400 6th Ave. Seattle 98101
From JDRF:

Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes with a new case diagnosed every 30 seconds. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic, debilitating disease that usually strikes children and young adults, coming on suddenly and causing dependence on injected or pumped insulin for life.  However, insulin is not a cure, nor does it prevent the constant threat of complications.

JDRF funds more T1D research than any other non profit in the world.  The JDRF mission is to improve diabetes treatments and ultimately find a cure for T1D. Over 80% of JDRF expenditures goes directly to our mission.

Gingerbread Village Teams: 

Team CallisonRTKL and Hargis, Chef Lee Baldyga, Nora Milad

Team 4D, Chef Jay Sardeson, Grace Pilo

Team Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties & Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl, Architecture, Chef David Mestl, Zane Alexander

Team MG2, Chef Joleen Anderson, Natalie Brogan

Team Bailly & Bailly, Chef John Armstrong, Olive Tolbert

More information at:

2018 Oregon ZooLights Biggest Display Ever

2018 Oregon ZooLights Biggest Display Ever

Portland, OR. The Oregon Zoo’s walk-through winter wonderland of more than 1.6 million colored lights opened on November 21st and is attracting more visitors than ever. According to zoo officials, over the past five years, more than a million visitors have strolled through the forests of lighted trees, been dazzled by life-size illuminated animal silhouettes and ridden the light-bedecked zoo trains. “Attendance has been off the charts the past several years,” said Ivan Ratcliff, the zoo’s guest services manager. Advance purchase tickets run from $17.95 for adults to $12.95 for children. ZooLights is open through January 5th, 2019, but will be closed December 24th-25th. Full pricing and schedule can be found at this link:

In addition to visiting elephants, mountain goats and other animals, you can ride the popular lighted train. There are local food carts, special warm drinks and live music. 

For every remaining night of ZooLights, the zoo is offering a $5 admission discount for visitors who take TriMet (proof of ridership required). Ride and skip the parking lot!

Here are some photos of what you’ll see:

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit.

Save by not driving

  • Both new and existing LYFT users traveling to ZooLights can use the code ZOOLIGHTS18 and get 20 percent off their ride. Find out more.

ZooLights food and beverages

  • Guests will find local food carts, elephant ears, cocoa and hearty dinners at ZooLights, so come hungry! See the ZooLights menu.

Member discounts

  • In addition to free admission (except for Dec. 24 & 25 when ZooLights is closed), members receive 10% off Gift Shop and food purchases at zoo food locations. New this year, members enjoy DOUBLE DISCOUNT Mondays. Present your membership card at the Gift Shop for 20% off your purchases on Monday nights thoughout ZooLights. Learn more about zoo membership.
  • Zoo members receive a discount on ZooLights carousel and train tickets.
  • Save on membership – the latest Chinook Book features a $10 off zoo membership coupon.

The ZooLights VIP Experience

GET TICKETS VIP ZooLights nights are Dec. 21, 22 and 23. 


  • Groups of 20 or more get a 20% discount. Reservations are not required.  

Gift Shop specials

  • Complete the ZooLights scavenger hunt for a chance to win a gift certificate at the Gift Shop. Check the ZooLights map for details when you arrive.

Have questions about ZooLights? Read our FAQs for illumination.

Show up fashionably late … unless you’re driving.

  • “The big rush at ZooLights is usually from 4 to 6 p.m.,” Ratcliff said. “If you come after that, you can avoid some of the crowds. This strategy only works if you’re taking MAX though. If you’re driving, I recommend getting here by 4 p.m. or sooner and allow an extra 30 minutes for traffic and parking. The main parking lot, and even the shuttle lots, fill up fast, especially on weekends.” Visitor can check real time on-site parking availability at

It’s not all about the train.

  • “A lot of people focus on the train, but really that’s just one part of the ZooLights experience,” Ratcliff said. “Around 90 percent of the lights are along the walking paths. I recommend scheduling your ride online before you visit — then you can stroll around the grounds and enjoy the lights until your appointed train time.”

About the Oregon Zoo:

The Oregon Zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission of inspiring the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, Western pond turtles and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.
The zoo relies in part on community support through donations to the Oregon Zoo Foundation to undertake these and many other animal welfare, education and sustainability programs. The zoo is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26 at exit 72. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Visitors who travel to the zoo via MAX receive $1.50 off zoo admission. Find fare and route information online or by calling TriMet Customer Service at 503-238-RIDE (7433).
General zoo admission is $10.50 (ages 12-64), $9 for seniors (65 and up), $7.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for those 2 and younger; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo’s Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $4 per car is also required. Additional information is available by calling 503-226-1561.



Technology and Transparency Top Trends for 2019 Charitable Giving

Technology and Transparency Top Trends for 2019 Charitable Giving

Portland, OR. Humanitarian crises, natural disasters, donating to help alleviate human suffering (like Bill Gates, Sr. who visited the Naz Foundation’s care centre for HIV Positive children in New Delhi) the needs today as pressing as ever, but the way we give is evolving, according to Time Magazine. Editors pinpointed five ways charitable giving is likely to change in 2019. Thanks to tax law and technology, along with changing consciousness and shifting social mores, philanthropy experts say there are notable shifts afoot in where, when and how Americans open their wallets to charitable causes. 

Here’s what Time says you can to expect in charitable giving trends in 2019:

Giving bigger donations, but less frequently

Charities and non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, are watching carefully to see if the doubling of the standard deduction under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 changes how — and how much — we give.

“Certainly, the NGOs are worried,” says Barbara Leopold, associate director of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. “There’s a great deal of worry about it on the receiving end.”

One potential change is that people could switch to giving every other or every third year instead of annually, a tactic called “bunching” that would let them itemize in their giving years to get the deduction, and take the standard deduction in other years. “At the higher level of giving, people who were giving in calculated ways — I think they’re keeping a closer watch on what effects the law will have,” Leopold says.

Using technology to mobilize support

If you feel like you’ve seen more notifications in your Facebook feed that someone is raising money for a good cause to celebrate a birthday or other milestone, you’re probably right. “We have seen a rise in crowdfunding and peer-to-peer funding,” says Una Osili, professor of economics and philanthropic studies at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

This growth is a confluence of two trends, she says: the desire of donors to personalize their giving, and advances in technology that make giving, or asking others to give on your behalf, as easy as typing up a heartfelt message and hitting “enter.”

Osili says the trifecta of how giving is traditionally framed — as gifts of “talent, treasure or time” — is getting a fourth leg. “Now, some people are adding ‘testimony’ to that, using social media to get the word out around a cause or get people mobilized around an issue.”

Growing clout of big donors (for better or worse)

“What I call ultra-philanthropy is going to continue to expand, as it has been over the last 10 years,” says Paul Schervish, professor emeritus and retired director of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College.

“We’re going to continue to find that the top one-half of 1% will be giving about 30% of all the charitable dollars,” he says. Exemplified by the publicized giving of moguls like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, this trend has facilitated important advances in fields such as health care and higher education.

But there is a drawback in that funding is funneled to a smaller pool of recipients or causes. This, combined with the proliferation of charities at the grassroots level, may leave smaller non-profits feeling pinched, Schervish says. “Charities at these local levels are going to feel that they’re facing greater financial challenges in their fundraising, and the reason is that the number of charities continues to expand dramatically,” he says. “The total amount of dollars can be still given to local charities and so on, but they will be divided up more.”

Investing with a social conscience

Donors today increasingly see the appeal of putting their money into a firm or a fund that will give them a return while affirming their values or supporting a cause they believe in, Osili says. “Impact investing is the notion that you can make a difference by investing in a company that has a social mission,” she says. “The idea is that the toolbox is growing.”

Millennials in particular have shown an affinity for aligning themselves — whether as customers, employees or investors — with businesses that reflect their personal value system or beliefs.

Schervish adds that donors today are looking for places that let their money do double duty. “There’s more venture philanthropy, where there is the infusion of funds for for-profit activities or non-for-profit activities that have a social outcome as one of the major consequences,” he says. “We’re going to continue to see people choosing business approaches or commercial approaches for what they deem to be important social needs.”

Making transparency a key determinant

“Women and donors of diverse backgrounds are taking more of a leadership role in the sector of philanthropy,” Osili says. One key outcome is that donors today are more proactive about asking about where their money is going and what it’s being used to do. “There’s been a lot of momentum around transparency,” Osili says.

Leopold adds that donor due diligence is a key trend driving how people contribute today. Dovetailing with the trend of donors — especially young adults — wanting more personal involvement with their chosen causes, she observes that givers are willing to do the legwork and investigate a charity’s governance policies and how donor funds are utilized, while an increasing array of online resources give them the tools they need to achieve this.

“They will take the effort to look into the place they’re giving to,” she says. “It may be looking at tax documents, looking up 990s at the Foundation Center website or just asking hard questions of people making decisions.”

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