Volunteers Make a Difference for Earth Day 2018

Volunteers Make a Difference for Earth Day 2018

Portland, OR. Thousands of local volunteers rolled up their sleeves to clean up trash and restore natural habitat in places like Cannon Beach on Saturday April 21st. Still more are expected to join in when the 48th annual Earth Day is officially commemorated, on Sunday April 22nd. The local nonprofit environmental organization, SOLVE has lead clean up efforts for the past 27 years and organizers say over that time more than 112,000 local volunteers have removed over 15 million pounds of litter and invasive plants from illegal dumpsites, neighborhoods, and natural areas as part of this global event. 

You can still get involved with one of many Earth Day opportunities like “Pick up the Pearl” on Sunday, April 22nd from 12pm-5pm. Another option is trail beautification in Scappoose, or planting native species in Oregon City. Below is a list of some SOLVE volunteer options for Earth Day: 

If you need inspiration, here’s a look at some of the good work done by volunteers on Saturay, April 21st.

Work is done at Willow Creek by Five Oaks-Triple Creek Neighbors and helpers from Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District.

Trimming branches at Willow Creek

Cleaning up in Forest Park

The big crew at Cannon Beach

The Beaverton Earth Day Mulching Event with Genentech and Beaverton City Government

The Beaverton Earth Day Mulching Event with Genentech and Beaverton City Government

South Waterfront volunteers receive instructions

Friends of Riverplace are busy

Friends of Riverplace haul trash away.

SOLVE expects to gather 47,000 pounds of trash thanks to the Earth Day 2018 efforts of over 5,000 local people. 


Our Mission Is Simple.

SOLVE is a statewide, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to bring Oregonians together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship. We are dedicated to developing relationships among different groups, individuals, and businesses in pursuit of a common goal: to protect and preserve the places that make up our uniquely beautiful home. SOLVE mobilizes one of Oregon’s largest volunteer networks to clean up our beaches, parks, neighborhoods, and other natural spaces through litter cleanups, invasive plant removal, planting native trees and shrubs, and other environmental projects. We annually support nearly 30,000 volunteers in 900 projects throughout the state.

Originally called S.O.L.V. (Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism), SOLVE was founded by Governor Tom McCall and other community leaders in 1969 to address the need for community action in our ever-growing state.

Our House of Portland Raises $460,000 at Sold Out Glitter Gala

Our House of Portland Raises $460,000 at Sold Out Glitter Gala

Portland, OR. Over 500 supporters came out to support the annual Our House Portland gala. The sold out event raised over $460,000. Auction co-chair Tracy Curtis posed for a photo with Emcee Poison Waters and fellow co-chair Lisa Watson at the February 24th benefit. The Our House Gala “GLITTER” was a Disco themed event. Our House provides healthcare, housing, and other vital services to low-income people living with HIV. (Photo credit, Andie Petkus)

Kate Cary with Executive Director Mary Rita Hurley and Joe Morris 

Our House Board Member and Supporter Andrew Tweedie holds up his bid card.

Board of Directors Chair Bob Speltz supports the cause.

Stephen Cassell, with Mayor Ted Wheeler & Katrina Wheeler

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, with volunteer Marcia Lovell and Director of Volunteers Kathryn Siebert.

From Our House:

Our House has been part of the Portland community since 1988.  Our services have expanded but our commitment to people living with HIV has remained the same.  HIV is a complex and challenging disease that can often be overwhelming.  The Our House team of expert clinicians works with people with HIV who are having difficulty managing independent living.  They tailor services for each individual that defines what “living well” means to them.

Over the years we have expanded services that now range from regular in-home visits by clinical staff to 24-hour residential skilled nursing services.  As the health of a resident or client improves or declines, we are able to continue to provide services within our continuum of care.

Our programs and services include: Our House, Neighborhood Housing & Care Program, Esther’s Pantry and Tod’s Corner.

Our House maintains an inclusive community where values, experiences and identities are accepted, where respect for differences is shared and where questions, dialogue and education are encouraged.

Non-discrimination – It is the policy of Our House not to discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, marital status, sexual orientation, age, sensory, mental, or physical ability, heritage, ancestry, national origin, political ideology, religion, or creed. This policy includes, but is not limited to, hiring, firing, layoffs, promotions, wages, training, disciplinary action, or any other terms, privileges, condition, or benefits of employment as well as non-discrimination in the providing of any services or activities of the organization.

Our House is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Portland, Oregon (USA).

Portland Opera’s BIG NIGHT Concert Kicks Off Season on High Note

Portland Opera’s BIG NIGHT Concert Kicks Off Season on High Note

Portland, OR. The Portland Opera’s  Big Night Concert featured a full orchestra, chorus, and guest artists from the 2018 season performing some of opera’s greatest hits. Arias from Verdi, Mozart, Rossini, and Bizet filled the Keller Auditorium during the April 14th kick-off celebration. Opera supporters like Laura Salerno-Owens and Portland Opera Ambassador Board Member David Salerno-Owens walked the red carpet to the music of live pianist Phil Mandel. (Photo credit, Trace Downen)

Portland Opera Board Member Dr. Dolores and Dr. Fernando Leon with their granddaughters Quinn and Carling at the 2018 Big Night Concert. Photo by Trace Downen.

Portland Opera Board Member Robert Ball and Grant Jones at the 2018 Big Night Concert. Photo by Garrett Downen.

Joe and Holly Mueller at the 2018 Big Night Concert. Photo by Trace Downen.

Baritone Stephen Powell and tenor Barry Banks after the Big Night Concert. Photo by Trace Downen.

Big Night 2018 attracted music lovers of all ages.

Portland Opera’s Big Night Concert filled the Keller. 

Eight featured artists took the stage for the Big Night Concert. Photo by Cory Weaver/Portland Opera.

Here is information on the 2018 season:

May 4, 6, 10
, 12, 2018 | Keller Auditorium

Grand opera returns to Portland this spring, with a traditional production of Verdi’s Rigoletto. Powerhouse baritone Stephen Powell is the jester cursed with a father’s anguish in this enduring masterpiece from 1851.

June 8, 10, 14
, 16, 2018 | Keller Auditorium

Lyricism and legend converge with the devil in this timeless and new vision of Gounod’s epic, infused with the visual art of John Frame. Rising international opera star Angel Blue makes her Portland Opera debut as Marguerite to Jonathan Boyd’s Faust.

July 13, 15, 19
, 21, 25, 28, 2018 | Newmark Theatre

Join us for a storybook tale about true love and generosity of spirit, directed by Christopher Mattaliano. This new production of Rossini’s classic opera will glitter as brightly as Cinderella’s royal ball gown.

July 27, 29, 31
, Aug 2, 4, 2018 | Newmark Theatre

Revisit one of the oldest stories ever told in this mythological journey to the underworld. With thousands of role petals, a full chorus, and a ballet, we’ll witness the transformative power of love and music and Gluck’s celebrated opera.

More information on the Portland Opera website: www.portlandopera.org

27th Annual CASA Auction Raises $780,000 to Support Local Children in Foster Care

27th Annual CASA Auction Raises $780,000 to Support Local Children in Foster Care

Portland, OR. CASA for Children of Multnomah, Washington, and Columbia Counties hosted its 27th Annual CASA Auction: Singing in the Rain at the Portland Art Museum on April 6th. Auction Chair and CASA Volunteer Anna Maria Savinar had a chance to visit with The Honorable Judge Nan Waller. The evening’s presenting sponsor was Fred Meyer, and the event raised more than $780,000 in support of CASA’s mission to advocate for the rights, safety, and well being of abused and neglected children who are under the protection of the courts. This is CASA’s highest grossing auction to date, and its largest single source of fundraising revenue. (Photo credit, Julie Court Jacob)

CASA Board Vice President and Governance Chair Tom Savinar, and Auction Chair and CASA volunteer Anna Maria Savinar.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown with CASA Board Member Trey Slinkard.

CASA Executive Director Betsy Stark Miller, and CASA Board President Bill Gardner.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown addresses the audience.

The auction achieved its most successful year to-date with support from generous donors like Fred Meyer— the event’s Presenting Sponsor, and the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund— the event’s lead Challenge Match Sponsor. The audience was comprised of over 500 guests, including: Governor Kate Brown, former Multnomah County Presiding Judge Nan Waller, leaders from Portland’s corporate and philanthropic communities, CASA volunteers, CASA’s Board of Directors, and CASA’s Ambassador Board.

The honorary guests were a foster family who shared their story of adopting two biological siblings and the critical role the children’s CASA played in making the adoption possible. The foster parents expressed their gratitude to the children’s CASA volunteer who worked tirelessly for six years to help finalize the adoption. This touching story encouraged the evening’s guests to raise their paddles during the special appeal, which raised over $271,000. CASA greatly appreciates the generosity of each attendee, and would also like to thank Sheila Hamilton and Kelly Russell, the emcee and Auctioneer for the evening; the event’s success could not have been possible without them.

All proceeds raised from the auction directly impact our ability to serve more children with a CASA volunteer. A CASA passionately and tirelessly works to guide a child through the trauma of the court system. Oregon law gives CASAs unusual authority as a ‘party to the case’ so that they are able to ensure that the system does not ignore a child’s needs and that the judge has the information to act in the child’s best interests. A CASA is trained to work with judges, social workers, teachers, foster parents, and family members to guarantee that the safety and well-being of the child is front and center. This annual auction ensures the continuation of CASA’s advocacy work on behalf of our community’s foster children.

If you are interested in learning more about how to become a CASA volunteer, upcoming trainings, or future fundraising events, please contact Anne Marie Johnson, Director of Development and Communications, at 503.988.4170 or [email protected].

Home Builders Foundation Raises Record $410,000 at Building Hope Gala

Home Builders Foundation Raises Record $410,000 at Building Hope Gala

Portland, OR. Led by Honorary Chair Wally Remmers of West Hills Land Development, Home Builders Foundation raised a record amount to help end homelessness. A welcome reception found supporters like Beverly & Tom Liesy visiting with Bill Hupfer and Ursla Burdda. The event, held on April 14th at The Nines Hotel in downtown Portland, raised a record $410,000 to help build and renovate shelters for those experiencing homelessness throughout the Portland metro area. (Photo credit, Aaron Courter Photography)

HBF Executive Director Brenda Ketah presents Honorary Chair Wally Remmers with an award recognizing his dedication and support of Home Builders Foundation.

Eric & Jennifer Post pose with HBF Board Member Mike Harn and his wife Brianna

HBF Vice President Darci Fredricks holds her bid card up for VIP tickets to Jackson Browne this summer at Edgefield, courtesy of NW Natural


Ben & Stefanie Friberg celebrate on stage after winning the Standard TV & Appliance Golden Ticket drawing.

Led by Honorary Chair Wally Remmers, owner of West Hills Land Development, this year’s Building Hope Gala & Auction was supported by leaders in the home building industry, including Metropolitan Land Group, Polygon Northwest, DR Horton, Emerio Design, Everett Custom Homes, West Hills Homes NW, Parr Lumber, and many more. Other philanthropic leaders such as Tim Boyle of Columbia Sportswear, Jeff and Linda Hargens of Northwest Earthmovers Inc., Randy and Naquel VanLant of Macadam Floor & Design, and Bob and Peggy Berwick of IWP also supported Home Builders Foundation with significant contributions to the event.

The Building Hope Gala & Auction drew a record 450 attendees to The Nines Hotel for a night of fundraising. Attendees had the opportunity to bid packages that included trips to Italy, Hawaii, Canada, and California, as well as unique experiences such as a duck hunt at Wally Remmers’ private duck club, a sunset cruise aboard a luxury yacht, and courtside section tickets to a Trailblazer game. 

Home Builders Foundation highlighted its partnership with the Good Neighbor Center, a shelter for homeless families with children in Tigard, during its special appeal. Home Builders Foundation recruited Mountainwood Homes to serve as the Builder Captain for this small project which added a three hundred square foot addition to the existing shelter, which is now used exclusively for children’s programming. Home Builders Foundation raised an incredible $114,000 during the special appeal thanks to the support of attendees as well as donors who were not in attendance.

Funds raised at the Building Hope Gala & Auction benefit Home Builders Foundation, a Portland-based nonprofit that builds and remodels shelters for those experiencing homelessness in the Portland metro area. Home Builders Foundation focuses on building and renovating shelters for those who are most vulnerable when homeless, including families with children, youth, and domestic violence survivors. Home Builders Foundation completes shelter builds and renovations by leveraging donations from companies in the home building industry and providing cash grants to shelter providers to complete projects.

This year’s Home Builders Foundation shelter projects include the completion of the Dorothy Lemelson House and New Meadows Program, which will provide supportive housing for at-risk youth aging out of foster care. Home Builders Foundation will also partner with Just Compassion of East Washington County to remodel a facility that will host a day services center for adults experiencing homelessness. Community of Hope, a shelter for homeless single parent families, will also receive assistance with renovations, courtesy of Home Builders Foundation.

Home Builders Foundation would like to say a special thank you to Wally Remmers and his team for the incredible leadership and support provided to the event. Home Builders Foundation would also like to thank all of the attendees, donors, volunteers, and the 2018 Auction Committee for their contributions to the event.

Home Builders Foundation would like to recognize all of the companies that sponsored this year’s Building Hope Gala & Auction: Standard TV & Appliance, ProBuild-Builders FirstSource, Performance Insulation, Everett Custom Homes, West Hills Homes NW, Northwest Earthmovers Inc., Milgard Windows, NW Natural, ARA Newmark, Sussman Shank LLP, OrePac, California Closets, Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo, First American Title, Lakeside Lumber, Montgomery & Graham, Bank of America, Medallion Industries, Kaiser Permanente, Clean It Up Mark!, Umpqua Bank, TerraFirma Foundation Systems, Far West Credit Services, Community Newspapers, Overhead Door Company of Portland, and LifeSYTLest. Table sponsored included: Anlon Construction, Bank of the West, Directors Mortgage, IWP, New American Funding, Parr Lumber, Professional Women in Building Council, Rodda Paint, Stafford Land Company, The Management Trust – Northwest, and Tiffany Home Design.

From the Home Builders Foundation:

The Home Builders Foundation, established in 1997, is the charity of choice for the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland. Their mission is to build transitional shelter for families and individuals experiencing homelessness in our community and provide construction related educational opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing a career in the home building industry. Visit www.BuildHopePDX.org for more info.

About Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland

The Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland (HBAMP) is the leading voice for the residential building industry, representing more than 1,200 builders, remodelers and industry professionals. HBAMP is the most nationally awarded HBA in the country, the fastest growing and the fifth largest overall. Since 1942, HBAMP has worked on behalf of the industry to promote diverse, affordable housing options to area residents. The HBAMP produces and manages many outstanding programs and tours in the Portland area, including: The premier NW Natural Street of Dreams, the Tour of Remodeled Homes, the Fall and Spring Portland Home & Garden Shows and the Ultimate Open House. For more information, visit www.hbapdx.org.

Northwest Catholic Counseling Center Block Party ‘All Fun & No Fuss’

Northwest Catholic Counseling Center Block Party ‘All Fun & No Fuss’

Portland, OR. The Northwest Catholic Counseling Center (NCC) hosted its annual spring fundraiser at the Lagunitas Community Brewing Room. Nearly 160 of NCC’s friends, both new and old, gathered for the NCC Community Block Party in NE Portland on April 6th. “All fun, no fuss” was the theme of the night. NCC Development Assistant, Ellie Benjamin; NCC Therapist, Tod Fiste; NCC Co-Founder and Therapist Sr. Barbara Kennedy joined with guests who enjoyed beer, local wines, and food from two local food trucks. The fun atmosphere created a spirit of camaraderie, all of which was rooted in a powerful purpose: raising money to provide mental health care to anyone in need, regardless of ability to pay. (Photo credit, Cynthia Ryan and Martin Salinsky)

Guests from St. Mary’s Cathedral enjoying appetizers and beer.

NCC therapist, Alan Rutherford, delivering food from the Koi Fusion and PDX Sliders food trucks.

NCC Executive Director, Erin Peters, and Event Speaker, Mary Tobin, announcing the raffle prize winners.

Guests heard from Mary Tobin, the mother of a former client of the Center. Mary’s son came to NCC as a young child, when he first started experiencing symptoms of anxiety. As Mary told her son’s story, she relayed the impact the Center had, not just on her son, but on their entire family. Through counseling, Mary’s son learned how to manage living with anxiety and depression. He is now a thriving college student and a vocal mental health advocate.

As highlighted by Mary, what sets The Northwest Catholic Counseling Center apart from other organizations is its commitment to individuals who are without insurance or with limited financial resources. In its 32 years, NCC has never turned anyone away because of an inability to pay. Some clients pay as low as $5 per session.

Offering quality, affordable counseling services would not be possible without the generosity of NCC supporters. From sponsors, such as Alpha Media, Magnacorp, and Glen and Monet Rubin, to hundreds of individual donors, the event raised nearly $50,000. Every dollar will go directly to cover the costs of counseling for those who have previously and unjustly been denied access to mental health services.

From Northwest Catholic Counseling:

Our Mission

The Northwest Catholic Counseling Center supports and strengthens our community by providing professional mental health services to all, regardless of faith or finances.

Our Vision

All people, regardless of social, economic or religious circumstances, have access to professional mental health counseling. The community recognizes the importance of good mental health and value of accessible mental health care, understanding that appropriate counseling and medication management leads to positive social outcomes: healthier relationships, more stable families, more effective parenting, decreased domestic violence, more productive employees, decreased criminal activity, and wiser use of financial resources.

The Northwest Catholic Counseling Center commits its professional, creative, and fiscal resources to the compassionate care of each person it encounters.  The non-profit agency serves a wide variety of people and has a special commitment to women and children, who bear the greatest weight of the dual burdens of poverty and mental health issues.  Staff members employ a broad range of therapeutic models and tools, all focused on the healing and well-being of clients. The organization draws support from a broad cross-section of community partners, including clients, care-providers, organizations, and individual supporters.  While always keeping client care at the forefront, the organization utilizes a successful business model and sound fiscal policies, ensuring its ability to always provide mental health care for those requesting it.

Our Values – We believe in:

Justice – receiving health care as a basic right
Compassion – nurturing hope and healing
Collaboration – partnering with clients, the community and our staff
Excellence – assuring the highest level of care for all

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