Gala Under the Stars Sparkles at the Portland Japanese Garden

Gala Under the Stars Sparkles at the Portland Japanese Garden

Portland, OR. The Portland Japanese Garden celebrated its 55th Anniversary Gala on August 4th.  Gala Co-chairs Robert Zagunis, Wayne Drinkward and Julie Drinkward welcomed guests for the Garden’s first formal dinner under the stars in its new Cultural Village. Gala fundraisers at the Portland Japanese Garden occur only once every five years. For this 55th Anniversary Gala, more than $350,000 was raised for expanded artistic and cultural programming. 

Designed by world-renowned Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma and Garden Curator Sadafumi Uchiyama, the Garden’s award-winning expansion was unveiled in 2017.

Gwyneth Gamble-Booth

The Cultural Village and Gardens themselves now provide a stunning backdrop for a summer evening.

Jordan Schnitzer visited with guests. Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer were presenting sponsors for the event.

It was a lantern-lit evening.

Honored guests, who made remarks at the event, were His Excellency Shinsuke Sugiyama, Ambassador of Japan to the United States and The Honorable Kate Brown, Governor of Oregon.

The artistic highlight of the evening was a performance by Japanese pianist, Junko Ichikawa, whose appearance was made possible courtesy of the Omomuki Foundation.

From Portland Japanese Garden:


Julie & Wayne Drinkward, Co-chairs
Deborah & Robert Zagunis, Co-chairs

Decor: Sandra Chandler, Dede DeJager, and Rebecca Teasdale
Invitations: Katherine Frandsen and Dorie Vollum
Menu: Cathy Rudd and Dorie Vollum
Hospitality: Julia Drinkward

Gwyneth Gamble Booth
Dean Dordevic
Gail Jubitz
Piper A. Park
Lucy Reynolds
Steve Bloom, CEO



Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer


Julie and Wayne Drinkward
Gail and Fred Jubitz
Deborah and Robert Zagunis
The William G. Gilmore Foundation


Dr. Jack Blumberg
Hoichi Kurisu, Kurisu International
Piper A. Park, The Park Foundation
Cathy and Jim Rudd
Catherine and Taisuke Sasanuma
Delta Air Lines and Port of Portland
Piacentini Investments
Torii Mor Winery


Gwyneth Gamble Booth
Sandra Chandler and Chris Schaefer
Dede and Joe DeJager
Susan and Greg Fitz-Gerald
Katherine and Mark Frandsen
Janelle and Lee Jimerson
Salena Johnson
Drs. Mayho and Calvin Tanabe
Priscilla Bernard Wieden and Dan Wiedan
Brown Printing
Devil’s Food Catering
Joto Sake
Moonstruck Chocolate Co.
Omomuki Foundation
The Party Place


Suzanne Storms Berselli and Dr. Robert Berselli
Evona Brim, Julia Brim-Edwards, and Randall Edwards
Cameron and Dick Davis
Kerstin and Joshua Husbands
Rebecca and Dr. Russell Teasdale
Dorie and Larry Vollum
Carmen Wong and Arjun Chatrath
Ajinomoto Foods
Geffen Mesher


Kathi and Dean Dordevic
Fran and John von Schlegell


NW Dance Project 15th Anniversary Season Kicks Off With Carman

NW Dance Project 15th Anniversary Season Kicks Off With Carman

Portland, OR. NW Dance Project is celebrating the start of its 15th Anniversary Season by bringing back one of its most popular productions. CARMEN returns to the Newmark Theatre September 27th – 29th. For this contemporary dance version, the famous story is transported to a stylized world centered in a women’s hair salon and a men’s barbershop.

N W Dance Project,”Carmen” dress rehearsal of Ihsan Rustem choreography.

The 40-minute full-company work is set to Bizet’s “Carmen Suite” and features sets from Spanish designer Luis Crespo and retro-sexy costumes from Portland fashion star Michelle Lesniak (winner of Project Runway season 11). Here’s a look at the production:


Carmen from NW Dance Project on Vimeo.

Here are details about CARMAN and the rest of the season:




WHEN: Thurs, Fri, Sat / September 27 + 28 + 29 / 2018 / 7:30 PM
WHERE: Newmark Theatre / 1111 SW Broadway, Portland OR 97205
TICKETS: $38-$62+ Advance at and/or theater box office INFO: / 503.828.8285 / [email protected]

The season will also include:










NW Dance Project’s founding Artistic Director once again dives headlong into the world of strained and stained interpersonal dynamics — this time it’s two women and two men “trapped” in an undefined office lacking natural light and ripe with competitive distrust and confusion, with an absurdist argument in search of a conflict unfolding, and a coveted pending promotion to “the outer office” — complete with an original score from noted dance composer Owen Belton ( Think Office Space meets Brazil…

About NW Dance Project (Company)

NW Dance Project was founded in Portland in 2004 by acclaimed dancer, mentor and choreographer Sarah Slipper. NW Dance Project is dedicated to the creation and performance of innovative, new contemporary dance works from established and emerging dancemakers created in an open and artistically stimulating environment. NW Dance Project has fostered the creation of over 270 original contemporary dance works to date, premiering them all in Portland before touring regionally, nationally, and internationally. Our dedication to providing dancers and dance makers the resources and creative room needed to realize new, inspired dance works led Dance International Magazine to proclaim that we are “changing the way dance is created” and that NW Dance Project has become “a laboratory, factory and repository for risk-taking new works from the next generation of choreographers from Europe and North America.” Four of NW Dance Project’s classically- trained and uniquely talented dancers have won Princess Grace Awards while with the company (given to only six dancers annually) and our dancers were referred to as “some of the best dancers you will ever see” by the Calgary Herald. The New Yorker called NW Dance Project “a company of slick, skilled dancers” before our recent Jacob’s Pillow performances (the most renowned dance festival in the country). The Oregonian said we are “an essential part of the city’s arts scene”, and Oregon Public Broadcasting complimented us as “the it company…one of the most dynamic dance troupes in the country.”



23rd Annual Providence Bridge Pedal Shortened Due to Construction

23rd Annual Providence Bridge Pedal Shortened Due to Construction

Portland, OR. The number of bridges involved in the Providence Bridge Pedal on August 12th will be limited as a portion of the Springwater Corridor is closed for four months of construction. The routes offered used to include the St. Johns Bridge and the Sellwood Bridge, but this year the longest ride for cycling enthusiasts has been reduced from what was once 36 miles down to 18. Organizers say the heart of the Providence Bridge Pedal remains intact. All cyclists will cross the upper decks of both the Marquam and Fremont bridges, with the exception of Kids Pedal participants. It’s the one opportunity each year to bike or walk on Portland’s car-free streets and bridges.

Here’s a look at the main six-bridge route:

Along with Montreal’s Tour de l’Île, New York’s Five Boro Bike Tour and Chicago’s Bike the Drive, Portland’s Providence Bridge Pedal is one of the largest community bike rides in the world. On the second Sunday of August each year about 18,000 cyclists bike a combined 400,000 miles through the car-free streets of Portland. There are attractions along the way, like Portland Takohachi’s high energy Japanese drummers on the Marquam Bridge. 

Portland Taikohachi's high energy traditional Japanese drumming lifted spirits on the Marquam Bridge.

Portland Takohachi’s high energy traditional Japanese drumming lifts spirits on the Marquam Bridge.

The Burnside Bridge offered a view of the "Portland Oregon" sign.

The Burnside Bridge offers a view of the “Portland Oregon” sign.

Bicyclists stopped on the top deck of the Fremont bridge to listen to the cellists.

Bicyclists stop on the top deck of the Fremont bridge to listen to the cellists.

Rick Bauman, who founded the ride in 1996, is pleased with the way it has evolved. In its first year, there were 7,500 riders; recently 18,000 took to the road.

A portion of the Providence Bridge Pedal proceeds supports community programs and initiatives that improve the health of our community. This year’s beneficiary is Play Smart Youth Heart Screenings.

A portion of the Providence Bridge Pedal proceeds supports community programs and initiatives that improve the health of our community. 

"The Beat Goes On" marching band was a bit hit with riders as they crossed the finish line.

“The Beat Goes On” marching band has been a big hit with riders as they crossed the finish line.

Our Portland Society Page team hit the road to take photos.

Our Portland Society Page team has hit the road in years past to take photos.

Save the date for the 2014 Providence Bridge Pedal, Sunday, Aug. 10. Check back in May for registration and event details.

From Providence Bridge Pedal:
We want the Providence Bridge Pedal experience to be available to as many people as possible. So we are rolling back the registration fee to 2003 levels. There are no longer age and group rates. Each ride has just one rate for all participants.

The Marquam Express $40.00
Bridge Pedal Main Ride $25.00
Bridge Stride $25.00
Kids Pedal – Child (12 and younger) – Free
Kids Pedal – Adult (13 and older) – Free

Marquam Express – Enjoy sunrise and a light breakfast on top of the Marquam Bridge with stunning views of downtown Portland, the Willamette River and the Cascades. Then bike on I-405 to the Fremont Bridge and onto the rest of the Providence Bridge Pedal route.
Main Ride – This new configuration crosses six downtown bridges with a thrilling ride on I-405 from the Marquam to the Fremont Bridge. Riders may do multiple loops.
Kids Pedal- Even the youngest cyclists can enjoy being part of Providence Bridge Pedal with this three-mile loop crossing the Hawthorne and Steel bridges. Adults are welcome too as long as they are chaperoned by a child under 13 years of age. Although this is a free event, registration is required. Kids Pedal is the one Providence Bridge Pedal event with a registration limit so sign up early.
Bridge Stride – The Providence Bridge Stride route for 2018 is five miles long and crosses the Fremont and Steel bridges.

Animal House Viewing Will Celebrate Oregon Film 50th Anniversary

Animal House Viewing Will Celebrate Oregon Film 50th Anniversary

Portland, OR. Oregon Film is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, so the organization is screenings some classics filmed in the state. There were Westerns that took advantage of the diverse locations of Central Oregon and Mt. Hood – TRUE GRIT, THE WAY WEST, and BEND OF THE RIVER – followed by musicals like PAINT YOUR WAGON and classic indies like ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST and DRUGSTORE COWBOY.

On August 17th, the Hollywood Theatre will screen ANIMAL HOUSE, which was filmed at University of Oregon. The raunchy comedy launched John Belushi into international stardom and had other recognizable faces like Donald Sutherland, Tom Hulce, and Kevin Bacon. The crew spent weeks in Eugene and Cottage Grove filming iconic scenes like this one about acoustic guitar appreciation.


Series: #OregonMade Film Series

40th Anniversary Screening Friday 08/17/18, 7:30, Hollywood Theatre – 4122 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97212

John Landis

Monday September 10th there will be a screening of the powerful #OregonMade film, SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION. Paul Newman stars and directs based on Ken Kesey’s book alongside Henry Fonda, Lee Remick, and Michael Sarrazin. The film was shot in and around Kernville and Newport, and the “Never Give a Inch” Stamper House still stands on the shore of the Siletz River. As part of the celebration, not only will Kick Ass Oregon History be doing a special podcast about the unique history behind the making of the film, but Oregon Film and Oregon State Parks will be planting 50 trees and the first official sign for an “Oregon Film Trail” at nearby Gleneden State Park. 


From Oregon Film:

Our mission is to promote the development of the film, television, commercial, and interactive industry in Oregon and to enhance the industry’s revenues, profile, and reputation within Oregon and among the industry internationally.

Our Board of Directors is: Juliana Lukasik (Chair), Jason A. Atkinson, Angela Jackson, Paul Loving and Steve Oster.


Special Olympics Oregon Rebuilding After Financial Woes

Special Olympics Oregon Rebuilding After Financial Woes

Portland, OR. We didn’t see images like these at the annual State Games in Salem last month, instead many Special Olympic athletes were sidelined, looking forward to fall and winter competitions. Now the Oregon nonprofit has announced both the fall and 2019 winter Special Olympics have been canceled over financial concerns. Special Olympics Oregon is auditing its financial statements to shore up resources, its reputation and the good faith of thousands of athletes who hunger to compete. Special Olympics Oregon also cancelled this year’s The Bite of Oregon, it’s biggest annual fundraiser, saying the event may return in the future.

According to the new CEO of Special Olympics Oregon who started on June 1st, Britt Oase, the organization had no other options. “Currently, we don’t have the funds available to pay for services we have used in the past, hindering our ability to carry out our 2018 schedule as planned…Please know that we are working diligently to return our athletes to the level of training and competition they deserve and that so many people are passionate about supporting.” 

The 2016 financial statements reported a net operating loss of $131,850 and a decline in total net assets of $269,156. This follows operating losses in 2014 and 2015. The organization’s 2017 annual report has not yet been filed with the IRS.

Summer State Games of the past have always been a community highlight. 

Until a new financial plan can be structured, CEO Britt Oase announced what community members can expect and how athletes can still train:

We’ve had the opportunity to connect with Local Program Coordinators this week to share information and gain feedback. As we discussed with this group, Special Olympics Oregon continues to address our financial situation and we are unable to provide regional or state competitions for the 2018 Fall or 2019 Winter seasons. Training for Fall and Winter seasons may be provided and supported by our Local Programs if they are able to do so at no cost.


  • At the discretion of Local Programs, training can continue for Fall and Winter sports under a “no cost” format
  • Local Programs may train at donated facilities within their own communities
  • SOOR State office will continue to cover expenses related to mailings, storage, insurance and background checks for Class A volunteers
  • SOOR State staff will work with Local Programs on roster management, athlete registration management & other tracking systems
  • SOOR State staff will work directly with LPCs to support the creation, implementation and communication of Fall & Winter season training plans

Local Programs can also provide additional athlete engagement, inclusion and support through alternative activities such as hiking/walking clubs, health initiatives and other sport or fitness activities. Under the direction of its volunteer management team, each Local Program will be able to select its own sports and other activities offered, along with start and finish dates for the season. We are thankful for the critical support of our Local Program Coordinators as they lead these efforts and share plans with their programs in the near future.

The Special Olympics Oregon website will offer updated details as they become available:


Tell us About Your Great Nonprofit Event Happening This Fall

Tell us About Your Great Nonprofit Event Happening This Fall

Portland, OR. There’s a plethora of terrific fundraising events that happen each fall in the Portland area. Last September, the Good Samaritan Foundation Fall Ball to support cancer services had guests like Barbara Young, Dr. William Johnson, Dr. Nathalie Johnson and Dr. George Brown, the CEO of Legacy Health. Other fall events included YouthBuilders’ Cornhole Classic, Bridge Meadows Annual IMAGINE Benefit, the LifeWorks NW Iron Chef fundraiser, The AIDS Walk, and “Red For Women” Luncheon. Those are just a few of the fundraisers happening in September!

Do you have a favorite nonprofit with a big event coming up this fall? We’d like to post details about the event on our Portland Society Page calendar. You can send us your information at [email protected]

While you’re at it…Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter to stay up to speed on all of your latest nonprofit news. Your privacy and security are our top priority!

The Impact NW Garden Party has supporters like Dennis Peck, Marcia Westcott Peck, Liz Burns and Andy Nelson. This year the party is on September 22nd.

Jill Ramseier from Deschutes Brewery

The LifeWorks NW Iron Chef fundraiser will be at the Portland Art Museum on September 27th.

The YouthBuilders’ Cornhole Classic will be September 17th. In the past, event organizers closed the street at Castaway Portland in order for 56 teams to compete in the round robin cornhole tournament. 

Daren Parks, Regional Training Manager for 24 Hour Fitness lead the warm up. (photo Credit Mike Burt)

The AIDS Walk is September 8th. (Photo Credit Mike Burt)

That’s just a small sampling of what’s happening in September. Please give your favorite nonprofit a boost by letting us know about their big upcoming fall event. Later this summer we’ll be rounding up a list of seasonal benefits and nonprofit events you’ll love. To reach out and tell us about yours, send us a message at [email protected]

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