Q Center’s Annual SHINE Brunch Raises $130,000 with 500 in Attendance

Q Center’s Annual SHINE Brunch Raises $130,000 with 500 in Attendance

Portland, OR. Diverse communities came together for Q Center’s annual SHINE brunch on November 3rd at the Portland Marriott Downtown. The Q Center’s mission is to provide a space for togetherness, progress, and support people within the LGBTQ+ community. The annual SHINE brunch is meant to honor those who help the organization grow. There were 500 supporters in attendance and over $130,000 was raised. Pictured above, enjoying the photo booth, are state representatives Alissa Keny Guyer, Jennifer Williamson, and Margaret Doherty. (Photo credit, Marty Davis and Smirk Photobooth)

Bridges Voices Choir

Executive Director, Cameron Whitten

The Q Center’s values include bringing more safety, resilience, anti-oppression, learning, empowerment, inclusion and transparency into the world. The main purpose of the Q Center is to build community and host support and activity groups that are peer-led. Some examples of different types of groups include sexual orientation programs, gender identity programs, addiction & mental health support, help for veterans and more.

Board Treasurer, Erin Waters

Bill Dickey and John Salazar

From the Q Center: 

Our Mission is to provide safe spaces, community building and empowerment for the positive transformation of LGBTQ2SIA+ communities and allies in the Pacific Northwest. As the largest LGBTQ+ community center in the Pacific Northwest, Q Center proudly serves the LGBTQ2SIA+ communities of Portland Metro and Southwest Washington. Our drop-in and event space on North Mississippi Avenue is a frequent first stop for new arrivals in Portland, and for longtime residents who are newly out or questioning their sexual or gender identity. Q Center also serves as an information hub for friends, partners, community, and family members of LGBTQ2SIA+ individuals. We pride ourselves on our collaborative approach and seek out ways to share resources with other nonprofits and public institutions locally and statewide.

Gala Raises Record-Breaking $500,000 for Albertina Kerr

Gala Raises Record-Breaking $500,000 for Albertina Kerr

Portland, OR. Nearly 370 community members gathered to raise funds for Albertina Kerr during the 24 Hours of Kerr Country themed Gala. The 24 hours including a gala on September 15th, followed by a sold-out golf benefit at Columbia Edgewater Golf Course. David Wilson, Richard Codanti, and Bella Casa helped with a record-breaking fundraiser which brought in more than $500,000 for Kerr’s programs and services that support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and mental health challenges. (Country Gala photos by Andie Petkus, Golf Tournament photos by Dalton Davis)

During Kerr’s Country Gala, guests gave generously to the special appeal to support Kerr’s Behavior Specialists

Kerr Foundation Chair Miki Herman, Former Kerr Board Member Diane Gerard, and Carole Warneke from Pacific West Bank

The golf event included a helicopter ball drop where supporters paid to have a ball with their name on it dropped from a helicopter and the closest to the pin won.

T.J. McConville, from Becker Capital Management, was the winner of the Helicopter Golf Ball Drop. (Oregon Helicopters)

The winners of the 24 Hours of Kerr Golf Tournment, Jeff Gladheim (Left) and Matt Kline (Right) from Swagelok NW celebrate with Kerr CEO, Jeff Carr (center) and will advance to the Mercedes-Benz Amateur National Tournament, all expenses paid.

From Albertina Kerr:

Albertina Kerr empowers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other social barriers to reach their full potential. They want all people to thrive in a nurturing and inclusive community. Albertina Kerr has served the community for over 110 years by helping over 53% of the youth in IDD group homes in Oregon, operating the only standalone subacute children’s crisis psychiatric facility in Oregon, providing leadership in statewide policy discussions related to disability and mental health care, and more. Over the years, Albertina Kerr has expanded exponentially going from offering young children safe homes and treatment and creating community-based homes, to expanding their programs to fit the needs of children and adults alike. In more recent years, Albertina Kerr is committed to challenging norms about how to care for children and adults with mental health and developmental needs. Albertina Kerr will continue its efforts to provide top-notch programs and services for people to flourish in their day to day lives.

There’s a video about Albertina Kerr:

More about the history of Albertina Kerr:

For more than 100 years, Albertina Kerr has been caring for Oregon’s most vulnerable citizens. Over the decades, our services have evolved to meet the community’s needs. While these needs have changed, the values of our expert caregivers remain constant: compassion, commitment, collaboration, and advocacy. Today, Kerr empowers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), mental health challenges, and other social barriers to lead self-determined lives and reach their full potential. We provide comprehensive crisis and preventative mental health care for children and teens, as well as a full range of services for children and adults with IDD.

Holt International Raises Funding for Children and Families Worldwide

Holt International Raises Funding for Children and Families Worldwide

Portland, Or. Holt International held its Dinner & Auction at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Portland on October 1st. More than 150 people attended the event, raising over $80,000 for the organization. Guests enjoyed a champagne reception, live auction, and dessert dash. Leonard Bernhardt and Susan Cox supported the event which included an appeal from Mike Dennehy, father of 13 including ten adopted children with special needs. Founded in 1956 as an international adoption agency, Holt International has expanded its care for orphaned and vulnerable children as well as family strengthening services including education, safe housing, nourishing food, community advocacy, and job skills training that help empower parents with the tools and resources they need to independently care for their children. (Photo credit, by Brian Campbell)

Glenda Gordon, Leonard Bernhardt, Debbie Francis. 

Holt International strives to keep families together in times of poverty, war, illness, political instability, and more. Through donations and sponsors, Holt is able to provide programs such as education, job skills training, safe housing, hygiene, medical care, etc. These programs give families the empowerment and support to become self-sufficient. Holt also provides the highest level of care for children who have been orphaned, abandoned, or separated from their families. They have experts available that provide medical, nutritional, educational, and psychosocial services that are tailored to fit every child’s individual needs. In 2018 alone, Holt has helped over 255,024 children to thrive in the care of their families, gave life-changing care to 13,981 orphans and children without families, and helped over 602 children join families through adoption.

Here is an adoption story from Holt International:

More about Holt International:

Holt International seeks a world where every child has a loving and secure home. Since Holt’s founding in 1956, the organization has worked towards its vision through programs that strengthen and preserve families that are at risk of separation; by providing critical care and support to orphaned and vulnerable children; and by leading the global community in finding families for children who need them and providing the pre-and post-adoption support and resources they need to thrive. Always, Holt focuses on each child’s unique needs —keeping the child’s best interest at the forefront of every decision. For more information visit www.holtinternational.org

Local Wine Tasting Festival Supports Community Transportation

Local Wine Tasting Festival Supports Community Transportation

Portland, OR. Ride Connection leaders were all smiles as they held the check for $6,500 from the Portland Picnic Wine Tasting Festival. Over 5,000 people attended the festival in July and enjoyed wine tasting, local food vendors, live music and family-friendly activities. Ride Connection provides free transportation options to older adults and people with disabilities in the Portland metro area. Ride Connection Board Chair, Park Woodworth, Ride Connection CEO, Julie Wilcke Pilmer posed for a photo with the Portland Picnic organizers, Emily and Travis Motter.

Ride Connection’s Chief Executive Officer, Julie Wilcke Pilmer explained, “Being the benefiting nonprofit of the Portland Picnic has helped the organization share our mission to a wider audience. Transportation is the connection to the resources and services an individual needs to remain independent and healthy. With the support of the Portland Picnic, we were able to share the importance of our mission at the event on July 13th, and the funds raised will help us continue to provide transportation to those in need in our region.”

Portland Picnic Wine Tasting Festival took place in Westmoreland Park. 

The event features activities including face painting, a visit from Rojo the Llama, and a live music puppet demonstrations from the Olde World Puppet Theatre.

Ride Connection offers transportation to people with disabilities throughout Washington, Clackamas, and Multnomah counties. Just within the last year, Ride Connection has provided nearly 500,000 rides and supported over 2,000 individuals with access to public transportation within the last year. Leaders prioritize creating a culture that includes values such as appreciating customers and staff, maintaining collaborative relationships with Service Partners, delivering safe, personalized transportation options, and assure honest, reliable and accountable business relationships and practices.

100 wines from all over the world were featured at the Portland Picnic.

Ride Connection shares its mission with the guests.

Last year, Ride Connection celebrated 30 years servicing the Portland Metro area. Here’s a video about the program:

More about Ride Connection:

Today and every day, Ride Connection provides transportation options to individuals in need. From older adults to people with disabilities to low-income individuals and underserved communities, we are able to provide essential transportation services thanks to the work and support of our staff, volunteers, partners donors, and advocates. Our services bring together friends and family, prevent social isolation, alleviate financial stress and create new connections that strengthen our community. Ride Connection remains committed to providing inclusive transportation options for all individuals in need in the tri-county area.

Maurice Lucas Foundation Gala Raises Record-Breaking $757,000

Maurice Lucas Foundation Gala Raises Record-Breaking $757,000

Portland, OR. A special celebration dinner and auction held at the Portland Hilton raised over $757,000 for the Maurice Lucas Foundation. The funds will support the foundation’s after-school programs for under-served students at Harriet Tubman Middle School and six high schools throughout the Portland area. A tradition at the gala is presenting the Maurice Lucas Enforcer Award. The recipient this year was the late Howard Hedinger, a philanthropist and friend of Maurice Lucas. His family members were on hand to accept the award. The award presentation photo included Bobby Gross, Bill Walton, Lionel Hollins, Zach Collins, Huston Hedinger, David Lucas, Barkley Hedinger and Hillary Hedinger. (Photo credit, Andie Petkus)

Foundation Academy students ranging from Sixth Grade through college had a chance to have their photo taken with Executive Director David Lucas and High School Program Manager Karen Barker. (Photo by Naim Hasan)

David Lucas with his daughter, Nahla Lucas; mother Pam Lucas; his nephew, Lucas Tiefenthaler; and his brother, Maurice Lucas II. Photo by Andie Petkus.

The gala included over 600 attendees who participated in activities like a paddle raise, silent auction and live auction to raise record-breaking numbers for the Maurice Lucas Foundation. Maurice Lucas was the leading scorer on the 1977 NBA champion Portland Trail Blazers, and an advocate for young people. Following in his father’s footsteps, David Lucas continues to to be involved with the organization in his father’s memory.

The dinner also included students who have benefited from the foundation’s programs. “Our students are hungry for the future, and they stand on the shoulders of so many of you in the room tonight to be able to pursue their dreams,” said David.

Terry Stotts helps auctioneer Brett Richards raise funds at the Maurice Lucas Foundation gala. Photo by Andie Petkus.

Joe Wiser from title sponsor Whittier Trust tells the gala attendees about his long relationship with the Lucas family. Photo by Andie Petkus.

Following in his father’s footsteps, David Lucas served as the gala’s master of ceremonies. Photo by Andie Petkus.

Whittier Trust served as the gala’s lead sponsor. Other sponsors included the Portland Trail Blazers, Jordan Brand, Fred Meyer Jewelers, Mercedes Benz of Portland, Mercedes Benz of Beaverton, the Hedinger Family Foundation, Columbia Distributing, B&V Philanthropy, Darkhorse Entertainment, Loosen Bros.USA, Moda Health, North American Spirits and Wine Brokerage, Pivot and Marios.

From the Maurice Lucas Foundation:

Our mission: Teaching life lessons through education and sport.

Maurice cared immensely for the Portland community. He sought to empower youth by creating opportunity, especially where little existed. He was devoted to helping kids learn, achieve, and grow through sport, helping them build positive values. The Maurice Lucas Foundation is carrying on Maurice’s work by creating these opportunities for inner-city middle school students by providing a combination of education and activity-based after-school programs. Through positive interactions with program coaches, team members, and community role models, we help youth develop their cognitive, emotional, intellectual and social skills in a fun environment. Our youth programs develop personal and life skills, positive adult and peer relationships, and create a supportive environment of learning, mastery, teamwork, and autonomy.


Nursingale’s 6th Annual “Together for Good” Gala Raises $122,000

Nursingale’s 6th Annual “Together for Good” Gala Raises $122,000

Portland, OR. The 6th annual Together for Good Gala supported Nursingale’s mission of providing in-home, skilled nursing care to families with medically fragile children. Emcee, KGW’s Art Edwards interviewed family members of a Nursingale client named Annie, including her younger siblings Daphne and Isaac, and their mom Katie. The August 17th benefit was held at the downtown Hilton, with 225 people in attendance. Nursingale raised over $122,000 which will help medically fragile children and young adults receive in-home, family-centered care with an emphasis on keeping families together. Guests at the gala enjoyed a wine reception, silent and live auctions, appeal, dessert dash and dancing to Patrick Lamb and his band. (Photo credit, Andrea Lomas)

Kristy Blizzard, Patti Sadowski, Nursingale’s Executive Director, and Doug Blizzard share a moment visiting about their daughter Stephanie who was featured in the evening’s video presentation.

People line up to enjoy the selection of dessert dash treats.

Patti Sadowski, Nursingale’s executive director, congratulates nurse Mae Jordan, on winning the raffle prize of a weekend in Friday Harbor.

Nursingale is the only non-profit provider of home-based skilled nursing care for medically fragile children and young adults in Oregon. Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses are under the direct written orders of the client’s physician. Nursingale coordinates with families to be the leaders of the care team.

Here is a video with more information about why nurses may enjoy a career with the Nursingale program:

From Nursingale: 

Co-Founding Board Chair, Chris Thomas’s son Eric had been receiving nursing care at home for more than 20 years. During that time they had worked with many different home-nursing agencies, some of which had closed. In 2005, frustrated, because she wanted her son cared for not only the right way, but for the right reasons, she and her family decided to support the formation of the only non-profit organization in Oregon providing in-home nursing care to medically fragile children. Today Nursingale continues to thrive, making it possible for children to remain with their families, go to school and participate in their communities. The success of Nursingale can be attributed to our employees’ knowledge, skill, and commitment to providing outstanding client care. With the never-ending dedication and support from our nursing staff, we have created an organization committed to providing service we can all be proud of.

SEMpdx Rooftop Party Offers Networking and Charitable Giving

SEMpdx Rooftop Party Offers Networking and Charitable Giving

Portland, OR.  SEMpdx held its annual Rooftop Party in Portland’s Pearl District at the On Deck Sports Bar & Grill. It’s the eleventh year for the networking event. The SEMpdx Board of Directors took time for a photo. Leaders include: Ryan Campbell, Scott Hendison, Kevin Getch, Anna Madill (back row) Tony Svoboda, Trish Carey, Garrett Browne, Robert Frost, Todd Mintz, Sarah Hinds, and Ashley Kennedy. Every year, the nonprofit Search Engine Marketing Organization selects a charity to support and this year, it’s Girls Inc., an organization encouraging girls to be “strong, smart, and bold.” The benefits of becoming a SEMpdx Charity of Choice include: recognition at events, pro-bono digital marketing services, and up to a $5,000 donation.

During the Rooftop Party on August 1st, members try their hand at the giant Connect 4 game.

One of the founders of SEMpdx, Kent Lewis, talks with members. Lewis is also the President of Anvil Media.

Rooftop sponsors included: AMA PDX, Logical Position, Oregon State University’s Professional and Continuing Education, The Portland Business Alliance, Webfor, and Smartz.

From SEMpdx:

SEMpdx was founded in 2006, because we felt that there was a lot of veteran talent here in PDX, but we weren’t really recognized for it because we were all so busy working that we weren’t self-promoting. We also knew that the business community in Portland was coming around to SEM, but didn’t really know about the level of talent here in PDX. This led to our rather simple mission “put search on the map in Portland, and Portland on the map in search”. In other words – to get PDX recognized in the national SEM community, and raise awareness for search marketing in PDX. We got the group together when Scott Orth & Blu Drobushevich approached me (Kent Lewis) after SMX Seattle in 2006 and suggested we create our own industry association in Portland. Initially, I (Ben Lloyd) was hesitant, and wasn’t sure we had critical mass in the area. That said, after a brief debate, we agreed to run it by folks we knew and trusted in the industry. A month or two later, we scheduled a meeting with a dozen or so local SEM professionals. Everyone at that meeting was on board (literally, everyone become an initial board member). I sold the initial sponsorship (Site9) that gave us the funding and moved SearchFest from IPN (Stan Davis & I created the initial events in 2005) to SEMpdx and we were on our way. Ben Lloyd helped us incorporate through his father’s firm and we started formalizing articles, bylaws, processes, mission, vision, and so on. Scott Hendison worked on the blog and website, Tracy Chapman started organizing, and Todd Mintz started blogging. The rest is history! There was a great deal of hard work & details by the board, which was critical and appreciated. The group then started putting on monthly educational events.

YMCA Golf Tournament Raises $85,000 for Youth Scholarships

YMCA Golf Tournament Raises $85,000 for Youth Scholarships

North Plains, OR. Helping kids was the driver for the 220 golfers at the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette YLinks tournament at Pumpkin Ridge. The tournament on August 19th raised over $85,000 to fund scholarships to help low-income youth participate in programs like early childhood development, before and after school enrichment, camping and youth sports.  (Photo credit, Scott Ripley and Lester Tsai)

Bob Hall, President, and CEO at the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette; Pee Wee Harrison, Motivational Speaker; Troy Weller, President of Precision Construction Company; and Neil Fernando, Board of Trustees got the ball rolling. 

Pee Wee Harrison, a national motivational speaker and a past performer with Meadowlark Lemon’s Harlem All-Star Team. He inspired the crowd of Y supporters before a paddle raise. Scholarships help remove economic barriers so families may access Y programs that build spirit, mind and body.

Golfers have a lot to celebrate, including picture-perfect weather.

Y Links golfers perfecting their form.

The YLinks Business Leaders Golf for Good Tournament was presented by Precision Construction Company.

Here’s a list of the winners:


First Place—Emerio Design 1 with 61 points
Second Place—Craig Stein Beverage with 62 points
Longest Drive Men—Geoffrey Wunn
Longest Drive Women—Stephanie Sander
KP Closest to the Pin Men—Tandy Gardner


First Place—SOLUS, INC 1 with 55 points
Second Place—Mannahouse with 56 points
Longest Drive Men—John DeLaittre
Longest Drive Women—Marti Loeb
KP Closest to the Pin Men—Jon Grierson
KP Closest to the Pin Women—Shelby Kerr

First Place Women—WFG 1 with 65 points
Chipping Contest—Joey Lakoske
Putting Contest—Toni Altamirano


Photos from the tournament can be downloaded at these links:

Red Carpet Photos
Foursome Photos
Ghost Creek Photos
Witch Hollow Action Photos
Dinner Photos

Here’s a video about YMCA programs:

From YMCA of Columbia-Willamette:

In 2018, we provided opportunities for almost 60,000 people to experience personal growth, strengthen relationships and build better communities. As we continue to grow, we become more than just a gym—we teach life-saving skills in the water, good sportsmanship on and off the field and ensure a brighter future for all. We provided more than 29,600 Health and Wellness memberships, taught more than 13,800 kids new skills in Youth Sports and gave more than $1.6 Million in Financial Assistance to the community. We saw more than 13,900 kids and teens participate in Day and Overnight Camps, almost 2,000 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers learn in early education and more than 2,200 kids improve their academic skills in our Before and After School programs. In 2018, almost 60.000 participants were involved in YMCA programs, which were provided by 1,963 volunteers. Last year, more than 13,789 kids participated in our youth sports leagues, 1,948 children were served in our early childhood programs and more than 5,000 kids attended Camp Collins. In addition, members and participants at our Y health, wellness, and sports facilities visited those locations more than 575,000 times and 2,397 kids participated in our school enrichment programs. In 2018, we celebrated 150 years of service and will continue to grow and to reach new communities in 2019 and beyond.

Pendleton Round-Up Foundation Awards Over $25,000 in Scholarships

Pendleton Round-Up Foundation Awards Over $25,000 in Scholarships

Pendleton, OR. The annual rodeo is in full swing and students are celebrating their victories, too. Sixteen were selected to receive scholarships in amounts from $1,500 to $2,000. The Round-Up Foundation is focused on charitable and educational purposes to “provide for the perpetuation of the memory of the Old West and of the pioneers and to preserve the customs and manner of life of the Indian tribes in and near Umatilla County, Oregon.” 

Scholarship recipients are involved with either the Round-Up or Happy Canyon pageant and wild west show.


Some scholarships winners helped local charities at the annual event, some sold programs for a youth group, carried a flag in parade, picked up trash with their 4-H Club, participated in performances, or volunteered in other capacities.

The Pendleton Round-Up has been held during the second full week of September since 1910; the rodeo brings roughly 50,000 people to the city every year. 

Educational scholarships were just one of the causes supported by the foundation. Breast Cancer awareness was another.


The Round-Up was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1910, as the “Northwestern Frontier Exhibition Association.” The rodeo was primarily a creation of local ranchers led by Herman Rosenberg. This video highlights the excitement of the multi-day event:

The Pendleton Round-Up is a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). The ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado, inducted the Pendleton Round-Up in 2008. 

The 2019 Pendleton Round-Up will be held September 11th – 14th.

Here’s a list of the top three scholrship recipents who received $2,000 in memory of Donald Deacon Hawkins:
Kaitlynd Ellis, Hermiston
Adrienne Olson, Athena
Morgan Orem, Heppner
From the Pendleton Round-Up:
The beautiful city of Pendleton, Oregon has hosted the Pendleton Round-Up since 1910. Below you will find some information to help make your stay in our town more enjoyable. Please make it a point to visit our Hall of Fame Museum located in the same building as our retail store. The Hall of Fame contains the entire 100 year plus history of the “World Famous Pendleton Round-Up.” Welcome to Pendleton and Let ‘er Buck!
American Heart Month/National Wear Red Day Raises Awareness

American Heart Month/National Wear Red Day Raises Awareness

Portland, OR. The American Heart Association is getting help from broadcasters like KGW’s Ashley Korslien and Brenda Braxton, who remind people to focus on their hearts. Women across the U.S. helped raise awareness as they marked “Wear Red Day” on February 3rd. The annual event is held on the first Friday in February to raise awareness about heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women.

A young heart attack survivor, Julie O’Leary, told her story to Stephanie Kralevich on FOX 12 Oregon for #PDXGoesRed.

The local chapter of the American Heart Association is also gearing up for a big fundraiser: the 2017 Portland Heart Ball on Saturday, February 25th. The Heart Ball brings together leaders from the corporate, philanthropic and medical communities to raise funds and promote the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association.

The Heart Ball is one of many events that benefit the American Heart Association. The Red Dress Collection fashion show in New York is another. The show kicked off New York Fashion Week and was hosted by actress Katie Holmes.

Actresses, musicians, talent show hosts, reality stars and survivors of cardiovascular disease walked in red dresses — and one pantsuit — created by designers specifically for the American Heart Association Red Dress Collection.

Katie Holmes, wearing Marchesa, addressed the crowd at the Red Dress Collection fashion show in New York.

Maureen McCormick hit the runway.

Jessie James Decker was another volunteer for the cause.

Katie Holmes spoke of the importance of awareness in preventing cardiovascular disease and told the audience that it kills a woman every 80 seconds. She reminded the guests of why they attended the show. “Memories are why,” she said. “Fun is why. And a great red dress is why.” The celebrity models were a diverse group mirroring the randomness of how cardiovascular disease strikes.

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