Maurice Lucas Foundation Launches Scholarship Program With $25,000 Donation

Maurice Lucas Foundation Launches Scholarship Program With $25,000 Donation

Portland, OR. The nonprofit Maurice Lucas Foundation announced a new college scholarship program to provide qualifying participants as much as $5,000 toward their post-high school education. Maurice Lucas Foundation Executive Director (and son of the NBA star) David Lucas welcomed guests. He was joined by his mother, board member Pamela Lucas who thanked Portland area business leader Howard Hedinger for kicking off the fundraising drive with a $25,000 donation. (Photo credit, Andie Petkus) “Howard has been one of our strongest supporters since our very beginning in 2011,” said foundation Executive Director Lucas. “As a result of his generous gift, we are naming our scholarship program in his honor. Of course, we invite others to follow Howard’s lead and join us in supporting this great cause.”

Other guests at the celebration included former Trail Blazer Brian Grant.

The event was held in a party room in S.E. Portland.

Former Trail Blazers Bobby Gross is also a board member of the foundation.

The foundation’s teachers, mentors, tutors and coaches provide after-school education and sports programs to underserved Portland area students though its Maurice Lucas Foundation Academies. The foundation has a long-standing relationship with Irvington Middle School where participating students’ attendance and grades have improved dramatically.

“We help children learn, achieve, grow and build positive values,” Lucas said. “We focus our energies on helping middle school students. This new scholarship program enables us to continue assisting these students as they progress through high school and provide incentive for continuing their education.”

The foundation honors the memory of Maurice Lucas, who died in 2010. He was the starting power forward on the Trail Blazers’ 1976–77 NBA Championship team.

Academy participants will be able to receive up to $1,250 per year for up to four years if they fulfill the scholarship program’s academic and community involvement requirements. The foundation’s first group of eligible students will graduate high school in 2019.

The foundation has set a fundraising goal of $110,000 for the scholarship program. Those interested in supporting it can contact Lucas at (503) 880-4323.

About the Foundation:

The foundation is named in honor of Maurice Lucas (1952-2010), the starting forward on the 1977 NBA champion Portland Trail Blazers team. Besides his outstanding achievements on the court, Lucas also gave selflessly of his time and energy to Portland youth. The Maurice Lucas Foundation focuses on middle school kids in the Portland metro area. The foundation teaches life lessons through sport. After school programs, sports camps and outings change the lives of the youths who participate. Since its formation, 436 students have successfully completed the foundation’s academies and hundreds of others have participated in its sports programs. www.ml20.org

Rose Festival Names Bloom Project Official Charity for 2017

Rose Festival Names Bloom Project Official Charity for 2017

Portland, OR.  The 110-year success of the Rose Festival proves the power of a flower to inspire community and celebration. The Portland Rose Festival Foundation is pleased to partner with The Bloom Project as its Official Charity in 2017. The Bloom Project — a volunteer-driven nonprofit — channels that same inspiration, to offer comfort during the most challenging time in a person’s life.  “Our respective missions and activities align so perfectly and offer many opportunities to work together this spring and summer,” says Marilyn Clint, Rose Festival Chief Operating Officer. “We see a lot of synergy between our organizations and we look forward to planning some new mission-based projects this season.”   

The Bloom Project receives each of its flowers from donations provided by wholesale floral companies, growers and local grocery stores.

Volunteers repurpose the flowers to create beautiful bouquets, ready to deliver to local hospice and palliative care patients. In the organization’s 10 years, it has distributed more than 165,000 bouquets, with nearly 70,000 donated volunteer hours.

“We’re thrilled to be selected as the official charity partner of the Portland Rose Festival,” said Heidi Berkman, founder and president of The Bloom Project. “Our two organizations share a common mission of continually giving back to those in need, and we sincerely hope this partnership will bring tremendous visibility and awareness to the power of flowers.”

On average, the Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade uses 71,000 stems of flowers. As part of this partnership, Berkman and her team of volunteers will look to help the Portland Rose Festival repurpose many of the flowers as gifts for selected organizations.

These flowers are re-purposed to create bouquets, designed and delivered by volunteers to local hospice and palliative care organizations. Hospice nursing staff, clergy, social workers, and volunteers deliver bouquets to patients in their home or care facility.

 About The Bloom Project

Founded in 2007 by Heidi Berkman, The Bloom Project is a volunteer-driven nonprofit that provides fresh floral bouquets to hospice and palliative care patients. The Bloom Project receives each of its flowers as donations provided by wholesale floral companies, growers and local grocery stores. The flowers are repurposed by volunteers into beautiful bouquets ready to deliver to local hospice and palliative care patients. Volunteers come from all different backgrounds; many are retired or have little to no floral experience.

Members of the team with floral design experience host training sessions, teaching new volunteers how to: care for the flowers, identify which flowers to keep and how to create a bouquet. Berkman and her team of volunteers are committed to sustainable business practices. Not only are they eco-friendly in their efforts to repurpose flowers from their partners, but also by composting floral waste. For more information, please visit: http://thebloomproject.org.

About the Rose Festival

The Rose Festival produces a broad range of events that burst into bloom on Memorial Day Weekend; attracting nearly one million people from across the city and around the globe, and generating a total estimated economic impact of $65 million for the region’s economy. Among the most visible events are Rose Festival CityFair, an urban fair in Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park that spans three weekends, and three parades including the Festival’s “crown jewel,” the all-floral Grand Floral Parade. www.rosefestival.org.

40th Portland International Film Festival Celebrates World’s Filmmakers and Cinephiles

40th Portland International Film Festival Celebrates World’s Filmmakers and Cinephiles

Portland, OR. Northwest Film Center Director Bill Foster kicked off the XL Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) at a party in the Portland Art Museum’s Schnitzer Sculpture Court. The celebration on February 9th followed the opening night screening of Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro. Over three weeks in February, at various theatres in the area, fans choose from nearly 100 feature films and 60+ short films; some star big names like Kristen Steward and Cynthia Nixon. PIFF continues through February 25th. (Photo credit, Jason Quigley)

 

Paula Bernstein from Filmmaker Magazine with NW filmmakers Beth Federici and Alicia J. Rose.

The opening night reception for the 40th Portland International Film Festival was sold out.

Long-time NWFC Silver Screen Club Member and supporter Lisa Karplus

Representatives from Elk Cove Winery the Festival sponsor

(Photo by Jason Quigley www.photojq.com)

Here’s the trailer for one of the featured films to pique your interest. It’s called, The Olive Tree.

Personal Shopper is a thriller by Olivier Assayas starring Kristen Steward.

A Quiet Passion is the life story of the celebrated American poet Emily Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon), from her youth as a headstrong schoolgirl through to her reclusive adulthood, where poetry was solace.

Since 1977, the Portland International Film Festival has been the Northwest Film Center’s annual showcase of new world cinema. There are a host of different film categories from which to choose, including the following:

Regional Arts and Culture Council Adds Fresh Twist to Breakfast

Regional Arts and Culture Council Adds Fresh Twist to Breakfast

Portland, OR. Ballet Popalatl provided a colorful kickoff to Juice, a re-vamped event formerly known as the Arts Breakfast of Champions. The event on February 8th was a celebration of the business community’s support for creative expression. The  (RACC) receives funding from a variety of public and private partners to serve artists, arts organizations, schools and residents throughout Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. (Photo credit, Phototainment)

Portland Opera receives a $5,000 cash prize for their innovative partnership with Portland State University.

From Portland General Electric: Verlea Briggs, Bill Tierney, Kimberly Howard, Jim Piro, Taaj Middleton, Kregg Arntson; and Kristel Wissel from the Portland Timbers

John Goodwin of the Portland Trail Blazers with emcee La’Tevin Alexander Ellis. John received the Outstanding Volunteer award for his board service with the Portland Art Museum.

John Goodwin was nominated by the Portland Art Museum. Here’s a video about his, “Extraordinary Service to the Arts.”

Attendees enjoyed a performance by Members Only, the Kaiser Permanente 80s cover band

Katharine Coakley, the President of the Columbia Trust Company said,  “As a long-time sponsor of this breakfast, I was thrilled to see the continued success of such an important program that celebrates the intersection of business and the arts. For those of us in business, it is too easy to forget the critical impact that we can make on our arts community and partners. ”

Miguel Elias, of MEK Design was honored for his In-Kind donations. He was Nominated by Young Audiences.

Top Ten Lists

TOP CORPORATE DONORS TO THE ARTS

  1. The Standard
  2. Umpqua Bank
  3. Portland General Electric
  4. U.S. Bank
  5. Wells Fargo
  6. NW Natural
  7. The Boeing Company
  8. Morel Ink
  9. KeyBank
  10. Stoel Rives

TOP WORK FOR ART CAMPAIGNS

  1. Portland General Electric
  2. The Standard
  3. NW Natural
  4. Burgerville
  5. State of Oregon
  6. KeyBank
  7. ZGF Architects
  8. OHSU
  9. City of Portland
  10. Portland Timbers

From RACC:

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) receives funding from a variety of public and private partners to serve artists, arts organizations, schools and residents throughout Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. RACC provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through workplace giving; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools throughout the region through “The Right Brain Initiative.” RACC current and past Annual Reports

Vision:

An environment in which arts and culture flourish and prosper.
 

Mission:

To enrich our communities through arts and culture.

Core Values:

We value freedom of artistic and cultural expression as a fundamental human right. We value a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences. We value a community in which everyone can participate in arts and culture. We value a community that celebrates and supports its artists, and its arts and cultural organizations. We value arts and culture as key elements in creating desirable places to live, work and visit.

Programs and Services:

RACC provides service in five key areas:

  • Through advocacy, RACC helps build support for a strong arts and culture community.
  • RACC grants provide artists and arts organizations with financial support.
  • Our nationally-acclaimed public art program integrates a wide range of art in public places. RACC manages Percent for Art programs for the City of Portland and Multnomah County.
  • RACC provides other community services, including workshops for artists, organizational consulting, and a variety of printed and electronic resources.
  • RACC supports arts education by directly funding artists residencies in schools and is working on a comprehensive solution to provide integrated Arts Education learning for every student in the region.
Melinda Gates Speaks Out About Family Planning 2020

Melinda Gates Speaks Out About Family Planning 2020

Seattle, WA. As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates works to improve global health and education. Her family foundation was launched in 2000 and is said to be the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world. Based in Seattle, the foundation is controlled by its three trustees: Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. It has an estimated endowment of over $44.3 billion. In 2012, Melinda Gates pledged $560 million to improve access to contraception for women in poor countries. Now she’s speaking out about how ongoing efforts are falling short. (Photos courtesy of the Gates Foundation)
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By Melinda Gates: Like most women I know, I have used contraceptives for many years. I knew I wanted to work both before and after becoming a mom, so I delayed getting pregnant until Bill and I were sure we were ready to start our family. Twenty years later, we have three children, born almost exactly three years apart. None of that happened by accident.

 

The decision about whether and when to get pregnant was a decision that Bill and I made based on what was right for me and what was right for our family—and that’s something I feel lucky about. There are still over 225 million women around the world who don’t have access to the modern contraceptives they need to make these decisions for themselves.

 

In the decade and a half since Bill and I started our foundation, I’ve heard from women all over the world about how important contraceptives are to their ability to take charge of their futures. When women are able to plan their pregnancies around their goals for themselves and their families, they are also better able to finish their education, earn an income, and fully participate in their communities.

 

And not only do moms benefit; their kids benefit, too. In communities where women have access to contraceptives, children stay in school longer, and entire families are healthier, wealthier and far better equipped to break the cycle of poverty.

 

For all of these reasons, in 2012, I co-chaired a summit that brought leaders from around the world together around the goal of expanding expand access to contraceptives for the women who desperately want and need them. The global partnership, called Family Planning 2020, pledged to get 120 million more women access to contraceptives by the year 2020. It was an ambitious but achievable goal—and an important promise to women in the world’s poorest places that they will not be forgotten.

 

Unfortunately, our progress has not yet lived up to our ambition. We are now more than halfway to the 2020 deadline, but not yet on track to reach 120 million women by the promised date. As of the halfway point in July 2016, we had reached 24 million additional women with family planning services. Unless we begin making up for lost time, we will miss this chance to make this a turning point for women around the world.

 

When I think about what’s at stake over the next three years, I think about the lives of women like Anita and Sushila, both of whom I met last year in a village in India called Kamrawa.

 

Anita, who guesses she’s about 40 years old, lived most of her life without access to contraceptives. She got married when she was a teenager and became pregnant within a year of her wedding. The birth of her first child was followed by the birth of four more. None of these pregnancies were planned—because without contraceptives, planning her family simply wasn’t an option.

 

Anita, pictured here with her 6-month-old granddaughter, Neha, lived most of her life without access to contraceptives. But things in their village of Kamrawa, India, have changed since Anita was a young mother.

When I asked Anita what it was like to raise so many kids on such a limited income, she got sad and reflective. “I had a lot of problems,” she told me. She spent all of her time and energy looking after her family and trying to keep her household running—preparing food, tending to animals, keeping things clean in a house with no running water—leaving almost no time at all for her to do anything else, even get a job to help with expenses. It was a life of deprivation, hard work and endless worrying.

 

But things in Kamrawa have changed since Anita was a young mother. Now, contraceptives are widely available, and women have the chance to make the reproductive decisions that are right for themselves and their families. As a result, families are smaller, and parents are better able to afford nutritious food and school fees for all of their kids. The whole village is healthier and more prosperous.

 

Anita dries papad, a kind of flat bread, on a cot outside her home in Kamrawa, India.

Even though her children are grown, Anita is excited about what this means for the next generation. “I don’t want my daughter-in-law to go through the same problems,” she told me.

 

Another woman I met, Sushila, is a 28-year-old teacher who’s using contraceptives to plan her family and her future. She has two children—a five-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter—and loves being a mom. But Sushila and her husband are committed to limiting the size of their family so that they’re able to give each of their children the lives they deserve.

 

Sushila is a 28-year-old teacher from India who’s using contraceptives to plan her family and her future. 

Sushila also told me that as soon as both her kids are in school, she plans to return to her job as a teacher. A generation ago, working moms were almost unheard of in villages like Kamrawa. But now that women have the option to plan their pregnancies, they have many other options, too.

 

When you think about the difference between Anita’s life and Sushila’s life, it’s clear that progress is possible. The question is whether we will commit the resources and mobilize the will to ensure that this progress extends to more women in more places.

 

In 2012, we made a promise to women around the world. Our actions over the next three years will decide whether we keep it. 

 

For more information, here’s a link to Family Planning 2020: http://www.familyplanning2020.org/

 

Fans of Packy the Elephant Look Back at Their Favorite Pachyderm

Fans of Packy the Elephant Look Back at Their Favorite Pachyderm

Portland, OR. Staffers, volunteers and fans mourned the passing of one of the Oregon Zoo’s most beloved residents: Packy. He made headlines during the Kennedy era as the first elephant born in the Western Hemisphere in over four decades. Packy was euthanized at the Oregon Zoo on February 9th after suffering from a drug-resistant strain of TB.

Packy’s mother, Belle, was wild-born in Thailand, around 1952. His father, Thonglaw, was born in Cambodia around 1947. Both were captured and brought to Morgan Berry, an elephant trainer in Seattle, Washington, in 1959.

Packy had a first birthday party at the zoo. His birthday celebrations were a hit with the visitors. He marked his 53 last year. (Photo by Michael Durham.)

“We loved Packy so much,” said Bob Lee, who oversees the zoo elephant program and worked with Packy for the past 17 years. “He was my favorite — the most impressive animal I’ve ever known. It’s hard to think about coming in to work tomorrow and not seeing him. There will never be another like him.”

This informative video of Packy’s 50th Birthday is a favorite with fans.


In this video, the Oregon Zoo says goodbye.

The decision to euthanize came following a lengthy search for alternative treatment options after test results last fall indicated Packy was suffering from a drug-resistant strain of TB.

“We’d run out of options for treating him,” said Dr. Tim Storms, the zoo’s lead veterinarian. “The remaining treatments involved side effects that would have been very hard on Packy with no guarantee of success, plus a risk of creating further resistance. None of us felt it would be right to do that. But without treatment, his TB would have continued to get worse. We consulted other experts — veterinarians and pharmacists — and a lot of people were involved in this decision, but that didn’t make it any easier. Anybody who’s had a sick or elderly pet knows how painful this can be, even if you know it’s the best thing for the animal.”

“This is a tremendous loss for the entire community,” said Dr. Don Moore, zoo director. “Packy was one of the most famous animals in the world, but to the people who live here, the people who grew up with him, he was family.”

Packy arrived shortly before 6 a.m. on April 14, 1962, earning international attention, including an 11-page feature in Life magazine. He would become one of the best-known animals in the world — inspiring books, records, Rose Parade floats — and much of what we now know about elephant care can be traced back to him.

His birth, and those that followed over the next 20 years in Portland, helped scientists better understand Asian elephants and ushered in a new era in the species’ care and welfare.

“These were completely uncharted waters,” Lee said. “Before Packy arrived in 1962, just one elephant had been born in any North American zoo — that one was born almost 100 years ago and only lived a for few weeks.”

In the late 1950s, the zoo’s first veterinarian, Matthew Maberry, was part of a team working to design facilities that provided elephants with much more freedom than was common in zoos at the time. These facilities, built in 1960, allowed for normal social interactions and natural breeding among the elephants, which led to a string of successful pregnancies and births over the next two decades. From the time of Packy’s birth in 1962 to his daughter Shine’s birth in 1982, more than 75 percent of the Asian elephants born in North America — 21 out of 27 — were born in Portland.

Packy’s spirit is said to live on in the personality of his daughter Shine, (pictured above) as well as in the zoo’s state-of-the-art Elephant Lands habitat, the design of which he helped inspire.

“Packy’s birth started it all,” Lee said. “The focus on elephant welfare, the knowledge about elephants. If you think about the time when he was born, it’s mind-boggling — Kennedy was president, the Beatles hadn’t made any records yet, cigarettes didn’t have warnings from the Surgeon General. We’ve learned so much about elephants since then, and it never could have happened without Packy.”

A memorial event for Packy will be announced as soon as plans are finalized. Until then, people can offer condolences or share favorite memories of him on the zoo’s Facebook page.

The Oregon Zoo is recognized worldwide for its Asian elephant program, which has spanned more than 60 years. Considered highly endangered in their range countries, Asian elephants are threatened by habitat loss, conflict with humans and disease. It is estimated that just 40,000 to 50,000 elephants remain in fragmented populations from India to Borneo. The zoo supports a broad range of efforts to help wild elephants, and has established a $1 million endowment fund supporting Asian elephant conservation.

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