One of the positive annual events associated with our community is the recognition of volunteerism through the “Unsung Hero” Awards. We all hear about the superstars-but there is another group of amazing folks who show up day in and day out, those people that work quietly, often behind the scenes, without seeking or receiving pay or recognition. These are the people who step forward and make things happen without motive other than helping their neighbors and their community. These are the people that make Lake Oswego the wonderful place we like to call home and a better community for all of us to enjoy.
Since the inception of the program in 2001, 45 awards have been presented, with two amazing groups and three outstanding individuals being added to the list of exemplary community members for 2013.
Betty Barber, Karen Mela and Roni Sidman
This Farmers’ Market trio has been arriving at Millennium Plaza every Saturday morning before dawn from May to October for more than ten years. Each week these three incredible women arrive at the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market to setup for the day. They put up canopies, event signage, organize the Merchant Services and Market Information Booths, setup hydration stations, sound equipment and the Doggy Daycare making sure our pets and ourselves are ready to enjoy another wonderful Saturday at the market. This delightful trio has donated hundreds of hours to the success of the Farmers’ Market and we are a lucky community to have such a hard working dedicated and dependable team.
Judy Brokaw, Suzie Lee, Cathrine Lu, Sally Mahedy, Denise Miller, Jody Nossler, Ellen Rabow and Mark Shepard - Under the guidance of Respite Specialists, this group of dedicated volunteers provides a warm, friendly, safe, and loving environment for folks suffering from Alzheimer’s. Every Tuesday and Thursday caregivers can feel comfortable leaving their loved ones with this amazing group of volunteers, for a few hours each week to experience enriching group activities, music, games and social interaction. Some of the participants enjoy their time so much they think they are volunteers too! Being a caregiver to an Alzheimer’s patient is not always easy, but these wonderful volunteers really make the difference. Lake Oswego is fortunate to have such a willing team that provides so much of their time and caring.
Since 2007, John has volunteered in the Meals-on-Wheels kitchen at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center. John has been a mainstay in the kitchen, rarely has he missed a day to assist with meal production for as many as 140 meals, every Monday and Wednesday. John is a delightful person with a positive attitude making working with him such a pleasure, even under the pressure of food service preparation and delivery; he still maintains his friendly kind attitude with a touch of humor. Where there is work to be done, John quietly and competently takes care of business. He mentors by example in an unassuming, humble way. Because of John, additional awareness of the program has been achieved and more donations have been received. John brings his expertise and gifts to this vital Meals-on-Wheels program to make our city a better place to live. Because of his efforts, the Meals-on-Wheels program continues to expand and provide much needed meals for homebound members of our community.
For the past 15 years Brigitte has used her smart, savvy and diligent volunteer efforts to perform the behind the scenes work throughout the community. She gives 100% whether she is picking up ballots on Election Day or making calls in support of our schools. She organized volunteer efforts in support of the very successful School Foundation, which consistently raises over a million dollars each year for teachers. Brigitte was instrumental in the effort for Lake Ridge High School to host their own athletic events, which helped build a stronger community on the south side of Oswego Lake. This was a community effort, but the leadership, commitment and tireless determination she provided helped to drive the campaign to a successful conclusion.
Brigitte is the neighbor who can always be counted on to work hard for the betterment of her neighborhood, community and schools.
Has been delighting visitors to Luscher Farm with her wonderful wacky scarecrows since 2009. Along with the volunteers from the Oswego Garden Club, Nancy and her team create 92 scarecrows, which guard the garden plots all summer long. Between collecting supplies, organizing materials and assembling the scarecrows with hats, clothes, tools and adornments, hundreds of hours have been spent to bring the garden to life! Folk’s young and old come from miles around to see the scarecrows and get ideas to make their own. At the end of each season Nancy puts a photo album together to capture the craziness and delight of the scarecrows and provide an opportunity for visitors to vote on their favorite. Viewing the photo collections is sometimes as much fun as seeing the collection in the gardens. With Nancy leading the way, and the help of her team, Luscher Farm is a must see and another reason to love the LO community.
On behalf of the Council and the community, we say “Thank You” to all of our Unsung Heroes who make the Lake Oswego community a better place.