One of the most positive annual events associated with our community is the recognition of volunteerism, through the "Unsung Hero” Awards. These are the people that work quietly, often behind the scenes, without seeking or receiving pay or recognition and exemplify selfless community service and make Lake Oswego such a wonderful place to live.
Donna Fowlks and Maryann Pierleoni
The Tax Aide Program, hosted by the Adult Community Center (ACC) and founded by this team of IRS-Certified tax preparers, is in high demand all year long but especially from January to April 15. During the past 10 years, these two remarkable ladies have prepared over 5,000 tax returns saving some of our most vulnerable residents thousands of dollars in both service fees and taxes!
As tax preparation volunteers, Tax Aides are not permitted to accept compensation for the awesome work they provide but many folks are so grateful they insist. Donna and Maryann have directed contributions to the Meals on Wheels Program. Over the last 10 years the program has received donations of an additional $2,000 each year because of the tax work they provided! We are a lucky community to have such a hardworking and dependable team!
As a local track coach, Eric has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of children with his contagious positive energy. In addition to High School coaching, Eric has devoted thousands of volunteer hours over 25 years to guide and encourage our youth, some with special needs. He has been willing and able to create customized fitness programs for all types of athletes, providing a friendly, safe environment for all children. Eric’s exceptional ability to work with special needs children by creating a fun and empowering environment has allowed these special kids to excel and build confidence. Lake Oswego is fortunate to have such an incredible coach with the integrity, energy and compassion to change the lives of so many of our young people in a positive way.
Since 2008 Lilly has donated her time, energy, and creativity to make unusual and amazing things happen for the Lake Oswego Reads program. LO Reads is successful thanks to the help of many volunteers; however, Lilly’s dedication is above and beyond the call of duty. Her hundreds of hours of volunteer work each year improves the LO Reads program, and she provides an outstanding example for others to follow.
From 2008 through 2014, Lilly has organized, managed, coordinated, recruited, contacted, produced, raised her hand and jumped in wherever she was needed, providing selfless dedication and helping the Library and this worthwhile program succeed and delight our community with a rich literary experience.
Since the early 1960s Phyllis has been a quiet, behind-the-scenes promoter of LO history education and a community volunteer. She helped found the Junior Lake Oswego Historical Society in the 1960s and kept it going for many years and later became the Oswego Heritage Council that we know today. She made detailed, irreplaceable scrapbooks of LO history that are in the permanent collection of the Oswego Heritage Council and provides a valuable resource to the whole community. She protects and is caretaker of the original “Peg” for the historic Peg Tree located in Old Town Lake Oswego. She delights field trip participants with tales and history of long ago LO, and then brings the stories to life with the original Peg!
She has been quietly enriching the community for decades and is truly an Unsung Hero!
Friends of Iron Mountain
Members Mike Buck, Doug Hawley, Joy Prideaux, Ann Janzen, Dan Work, Anna Maria Detter, Sarah Kay, Kristin Engstrom, Debbie Thomas and Joan Quinton-Cox, organized in 2003 to form a service group to clear and restore the natural areas around their neighborhood. Over the years this small working group has donated thousands of hours to restore, educate, train and free our critical wetlands and riparian areas of invasive plants. Because of the ongoing effort of this small group and the volunteers who join the work parties, over 1,000 trees have been freed of invasive ivy this year alone! The “Friends” have expanded their goal and are working to restore Springbrook Creek and the entire Iron Mountain Park area in order to create healthy wetland and riparian habitat which will benefit our 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 to live, work and play.