Thank You to the 2015 Unsung Heroes
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 recognition or pay. 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!
For 15 years the community has been recognizing an amazing group of volunteers - so far 74 in total - with another five individuals being honored for 2015.
William (Bill) DeBuhr
For over 35 years this neighborhood volunteer and life saver has been quietly stepping up to help neighbors and saves lives. If Bill is not assisting his neighbors with life’s everyday issues such as broken down vehicles, 4th of July activities, serving as President of Bryant Woods Homeowner’s Association, LOSD committees, and organizing neighborhood earthquake disaster preparedness meetings, he is probably taking part in an all-volunteer amateur radio operators exercise. As a community, we are extremely fortunate to have a group of volunteers like Bill. Bill and his team of HAM radio operators train regularly with our firefighters - their vital service may be the only communication during a massive earthquake or any number of disasters that could take down phone lines and electricity. Thank you to Bill for serving his community and providing such a valuable service!
This active retired executive divides his time between many volunteer activities. For the Adult Community Center, Art drives the transport bus every Friday and on special excursions throughout the region, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Meals On Wheels program which last year provided more than 19,000 meals to homebound members of our community, and he facilitates the Computer Learning Center speaker series which covers a wide range of topics. In addition, Art provides free business management counseling every Monday and Tuesday as part of SCORE, (Service Corps of Retired Executives) a program sponsored by the Small Business Administration that provides free resources to assist small business owners. Art is one busy, enthusiastic volunteer, lending a helping hand, diving in and making a difference in the lives of so many people!
A 16 plus year veteran of volunteering and Boy Scout Master extraordinaire, Mark has made a significant difference in the lives of hundreds of youngsters, helping create confident, resourceful, caring people for our future. With Mark’s dedication and guidance he has personally mentored over 40 scouts to the rank of Eagle Scout (the highest achievements for any Boy Scout) requiring commitment and providing a lasting footprint in the local community. Along with Boy Scouts and the amazing contribution his scouts have provided to the LO community, Mark also sits on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board and continues to work with young folks, creating better people that will guide our community into the future.
For many years, Bob has been a champion of the City’s public art program, the Gallery Without Walls - a successful program modeled by communities across the country. Bob has served as an active Board Member for the Art’s Council and now serves as chairman of the City’s Public Art Committee. But where we really notice his positive “get it done” attitude is as Installation Crew Leader! This past year, the crew faced a particularly challenging summer with the impending development of Block 137 where the Wizer building once stood. Not only did the normal rotation of sculptures have to occur (involving 30 sculptures being placed, packed up and rotated to new locations), the seven sculptures on this block needed to be relocated - all this while the temperatures were sometimes a sizzling 100 degrees! No worries for Bob, a retired contractor who always shows up with his red truck outfitted with ladder, drills, compressor and an assortment of tools for the hard work at hand. Bob also assists with the care and maintenance of the City’s art collection, including installation of new paintings, cleaning of all the art, along with the inventory and rotations of the permanent collection inside City buildings. Bob is a gift to the Arts Council and is one reason the program is such a great success!
Since Stephanie joined our LO community more than 35 years ago, she has been an active volunteer. She has been instrumental in developing and expanding the many programs in which she volunteers, such as the Friends of Tryon Creek where she provides extraordinary leadership to the regional environmental education community and sets the bar for meaningful educational experiences for all ages. She was the idea behind “Kids in Nature,” a program that organizes field trips to Tryon Creek and allows more than 5000 children each year to explore the outdoors and enjoy nature.
When not organizing something exciting to enhance everyone’s outdoor experience, Stephanie is bringing her hands-on approach to Oswego Lake Water Council and the Natural Resource Advisory Board, both of which she has been serving on for years. Stephanie was also instrumental in the development of LO Schools Foundation, a successful program that pays for teachers to keep our classes smaller, ensuring a great education for our students.
We are a fortunate community to have someone like Stephanie Wagner!
On behalf on the Council and the Lake Oswego community, we thank you and all of our Unsung Heroes who make Lake Oswego such a wonderful place to live, work and play!