Thursday, October 9, 2014, marked WGAP's 4th annual Recognition Evening. An evening when WGAP employees and the community come together to celebrate those among us who are going the extra mile and volunteering their time, energy, or money to make our communities better places to live, work, and play.
The evening began with Gadzukes! providing the musical entertainment. Roger and Diane Gadway of Gadzukes! have performed every year. They always provide us with a very lively, fun performance and this year was no different.
There were displays about WGAP programs and a silent auction for attendees to browse.
Board-Chair, Cheryl Steindorf stepped up to welcome everyone.
The festivities were kicked off with Second Hand Rose doing their usual fashion show. Carol Cox, store manager of SHR, voiced the show, providing us with information and prices on each clothing item. There was everything from Halloween costumes to business attire, to casual school wear, to maternity clothing.
The fashion show took on a different note however, when volunteer, Charlotte Dehné, stepped up to provide us with a rendition of the Barbara Streisand song, Second Hand Rose. It was very entertaining and kept the evening going on a lighthearted note.
Next up was, Jack Perrin, of Gorge Makerspace to speak about the Makerspace movement and the positive impact it is having on our youth. For those not in the know, Makerspace is a supervised workshop where kids can experiment with Science and Technology. They can build basic robotics from scratch, they can fail and eventually succeed, in a supervised, coaching environment. Allowing the kids these failures is just as important as ensuring their eventual success. Jack has been providing workshops for our Community Youth Center kids and is housed at the Youth Center. WGAP also functions as Gorge Makerspace's financial agent. As schools continue to experience budget cuts and offer less in the way of hands on learning (think wood shop, home ec), Makerspace has stepped in to fill that void and provide the kids the chance to develop vitally important problem solving skills.
There was food, visiting, and more live music provided by classical guitarist, Andreas Ehrlich, before the part of the evening that everyone was looking forward to, the volunteer recognition. WGAP has done its best to keep the volunteer recognition a secret, which has of course become more difficult over the years. We're very proud that we were able to surprise our David Duncombe Living Your Conscious award recipient, Steve White.
Liz Paulson, of the Community Youth Center, gave special recognition to Brian and Ronda Griffin. Brian and Ronda have contributed so much to the Youth Center over the years that it really is astounding. Most recently, they donated new computers when the Youth Center's old computers were no longer operable. Brian and Ronda very much understand the need to invest in our community's future by making sure that our youth have opportunities and a safe place to learn and grow after school. We appreciate that they are leading by example and can't thank them enough for all that they've done for this program.
Patricia Sadjak, Director of WGAP's Nutrition Programs, honored Kevan Bren of Harvest Market for all of his help and contributions to the Food Bank. Harvest Market hosts a barrel for the Program every year and find other ways to donate to the Food Bank as well. Kevan has been a tremendous ally in the struggle for food security for all people in our community.
Kevin Summa, of the Guided Path, honored Jake Lawrence. Jake is the Guided Path's groundskeeper/all around handyman. It was very emotional and it's obvious that Jake and Kevin have a special friendship. Kevin spoke about how Jake is much more than a groundskeeper, he is always around to help any of the residents and often provides a listening ear.
Leslie Naramore spoke on behalf of Second Hand Rose who honored Katie Muirden. Katie has volunteered many hours at the store and has also contributed several much needed items, such as employee name tags and new pricing guns. When Katie is in the store she acts as Carol's right hand helper and over all organizer.
Linda Schneider was the final speaker and presented Steve White with the David Duncombe Living Your Conscious award. Steve is the former WGAP Board-Chair, and has been involved in non-profit work most of his life. Steve was very touched to receive the award and stated that David Duncombe was his last living hero.
The evening wrapped up with the close of the silent auction, which got rather competitive in the race for home made banana bread and pie. WGAP would like to thank everyone who attended, those who volunteered their time for the event, those who donated items for the silent auction, and of course those volunteers who were honored. We would also like to extend a special thank you to the Pioneer Center for allowing us to have our event there.