Four finalists announced for 2017 Wilsonville First Citizen

Four leaders from the Wilsonville community have been selected as finalists for the 2017 Wilsonville First Citizen award, which is presented annually by the Rotary Club of Wilsonville. This year’s nominees for the prestigious award are: Angie Gibson, volunteer with Boy Scouts, and Wilsonville’s K-12 schools; Kathy Johnson, volunteer with Relay for Life and the Wilsonville Library; Jordan Scoggins, Wellness Instructor and founder and advisor of Jr. Scoops Student Activity Club at Wood Middle School; and Sue Woebkenberg, AARP Tax Program longtime volunteer.

The finalists will be honored, and a winner announced, at Partners in Service: The 2018 Heart of Gold Dinner and Auction, which will be held Saturday, March 3 at the Wilsonville Holiday Inn. This will be the 17th annual edition of the banquet, which was started in 2002 to honor Wilsonville’s community leaders who enrich the lives of all local residents. It is also the Rotary Club’s largest fundraiser of the year, proceeds from which support education and community enrichment efforts in Wilsonville.

Tim Crowley, president of the Wilsonville Rotary and chair of the First Citizen Committee, expressed his excitement about the number of nominations that were received for this year’s award. “This is an extremely dedicated group of volunteers who are nominees for the First Citizen award this year,” Crowley said. “Each of our four finalists has brought unique, valuable skills and contributions to our city and has made Wilsonville a better place to live and thrive. We can’t wait to honor them all at our Heart of Gold Dinner and Auction and recognize the person who will be chosen as the 2017 First Citizen.”

Proceeds from the event support the numerous projects of the Wilsonville Rotary Foundation, including local omelet breakfasts to raise funds for schools; the Wilsonville Chess Program to help students learn discipline and problem-solving skills; the Through A Child’s Eyes program, a partnership with Coffee Creek Correctional Facility that strengthens families and helps female inmates be better parents both before and after release; the free Wilsonville Rotary Summer Concerts for residents and a fund raiser for polio prevention; college scholarships for Wilsonville and Arts & Tech high school graduates; international student exchange programs, inbound and outbound, that enrich Wilsonville students and their families; and annual projects that have brought solar energy to Africa and clean water to schools and clinics in the Third World.

The four finalists will be introduced individually at the Heart of Gold event ­ – after a silent auction and throughout an evening that includes a lively auction of big ticket items – and at the end of the evening the First Citizen honor will be awarded to the chosen finalist. Each nominee was selected based on her or his active engagement in the Wilsonville community which improves the lives and well-being of its residents. Details on the finalists include:

Angie Gibson is a volunteer well known for always being there if something needs to get done in any number of schools and other organization’s in which she is involved. An almost 20 year resident of Wilsonville and a native Oregonian, Angie’s volunteer ethic, nurtured in her youth, has compelled her to give her time, energy and expertise to support K-12 school associations, clubs, and events over the years at Boones Ferry Primary, Wood Middle School and Wilsonville High School; and with the Boy Scouts as Advancement Chair and Merit Badge Counselor. Angie’s professional career as an accountant has enabled her to take on financial roles in the various organizations and events in which she had been engaged; which often tend to be the jobs that nobody else wants or has the expertise to do. She credits the companies in Wilsonville for which she’s worked, including her current position at Mentor Graphics and previously at In Focus, for allowing her the time to volunteer in order to help build high quality schools and student experiences. “Angie is what volunteering is all about,” noted her nominator. She is known as a ubiquitous presence at any one of Wilsonville’s schools at least twice a week, working with kids before school, helping at lunch, or supporting activities in the evenings.  Angie said, “My personal motto regarding service is do at least one thing for every organization that you support, either give of your time, talent or treasure, to the extent you are able in that season.  It’s because of each of us doing that one thing that we are able to provide such amazing community for one another.”

Kathy Johnson: a long-time volunteer with Relay for Life and at the Wilsonville Library. She started Wilsonville Citizens For Public Art (with Steve Spicer), and volunteered for about three years with them. She was also Recorder for The Friends of The Wilsonville Library for about 10 years. Currently Kathy volunteers for the Twice Sold Tales library bookstore whenever they need her. She has worked on the Relay for Life Committee for about eight years, including as the Survivor Chair, the Luminaria Chair, and the Event Chair during those years. Kathy has also worked as Senior Drive-up Teller for ten years. During that time she prided herself in taking the best care of her customers as she could, trying to make their lives a bit brighter and happier when they came to her drive-up window at Bank of America. While working at BofA Kathy volunteered at The Canby Center as a Grant Writer and was able to get them funding for two projects, as well as funds from BofA for her volunteer hours. She also received the Bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Obama.

Jordan Scoggins is known as a dedicated educator at Wood Middle School who goes above and beyond his position as Wellness Instructor in his impact on students and the school culture. Jordan is founder and advisor of Jr. Scoops Student Activity Club. Through the Club, he teaches middle school students how to make and sell artisan-quality ice cream, real-world business skills, and using sales profits to help others in need. He is known as a masterful teacher and guider of students who is developing 6th through 8th graders into the next generation of first citizen though their rigorous after school operating of a successful business, as well as giving of themselves to help others. He encourages students to take the reins of their projects, seeking professional counsel when they need it from him, but doing all the work themselves. The Club’s motto is, “Helping the community one scoop at a time.” The maturity of the students and the success of their activities have caught the attention and support of other Wilsonville organizations – such as Xerox, Rotary Club of Wilsonville, and the Kiwanis; from which they have received grant support. Jordon provides important teaching and guidance to students, including how to write business plans, how to maintain commercial food service equipment, the fundamentals of marketing, financial management, and many other aspects of running a successful business. His nominators said the students are not “just a group of kids who make ice cream – they are far more than that.” And that is all about Jordan’s ability to engage students in meaningful, relevant experiences, all as a volunteer.

Sue Woebkenberg moved to Oregon in the late 1970s and has been a resident of Wilsonville since 1991. After more than 30 years in the corporate and public sectors as a CPA and Controller, Sue began her volunteerism in Wilsonville. She is now well known as a dedicated volunteer, heading up the AARP Tax Program for years at the Community Center in Wilsonville. This began when Sue read articles in the Spokesman about free tax service at the Community Center and the periodic requests for volunteers for preparing the tax returns. Unlike most people who hate doing their taxes, Sue always liked doing them. Eventually she became the Local Volunteer Coordinator for the Wilsonville site’s AARP Taxaide program. Sue said, “After volunteering with this program it is difficult to leave. We target low to middle income and senior population. When I started with the program in tax year 2007 we did 2 tax appointments per hour. This year we will do 6 tax appointments per hour. We have always had to turn people away.” Sue trains a team of tax preparers, studies the new laws, recruits other volunteers, and also helps out at other centers when needed. Her nominator said, “She spends hours at home filing tax forms for elderly clients, and is very professional and conscientious with all of these honored citizens. Sue puts her personal life on hold for these four months each years to offer invaluable help to seniors and others who can’t always afford the high cost of filing tax forms; and for whom it gets more and more difficult.”

Heart of Gold information: Several hundred attendees come together each year for the Heart of Gold event, and is one of the top fundraisers in Wilsonville that provide direct funding back to the community in ways that benefit all residents. Tickets to the gala awards dinner and auction are $60 each or $480 for a table of eight. They can be purchased online at https://wilsonvillerotary.ejoinme.org/tickets, or in person from any Wilsonville Rotarian. More information on the Wilsonville Rotary Club can be found at: www.wilsonvillerotary.com.

For those looking ahead to next year, the club is already accepting nominations for the 2018 award, which will be awarded in early 2019. Nominations may be submitted to www.wilsonvillerotary.com/heart/nominate, or sent to president@wilsonvillerotary.com.

 

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