Honoring community service
The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will honor three community volunteers Monday at its annual "Community Service Awards" banquet.
Rosemary and Dale Cleland of the Lake Oswego Millennium Concert Band and longtime D.A.R. member and Albertina Kerr Centers volunteer Harriet Lesher will all be celebrated for their service to the community and their passionate dedication to volunteerism.
The Millennium Concert Band was founded in 1999 by Dale Cleland with support from his wife and bandmate, Rosemary. Through their joint efforts and devotion to music, the couple has — both literally and figuratively — been instrumental in providing years of cultural enrichment and entertainment to local audiences.
"But we wouldn't be getting this award if it weren't for the other band members," Rosemary says. "We're like a family."
Throughout the years, the Millennium Concert Band has enriched the community with free concerts in a variety of venues. From the highly anticipated Fourth of July outdoor concert in Millennium Plaza Park and performances at Lakeridge High School to smaller performances by the band's several quartets at events such as the annual Lake Oswego tree lighting, each performance is unique.
According to Dale Cleland, the band has put in more than 87,000 hours of practice in rehearsing throughout the years, and he guesses that they've played for more than 4,300 audience members in their 19 years together.
"It's really surprising how much the relationship between the band and the community has grown," he says. "Several people in the band wanted to keep going after our first performance in 1999, and we just get kept going. Pretty soon, it attracted more people, and we have 74 musicians in the group today."
Under band sponsorship, four ensembles (Brass Quintet, Clarinet Quartet, Wind Quintet and The Millennium Dance Band) continue to perform at retirement communities, churches, private parties and community events. In addition to directing the Dance Band, Dale Cleland also performs with the Clarinet Quartet; Rosemary Cleland plays with the Brass Quintet.
Both Clelands also devote countless hours to rehearsing and performing, and they say they truly believe in generously sharing their time and talents to serve their community.
For Harriet Lesher, a life of volunteerism was the clear choice. A member of the D.A.R. for 50 years, Lesher has been a faithful volunteer for the past 36 years, preparing and serving lunches at Albertina Kerr, a nonprofit that provides services to children, adults and families with emotional or developmental disabilities. The organization serves daily lunches and operates retail stores in its facility.
Lesher has also devoted many hours to volunteering at the West Slope Library.
"I was surprised to be getting an award," she says. "I didn't expect to be singled out like this. Volunteerism is very rewarding, I just enjoy it all, and you make so many great friendships."
Lesher believes that volunteerism has taken a hit over the past few years, with fewer people volunteering to help organizations that serve their communities. She says she hopes to inspire more young men and women to get out and devote their time to causes that help enrich their communities.