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Rotary sponsors annual award, now in its 13th year

The Rotary Club of Wilsonville has announced the four finalists for the 2013 Wilsonville First Citizen award. They are Leigh Crosby, Steve Perry, Kathryn Whittaker and Vern Wise.

The four finalists will be honored, and the First Citizen award winner will be announced, at Treasures of Wilsonville: The 2014 Heart of Gold Banquet. This gala event, now in its 13th year, will be held starting at 5 p.m. March 15 at the Wilsonville Holiday Inn, 25425 SW 95th Ave., Wilsonville.

“It is an outstanding group of finalists,” Rotary Club President John Holley said. “We were looking for people who believe, as we do, in putting service above self. We think we have found those people. All four of these First Citizen finalists have demonstrated service above self in many ways, and it will be an honor to recognize them at our annual Heart of Gold dinner and auction.”

The event will include a silent and a live auction filled with exciting items and experiences provided by local businesses and residents. Admission to the awards banquet, with choice of entree, is also included. Tickets are $50 each, or $400 for a table of eight. The tickets can be purchased from Bob Harland at 503-705-9727, online at wilsonvilleheart.com, or from any Wilsonville Rotarian. Proceeds benefit the Wilsonville Rotary Foundation and its many local and international service projects.


by: SUBMITTED - CROSBYLeigh Crosby, a Wilsonville resident, is the food bank and volunteer coordinator for Wilsonville Community Sharing. She has served in this position for the last 13 years, ever since the nonprofit organization added the food bank to its services in 2000. Her efforts have helped keep the food bank running smoothly.

In addition to this work, she has served as a volunteer with Wilsonville Kiwanis Kids Fun Run, Wilsonville Relay for Life, local schools and the Girl Scouts. She also works as a teacher at HELP (Help Eliminate Learning Problems), working with students and adults with a variety of learning capabilities.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTOS: DANNY ABREGO/PORTLAND REIGN PHOTOGRAPHY - PERRYSteve Perry resides in Charbonneau and is involved with the Charbonneau Country Club, the Rotary Club of Wilsonville and Rolling Hills Community Church. With the Charbonneau Country Club, he has served on the board of directors since 2008, most recently as vice president. He has chaired the architectural review committee and also a task force dealing with the merger of the Charbonneau Country Club and the Charbonneau Golf Club.

With Wilsonville Rotary, he spearheaded the creation of the local Chess for Success program, which has brought after-school chess instruction to all three local primary schools (Boeckman Creek, Boones Ferry and Lowrie) as a way of teaching students discipline and thinking skills.

He has also served as Rotary’s membership chairman, helping increase membership by 50 percent (from 25 to 37) in a short period of time, and has been a regular participant in the club’s many service projects.

With Rolling Hills Community Church, Perry is a home community leader and a mentor/tutor to those involved in missionary groups.

by: SUBMITTED - WHITTAKERKathryn Whittaker is a Wilsonville resident who recently completed a three-year term on the West Linn-Wilsonville Education Foundation. For two of those years, she served as president of the foundation, at a time when the organization stepped up its fundraising activity by engaging the community and starting new campaigns.

Her district involvement does not end there. She served on the school boundary committee that redrew boundaries for the opening of Lowrie Primary School. She mentors and judges the mock congressional hearings for eighth-grade students at Wood Middle School. Last year, she coached a team to a second-place finish at a national competition in Washington, D.C.

And, she volunteers with Lego Robotics, Willamette United Soccer, Boy Scouts, Wilsonville High School Dance Team and the Talented and Gifted (TAG) program.

by: SUBMITTED - WISEVern Wise, who lives in Charbonneau, has volunteered for a wide variety of community organizations and projects, including the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility Public Advisory Committee, the Charbonneau Mariners (affiliated with Lake Grove Presbyterian Church), the Wilsonville Kiwanis Kids Fun Run, Wilsonville Rotary’s Through a Child’s Eyes, the Wilsonville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Wilsonville Community Center Senior Advisory Board, the Wilsonville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the chamber’s Government Affairs Committee, the Wilsonville Advisory Master Planning Committee for parks and recreation, and the Wilsonville Public Library Advisory Committee.

Wise also serves as a community relations ambassador for Lamb’s Thriftway, regularly delivering donated baked goods from the store to the library, SMART, police department and fire department.

And finally, he delivers items from a Lake Oswego bakery to the Canby Food Bank.

Wilsonville Rotary’s First Citizen award, given annually at the Heart of Gold banquet, dates back to 1983 and is considered Wilsonville’s highest volunteer honor. For a complete list of prior First Citizen winners, log on to the Heart of Gold website at wilsonvilleheart.com.

The Rotary Club of Wilsonville (wilsonvillerotary.com, @Rotary97070 on Twitter, facebook.com/wilsonvillerotary on Facebook) was founded in 1975 and has 40 members. It meets for lunch every Thursday at noon at the Al Kader Shrine Center, 25100 SW Parkway Ave., Wilsonville. The club is affiliated with Rotary International (rotary.org), which was founded in 1905 by Paul Harris in Chicago.

Today, Rotary International is the world’s largest service organization, with 1.2 million members taking part in more than 34,000 clubs worldwide.

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