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Record-setting generosity leading to naming Tim Knapp as First Citizen

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: CLAIRE GREEN - Both men were all smiles when Wilsonville Rotary Club President Richard Martins presented Mayor Tim Knapp the crystal First Citizen Award at the 2017 Heart of Gold Celebration Feb. 25.

On Feb. 25, Wilsonville's finest dressed to the nines with a Hawaiian twist for the 16th annual Heart of Gold Celebration. The banquet and auction honored the Wilsonville Rotary Club's First Citizen nominees, winner Mayor Tim Knapp as well as raised money for the Rotary's many charitable causes and scholarship programs.

The sold-out event packed the Holiday Inn Portland I-5 S (Wilsonville)'s convention center with more than 200 guests and numerous tables filled with finely curated auction items. From raffles, interactive games and the silent and live auctions, attendees weren't shy with their pocketbooks during the event, raking in $40,000 for Rotary programs, including Through A Child's Eyes (TACE), which facilitates fun events for incarcerated women and their children.

Leading up to the pinnacle of the event, the First Citizen presentation, co-founder of Coffee Creek Correctional Facility program TACE John Ludlow introduced a paroled former participant of TACE and her daughter to speak to the value of the program. Crystal Magaña and her 18-year-old daughter La'shuanta gave testimony to how the program helps mothers and children forge a relationship despite being separated.

"If it wasn't for all of the events and TACE, my mom and I wouldn't have the relationship that we do," La'shuanta said.

After the women spoke, Ludlow opened the floor for donations, bringing in an all-time high of $13,000. SPOKESMAN PHOTO: CLAIRE GREEN - Crystal Magaña and her 18-year-old daughter Lashuanta gave testimony during the Heart of Gold banquet as to how Through A Childs Eyes helps mothers and children forge a relationship despite being separated by a prison sentence.

Wilsonville Rotary President Richard Martens wrapped the evening with the First Citizen Award ceremony. He began by honoring nominees and runners-up Capt. John Budiao, CEO of Military Coach; Kyle Bunch, Rotarian and American Family Insurance agent; and Jean Tsokos, long-time Wilsonville volunteer and staple in community theater, before announcing Knapp as the winner.

"Tim Knapp has contributed to the community over the past several decades as a volunteer and an elected official," Martens said. "He has contributed a great many hours of service over the years, in a variety of roles from committee member on up to mayor. The Rotary extends its congratulations to Mayor Knapp, and to all of the finalists who have made our city a better place for all of our residents."

Knapp kissed his wife, Melodee, before ascending the stage. During his acceptance speech, he thanked the Rotary and

paid homage to the other nominees and

volunteers of Wilsonville who are helping mitigate common concerns like provid-

ing the best possible education for Wilsonville students and finding solutions for traffic.

"This sense of mutual effort is what makes Wilsonville such a special place," Knapp said. "We also recognize that no one single person among us has the magic, golden answer to all of these questions... So let us honor and remember all of the positive contributions made by everyone who steps forward to do a part, large or small, and all of your people and all of those who contribute are heart of gold contributors to our community and we honor their engagements, commitments and their contributions."

Contact Wilsonville Spokesman reporter Claire Green at 503-636-1281 ext. 113 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..