Thank you, J.J.!
Number 25 on my list of Sixty Random Acts of Kindness in this my sixtieth year — write a letter to the editor of the local paper thanking someone who is dedicated to making his/her community
Lake Oswego is a clean, green, beautiful place. People take a lot of pride in how their neighborhoods and community looks. Lake Oswego has its issues, including race issues, but it is a city that works (no apologies to Portland) because of the spirit of community and pride of ownership. In one word — VOLUNTEERS. Organized events, solo actions or spontaneous volunteering. Just because. I recall a conversation with Donna Smith, then principal of Westridge Elementary School, when we got here in 2001. I asked her about the demographics of the school. She said, "what do you mean?" I wanted to know about its diversity in terms of race, economic demographics and "opportunities" for participation. Lake Oswego was not diverse then and not much has changed since. However, Dr. Smith was very proud of the level of parent participation in the classrooms, school events, sports, etc. EJ, my fourth grader at the time, ended up attending Westridge for the rest of his elementary education. And I got to see volunteerism at work at Westridge, Waluga Middle School (now Lakeridge Junior High) and Lakeridge High School.
One person who has represented (in action) that community spirit for the almost 19 years that I have been in Lake Oswego is J.J. Jenkins. J.J. volunteered while our kids were in school. His son, Kent Jenkins, a.k.a. the Blue Man, was classmates and friends with EJ. The Lakeridge Performing Arts center and Lakeridge High School were big beneficiaries of J.J.'s volunteerism. Whatever the school needed — time, resources, etc. — J.J. and his beautiful wife, Jan, provided. And so did a lot of parents. What makes J.J. stand out however is the way he takes care of Lake Oswego. Literally. I have never not seen J.J. out and about (whether at 7 o'clock in the morning or late in the evening) when he is not picking up stuff from the roads, clearing brush and just generally making our neighborhood beautiful. The City recognized J.J. a few years back as "Volunteer of the Year", and J.J. continues to give.
Thank you, J.J.! I am glad you live in my city. We your neighbors appreciate all you do.
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