News tidbits for the June issue of the Southwest Community Connection

Neighborhood House director announces retirement

Rick Nitti, the longtime executive director of the Southwest Portland nonprofit Neighborhood House, recently announced he would be retiring after nearly 20 years at the helm.

The organization credits Nitti, who has worked for the nonprofit since 1997, for dramatically increasing the size and reach of its programming and services — growing it from a $2.3 million agency with 63 employees in 1997 to a $6.5 million organization with more than 160 staff today.

"I have appreciated the opportunity to work for, with and on behalf of the amazing people I have been associated with at Neighborhood House for nearly two decades," Nitti said in a release. Neighborhood House has initiated a nationwide search for Nitti's successor. There is no timeline for finding his replacement, and the organization has not said who will be taking over for him in the interim. To find out more about plans to honor Nitti, contact Neighborhood House Development Director Mari Yerger at 503-246-1663 x2119 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fanno Creek Clinic to award $25,000 in public school grants

Fanno Creek Clinic is marking its 20th anniversary by awarding grants to public schools in Southwest Portland. The clinic has invited local schools to submit one-page proposals for grants of up to $4,000 each. It began giving out the grants in May and will continue the program through the rest of 2017. Previous grants went to pay for arts and science programs at Rieke, Maplewood and Stephens elementary schools, and for science textbooks at Robert Gray Middle School, among others. In addition, $2,500 has been awarded to Wilson High School for a writer-in-residence program.

— Southwest Community Connection

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