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NBA legend speaks at event for 2016 contest honorees

Following a passion — especially one for community service — can inspire others and build a brighter future.

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - The Beaverton-areas Amazing Kid, Coral Lara Rizo of Aloha, had a moment in the spotlight Monday with Trail Blazers great Terry Porter and Mark Garber, president of Pamplin Media Group.That was the message from NBA legend Terry Porter to the Pamplin Media Group’s 2016 Amazing Kids honorees. The 25 winners of the annual regional contest were celebrated at a gala event featuring Porter on Monday in Portland.

“Hopefully you guys will inspire other young kids to come along with you,” Porter said. “I think our future is in tremendous hands and I think these guys have done a tremendous job of starting their young lives out.”

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: JOHN SCHRAG - Walker Copleys image appears on a big screen during Mondays Amazing Kids luncheon sponsored by Pamplin Media Group at OMSI.The former Trail Blazer, who set several team records during his 17-year NBA career, gave the kids a basketball analogy.

“Every community in the state of Oregon is a team and we are all players on that team,” Porter said, encouraging them to work together. “When we do that, everyone wins.”

The 2016 Amazing Kids, their families and supporters got a chance to mingle with Pamplin Media Group reporters, editors and staff, as well as sponsors and celebrities at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry event.

State Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) said people often talk about kids who are making the wrong choices, but this was a chance to highlight kids with an ethic of community service.

“Here, we’re celebrating kids making good choices,” Johnson said. “I think this is a wonderful way to celebrate young people in our community.”

The parents of Anna Seely, the Lake Oswego Review’s Amazing Kid honoree, said they wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

“We’re just super proud of Anna and what she’s accomplished the last 18 months,” said her mother, Kim Seely.

Paul Carlson, father of the Canby Herald’s Amazing Kid AdriAnne Carlson, was beaming. “We’ve always thought that she’s pretty fantastic, pretty amazing," he said. "But now the world can see it, too.”

Deepak Vijay, the Hillsboro Tribune’s Amazing Kid, said he felt the event was very prestigious.

“It’s really nice to have recognition and meet with other Amazing Kids,” Vijay said.

His mother, Kowsalya Vijay, said her son is so busy, he doesn’t tend to look for accolades. “I always felt like he needed recognition, and this big appreciation came his way, so it’s really nice,” she said.

For Madras Pioneer Amazing Kid Gavin Begay of Warm Springs, the suit-and-tie, catered affair at the Theory Eatery was a new experience.

“I’m used to being recognized by Native Americans, but not other ethnicities, I guess,” Begay said. “It’s a different but good experience.”

Amity Humphrey of Tualatin said she was nervous while getting ready for the event, but she was happy to be recognized for her fundraising work for an orphanage in China. The 9-year-old vowed to continue doing service projects.

The event's major sponsors included Fred Meyer, which recognized each Amazing Kid with a $200 gift certificate.

Look for the Amazing Kids section in today's edition of the Portland Tribune or in our online flipbook.

Think you've got an Amazing Kid? Your local Pamplin Media Group newspaper will start taking nominations again in February 2017.

Shasta Kearns Moore
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