John Budiao honored with Rotary First Citizen award
Rotary Club of Wilsonville President Laura LaJoie-Bishop lived across the street from John Budiao for many years and the two have remained friends even after Budiao moved away.
So it gave Bishop great satisfaction to present Budiao with the Rotary's 18th First Citizen award, given annually to an exemplary member of the Wilsonville community, during the Stars of Giving: 2019 Heart of Gold Dinner and Auction Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Wilsonville Holiday Inn.
"A huge congrats to John Budiao for being a First Citizen and a friend," Bishop said.
Wilsonville Community Seniors Inc. volunteer Donna Atkinson, Rotary volunteer Curt Kipp and youth sports volunteer Scott Nichols were also finalists for the award.
"It was difficult to select a winner this year. In all four cases those people have not eased up in their service to the community. To be a finalist, that was an honor for each of them because they realize we have such a stellar community of service," Bishop told the Spokesman. "John is a stellar individual as a person and as a community servant."
Budiao is a longtime troopmaster for Wilsonville Troop 194, has coached many local youth sports teams, is an Air Force veteran and is in the process of jumpstarting Operation Spartan Flag, a workshop for military veterans.
The night began with John's son Trevor leading the pledge of allegiance and ended with Budiao delivering an acceptance speech.
"Everywhere I turn the Rotary is there. For them to be nominating me or the citizens to nominate me, it's humbling to be considered for any of that," Budiao said in his speech. "At the time you're doing this you are definitely not doing it for recognition. Any of the Scouts will tell you, I'll go any distance for them."
The event is the Rotary Club's biggest fundraiser of the year and helps finance initiatives such as Through a Child's Eyes, where Coffee Creek Correctional Facility inmates spend a day with their children, college scholarships for local high school graduates, the Rotary's student exchange program and more.
Bishop said the night was fantastic and appreciated seeing so many impactful members of the Wilsonville community enjoying the occasion together.
"For me it was a family affair, not just in my personal family but my Wilsonville family. I can't imagine there is a better place to live," Bishop said. "There was so much community and connection in that room."