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To fully serve the community, the Mid-county Memo offers this section to showcase upcoming special events, celebrations of milestones in our readers’ lives, those seemingly small accomplishments that often do not receive the recognition they deserve, and everyday events that should be shared with friends and neighbors.

Memo Pad submissions for the December issue are due by Thursday, Nov. 15. For best results, e-mail Darlene Vinson at Or mail editorial submissions to 3510 N.E. 134th Ave, Portland, OR 97230. To leave a phone message, call 503-287-8904. The fax number is 503-249-7672.

Parkrose students named AP scholars
Nine students from Parkrose High School have earned the designation of AP Scholar by the College Board in recognition of their exceptional achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement Program Exams.

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program offers students the opportunity to take challenging college-level courses while still in high school, and to receive college credit, advanced placement or both for successful performance on the AP exams. About 18 percent of the more than 1.4 million high school students who took AP exams performed at a sufficiently high level to merit the recognition of AP scholar.

Students took AP exams in May 2007 after completing challenging college-level courses at PHS. Students earn scores ranging from 1 to 5, with a 3 or higher qualifying them for recognition. The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement based on students’ performance on AP exams.

Three members of the Parkrose class of 2007 qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction award by earning an average grade of at least 3.5 on all exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. These students are Heather Hill, who now attends Reed College; Lauren Ross, a student at Linfield College; and Nick Smillie, now at the University of Oregon.

Three more graduates qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor award by earning an average grade of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. These students are Cosmin Budau, now at the University of North Dakota; Kaite Kann, who attends Linfield College; and Adam Robinson.

The AP Scholar award was also presented to three PHS students who completed three or more AP exams with grades of 3 or higher. The AP Scholars are Mary Bown, a freshman at the University of Puget Sound, and two current Parkrose seniors: Holly Ho and Serenity Turner.

Most of the nation’s colleges and universities award credit, advanced placement or both based on successful performance on the AP exams. More than 1,400 institutions award a full year’s credit (sophomore standing) to students presenting a sufficient number of qualifying grades. In 2007 PHS offered AP exams in English language, U.S. history, statistics, government and politics, literature, music theory, and calculus.

The College Board is a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Among its best-known programs are the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT and the Advanced Placement Program.

Mid-county citizen joins RAP council
Robert Wells of Northeast Portland recently completed the training program to become a Resident Associate Program volunteer for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman for the State of Oregon. As a RAP volunteer, he will visit the residents of long-term care facilities reducing the isolation experienced by many residents and increasing their social interactions. Wells retired as a manager with the U.S. V.A. Medical Center. He will visit the residents of Gateway Care and Retirement Center, 39 S.E. 102nd Ave.

The Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman is a program of the State of Oregon dedicated to improving the quality of life for the residents of nursing homes, residential care facilities, assisted living facilities and adult foster care homes. The program also offers advocacy services by Certified Ombudsmen who identify and resolve complaints on behalf of residents. Training classes for Certified Ombudsmen and RAP volunteers will be scheduled soon. Call 800-522-2602 for more information on the program.

Athlete, Camp Fire girl selected
The Gateway Elks Youth Activities committee has selected Maddison Rose Stapleton as the October Teenager of the Month. A senior at David Douglas High School, Stapleton is the daughter of Thom and Ronnda Stapleton. In addition to maintaining a 3.85 grade point average, she is involved in school athletics, Camp Fire USA and is noted for her artistic abilities.

Stapleton has had perfect attendance every year since the third grade. She earned Student of the Month at David Douglas in March 2007 and the Presidential Academic Achievement award in sixth and eighth grades. She has earned a varsity letter in each year of high school thus far and has won several track and field awards, including 2007 district champion in the pole vault, Athlete of the Meet in ninth and 11th grades, and Outstanding Freshman Athlete. For the last two years, Stapleton has been in the American Sign Language Club. In ninth grade, she was also a member of the Dream Club, which raises money for charities such as Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and the Oregon Food Bank. Outside of school, Stapleton is devoted to Camp Fire USA. She started during second grade and has been involved ever since. This year she graduated from the counselor-in-training program, which requires seven weeks of training over two summers, and she volunteered at Camp Namanu, near Sandy, this summer. Stapleton was number one in candy sales in the Portland area from 1998 to 2004 and second in the nation in 2001.

Stapleton is also noted for her artwork. She was a finalist in the AK Media Earth Day Art Contest in 1997, won the Child Magazine art contest in 1995 and won the Art Media Valentine’s Day Art Contest twice — in 1995 and 1996. She designs logos for the clubs and teams to which she belongs and helped to design T-shirts and a plaque for her group at Camp Namanu. Additionally, Stapleton designs, paints and races soapbox derby cars.

Somehow she still finds time for reading, photography, running, swimming and camping with her family. As Teenager of the Month, Stapleton and her family were guests of the lodge. She and her parents were treated to dinner before the presentation ceremony where she received a plaque, a certificate from the Grand Lodge and a $100 U.S. Savings Bond.

Gateway Elks Lodge is located at 711 N.E. 100th Ave. To contact the Gateway Elks, please call 503-255-6535 or visit the Web site at

Snowcap Community Charities Executive Director Judy Alley, left, presents Regina Blake Donor of the Year Award at SnowCap’s 40th Anniversary Dessert held last month at Savage Memorial Presbyterian Church in Mid-county.
Awards highlight 40-year anniversary event
Recognitions of outstanding volunteer contributions highlighted the 40th anniversary celebration of service by SnowCap Community Charities and a year-long 40-4-40 campaign to encourage donations and increase public awareness. The awards were announced Sunday, Oct. 7 at a dessert social.

Henrietta “Hank” Lewis of Gresham was named Volunteer of the Year. She was recognized for her many years of volunteer service in SnowCap’s food pantry, Children’s Clothes Closet and other special projects. She is an active member of Smith Memorial Presbyterian Church in Fairview.

Named Donor of the Year, Regina Blake of Gresham is a retired Legacy Health Systems nurse who has made monthly donations to SnowCap for years. “These regular monthly donations ease the agency’s regular cash flow concerns. Most SnowCap monetary donations come at Christmas,” said Judy Alley, SnowCap’s executive director, who presented the awards.

Blake also is a longtime volunteer and heads up the silent auction segment of SnowCap’s annual Valentine’s Dinner Auction fundraising event.

The Boeing Company and the Boeing Employees Community Fund was cited as Donor Team of the Year.

Handing out the teamwork award, Alley said, “Boeing and its employees have contributed more than $125,000 to SnowCap over several years. In addition, numerous employees have enthusiastically donated countless hours of volunteer time, especially at Christmas.”

Alley noted that SnowCap’s success in meeting many human needs is based on donations of time, products and services, and dollars from individuals and businesses. This kind of “support has enabled SnowCap to provide multiple services to more than 1.4 million people since its founding in October of 1967. At one time we had only a few volunteers. Now we need more than 600 to take in clients and distribute food and clothing. It’s been quite a run for 40 years, and we’re just getting going,” she said.

SnowCap is a volunteer, faith-based nonprofit agency that provides food, clothing, seasonal energy assistance, English language instruction and other advocacy services for low-income and needy families and individuals in all east Multnomah County communities.

To become a SnowCap volunteer or contributor or if you need assistance, call 503-674-8785.

IRCO receives $1,400,000 in new program grants
The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization will be starting new programs immediately in youth mentoring, health research and conflict resolution for newly arrived Africans, made possible by funding from new federal grants. Representing $1.4 million in funding over a three-year period, the projects have been funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Office of Minority Health and the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement, respectively.

Partnering with IRCO in the youth mentoring program is the David Douglas School District. The project will serve 45 students over a period of 15 months from grades four through eight in two elementary schools and one middle school. Goals are to provide guidance promoting personal and social responsibility, to increase participation in academic learning, and to discourage involvement in gangs, illegal activities and promiscuous behavior.

Two projects directed toward increasing the understanding and use of preventive measures to protect the health of underserved and marginalized African and Asian and Pacific Islanders populations will be launched soon. IRCO will partner with the Multnomah County Health Department to increase knowledge and testing for Hepatitis B and HIV, as well as to increase the size of the pool of skilled medical interpreters fluent in those languages.

OHSU and IRCO will work together to research the most effective means to reduce the incidences of cervical cancer through culturally tailored intervention that will increase cervical cancer screenings in Vietnamese women. Vietnamese women experience the disease at rates five times that of white women in the United States.

IRCO’s Africa House will serve 115 refugees, mostly from Somalia, Ethiopia and Liberia, to reduce conflict between community members, to improve stability in family dynamics, to increase awareness of and access to culturally and linguistically appropriate services to help stabilize their living situations, and to increase community engagement in constructively resolving intercultural conflict.

Historical society wants to hear from you
The David Douglas Historical Society is collecting stories and short articles on a wide range of topics: you and your family, organizations in the David Douglas community, neighborhoods, places, service groups and changes in the community. Please submit your story to David Douglas Historical Society, 1500 S.E. 130th Ave. Port., OR 97233, or post your comments at For more information, contact Joanna Klick at 503-658-4892.

The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights in 20th year of glory
Celebrate 20 years of lights, musical performances, volunteering and the true spirit of Christmas.

The Grotto’s 20th annual Christmas Festival of Lights will open its doors Friday, Nov. 23 and run through Sunday, Dec. 30 (closed on Christmas Day). The gates are open from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with the grounds closing at 10 p.m. The cost is $7 for adults and $3 for children ages 3-12, while those 2 and under are free. The Festival of Lights is fully accessible to those with disabilities, and there is always free parking.

The Festival of Lights is filled with family entertainment. Throughout the entire event there are over 150 musical performances in the Chapel of Mary, over a half million lights, outdoor caroling, theatrical performances, a petting zoo and a puppet theater. Seasonal food and beverages are available for purchase. Visitors should dress for the weather because it is an outdoor, walk-through event.

The Grotto’s 20th annual Christmas Festival of Lights would not happen if it were not for the volunteers. There are still volunteer shifts available for this year’s event. There are two shifts nightly with one from 4:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and another from 7:15 p.m. to 10 p.m. Volunteers can do either one shift or two. There are a variety of positions: reception, food booth, hospitality kitchen, greeting, store and parking. This is a great opportunity for individuals as well as groups to volunteer. Those interested in volunteering should contact Nancy Blake, volunteer coordinator, at 503-261-2433 or e-mail

The Grotto is located at Northeast 85th Avenue and Sandy Boulevard. For more information about The Grotto’s 20th annual Christmas Festival of Lights and other events, contact 503-254-7371 or visit
Rivercrest dinner going on 60
Russellville assisted living building breaks ground
African Youth Leadership Conference urges education
Anti-crime activist advises Argay
ECR is now Environmentally Conscious Recycling
Neighbors question crime-free zones’ demise
102nd Avenue street work begins January

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