The awards honor Clackamas County organizations and individuals that make a significant contribution to the local community by working to help those who are struggling to meet their basic needs improve their life circumstances. The Community Action Board, comprised of citizens appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to help further the mission of Community Action, is sponsoring these awards.
There are six Community Impact Award categories. These include:
- non-profit organizations
- promising start-ups
- youth or organizations supporting youth
- distinguished service award
All nominees must meet certain requirements to be eligible. These include:
- Individual nominees must live in Clackamas County, or work for an organization located in and benefitting Clackamas County residents, and not be either a county employee nor serve on the Community Action Board (see below).
- Organizational nominees (businesses, nonprofits or other) must operate in some capacity within Clackamas County.
- Programs must serve low income county residents and have been operational for at least 12 months at the time of nomination. Exceptions: Nominees for both the Promising Startup Award and the Youth Award are not subject to the one year minimum of operation.
- For the Distinguished Services Award only, nominees must have provided at least five years of service to the community.
Awardees are alerted about their honor during early May of each year, which is followed later that month by an award dinner where all recipients are recognized.
Clackamas County operates many Advisory Boards and Commissions, or ABCs, which offer citizens the opportunity to become involved in specific activities and goals of their County. The Board of County Commissioners appoints hundreds of citizens to serve on these committees every year. We welcome you to learn more about all of our ABCs and be alerted of ABC openings by signing up for county email alerts (select "Volunteering" after entering your email). Updates about the awards and winners are also shared on the county's Facebook and Twitter presences.
One ABC, the Community Action Board, advises the county Social Services Division on its Community Action Agency (CAA) programs for low-income persons. Board members advocate both locally and at the state level on issues related to low-income individuals and households. The Community Action Board sponsors the Community Impact Awards, manages nominations, and makes recommendations to County Commissioners about awardees.
2019 Community Impact Award Winners
Clackamas County is proud to announce the winners of the 2019 Community Impact Awards. The awards recognize Clackamas County organizations and individuals making a significant contribution to our community by working to help those struggling to meet their basic needs improve their life circumstances. The Community Action Board, comprised of county residents appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to help further the mission of Community Action, is sponsoring these awards.
Glenn Koehrsen is an advocate for breaking down “silos” in order to foster partnerships that enhance cooperation and improve transportation services. He serves on the TriMet Special Transportation Funding Advisory Council and advocates for improved services for older adults and people with disabilities. Glenn’s actions get results. Recently Glenn wrote a proposal on senior transportation needs and succeeded in bringing together a diverse group of transportation allies at an Age Friendly Transportation Roundtable.
Transportation allows seniors and persons with disabilities to remain in their homes as long as possible, improving their quality of life and reducing expenditures for long-term care. It is also critical in meeting the social determinants of health, including acquiring adequate healthy food, access to health care, and maintaining contact with family and friends. Glenn’s efforts will ensure the county is able to address the transportation needs of its growing older adult population. Individuals aged 65 years and older represented 11% of the county’s population in 2000. The percentage is projected to nearly double to 21 percent by 2025.
Glenn serves on the Aging Services Advisory Council, the Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council, and several subcommittees of each council he serves on.
Nominated by Ellen Burns – Aging Services Advisory Council Vice Chair
Mary Zellharie and Gene Zaharie are leaders in our community for people in poverty. They are volunteer leaders for the Point-in-Time Count. They helped to found the Clackamas Housing Team established by the Metro Alliance for the Common Good. They work with Milwaukie and Gladstone to encourage more affordable housing. They regularly advocate at the legislature for homeless issues. Gene participated on the Homeless Solutions Coalition of Clackamas County Harm Reduction Task Force for needle exchanges. Mary is an active member of the County’s Warming Shelter Providers Network. Mary and Gene spend many hours volunteering at warming shelters. Recently they coordinated an interfaith event at the Prince of Life Lutheran Church attended by over 100 individuals to promote a “Safe Place to Sleep” in church parking lots.
Nominated by Lynne Deshler – Clackamas County Point-in-Time Count Coordinator
Patrick Whitmore and Barbara Brooke enjoy hosting BINGO at their business, and they split the pot 50/50 with the BINGO winner. The real winners are the recipients of the other 50%, which goes to support people in need, including a local mom fighting stage 4 intestinal cancer, Carus preschool, Boys & Girls Foster Aid, a Beavercreek resident with an aneurism, and veterans.
The pièce de résistance was when Paradise, California experienced a devastating fire. They loaded up a 40’ coach and travelled to Paradise to deliver supplies and the coach to a household that was displaced due to the fire. The coach became home to a single mother of three children. They collected donations from dozens of residents throughout Beavercreek and filled the coach to the brim with shoes, socks, coats, gloves, sleeping bags, blankets, tarps, tents, flashlights, batteries, etc.
Nominated by Melissa Logan
St. Aloysius Conference St. Vincent de Paul and their community of volunteers have been dedicated to clothing, housing, and healing individuals and families in Estacada, Eagle Creek, Currinsville, Barton, and Colton for 20 years. In 2018 they provided food boxes and other assistance to 2,917 families (8,450 individuals). They distributed hygiene products, laundry soap, shampoo, sleeping bags, tarps, flashlights, disposable shavers, hand sanitizers, baby diapers, and clothing. They also offer limited assistance with rent, utility bills, and gas for transportation.
Nominated by Terry Brown
Fort Kennedy serves 40 homeless veterans and their families each day from all areas of Clackamas County. They offer assistance with housing, legal services, VA claims, food, clothing, and medical paperwork. They have helped to house over 500 families.
Nominated by Carol Ruggles