Volunteer Of The Year and Volunteer Organization Of The Year winners were named at a volunteer appreciation event held by the City of Oregon City Tuesday evening. The winners were Tom Muldoon and the Friends of the Ermatinger House.
The awards were part of the Volunteer Appreciation Night event held at the Pioneer Center on July 25. More than 100 people attended, from volunteers to elected officials, as well as family of volunteers who attended to share their appreciation.
“Many people may not realize that volunteers are a vital part of our City,” said Communications Manager Jarrod Lyman during the event. “But last year, you put in nearly 9,337 hours of work. Those efforts saved the City nearly $150,000. Money that was able to be used to provide other services to our residents,” he said.
Two departments with numerous volunteer opportunities are Parks and Recreation and the Library. The directors of each of those departments also shared their appreciation during the event.
“Whether you've been volunteering for a long time or just recently joined, it's important to know that your efforts make a real difference. The City and I are truly grateful for all you do, and we cannot express our appreciation enough,” said Parks and Recreation Director Kendall Reid. “You matter. You make a difference.”
“Simply put, our volunteers and supporters passionately believe in the power of libraries,” said Library Director Greg Williams. “They believe with every fiber of their being that libraries bring communities together and make them stronger. They believe these things with such passion that they willingly dedicate their time and energy and brainpower and influence to help preserve and expand library services for everyone throughout the community.”
Also on hand to share her appreciation was Mayor Denyse McGriff. “Volunteers are the heart and soul of our wonderful Oregon City,” she said. “Our community is so fortunate to have such caring and dedicated citizens. Thank you to all the volunteers for sharing the gift of yourselves for Oregon City.”
Following her statements, Mayor McGriff helped present the awards to the winners. Volunteer Of The Year was presented to Muldoon, who devotes numerous hours at the Pioneer Center. “He was one of our most active volunteers to return when we reopened, he serves at the Pioneer Center multiple days per week. He is mainly our dishwasher, tackling the enormous pans and all other dishes. He also assists with packing hot meals for the Meals On Wheels program,” said the nomination.
The Friends of the Ermatinger House won their award thanks to their efforts this past year that resulted in a surge of visitation at the historic home owned by the City.
“Thanks to the efforts of Friends of the Ermatinger House, attendance has gone up by 65% between November of last year and June of this year. And that doesn’t include the number of students that were brought in this spring with school field trips,” said the nomination.
Nearly 340 students took part in field trips to the home this past year, as much as 10 times what the Ermatinger House would normally see. The Friends of the Ermatinger House receive much of the credit for that surge, along with Oregon City Recreation Programmer Holly Swogger.
There are numerous opportunities for residents to volunteer with the City. From serving on advisory boards and commissions to helping distribute food or plant trees, nearly every department in Oregon City has options. People interested in learning more can call the City at 503-657-0891 and ask to speak with the department they’re interested in learning about.