There are many good things happening in Portland, for which I am grateful this Thanksgiving Day. Steve Duin published a column in The Oregonian this week telling about Larry Chusid, one of this year's Spirit of Portland Award winners, who founded The Pongo Project helping struggling families keep their beloved pets.
Brief bios of all the Spirit of Portland Award winners are here. More than 150 people attended the awards ceremony, hosted by all members of the City Council and held at the Lloyd Center DoubleTree Hotel on November 8.
A sweet video clip of coverage by KGW of Youth winner Rebbecca Kirk is here.
The 2010 Spirit of Portland Awards marked the inauguration of a new category, the Sandra Diedrich Award for Environmental Stewardship. Sandy was a beloved community leader and Portland Parks employee who founded the No-Ivy League in Forest Park. The committee selected Ed Kerns of Lents to be the first winner of the award.
The last award of the evening was given to Clarence Harper, who was re-awarded his 2008 Spirit of Portland Award after it was destroyed. See the story in The Skanner here (pdf). The Royal Rosarians also re-awarded Mr. Harper his honor from their organization. It was an exceptionally moving part of the Spirit of Portland Awards ceremony. Special thanks to Office of Neighborhood Involvement staff Dennis LoGiudice and Lisa Leddy for initiating and coordinating the replacement of Mr. Harper's awards.
One of my favorite memories of the Awards ceremony in November was captured by David Ashton of EastPDXnews.com - showing my mother, Pamela Jones, visiting from England:
My mum doesn't live here, but she volunteered answering the phone in my office for the two weeks she was visiting. A person doesn't have to be born here, to have the Spirit of Portland.