‘Dinner and auction’ benefits outer East Portland social service agency

See why hundreds, including Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, turned out to show support for PACS – a Gateway-based food distribution and medical services supplier to the needy …

Guests at the PACS dinner race to make final bids, as the silent auction comes to a close.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The Airport Embassy Suites Hotel ballroom was filled to capacity, as the Portland Adventist Community Services (PACS) Awards Dinner and Auction got underway on October 14.

Guests appeared to enjoy outbidding one another for prize packages ranging from merchandise to vacation opportunities.

Those who were unaware of the non-profit organization’s work learned that the PACS Food Pantry last year provided short term food supplies to 87,817 struggling families, and their PACS Health Clinic provided health care to 1,442 patients, at facilities on NE Halsey Street at NE 111th Avenue.

When the 320 guests were seated in the ballroom, they enjoyed classical music while being served dinner.

Master of Ceremonies Steve Vistaunet welcomes their guest speaker – and long-time supporter – Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, to the stage.

The featured speaker, Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, told East Portland News why she’d agreed to talk before this outer East Portland the group.

“I think this is my fourth or fifth dinner here,” Fritz said. “I came because I was very impressed with the organization, and how they are so gracious to their clients. PACS is a ‘full service’ organization; and they’re looking for ways of helping in more areas of East Portland.”

Courage, Love and Kindness of Strangers” was the theme of her talk. Fritz commended the organization for helping people “get through the recession” with dignity. “It’s about people helping each other out, and actually caring about each other. It’s daring to care, and daring to show that we care about one another.”

Cellists Marilyn de Oliveira and Trevor Fitzpatrick – both with the Oregon Symphony – serenade diners during the PACS banquet.

PACS Executive Director Paul Cole congratulate two couples who were award-winners: Mary and Russell Sichley, and Rudy and Betty Glasnapp.

Long-time PACS volunteers Leland and Joyce Friend (who were not able to attend the event), and Rudy and Betty Glasnapp were the co-recipients of the organization’s Barbara Nelson Award.

“Both couples were instrumental in the design of the Client Choice system of providing emergency food,” said PACS Executive Director Paul Cole. “The system emphasizes dignity, choice, and education.

Cole pointed out that Leland Friend also won a Firestone Award for his work on the ‘Client Choice’ system, which has been lauded by Oregon Food Bank, and has become a model for such pantries across North America.

Participants watch and listen as the organizations’ awards are presented.

The PACS 2012 Executive Director’s Award went to Russell & Mary Sichley for “Faithful service since 1962,” Cole announced. “We honor their almost 25,000 hours of service as volunteers. Their upbeat spirit and promotion of PACS in the community is exemplary.”

Representing Adventist Medical Center are Tom and Kimberly Russell sit with Debra and David Russell (no relation) at the PACS dinner.

“Adventist Medical Center collaborates with PACS,” pointed out the hospital’s President, Tom Russell, who attended the event. “We have a long standing partnership with them. The medical center provides medical primarily imaging services for their patients.”

In addition to enjoying a great dinner, live entertainment and awarding their own, the event also raised $88,000 to help them continue their services.

Learn more about PACS, and how you can help – or get help if you need it – by seeing their website: CLICK HERE.

Portland Adventist Community Services

  • 11020 NE Halsey Street, Portland, OR 97220
  • Main telephone: (503) 252-8500
  • Clinic Telephone (503) 252-4589

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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