Parkrose businesspeople pledge support of high school scholars

Again this year, at an unusual ‘auction’ where nothing was sold – businesspeople raised money to help several Parkrose High School graduating seniors attend college. And, see what these folks learned about unmanned aircraft – all at this most unusual and interesting luncheon meeting …

Before the meeting starts, Parkrose Business Association members dish up a great hot lunch buffet served at the Holiday Inn Airport Hotel & Convention Center.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Members and friends of the Parkrose Business Association (PBA) have a lot going on as they look forward to their participation in the Parkrose Centennial celebrations, helping with the Portland Immigrant Statue project – and providing scholarships for graduating Parkrose High School students.

Faced with increasing expenses, difficulties, and regulations affecting their traditional fundraiser – the Parkrose Cruise-in and Festival – PBA members searched for a new way to keep funding their scholarship program.

Not willing to put their scholarship program on hiatus, these community-minded businesspeople – through their allied non-profit organization, the Parkrose Business Foundation – came up with a new fundraising method to keep alive this tradition, started in 1998.

Gordon Boorse, of Compaction and Recycling Equipment, Inc., again serves enthusiastically as the “auctioneer” – in which those who bid win the opportunity to help fund scholarships.

If you’d been in the room at the PBA March luncheon meeting, you’d have thought you were seeing an off-kilter auction, in which the successful bidders happily won NO vacation trips, merchandise, or services.

PBA Vice President Judy Kennedy, representing Pacific NW Federal Credit Union, pledges $1,500 on behalf of her institution.

Gordon Boorse accepts this “big $500 check” from Ginger Reece, representing Bank of the West, along with PBA President Wayne Stoll from Century Associates.

One after another, hands shot up as “bidders” pledged their financial support for the foundation’s scholarship program. Within about ten minutes, the group raised enough money to fund about six $500 scholarships, selected by a committee of PBA members.

Success! Gordon Boorse proclaims the 2011 PBA Scholarship fundraiser a success.

The 2011 Parkrose Business Foundation
Scholarship Honor Roll

  • Judy Kennedy, representing Pacific Northwest Credit Union
  • Ginger Reece, representing Bank of the West
  • Brent and Marsha Grabinger, personal gift
  • Gordon Boorse, representing Compaction and Recycling Equipment
  • Marsha Lee, representing Copy Express
  • Mark Eves, representing Mark W. Eves, PC Attorney
  • Dr. Karen Fischer Gray, personal gift, of the Parkrose School District
  • Estelle Fuller, personal gift, of Bob Brown Tire Center
  • Karen Taylor, representing her Mary Kay Cosmetics business
  • Mike Ta1ylor, personal gift with ACE Academy
  • Bob Brown, representing Bob Brown Tire Center
  • Mary Brown, representing Bob Brown Tire Center
  • Joe Rossi, representing Rossi Farms
  • Mike Albertson, representing US Bank
  • Norm Stoll, representing Century Associates
  • Wayne Stoll, representing Century Associates
  • Dalibor Simlesa, personal gift, with Key Bank
  • Craig Mendenhall, representing American Sani-Can
  • Dennis Harvey, personal gift
  • David F. Ashton, representing East Portland News.com
  • John Turino, personal gift, representing Farmers Insurance Agency
  • Debbie Coding, personal gift, with Bob Brown Tire Center
  • Sam Sundeleaf, representing Sundeleaf Painting, Inc.

To date, Total $4,530.00 has been raised for the Parkrose Business Foundation’s 2011 Scholarship Fund. And, after next week’s monthly meeting, that total may increase, we’re told.

As the PBA members sing “Happy Birthday” to long time supporter Norm Stoll from Century Associates, he raises his coffee cup accepting the toast.

Unmanned aircraft presentation fascinates attendees

Kurt Patterson and Ryan Hughes from Insitu show off with one of their firm’s specialty aircraft, manufactured and supported in the Columbia Gorge.

Past PBA president Michael Taylor, of ACE Academy, introduced the guest speakers for the day – Kurt Patterson and Ryan Hughes from a company called Insitu.

“Please don’t drool over the aircraft, Gale Bash,” quipped Taylor about the pilot. “This isn’t a fly-by-night presentation,” adds PBA president and humorist, Wayne Stoll.

Members and guests learned how this now-wholly-owned-subsidiary of Boeing Corporation started in one man’s garage in the Columbia Gorge, and now employs folks in Bingen, Stephenson, and other locations from The Dalles to Portland.

“Specifically, we are the developers and builders of the Scan-Eagle system,” Kurt Patterson said. “Aircraft launchers and retrieval systems that are part of the aircraft system means that they don’t need a runway.”

Insitu’s Kurt Patterson tells about the history of their company’s unmanned aircraft program.

A ground control station, with three computer screens and various controls, is used to fly the drone aircraft by remote control, Patterson explained. “Major customers include the US Marine Corps, US Navy, Australian Defense Force, Canadian Defense Force, the US Air Force, and other US Department of Defense customers.

“800 highly qualified employees build, maintain, and will even fly the aircraft for our customers,” noted Patterson. “The ScanEagle System is proven. It has more than 400,000 flight hours.”

To learn more about this unique company, see their website: CLICK HERE to open their home page.

Wayne Stoll admires the Insitu aircraft along with PBA members and real-life pilots, Gail Bash and Brent Grabinger, as Kurt Patterson looks on.

Meet the PBA on April 21
The Parkrose Business Association meets the third Thursday of the month, gathering at 11:30 a.m. for networking and lunch.

This month: Dr. Karen Fischer Gray speaks about issues affecting the Parkrose School District. The Member Moment will be presented by Jason Zwick of State Farm Insurance.

The meeting is at Holiday Inn Airport 8439 NE Columbia Boulevard (in the hotel building, around the back at the Flirt’s entrance – not the Convention Center next door). The meeting is free, and the buffet lunch is $17, including dessert and gratuity; reservations are NOT required. For more information, see their web site: CLICK HERE.

A hallmark of PBA meetings is a table laden with door prizes. Wayne Stoll holds the can while Judy Kennedy draws another lucky ticket.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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