‘Un-auction’ raises scholarship funds for Parkrose High grads

Also, learn more about the Parkrose-based volunteer organization that brings comfort to loved ones left behind after a death …

Bob Brown, of Bob Brown Tires, checks in at this Parkrose Business Association meeting with Laurie Larsen, from Compaction and Recycling Equipment, and Judy Kennedy, of Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
April was the month for the Parkrose Business Association (PBA) annual “scholarship pledge drive”. It was also an occasion to learn more about the Trauma Intervention Program, based in Portland Fire & Rescue Training Station 2, located in the Parkrose neighborhood.

Members and guests of the PBA dish up their own delicious hot lunch, prepared by the catering staff of Holliday Inn Airport, before the formal meeting begins.

As attendees dined, PBA President Michael Taylor, who is currently serving as Interim Superintendent of the Riverdale School District in Southwest Portland near Lake Oswego, began the meeting.

After self-introductions and announcements, Taylor began, “Each year, a certain amount of our PBA fundraising efforts, along with that of the Parkrose Business Foundation, have gone into raising money for scholarships given to deserving Parkrose High School seniors.”

PBA President Michael Taylor welcomes attendees to the April meeting.

Taylor called on Gordon Boorse of Compaction and Recycling Equipment to again help out. As he entered, Taylor explained, “If this were at an auction, we’d call it a ‘paddle raise’ – an opportunity to donate money without bidding on merchandise. Here, we just ask you to raise your hand.”

With a sheaf of applications in hand, Scholarship Committee Chair Judy Kennedy announced, “We received 36 applications today.”

Gordon Boorse, of Compaction and Recycle Equipment, conducts the paddle-less “Paddle Raise Auction”.

Wayne Stoll of Argay Square observed, “The Foundation Board has agreed to give out $2,000 scholarships this year. This increase is because of the rising costs of education. This is the first time we’ve increased the scholarship [amount] since we began this program, back in the late ’90s.

“We are shooting for four or five scholarship awards this year,” Stoll continued. “This means we need to raise $10,000 to meet our scholarship goals. Every year our scholarship committee has a hard time deciding which students will be awarded. [Receiving one] is a life-changing event for students who get one of these scholarships.”

On behalf of Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union, Judy Kennedy says her organization will again donate $1,000 to the PBF Scholarship Fund.

Donors included:

Allied Waste ~ Argay Square

Compaction and Recycling Equipment

Dalibor Simlesa ~ Davey Organicare

East Portland News ~ Historic Parkrose NPI ~ Jackpot – Gail Bash ~ Jose Pinomesa

Key Bank ~ Leadership Works ~ Loretta Stites ~ Mary Brown

Mary Kay, Karen Taylor ~ Mark Eves, Attorney at Law

Oregon Physical Therapy ~ Pacific NW Federal Credit Union

Parkrose School District, Mary Larson ~ Portland Disposal & Recycling

State Farm Agent Jason Zwick ~ US Bank

The conclusion of the “hand-raise”, 21 folks pledged support, ranging from $1,000 to $50, for a total of $3,000.

Trauma Intervention Program of Portland and Vancouver (TIP) Crisis Team Manager Barbara Benson tells the business association about their nonprofit organization.

Next, the Trauma Intervention Program of Portland and Vancouver (TIP) Crisis Team Manager, Barbara Benson, presented her talk.

“Emergency responders call us to the scene of situations to provide emotional first aid, and practical support, to the victims and the loved ones of the victims,” Benson began.

“Providing this kind of assistance immediately, following a dramatic event, is something that makes a difference in the lives of those victims. Oftentimes, once the dramatic event has occurred, the survivors feel helpless – they’re confused and devastated; and frankly, they are emotionally paralyzed,” Benson told the outer East Portland business group.

“Victims are faced with a dire situation, for which they are totally unprepared. They need someone to help them through those first few hours – and through those first few decisions that need to be made.”

It’s not so much that TIP volunteers say “magic words”, or use convoluted psychological strategies with the bereaved, she said. “It’s just being present; being ‘there’, with our clients.”

TIP Volunteers focus on the survivors, after the first-responders have left the scene, Crisis Team Manager Barbara Benson explains.

At first, the person who is dying is the center of attention, Benson said. “Many times, in a crisis situation – and many times, it is a death – the survivors are left very confused. The focus of the ‘first responders’ has been on the victim.”

But, when those first responders complete their mission – sometimes moving survivors “out of the way” while they work – the survivors are left feeling vulnerable. “They are feeling, ‘What about me? This is my crisis as well!’  This is where crisis volunteers step in.”

Specifically, Benson said, TIP started in Portland 1992, basing its program on a similar organization started in San Diego in 1985.

This unique program’s volunteers respond within twenty minutes of when they are called, on a 24/7 basis. More than 160 volunteers provide TIP services to more than 10,000 victims of tragic events every year.

“We also provide ‘emotional first aid’ training to the general public, to emergency responders, and healthcare professionals,” Benson said. “It’s called ‘Helping survivors after tragedy strikes’; and it’s offered to organizations as in-house seminars.”

To learn more, including how to become a TIP volunteer, or donate to this nonprofit organization, see their website: CLICK HERE.

Members and guests of the PBA invite guests to visit their meetings – even if their businesses aren’t located in the Parkrose business district.

Meet the PBA
At 11:30 a.m. on May 16, members of the Parkrose Business Association again hold their monthly meeting.

You’ll find them at the 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; the buffet lunch is $17, including dessert and gratuity. Reservations are NOT required.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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