Oregon City mayor recognizes citizens for ‘going the extra mile’

women with white and brown hairs

Oregon City Mayor Denyse McGriff last month recognized individuals and/or organizations who are making a difference as part of a nationwide declaration by cities who recognize the impact of “special people” in their community who are “going the extra mile” in volunteering and service.

As mayor, McGriff said it was her pleasure to help celebrate Extra Mile Day by selecting individuals and/or organizations that have made a positive impact in our community over the last year and continue to support Oregon City by giving their time, talents and efforts.

McGriff encouraged Oregon City citizens to take time not only to “go the extra mile” in their own lives, but to also acknowledge all those who are inspirational in their efforts and commitment to make their organizations, families, community, country or world a better place.

Oregon City Parks Foundation

OCPF members Roger and Christina Fowler-Thias were honored as “the heart and soul of the OCPF over the past eight years,” according to McGriff.

The foundation was founded in 2015 by a dedicated group of volunteers inspired to advocate for Oregon City’s parks, trails, historic and cultural heritage and recreation sites.

Roger and Christina have guided the organization in ivy pulls at Waterboard Park, creating a pollinator garden on the Promenade near the VFW hall, establishing the Elyejah Dean Hauff Memorial Camp fund to help kids attend city day camps and partnering with the Friends of the Buena Vista Club house to save it and create a restoration plan. The OCPF bottle drop efforts led by Roger have helped found these activities and initiatives.

“Roger and Christina have been tireless in their efforts to support Oregon City Parks and our historic sites,” McGriff said.

Trieste Andrews

McGriff called Trieste Andrews a “community treasure” for her tireless advocacy in the intersection of art and community engagement.

Andrews has partnered with multiple organizations in Oregon City for community art projects and events including: the Arch Bridge Celebration Committee, the Three Rivers Artist Guild, Oregon City Rotary Club, Downtown Oregon City Association, Oregon City Parks and Recreation Department, the Clackamas County Historical Society and Clackamas County Arts Alliance.

Andrews has worked to secure funding for various grants to finance projects such as: the Oregon City Festival of the Arts, the Paint by Numbers project, the Storefront Art Gallery and Events Project, “She Flies with her Own Wings” (historical women from Clackamas County), the Spring Fling Art Festival 2021, the Trolley Car Mural restoration, “Reflections of the Falls” (a new mural created by Brian Krehbiel, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde) and “Building Bridges” a community interactive mural piece.

Tory Blackwell

Tory Blackwell has filled various roles including youth coach, school volunteer, student mentor and board member for Springwater Environmental Sciences School. Currently, he is the chair for Leaders of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council to advise the Clackamas County commissioners around equity-related issues.

He is involved in various community groups including Unite Oregon City, I See You, and Creating Connections for Kids of Color. He has assisted the city of Oregon City in planning and participating four Juneteenth celebrations and the Summer Connections events at Clackamas Community College.

He can be seen at neighborhood association meetings, local celebrations and volunteer opportunities.

“Tory is always ready to step up and help out,” McGriff said.

Heidi Blackwell

Heidi Blackwell was recognized for her passion in creating opportunities where young people feel a sense of belonging, connectedness and purpose.

“She brings her experience to a special education teacher and school administrator to each and every project or activity she is involved in,” McGriff said.

She is involved in various community groups including No Place for Hate, SoulFlags Community Art Center, Unite Oregon City, I See You, Creating Connections for Kids of Color, working with clients at the Mary Rose Foundation and is a Oregon City High School parent volunteer. She has also found time to volunteer on the Oregon City Library Board.

“Oregon City is fortunate to have Heidi, Tory, Roger, Christina and Trieste volunteering their time and services. They all have made a long-lasting positive impact in Oregon City,” McGriff said. “Please join me in recognizing and thanking them, and consider how you can give back and go the extra mile in Oregon City.”

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