Friends of Oregon Partnership stepped up bigtime Saturday night at OP’s annual dinner and auction by generating more than $250,000 toward alcohol and drug prevention programs.
The Oregon Convention Center ballroom was packed with OP supporters who bid with abandon on silent and oral auction items, proceeding to put a stamp on the evening’s theme of “Over the Rainbow – Where Hope is Alive.”
The program included appeals from Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley at a time when the economic downturn is causing a dramatic increase in calls for help to OP’s crisis and suicide prevention lines.
“This is a time when more people than ever are counting on Oregon Partnership and the work they do,” said Wyden, who praised OP President/CEO Judy Cushing for her efforts to make the agency a vital force in Oregon and fueled the crowd to give her a standing ovation.
Merkley spoke of the need to help returning soldiers, some of whom have emotional challenges and encouraged those in attendance to support OP outreach programs.
Members of the Oregon National Guard and other military representatives were on hand as the state’s large deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan is about to take place.
Portland community activist Mike Roach received the Mary Obserst Award for the Prevention of Underage Drinking.