Friday, April 24, 2015

Congratulations to the new Executive Director of the Gresham Barlow Education Foundation

Vicki Moen
We’d like to take a moment to recognize a “changing of the guard”, so to speak!  Vicky Moen, as of April 1st, has taken the position of Executive Director for the Gresham Barlow Education Foundation.  Having been on the board of directors for the foundation for the past 10 years, she is aptly qualified.  She held positions on the board as secretary and president.  And being one of four generations in her family to graduate from Gresham High, she is very connected to the foundation and this community on a grass roots level.  She and her husband, Greg Moen are owners of Moen Machinery on Hogan right here in Gresham so they understand the strength of community ties and buying, shopping and participating locally.  We, as fellow partners in a sustainable Gresham community, welcome Vicky and look forward to her insight and direction creating a foundational springboard for our future generations.

That being said, the saying “it takes a village….” was never truer than it is today.  It takes all of us pulling together to sustain our economy for the next generation of entrepreneurs and business owners. Organizations like the Gresham Barlow Educational Foundation need our support.  If you’re so inclined, go to and make a donation today.  Or, if you come to Gresham Ford, 10% of your service bill, up to $100, or $100 per vehicle purchase can be donated to the GBEF on your behalf.  All you have to do is ask!  Every little bit helps!

To put it in perspective, if every family in the U.S. spent an extra $10 a month at a locally owned,
independent business, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy.  It doesn’t take
much, but it does take all of us!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

King of Roads ~ Byway of the People

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Historic Columbia River Highway and to celebrate this incredible “mile” stone in our local history, a new exhibit by Troutdale Historical Society will be opening on July 18th, 2015.

With over 150 historic photos, maps and documents from private and public collections, text contributed by road historians and experts on early road building. Telling in words, pictures and artifacts the story of the dreamers and the men with picks and shovels who built the nation’s first paved scenic highway. Our own Henry Ford was a great proponent of this project and the Ford vehicles were the first to travel its finished surfaces.

A one of a kind introduction to the people who built the Historic Columbia River Highway, the people who saved it, and the people who have restored large sections to its original glory await at this grand unveiling.  A twenty foot long basalt wall mirroring the guardrails along the highway, complete with arches is being constructed as well.

The Center for Advanced Learning in Gresham, Oregon, has partnered with the Troutdale Historical 
Society to create a website and stunning promotional materials; and  Donations are still being accepted at these sites as well and your contributions to this historic event are most appreciated.

So, mark your calendars for July 18th at Troutdale Historical Society’s Barn Exhibit Hall, 726 E Historic Columbia River Highway and take a trip back in time.  Also, plan to visit the Gresham Art Festival, downtown Gresham on that day as well. It’s a happenin’ day here in East County!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Jane Kirkpatrick, Best Selling Author for Education Event presented by Gresham Barlow Education Foundation

“Like a weaver, I look to the landscape, relationships, spirituality and work to find the threads…”, as penned by Jane Kirkpatrick.  Writer and rattlesnake fighter, Jane has produced 27 bestselling and award-winning books.  Reviewers and readers alike acclaim Jane’s work as unique in a world of storytellers.

“Kirkpatrick’s books enfold the reader.  They find a secret place in each of us and bring it gently to the surface.”  The Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon.Creating stories from the lives of actual historical women or events, Jane’s focus is on telling stories that inspire as she helps people from the distant past to step from their generation into our own to teach us and touch us with their lives.  Her goal is to weave a story to help readers reach within and find peace, love and grace and to look at their lives with new eyes, no matter how messy it might be.

For an inspirational evening filled with tears, laughter and everything in between, join us at Greater Gresham Baptist Church, 3848 NE Division St, April 23rd at 7pm.  Enjoy a great lecture with dessert, book signing and sales and an opportunity to bid on becoming a character in an upcoming book of Jane’s.

Jane Kirkpatrick Author

Space is limited so reserve your space today by calling 503-766-0008 or go online at  After all, “It’s the obstacles in life that carve out our character,”  and things always get messy along the way.  We could all use a little help finding that thread to unravel our mess and see the beautiful story that is in each of us.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Automotive News March 2nd Edition - Gresham Ford

Appeared in the March 2nd Edition of Automotive News - Gresham Ford
Bess Wills and her team at Gresham Ford believe that helping others in their community is just part of doing business.  With the many charity events they hold each year, Wills is most passionate about helping children.  "In our world today, the reality is that nearly half of the homeless community are children.  The Fill-A-Bag program was started to help these kids and struggling families by providing food or clothing throughout the year," Wills said.  "We're really proud of this initiative; it's become a tradition for everyone in the community."  Wills and her team not only are involved in raising funds and providing goods for nonprofits, but they also have dedicated approximately a third of their radio advertising time to promoting charities and helping them raise even more money - over a million dollars in the past seven years.  "I can't even tell you what great employees I have and the ways they truly care about their community.  We help others because it helps us feel that we're part of something bigger than ourselves." Find out more at  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring has sprung!

A traditional aspect of this spring season that many look forward to is Easter Celebrations.  With many events and activities to choose from, there is no shortage of places to go and fun things to do.  One event in particular we try to attend every year is the Portland Good Friday Breakfast, presented by Open Arms International.  The Portland Good Friday Breakfast is an uplifting community event
that brings together leaders from the religious, business and civic communities to hear an inspirational message on the day which marks the historical death of Jesus Christ. Although presented by Open Arms International, the breakfast event is a gift to the Portland community and does not serve as a fundraiser for Open Arms Join us Good Friday morning April 3rd at the Oregon Convention Center to hear stories of authentic, transformational hope from our featured guest, Gerard Long.  Once a prominent figure in the European banking industry, Gerard's journey led him from business triumph to personal tragedy.  Losing not one, but two children has given Gerard a unique and authentic perspective on finding the faithfulness of God in the midst of tremendous heartache. For more information, please visit

And for the kids, don’t forget the Eggstravaganza, Saturday, April 4th 11am-1:30pm at Greater Gresham Baptist Church, 3848 NE Division St.  For families with children brith to 6th grade!  Baskets, burgers, a visit from Peter Cottontail, plus games, prizes, candy, eggs, crafts, coffee, J Gelati and much more! For more information call 503-667-1515!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

In awe of our teenagers

Drive 4 UR School at Gresham Ford
As someone who is fast approaching the age of “Social Security”  -and it feels just like yesterday that I was living in the Age of Aquarius-now if you get that- you and I are in the same boat.   Anyhow, I feel  so blessed when I have opportunities to be working with or engaged with teenagers as it really does make the heart seem younger….This past week was my  “week of the teens”…Centennial Football and Sam Barlow Water Polo teams joined forces with us to accomplish a great “Drive 4 UR School” Event.  The teens participating were enthusiastic, engaging, polite and helpful.   These kids are a credit to their parents and their coaches.

Then on Monday, I was honored to take part in Reynolds High School’s assembly to honor those that
assisted them on that dark day – June 10, 2014, when a shooting at that school changed the lives of all that were on campus that day.  The students planned and executed a tribute to Police, Fire, and
Emergency Personnel as well as others who have contributed to the care and nurturing of all involved.

There were tears but most important there was a feeling of unity – they called it “Reynold’s Strong”.
They expressed themselves through thoughtful speeches, video and song and as I write this, tears still come to my eyes because of the magnitude of emotion displayed.   While we as adults are the ones who are supposed to nurture and support our young, this week I was inspired, humbled, and quite frankly in awe of the teens I encountered.  Bless you all – you are

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

For the Record...

Last week we outlined the Drive 4 UR School Program offered by Ford Motor Company and is facilitated
at Gresham Ford.  This week, we thought it might be of interest to let you know how those funds raised
at this amazing event actual benefit the programs that participate.  Gresham High Gopher Spirit Club, headed up by Karen Johnston with All About Automotive, has participated in our Fall event for the past three years.  I asked her to give me a summary of where the funds they have raised have gone.  I couldn’t believe the list; Uniforms for team sports, tennis court benches, stadium sound system, score board for inside gym and outside football field, wrestling mat repairs, choir risers, Syke curtain, microphones for theater performances, band instrument repairs, safety radial saw for the theater, golf bags, golf and tennis balls, competition costumes for dance team, and that was just what she could think of at the moment!!
Gresham Ford Supports Drive 4 UR School to benefit local schools

So, just for the record, if you’ve dismissed the Drive 4 UR School events as just a hype to get people to a car dealership, we’d like you to think again!  This is a real deal! And all that’s required is a mere 20 minutes of your time!

Tomorrow, Saturday March 14th, 10am-4pm, tell friends, family co-workers, anyone and come on down to Gresham Ford.  Take a ride in a brand new Ford vehicle and Ford Motor Company gives $20!  Another $10 for taking your car through our Quick Lane Station.  Up to $7,000 is on the table for our schools tomorrow!  Lets help them get every penny!