Thursday, January 2, 2020

Love Conquers All

There are many loves in my life, these are some but not limited to (just to be sure Bob knows he is on the list):
OK so how did all of this love come together to make Holiday Magic?   Well, my Kiwanis friend, Sandy who is like my granddaughter Jennifer, who will do anything to help kids with Cancer, called me to offer an opportunity to purchase some beautiful Christmas Ornaments (and seriously these are the most beautiful Christmas Ornaments).   Well, who can resist beautiful Christmas Ornaments whose proceeds go to fight for Kids with Cancer? So, I bought 8 thinking that I would gift them to all who bought a Mustang in December to honor all the work that Kiwanis has done over the years with its annual raffle of a Mustang to benefit Dorernbecher’s.  But bigger things were in store for these ornaments. 
Brenda Felix and the staff of our local Riverview Community Bank each year host a dinner at the bank from which all proceeds go to SnowCap.  My Staff (Amy and Michelle) help coordinate and decorate. Well Amy and Michelle, thinking outside of the box, decide to auction off the ornaments at this dinner where these beautiful, handmade, unique creations proceeded to garner over $1,500 from generous bidders who saw the blessing in both the ornament and their multiple missions.   Just FYI $1,500 provided 30,000 pounds of food for local families from SnowCap! Love is a powerful thing! Happy New Year!

P.S.  If you want to buy one of these Ornaments call Evelyn 971-275-0701!  

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Who Do You Want to Be?

Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel. Energies are contagious.” – Rachel Wolchen
We are so blessed to have John Canzano as a spokesperson for our Dealership.  He and his wife Anna are two people that I hold in the highest regard.   Of course, they are brilliant professionals with exceptional skills in the areas of Newspaper, TV, Radio, and Pod Casts (Anna’s “That Expert” Pod Cast is my new favorite) but what sets them apart is their deep commitment to our community and children.    We love supporting their Foundation the Bald Faced Truth and ask you to consider doing so as well. 

Why?  They started the Foundation because they saw many needs that go unheeded or not taken care of in a timely manner causing kids to do without and critical needs not to be met.  These are just a few of the examples:  An emergency grant was issued to cover replacement cost of $3,000 in stolen iPads from Victory Academy, the local non-profit school that serves 28 children with autism.   A grant was awarded to send 137 kindergarteners on a school’s annual field trip to the pumpkin patch.  District budget cuts had resulted in the trip being cancelled.  Two 4th grade trumpet players were without instruments and without the means to rent or purchase one.  A grant was awarded to provide them with the purchase of functioning instruments.  The list goes on and on.  In addition, they provide funding for summer camps for kids that would not otherwise have the opportunity.  
We are so proud to support this Foundation….one where the funds get to where the needs are LOCALLY!   Please consider a donation at  John and Anna are who I want to be when I grow up!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Small Act of Kindness

Recently I was blessed to be a part of “The Great Kindness Challenge” at Gordon Russell Middle School.  This program addresses the problem of bullying and offers a better solution…respect.   Each day of the “Kindness Challenge” community members were offered the opportunity to give small “token” awards for the student’s participation in this challenge….

It was an interesting fact that most all of the 6th graders embraced the challenge and filled out and completed their challenge forms, not quite so many of the 7th graders and then even less of the 8th graders….which led me to thinking – do we get less kind as we grow older?   That is just not acceptable!
So as the Daffodils start to poke their sunny little heads to the sky and the weather (we hope) gives us a few rays of sunshine we challenge you to the following because we all want to be as kind as a 6th grader and Gordon Russel Middle School had lots of them!!

Your list:  Smile at 25 People, Slip a Nice note in your Friends Backpack (or purse or pocket), Compliment 5 People, Pick up 10 Pieces of Trash in a Public Area, Tell a Joke and Make Someone Laugh,  Be Kind to Yourself and have a Healthy Snack,  Draw a Picture and Give it to Someone, Hug a Friend, Entertain Someone with a Happy Dance, Say “Good Morning” to 15 People….this list is short  - the students had a list of 50 Challenges!!   So the challenge of the week is be kinder than a 6th grader!

Final Challenge – Tomorrow is our “Drive For Your School”, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  Anyone can come and drive (must be at least 18 years of age) a brand new Ford around the block, fill out a form with a few questions and  Centennial Football, Sam Barlow Senior All Night Party, or Lewis & Clark Montessori School will receive $20 from Ford Motor Company . (You choose which school organization).   Seriously, there is no pressure!!!   It is a kindness that if all of us pull together we can provide up to $6,000 for our schools.

Read all of Bess's articles in the Gresham Outlook weekly.  Or to suggest a story contact Bess at 503-665-0102 or  

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Coaches vs. Cancer

If you look around, you’ll find that there are so many amazing people in our community and Coach Chris Knudsen is one of them.  First of all, we’d like to congratulate him on receiving the “Coach of the Year” award, but it doesn’t stop there.  Chris’s heart is much bigger than just the next win for the football team.  And one of the things that is near and dear to him is the Coaches vs. Cancer program. This is especially close to Kris and the school as one of its coaches/teachers, Justin Rosenblad, is battling stomach cancer.
The Centennial High School coaches are joining the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association in a "Coaches vs. Cancer" campaign. The two goals are to raise awareness and raise funds to fight cancer.
Coaches vs. Cancer program is a statewide collaboration between the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association (OACA), Oregon Athletic Directors Association (OADA) and the American Cancer Society that empowers coaches, their teams and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer by participating in awareness efforts, advocacy programs, and fundraising activities to help people with cancer today and to find cures to end the disease tomorrow.
Because cancer has touched so many in our coaching community, Coaches vs. Cancer offers a unique opportunity to fight the disease.  Participating schools can truly make a difference in the fight against cancer and raise awareness in their communities about the importance of cancer prevention, early detection and making healthy lifestyle choices.

At the home Wrestling match on Wednesday February 8 vs. Oregon City and at the home girls and boys basketball games on Friday, February 10 vs. David Douglas, spectators will be given a free pink T-shirt, information will be distributed about cancer and various activities will be going on to raise funds to fight this disease. Anyone wishing to donate can call Brent Child, Athletic Director, at (503) 762-6136

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Election Day Survival Kit

This election season has made for lots of debate and controversy so, thought you all might want to put an “Election Season Survival Kit” together.

The kits include:
Toothpick… to remind you to pick good qualities in everyone, including yourself.

Rubber band…to remind you to be flexible. Things might not always go the way you want, but it can be worked out.

Band-Aid…to remind you to heal hurt feelings, either yours or someone else’s

Eraser…to remind you everyone makes mistakes.  That’s okay, we learn by our errors.

Candy Kiss…to remind you everyone needs a hug or compliment every day.

Mint…to remind you that you are worth a mint to your family and friends.

Bubble Gum…to remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything.

Pencil…to remind you to list your blessings every day.

Tea Bag…to remind you to take time to relax daily and go over that list of blessings, that is what makes life worth living every day.

Hope your “Survival Kit” will make the evening news more tolerable.  Focusing on these positive things will get us through!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Bringing Gold to Gresham

Have you ever seen an Olympic Gold Medal up close?  How about, have you ever met a Gold Medal winner?  Well here’s your chance!  As many may know, right here from Boring, OR, one of our very own has made history bringing home the gold! Ryan Crouser’s fifth attempt in the men’s shot put final traveled a distance 22.52 meters (73 feet, 10 3/4 inches), setting an Olympic record and handing the 23-year-old Barlow High School graduate a gold medal. Crouser’s gold completes his quick rise from college star to the top professional shot putter in the world. He graduated from Barlow High School in Gresham in 2011. Crouser isn’t the first member of his family to compete in the Summer Games. His father, Mitch, was an alternate on the USA discus team at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, while his uncle, Brian, was a two-time Olympian in the javelin. His cousin, Samuel Crouser also a javelin thrower, finished fourth in the qualifying round of the 2016 Olympic games with a 244-foot throw. He is a 2015 alumnus of the University of Oregon. While a senior at Gresham High School, Sam Crouser was named Gatorade High School Track and Field Athlete of the Year 2010.

At 10:15am this Friday, Ryan and Sam will be honored at Sam Barlow High School, 5105 SE 302nd Ave, Gresham, OR 97080.  Following that, from noon to 3pm, Ryan and Sam will be interviewed live by John Canzano from The Bald Faced Truth podcasts, 750AM The Game, at Gresham Ford, 1999 E Powell Blvd, Gresham.  Stop by, ask questions, shake hands, touch the gold or just hang out and watch!  We are so excited to have the opportunity to share in Ryan and Sam’s amazing stories from small town kids, to international icons!!  For more information about John and the Bald Faced Truth podcasts, please visit;

Come on down to Gresham Ford, meet our local celebrities and just share the day with us!  You’ll be glad you did!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

WAY-fm Presenting our latest Hometown Hero

Gresham Ford was approached by WAY-fm 104.5 to help find Hometown Heros right here is Portland, Oregon.  Below is the submission of our first recipient. 

Join #GreshamFord and keep yours eyes out for your very own #HomeTownHero.   

Hometown Heros from 104.5 WAY-fm

My husband became a hometown hero. At the start of this year my spouse was involved in helping good samaritans capture a troubled soul. 
I remember the night vividly. My hubby was sitting at the kitchen table studying for his final, the kids were upstairs getting ready for bed and I took a few moments to myself talking to God in our bedroom. It’s what I do often when my physical pain becomes too much to bear. And what can I say, there is so much to pray about in our lives and this world. 
As a SUV approached at the end of our driveway honking (resembling his ex-wife’s new vehicle) there was a little confusion but no major alarm until a stranger got out and knocked on the window to grab my spouse’s attention. According to him, The look on her face screamed help me! His adrenaline kicked in. I heard the commotion in the other room and outside and the energy surrounding it was dramatic. I was told to gather the five kids upstairs and be on lockdown while my spouse called 911 and shined his flashlight in the backyard. The Tigard police and K9 came and captured the teen and within 20 minutes our lives were back to normal…
We learned Briana and Kim were out and their eyes caught something amiss with a member of our community that night. They helped save the life a retired police officer. Briana chased the attacker in her SUV while Kimberly stayed with the victim until an ambulance arrived.
After the night was over and I had time to reflect, I wondered in that moment why this happened while I was in the bedroom spending time praying with God. What message was this situation sending and what would come if it? I think about how random and rare it is for a stranger on stranger attempted murder to take place in our town and then have the attacker end up literally yards from our home with footsteps on our lawn. There was no fear at the time as we only knew there was an altercation and there is no fear now as we have come to find out the attacker had mental health issues at 17. My heart breaks for his family that was attempting to get him help. The road to getting someone the care they need for mental health can be burdensome, isolating, and virtually non existent at times. I can only pray for them all. 
This road now led us to free concert tickets to a Casting Crowns performance and my spouse and the other hometown heroes being honored during the event. This is all thanks to Paul Van Sickle and The Way radio station 104.5 and a loving Mom (Judy – Kimberly’s mom) who saw the beauty in the story and wanted to share it with the greater Portland area by entering a contest. 
God answered a prayer in more than one way for us. One, I had been seeking new spiritual music to refine me. I have not always been the biggest fan of contemporary Christian but the lyrics of a Casting Crowns song drew me in…
“Just Be Held”
Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on
And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held
If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will
And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held
Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held (stop holding on and just be held)
Just be held, just be held, just be held, just be held
The second part of the answered prayer would be that this is the gift my husband needed to lift his spirit. You see he got diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome this past June at 36 years old. Although it changes nothing for me as his wife (it actually gives me a better understanding and more love and grace for him) it gave him answers to questions of why he struggles in certain aspects of his life.  The internet unfairly can make a person with this disability feel worse about themselves, on top of the social aspects they already struggle with on a daily basis. The new diagnosis hit him hard. God knew he needed this!
I could empathize with him as I recall a time I needed my spirit uplifted. Depression hit my life at 18 as my parents were on the verge of their divorce and the night before my favorite band played, I prayed a silly teen girl prayer to meet the lead singer of the band. It wasn’t just any punk band. It was my obsession from 15 on. It turned out my teen girl crush, Mike Herrera from MxPx, thought my friend and I were nice enough to hang backstage, drink a Coke and meet Mark and Tom and from Blink 182 as well. It was a ‘random’ meeting by the hotel fountain after the show that ignited the backstage invitation, but it forever reminded me (in my own unique way) there is a caring God that listens to us in our darkest hour and is capable of anything.  It could have meant nothing to anyone else but it meant the world to me.
The last part of an answered prayer was my spouse’s and I need for a cheap date night to connect. Friday nights just happen to fall in line with our typical date night anyway. This not only encompasses the spiritual side of our marriage but our love for music that moves us. We couldn't think of a better way to spend the evening. We also get to be in the presence of the two noble and angelic ladies that helped protect our family. Not to mention a shout of praise to the victim, Jeanette, that served and protected our community in her past job risking her life daily for others. 
I feel so blessed to be a part of this whole event and experience and be surrounded by these hometown heroes. I can only hope for others that when their spirit is down God will lift them up and when the enemy strikes God will protect them. I believe a higher power is constantly at work putting the pieces of the puzzle we call life together. 
Noelle Joy