Tomorrow we honor 6 outstanding women whose volunteerism and professional contributions in Oregon have had a positive and lasting impact on the state’s communities. The 29th annual White Rose Luncheon presented by The Oregon Community Foundation will be held at the Portland Marriott Downtown with Tracy Barry of KGW as mistress of ceremonies.
This year, we are thrilled to honor:
- Heather Corey, of Adams
- Jean Boyer Cowling, of Medford
- JoMae Gonyea, of Eugene
- Madeline Nelson, of Portland
- June Tofte, of Wilsonville
- Allison Cary, of North Medford High School – Youth Achievement Award
Heather Corey’s association and volunteer work with the Pendleton Round-Up has spanned four decades; and she is the first woman to be elected to their Board of Directors—an honor that has gained national attention.
Heather helped vision and bring into being the multi-million dollar museum expansion by the Umatilla County Historical Society. She also chaired the revenue committee which raised money to turn a donated house into “The Home Away From Home”; giving out of town cancer patients and their families a place to stay while being treated at St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, Washington.
Jean Boyer Cowling
Jean Boyer Cowling
Jean Boyer Cowling has a long history of working for the arts. An art teacher in Medford schools for 17 years, she served on the Rogue Valley Art Association (where she was president) and the Craterian Committee, which led the effort to turn a closed movie theater into a performing arts center.
Jean raised funds for the Schneider Art Museum, was a founding member of the Smudge Pot Pourri (which was a much anticipated fundraiser for the arts), and was appointed to the Oregon Arts Commission in 2006 by Gov. Ted Kulongoski—where she is serving her second term as chair.
JoMae Gonyea has led the way for many years in securing high-quality, affordable health care for low-income patients and her community as a whole.
JoMae is a founding member of the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, which was established in 1999 to serve low-income, uninsured residents of Lane County. She served on the board at Sacred Heart Foundation and helped chair a $5 million campaign for cardiac and vascular care. And JoMae serves as a member the Sacred Heart Medical Center’s Sister Theodore Marie Society; a society that encourages community philanthropy.
Madeline Nelson is called by those who know her well a G.O.W. (Guardian Of the World) for her generous support of so many organizations. In addition to her $2.5 million gift which created a chair in ethics education at OHSU, she has contributed to Sisters of the Road, P:ear, JOIN, the Community Warehouse, Jewish Family and Child Services, Campfire Girls, Portland Center Stage, Artist Repertory, Metropolitan Family Services, I Have a Dream, the Portland Schools Foundation, the Library Foundation, Friends of the Children and more.
Generous with her time, as well, Madeline was president of Jewish Family and Child Services, served on the national and local board of Campfire Girls, and worked for 25 years to help create Braille books for the blind.
June Tofte has given countless volunteer hours since her children started school—8,000 to Assistance League of Portland alone. There she has served as president, acted as chair of their human outreach and strategic planning committees, consignment shop, and the Children’s Dental Center at Creston School.
June also volunteered at Pettygrove House for at-risk young women, Cordero House for young men and much more. She is a past board member and an active supporter of Lakewood Center for the Arts, was a founding member and past president of Lakewood Center Associates, and past president of chapter ED of P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization).
Allison Cary is the second to receive the Youth Achievement Award. An honors student at North Medford High School, Allison’s leadership and community involvement lists are long. She is Student Body President, Sparrow Club President, Tornado Chasers Treasurer, a member of the National Honor Society, the Interact Club and is a Buddy Program Mentor, as well.
In addition to all this, Allison keeps a 3.9 GPA while working 15 hours each week at the Veterans Affairs Rehab Center.
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