At its June meeting, the Chapter presented its two annual awards for outstanding service; Master Gardener of the Year and Behind the Scenes Master Gardener of the Year. Photos courtesy of Eddie Rosen.
Sally Campbell received the Master Gardener of the Year award. She was recognized for:
- her coordination of the Multnomah County phone clinic.
- her regular contributions at the Demonstration Garden where the depth of her scientific knowledge is valued, as is her careful, detailed approach to analyzing gardening problems and her skill in organizing the large amounts of data gathered in the DG in a form that makes the information understandable and accessible.
- her contributions as co-chair of the Program/Speakers Committee that organizes monthly chapter meetings and, in particular, identifies and recruits speakers.
- her continued involvement as presenter at gardening workshops hosted by the Chapter.
Jack Lazareck received the Behind the Scenes Master Gardener of the Year award. He was recognized for:
- his work as Metro Program Liaison, supporting communications between the three Metro chapters and the Metro Program Office.
- his service as Vice President of the Chapter.
- his regular contributions at the Demonstration Garden where he does a lot of the heavy lifting and is part of the group that use their garden beds as horticulture experimentation labs.
- his many hours of labor at the Annex, particularly the hours operating the heavy machinery that was used to turn over the soil and install the irrigation system.
- his contributions as a member of the Program/Speakers Committee.
- his many different roles at IE sales, responding to the crisis of the moment. Wherever there’s been a need, there’s Jack.
In recent years the Chapter has not been able to submit nominations to OMGA for its awards; those awards require participation at the state level. However, because the IMGC was held in Portland last summer, this year Pete Jacobsen was nominated for the OMGA Behind the Scenes award for his work in managing the IMGC trade show. The winner of the award will be announced at the upcoming OMGA G2 Conference, but Pete was given a certificate acknowledging his nomination. Gail Langellotto presented the certificate and warmly praised Pete’s work, mentioning how her confidence in Pete made her management of the conference as a whole much easier.
Presentations ended with a special award to an individual who is not a chapter member. Merrill Ahrens, husband of member Jennifer Simpson, was given a Certificate of Excellence for his extraordinary assistance in the Annex. Merrill has contributed in many different ways, but a brief anecdote conveys how valuable he’s been. Pete Jacobsen has an ancient industrial-strength rototiller that he intended to use for turning over the soil in the Annex. If a cat has nine lives, this rototiller seems to have ten deaths, one of which had already been used since it wasn’t running when Pete brought it to the Annex. Merrill applied his skills with small engine repair to bring the rototiller through its next five deaths as one attempt after another to get it running again failed. Ultimately the rototiller yielded to Merrill’s super powers and it has been invaluable at the Annex.
The Awards Committee encourages members to keep their eyes open during this gardening year for exceptional service done by fellow chapter members and to submit nominations for MG of the Year and Behind the Scenes MG of the Year next January. And, for those who would like to have a vote in making the final selections, consider becoming a member of the Awards Committee; just let either John Jordan or Gloria Bennett know you’re interested.