2009 Unsung Heroes
This year, the City is proud to honor six outstanding recipients – Bob Bankhead, Becky Cartier, Andrew Harris, Gail Keck, Renee Kerr and Paula Schiedler.
Robert "Bob" Bankhead
A true neighborhood treasure that embodies the true spirit of Unsung Hero. This life-long neighborhood volunteer works quietly throughout his neighborhood looking for opportunities to help others. He stepped up to drive his neighbors to doctor’s appointments several times a week, watched and tended to neighborhood homes while folks were away, including mowing the lawns of neighbors who didn’t have mowers or who simply couldn’t mow. Bob is always cheerful ready to lend a hand and inspires those around him by always looking for opportunities to help the community and serving tirelessly and humbly year after year.
Since 2004, without any direct military connection she has singled handedly established, promoted, and donated to her Cards for Guards program. The program was designed to assist Oregon National Guard families in need by providing gift cards for grocery, department store, and home repair while soldiers were deployed overseas. These cards really make a difference. Many of the soldiers are very proud and would not accept help through normal channels, but with this program families can get the extra help they need. Since Becky started the program in 2004, she has raised tens of thousands of dollars to make soldiers’ families lives financially easier.
Andrew Harris and Gail Keck
Since 2005, Andy and Gail have worked tirelessly on behalf of the Meals on Wheels and the Congregate Meal site at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center. They attained non-profit status for the program and turned a faltering meal network program into a thriving fundraiser and valued resource. Under their leadership they have developed partnerships with local businesses, spear-headed fundraisers and donated countless hours to make sure that more than 20,000 meals could be served to older adults and their families.
Renee Kerr and Paula Schiedler
In 2002, Renee and Paula co-founded the support network for families of children with Down syndrome. The Buddy Walk event started in 2002 with about 75 participants and has grown to include 1200 people. The walk raises awareness, compassion, comfort, hope and serves as a fundraiser to provide special programs such as educational seminars, family activities, and “Basket of Hope” to parents of new babies with Down syndrome.