2016 Unsung Heroes

Thank You to the 2016 Unsung Heroes

One of the positive annual events associated with our community is the recognition of volunteerism, through the “Unsung Hero” Award.  Since 2001, the City has recognized people in Lake Oswego who best exemplified selfless community service.  These are the people that work quietly behind the scenes without seeking or receiving pay or recognition.  These are the people who, when you ask for help, put their hand up, step forward, and get things done without a motive other than helping their neighbors and their community.  These are the people that make Lake Oswego such a wonderful place to live. Over the last 15 years the City has recognized 79 outstanding volunteers, and this year we were pleased to honor, our 2016 “Unsung Heroes” at the Lake Oswego City Council meeting on December 6.

These wonderful volunteers, their contributions and involvement are second nature and they have no expectation for rewards or recognition.  They are helping others out of the goodness of their heart because it’s the right thing to do.  This year we would like to recognize another five outstanding members of our community with the 2016 Unsung Hero Award:

Lynn Brokaw

Since 2008 Lynn has been one of the biggest champions for the Meals-on-Wheels Program at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.  With Lynn’s enthusiasm and his ability to champion a cause, Lynn has been able to propel two blossoming programs into highly successful fundraisers that benefit the Meals-On-Wheels Program, building strong partnerships with the Lake Oswego Academy of Dance Recital and the New Seasons Market in Mountain Park. These two events bring in thousands of dollars to support the efforts of the program. But, equally importantly, these events increase community awareness which helps garner support through increased donations and volunteerism. Lynn is a volunteer who keeps on giving, including outreach and awareness opportunities, raffle basket procurement, hauling and lifting tables, chairs, and even kegs for the Bingo Party Fundraiser!  As if that wasn’t enough, he also lends his skills to other Adult Community Center volunteer opportunities like teaching classes and acting as a key informant for the 50 Plus dialogues.  Lynn is an amazing example of a truly dedicated, hardworking, and hands on volunteer who selflessly seeks to help others. 

Jim and Barbara Fisher

For more than 15 years, Jim and Barbara have been the driving force behind the Friends of Hallinan Woods, now a formally recognized City of Lake Oswego Friends Group.  They have 40 members and counting because of Jim and Barbara’s leadership.  This is a volunteer group which is dedicated to maintaining the public woods in the Hallinan Neighborhood, which includes woods and open spaces in three locations, encompassing many, many acres of natural area. Jim and Barbara spend countless hours in these woods, pulling ivy, clearing invasive species, and planting native plants.  On sunny days this can be a rewarding experience, but on the many cold and rainy days when an event for removing and restoring is organized, this work is hard and exhausting and goes mostly unnoticed by the larger community.  Because of the ongoing effort of this group and the volunteers who join the work parties, hundreds of trees have been freed of invasive ivy, natives plants planted and habitat restored.  Through their extraordinary leadership and commitment they have been able to build greater visibility and support for restoration efforts.  So much so, City staff have joined the efforts by supplying professional crews, spraying ivy, removing large invasive or dead trees, and providing extra tools for cleanup events.   Even after Barbara suffered a severe health emergency, this twosome continues their commitment for the betterment of the community.  They truly make the neighborhood and the community a better place!

Cyriel Godderie

For years, LO grandfather and math tutor extraordinaire, Cyriel Godderie has made a significant difference in the lives of dozens of youngsters attending Hallinan Elementary School, helping create confident, resourceful, and empowered kids who now enjoy math…not an easy task!  Cyriel’s dedication includes meeting with student’s almost daily, providing guidance and setting high expectations. So enjoyable and engaging are his classes, many students excel and advance a grade level or more in math. 

During the summer Cyriel and his wife Jeannine, open their home to hold “Pi Club” for kids, keeping math fun, fresh and exciting all summer long.   Keeping math fun and exciting for kids is a challenge, but Cyriel’s kids adore him and excel with his guidance.  Cyriel is a blessing to the Lake Oswego community and a great example of humility and generosity.

Murel Johnson

This active 93 year young divides her time between many volunteer activities, including more than 15 years at the Adult Community Center where she drives and delivers Meals-On-Wheels meals to seniors and disabled folks in our community, helping provide more than 19,000 meals each year.  As an avid reader, Murel also installed a delightful “Little Free Library”, filled with a fine collection of books, in her front yard for anyone to use and enjoy.  In addition, she helps the neighbors and community when someone needs a little extra help, without seeking anything in return. Murel is one busy 93 years young, enthusiastic volunteer, lending a helping hand, and making a difference in the lives of so many in our community!

On behalf on the Council and the Lake Oswego community, we thank you and all of our Unsung Heroes who make Lake Oswego such a wonderful place to live, work and play!


Photo:  Lake Oswego’s 2016 Unsung Heroes with the City Council - (from left): Lynn Brokaw, Jim Fisher, Barbara Fisher, Murel Johnson and Cyriel Godderie. Photo by Vern Uyetake Lake Oswego Review.