Skilled Young Golfer Gives Back to Community

Skilled Young Golfer Gives Back to Community

Elise Deschaine, a 14-year old freshman at Central Catholic, is already one of the best young golfers in Oregon, placing in two tournaments in Oregon and winning the top spot in the The Olympic Club in San Francisco.  In between school and practicing her skills as a golfer, she gives back to the organization that built her up to success: First Tee of Greater Portland.

Her mother, Jasmine Descahine, in an interview with Fox12, said, ” This course here, the Children’s Course, is where she first started playing golf and taking lessons.”

Her initial reason for golfing was purely to make friendships and have fun. However, five years later, her mindset is drastically different. “I just gave it all I got this year and it definitely paid off,” Elise said.

“I always had a desire to beat my dad one day, so that’s kind of the reason I stuck with it to reach the goal, which I did.” However, she’s not letting her talent get the better over her and is now helping as a mentor for the First Tee of Greater Portland.

“She comes out about once a week and hangs with our younger girls in the program,” said Justin with the First Tee of Greater Portland.

Elise thoroughly enjoys helping the young girls. “It’s just so fun to give back to young aspiring girls who were like me five years ago. When I’m on the golf course and it’s just me and the ball and a club, it’s a great feeling.”

Young Oregonian Recognized for Community Service

Young Oregonian Recognized for Community Service

Four years ago, 13-year-old Carlie Steele of Amity, Oregon, caught a vision for helping people in need. Watching a telethon for children’s cancer “sparked an interest,” Carlie explained to KOIN reporters. “I thought these kids might want something to play with or something to do when they’re in this rough time.” Carlie faithfully pursued her vision, collecting $2,000 worth of donated gifts for young chemotherapy patients.

After her first project, Carlie felt inspired to keep on giving. She founded “Carlie’s Kindness Campaign,” a certified non-profit organization, to structure her charitable efforts. One Christmas, she organized a drive to collect gifts and card games for overseas military personnel. She developed a 5K run fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Oregon. And she held multiple assemblies at her school “to raise awareness and respect for those who have disabilities.”

Carlie’s campaigns have earned her national recognition: this May, she traveled to Washington, D.C., to receive a Presidential Spirit of Community Award for community service and to meet Senator Ron Wyden.

Carlie, however, intends to pursue goals much broader than national recognition and fame. “I want to try and end the negativity in the world and show kids my age that being kind is cool, and volunteering is a great thing to do.”

Portland Community Expresses Solidarity with Cancer Victims

Portland Community Expresses Solidarity with Cancer Victims

Last Sunday, thousands of people took to the streets of Portland to show support for breast cancer victims in the city’s Race for the Cure.

One participant, Adrienne San Nicolas, joined the race to celebrate her own recovery from the disease: “It’s a celebration for me that another year has gone and we’re still here,” she explained.

San Nicolas received her diagnosis in 2015, at age 34. At the time, she told KOIN reporters, she struggled to accept the news about her disease: “It’s really difficult to talk about the emotions that you feel when you are told that you have cancer.”

However, San Nicolas has been free from breast cancer for two years, and now feels optimistic about finding a cure for other victims. The support she received from her doctor, friends and family during Sunday’s race is “a sign of hope that together, one day we are going to be able to get rid of this ugly disease and eliminate it from ruining people’s lives.”

To learn more about Race for the Cure, click here.

Portland to Open New Willamette River Swimming Area

Portland to Open New Willamette River Swimming Area

The City of Portland has recently announced plans to turn the Kevin Duckworth Memorial Dock, which is located along the east side of the Willamette River near the Steel Bridge, into a “world class” swimming and recreational area.

The dock was originally built to attract boaters downtown to watch the Blazers game; however, it ended up attracting a very different audience, including vandals. The dock is still currently open only to motorized boats.

One of the benefits of the dock is its U-shape, which could allow people to swim along the inside the dock without worrying about the dangers of boat traffic.

Willie Levenson, who works with the Human Access Project and has been working with the City of Portland to create this swimming area, stated in an interview with KGW, “This is going to create one more opportunity for people to get into the river.”

Changes are expected to occur after the year 2021. However, the city and the Oregon State Marine Board are working to make these changes even sooner. The costs of the changes are expected to be around $200,000.

 

Wish Upon A Wedding Helps Couple Facing Cancer

Wish Upon A Wedding Helps Couple Facing Cancer

Beaverton couple, Melanie Blake and Brian Cook met over MySpace ten years ago when Melanie reached out to him. “I lived in Connecticut and he was out here and I wanted friends before I got out here,” she explained in an interview with KOIN 6 News.

However, soon after they began dating, Melanie was diagnosed with both thyroid cancer and a brain tumor. She tried to break up with him because of the diagnosis, but he refused to leave her side. “I didn’t want Brian to go through all that,” she stated. “I didn’t want him to be with someone who was sick all the time, but he wouldn’t let me.”

After multiple surgeries that included a craniotomy, she was left unable to talk or perform basic functions; even so, Brian stuck by her side. After eight months of intense rehab, Melanie was finally herself again.

On October 26, 2016, the couple got engaged. Unfortunately, several weeks later, Melanie discovered the tumor had grown back even larger, and she was started on chemotherapy and radiation.

Even with such a heavy diagnosis, the couple was still able to have their dream wedding with the help of Wish Upon A Wedding, which is a non-profit organization that provides weddings for couples with serious health issues. A spokesperson from the non-profit, Kasey Conyers stated, “We are honored to have this opportunity to assist such a deserving and loving couple.” Local vendors also donated their services as well, adding to the amazing generosity shown to the couple.

When discussing how she copes with her health, Melanie stated that “You just need to love everyday because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow . . . I’m so happy. Yeah, I’m so happy.”

 

Portland Bridal Shop Helps Local & National Charities

Portland Bridal Shop Helps Local & National Charities

Imagine being able to simultaneously buy a wedding dress for a fraction of the cost while also helping those in need.

Brides for a Cause, a non-profit in Portland, does exactly that by collecting both new and used wedding dresses and selling them to help local and national charities, especially women-focused organizations that help with serious diseases; self-image and esteem; women in the military; and single, disabled, or abused women.

Erin Scharf, the founder of Brides for a Cause, in an interview with FOX12 stated “We kind of stepped back and thought maybe we could make more of a difference if we were a non-profit ourself, so then we can open up or beneficiaries and be able to impact and provide money to other charities that might need it.”

Scharf described the joy of founding such a unique non-profit. “Just seeing their face light up when they find their dress, I mean that is one of the most rewarding parts of our job.”

Soon-to-be bride, Jessica Taylor, who purchased her dress from Brides for a Cause, said, “The idea that I can get a dress here that kind of started as a donation from somebody who wanted to support this mission and then also my money, buying the dress would also support the mission. It’s a wonderful cycle.”

Since the organization’s founding, it has collected over 8,000 dresses and given over $450,000 to charities across the United States.

Learn more about Brides for a Cause at bridesforacause.com.