2018 McCall Gala Recap

Hilliary Giglio
Wed, 03/28/2018 (All day)


So close to winning the "Last Hero" game!


The 2018 McCall Gala was a huge success. We are so grateful for the amazing community of 300 supporters who come together to celebrate a connected Oregon! And thank you to all of our business sponsors and in-kind sponsors who provided our wine, beer and floral decorations for the evening. We hope everyone had a fantastic time.

The evening was a-buzz of excitement. Governor Kate Brown graced the event, proud to speak about the land use planning program and a climate-friendly future for Oregon.  Her devotion to Oregon and her enthusiastic energy set the stage for an inspiring evening to come.

Meredith Shield, Vice President of Governmental Affairs - Oregon with Strategies 360 and 1000 Friends’ lobbyist, was our host for the evening and she kept the crowd smiling and laughing while graciously introducing our guests on stage.

1000 Friends of Oregon’s co-founder and first Executive Director, Henry Richmond, gave an emotional welcome to the crowd and introduction for our current Executive Director, Russ Hoeflich.

Russ shared his excitement for joining the 1000 Friends team, and emphasized how the growing pains the state is feeling from the nearly 250 people arriving daily reinforces the importance, even more, to protect and defend the land use planning program.

Meredith Shield took the stage again, introducing our key speaker for the evening, Bob Bailey of Orchard View Farms and sharing this quote from 1000 Friends co-founder Governor Tom McCall: “Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say: This is my community, and it is my responsibility to make it better.”

Bob Bailey took the spotlight to share the personal story of his family farm. Building community through farming is a value he holds very deeply. He and his wife, Barbara, decided early on that they would invest in their workforce. From upgraded housing on their property for their temporary employees to the impressive down payment support program to help their permanent employees to purchase their own homes, and from health insurance and competitive salaries to 401k programs and vacation time, they have really stayed true to their goals. This has resulted in generations of strong relationships between Orchard View Farms and the community. Additionally, as their neighbors retire, or choose to move away from farming, they have started to lease their orchards. This helps keep local farm land in local hands, and guarantees those who wish to preserve the lands income even if they are not farming. He recognized how hard 1000 Friends of Oregon works every day to ensure that their lands are available to be productive so that they can grow the food that feeds America.

Christine DeCastro, auctioneer from Marquam Auction Agency, led the fun-spirited raffle and special appeal fundraising of the evening. Her upbeat and enthusiastic personality kept the buzz of inspiration Bob created going throughout the night.

We are humbled, excited, and proud to share that we raised over $180,000 through the Gala, with over $116,000 being donated in the room that evening. A record year for the McCall Gala! Thank you to our incredible donors. You make our work possible.

To close out an exciting, inspirational and successful evening, we couldn't be more proud to have Henry Richmond back on stage to award land use legacy Robert Liberty with the Tom McCall Legacy Award. This award recognizes one’s dedication to the land use planning program and commitment to the State of Oregon. Mr. Liberty served 1000 Friends for two decades, spearheading major initiatives like our Cooperating Attorney Program, our McCall Society, and the intensive Land Use Transportation Air Quality (LUTRAQ) study that still informs smart policy today. Following his tenure at 1000 Friends, Mr. Liberty gave of his time and talents serving on the Metro Council, working to promote a healthy regional community. Now he is guiding the next generation of Oregon leaders and great thinkers at Portland State University as the Director of their Institute for Sustainable Solutions. Oregon will be forever a more livable and loveable state because of Robert Liberty.

The McCall Gala is a reminder of just how big, how loved, and how respected this work and our community is. It’s a reminder that we are in this together and that we are a strong, connected, community.  What does it mean to live in a connected state? A connected community? It means that you have access to opportunity. It means your shared backyard is unspoiled fields, forests, and waters. It means that you can reach out to the people and places that are the most important to you.

Thank you to all of you that supported the McCall Gala and that help us work to preserve a connected Oregon each and every day!