Volunteer Awards

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Sonny Newson with Andy Meeks (L) and Keith Nevison (R) photo: Greg Tudor

Simply put, volunteers are the backbone of Friends of Trees. We could not do what we do without the enthusiasm, dedication and energy that all volunteers bring each season to the planning, preparation and implementation of our program goals. 

Over the course of the 2012-2013 planting season 4,466 individuals volunteered 37,250 hours to Friends of Trees! We are inspired by this outpouring of enthusiasm, talent, and energy by so many throughout the communities where we work.

Read the results of our 2012-2013 Friends of Trees volunteer survey. This survey was made possible by a grant from REI and the 529 respondents who shared their time and thoughts with us.

Here we honor our most dedicated volunteers who excelled in their roles and helped make Friends of Trees an even stronger and better organization.  They deserve our special recognition for their efforts.

2012-2013 Award Winners
2011-2012 Award Winners
2010-2011 Award Winners

2009-2010 Award Winners


The following volunteers received awards at the annual Volunteer Awards Potluck at the end of the 2012-13 planting season:

2012-2013 Award Winners

Volunteer of the Year: Sonny Newson

For his deep and sustained commitment to Friends of Trees, for always being the first to arrive to GSI plantings and the last to leave and for providing positive and lasting value to the organization by crew leading at 20 GSI planting events and for always being cheerful, helpful and energetic.

Honorable Mention: Doug Lovelace

Neighborhood Trees Crew Leader of the Year: Mike Ablutz

For his excellent leadership and commitment to our NT program, for helping establish our pruning pilot project and for attending 8 NT planting events.

Honorable Mention: Charles Datulayta

Green Space Initative Crew Leader of the Year: Steven Gray

For his excellent leadership and commitment to our GSI program, for attending 9 GSI plantings, and for always brining his Junior Superstar crew leaders with him.

Honorable Mention: Amanda Cort/Elliot Levin

Neighborhood Trees Rookie of the Year: Alex Bruyevicz

For being the assistant crew leader who attended the most NT plantings during his first season of crew leading.  Alex attended 12!

Honorable Mention: Elise Cryder

Green Space Initiative Rookie of the Year: Nate Johnson

For being the assistant crew leader who attended the most GSI plantings during his first season of crew leading.  Nate attended 13!

Honorable Mention: Andrea Geiger

The Conan Award: Erik Weimer

An award created in 2012 to recognize those crew leaders who lead crews for the NT and GSI programs and who set themselves apart from this exclusive group with their leadership skills and sustained dedication.  Named in honor of Conan Harmon-Walker -- a leader among leaders at Friends of Trees. 

Erik attended 24 planting events in the 2012-2013 season:  15 in the GSI Program and 9 in the NT Program.  This is a new record!

Neighborhood Group of the Year: Buckman, HAND, Richmond

For continuosly setting the bar for a outstanding group efforts.  Buckman, HAND, Richmond plantings are always smooth, well-organized, successful and positive planting events. 

Neighborhood Coordinators: Allen Field, Eric Swehla, Patty Freeman, Jeff Burns, Jack Spadaro, Ellen Mendoza, Annette Pearson, Ryan Durocher, Jim Lodwick, Jonathan King, Janet Range

Honorable Mention: Eastmoreland, Sellwood-Westmoreland

Neighborhood Coordinators: Mary Dettmer, Catherine Mushel, Mike Ellis, Tim Batog

Office Volunteer of the Year: Jeff Timmons

For being a leader around the office in number of hours volunteered and for his reliability and dedication on Monday mornings.

Honorable Mention: John Bander

The Garry Oak Award:  Russ Dillman

A new award created in 2013 to recognize a volunteer who most embodies the spirit of community, volunteerism, good work and fun that Friends of Trees -- and our mascot Garry Oak -- strive to achieve every day through our work.

Russ has been a stalwart truck driver and tree planter in our Neighborhood Trees program for the past two years, always ready to help when and where needed.  He attended 11 plantings this season, all while bringing his cheerful and helpful personality to planting day.

Honorable Mention: Mike Johnson

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Previous Award Winners

2011-2012 Award Winners

Volunteer of the Year: Chris Canida
Honorable Mention: Joanie Beldin

NT Crew Leader of the Year: Forest Tanier-Gesner
Honorable Mention: Barbara McLean

GSI Crew Leader of the Year: Sonny Newson
Honorable Mention: Tricia Sears

NT Rookie of the Year: Jeff Kisseloff
Honorable Mention: Keegan Heron

GSI Rookie of the Year: Neva Knott
Honorable Mention: Cristina Watson

Neighborhood Group of the Year: Westside Vancouver
Sue Bluestein (Hough), Susan Sanders (Carter Park), Claire Beagle (Edgewood Park), Cynthia Thornton-Tang, Glenn Dollar (Lincoln), Catherine Cannon (Shumway)
Honorable Mention: Beaumont-Wilshire, Cully, Roseway
Starr Hogeboom (Cully), Theresa DeSousa, Caitlin Shelman, Leigh Ann Oatney (Roseway)

Office Volunteer of the Year: Wendy Gehring
Honorable Mention: David Meade

The Conan Award:  Kenny Symonds
Honorable Mention:  Annette Pearson

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2010-2011 Award Winners

Volunteer of the Year: Conan Harmon-Walker
Honorable Mention: David Hyde

NT Crew Leader of the Year: Brian Symes
Honorable Mention: Josh Springer

GSI Crew Leader of the Year: Endre Elteto
Honorable Mention: Caela Levy

NT Rookie of the Year: Lou Gottfried
Honorable Mention: Leah Haykin

GSI Rookie of the Year: Sue Wiff
Honorable Mention: Kenny Symonds

Neighborhood Group of the Year: St. Johns, University Park, Cathedral Park, Kenton, Portsmouth
Christina Pucci, Josh Guerra (St. Johns), Cody Newton (Cathedral Park), Matt Krueger (University Park), Lori Krampetz, Alyssa Phelps (Kenton), Susan Landauer (Portsmouth)
Honorable Mention: Centennial, Hazelwood, Mill Park
Greg Perry (Centennial), Vinette Kennedy-Scott (Hazelwood), Teresa Collins (Mill Park)

Office Volunteer of the Year: Chihiro Aldrich
Honorable Mention: Sochetra Ly

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2009 - 2010 Award Winners

Volunteer of the Year:  Irek Wielgosz

NT Crew Leader of the Year:  Chris Canida

GSI Crew Leader of the Year:  Dominic Hartman

NT Rookie of the Year:  Jonathan King

GSI Rookie of the Year:  Caela Levy

Neighborhood Planting of the Year:  Kerns (Doug Lovelace), Laurelhurst (Lisa Adajian), Sunnyside (Peter Nierengarten) & North Tabor (Robert Jordan/Joe Recker)

Office Volunteer of the Year:  Luke Groser


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