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focus Partnering

Fall 2009

on Boys & Girls Aid

for the future

A longstanding relationship between Boys & Girls Aid and Concordia University is taking on new dimensions. As prominent fixtures in the Portland Community, Boys & Girls Aid and Concordia University have come together to create a unique opportunity and partnership. Mike Balter, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Aid, and Gary Withers, Executive Vice President of Concordia University both agree that the two organizations have similar objectives – helping young people and improving the local community. This summer, the partnership began with clients attending classes on Concordia University campus. Planning for this partnership began about a year ago with presentations from every program at Boys & Girls Aid. Concordia staff were particularly compelled by our Pettygrove Residential program. Pettygrove is a 9-month program for adjudicated teenage girls that builds life skills and self esteem, helping young women transition back home or to live independently. Concordia staff felt the longer duration of this program, and the older age of the girls, would particularly benefit from the space and resources Concordia has to offer. The Pettygrove girls began attending classes at Concordia this summer. All class work was taught by Portland Public School teachers in Concordia’s facilities. The partnership was a win for all involved – Pettygrove clients glimpsed life on a college campus and took advantage of a greatly expanded library, and Concordia University earned accolades for acting so generously as a resource for the community. This is just the first phase in what all involved see as a larger, long-term partnership.

Feelings about the new partnership are positive all around. “This is a special opportunity for these girls, and I’m eager to see where this relationship with Concordia leads in the future,” says Vera Stoulil, Boys & Girls Aid Director of Program Services.

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What’s Inside...

Letter from the Executive Director

Addressing the needs of children in 2010 Updated and expanded

Auxiliary Spotlight & Event Updates Friends of Boys & Girls Aid get together to make a difference

Generations of Giving Giving awards and receiving gifts

Stories & Celebrations Stories of success from current & former clients

Program Updates

Learn what’s new at Boys & Girls Aid


Executive Director

Board of Directors 2009-2010 President

B. Gabe Nachand

Executive Committee Kent J. Holce Jim Harbolt Libby Hartung Mark Rawlinson Tom Szambelan Mike P. Thayer Michael H. Balter

Dear Friends, In September, our Board of Directors convened for the last time in Fiscal Year 2009. Our final piece of business was to review the 2010 budget. After discussion, forecasting, and careful review of the bottom line, we voted in unanimous approval. I looked at our new number for Fiscal Year 2010, about a million dollars shy of last year’s total, and a fact became clear.

Board Members Evan S. Connell Deana Freres Kris Gorriaran David G. Grano Tim Greve Everett Jack, Jr. Chris L. Johnson Jennifer Kinkade Bruce T. Landrey Mike Nyland Gaylyn Sher-Jan

In 2010, Boys & Girls Aid will have to do more with less. In previous issues of this newsletter, I’ve shared the surging number of children in need of our services and the increasing number of homeless children. You may wonder how we plan to reconcile these needs with our trimmed expenses. It is no doubt, a serious challenge. But as I observe the creative ways that friends, neighbors, colleagues and strangers are doing more with less, I see wonderful examples of how this challenge can be met. Accept the help of others in the community. As purse strings tighten, innovative families look for new options – and find resources in their community. Neighborhood childcare co-op arrangements are cropping up, allowing families to take turns watching children, saving on day care expenses. Carpooling and garden sharing are also recurrent conversations that I often overhear. We too are collaborating with resources in our community. As you read in our cover story a new partnership between our Pettygrove Residential Program and Concordia University expands the quality of services that these young women receive, at a savings to us. Simplify – and focus on what you’re good at. I continue to be amazed that, despite financial setbacks, many people are giving to Boys & Girls Aid at the same level as previous years. I wonder how this is possible. The answer I continually receive: small sacrifices. Families are paring down. Children are choosing between basketball and soccer. Idle gym memberships are being discontinued. Parents are becoming better at-home cooks. At Boys & Girls Aid, we are similarly examining the way we spend and making changes to streamline that spending. From small details to large program and staff changes, the Board of Directors has approved our ambitious budget that will allow us to continue providing quality services to young people in need. We know that this will be a difficult year and I thank you for your continued support. Sincerely, Michael H. Balter, Executive Director

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core purpose “To impact the lives of children in need.”

core values

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Fall 2009

Critical Thinkers

We regularly analyze ideas and data new and old to improve our outcomes.

Challenge the Status Quo and Change

To be the best in the field, we challenge the status quo for the best possible solutions.

Authentically Value Others

We interact with people in a manner that authentically demonstrates the high value we place on others.

Do What it Takes

We do what it takes to serve our children and families, and to support each other.

Desire to Excel

We do the best possible job with passion and attention to detail.

Fact: Charities are in competition with each other for a limited pool of resources. From foundation and grant funds, to contributions from individual donors, there are simply more worthy causes than charitable dollars. Solution: In a recession, it is especially critical that we remain a leader and an innovator in our field.

Updated and expanded to better meet your needs

With this in mind, Boys & Girls Aid is proud to announce the launch of a newly re-designed and greatly expanded website. This website hosts a wealth of information on our 124 year history, as well as detailing the many services we currently provide for children in need. It serves as an outstanding resource for our clients, our investors, and for any Oregonian interested in learning more about the needs of children in our area, and what can be done to make an impact on that need.

We encourage you to visit the site and peruse some of its many features. We’ve highlighted a few of our favorites below. Women and couples who are considering placing their child for adoption can now view photos and letters from prospective families in our Adoptive Family Gallery. Children who are waiting in foster care and are part of the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program are now featured online. Prospective adoptive families can view pictures, quotes, and stories about these very special kids. Testimonials and success stories from children who have been a part of our programs are featured on each page. Now donors can have a personal glimpse at the impact that their investments make in the lives of the children we serve. Forms and applications for prospective adoptive families, potential foster parents, and other vital members of our Boys & Girls Aid community are now accessible online, 24 hours a day. Newsletters, annual reports, and other informational pieces are now hosted online where you can download or print them from your home computer. Rotating feature articles on our home page allow us to share good news and updates with you instantly.

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Fall 2009

The Annual Barn Bash a fresh approach to fundraising



Boys & Girls Aid strives to be an innovator in all that we do. Our fundraising events are no exception to this rule. Our annual black tie event, the Black & White Ball, remains a respected example of Portland’s longstanding tradition of classic and elegant fundraising events. But we are equally proud of its louder, rowdier counterpart – the Barn Bash. Each year the Barn Bash brings together the friends of Boys & Girls Aid in a lively outdoor atmosphere featuring games and prizes, a barbeque dinner, a popular casino, and dancing to live rock and bluegrass music. Set against the pastoral beauty of a private West Linn Farm, the Barn Bash is a truly unique evening to benefit Boys & Girls Aid programs.

Boys & Girls Aid auxiliaries raise nearly $100,000 each year!

Holly Branch Auxiliary Location Portland

Founded 1960

Approx. members 25

As our oldest existing auxiliary, Holly Branch members have a long history of helping children. Each year, this group hosts an elegant cocktail party in a private home to raise funds for Boys & Girls Aid. This year’s event was held on October 9th at the Worthington residence. Holly Branch members are also very active during the holidays, when they put together duffel bags filled with thoughtful gifts for each teenage girl in care. We are so grateful for their generous support and their commitment to children. Thank you Holly Branch!

Cherry Branch Auxiliary Location Salem

Barn Bash 2009

Approx. members 67

The Cherry Branch Auxiliary is once again excited to host their annual Gala of Trees. Held at the Salem Convention center, this evening of dinner, dancing, and auction features a host of beautifully decorated trees that come with themed prize packages on which guests may bid. This year’s Gala of Trees will be held on December 4th and tickets are available on the Boys & Girls Aid website at

And while attire may be casual, there is nothing casual about the commitment that attendees showed towards helping children. Through a combination of sponsorships, auction and special appeal contributions, and other event proceeds, this year’s event raised $140,000 for Boys & Girls Aid.

Boys & Girls Aid has five auxiliaries located in Salem, Wilsonville, McMinnville, and Portland. All of our auxiliaries work hard to raise awareness and contributions for Boys & Girls Aid. If you are interested in becoming a member of any of our auxiliaries, please contact Desiree in development at 503.542.2327 or at dharris@

. To join the growing invitation list for next year’s Barn Bash, or if you and your company would like to sponsor this unique event or our Black & White Ball, contact Kara McPhillips at kmcphillips@ boysandgirlsaid.or or 503.542.2342.

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Founded 1962


Fall 2009

2009 The 2009 Boys & Girls Aid Annual Meeting included a special awards ceremony to recognize the family of General James B. and Patricia Thayer for their many years of philanthropic achievements. The Irene H. Gerlinger Family Philanthropy Award was created to recognize philanthropists whose giving and leadership in the community extends through generations of family. It was named after Irene H. Gerlinger, whose own family includes local philanthropists Bill and Ann Swindells. The ceremony was held on June 9th at The Nines. Boys & Girls Aid board members and executive staff highlighted the continuing impact the Thayer family makes in the Portland community. The family has many accomplishments, including the general’s decorated military history in the Oregon Army National Guard and his seminal political role as Chairman of Colleges for the Republican party during the 1948 presidential election. Both General Thayer and his wife Patricia modeled the spirit of philanthropy for their children. Patricia volunteered at the Tucker-Maxim School for deaf children and the Oregon School of Arts & Crafts where she is responsible for setting up the library. Speakers went on to recognize the impressive community involvement of the Thayer children and their spouses: Jim, Jr., John, Anne, Mike and Kristi, and Tommy and Amber. They have worked with a number of organizations including Boys & Girls Aid, the University of Oregon Natural History Museum, Pacific University, and Oregon Center for Advanced Technology Education. The Thayers, two of whom have served on the Boys & Girls Aid Board of Directors, were an obvious choice as the first recipients of this award. Boys & Girls Aid Executive Director Mike Balter said of them, “The Thayer family, much like the Gerlinger Family is not a household name, but their work, much like the Gerlinger family, is leaving a legacy for Oregon’s children.”

Planned gifts are critical to the agency’s long-term success.

Ann Nicholas was adopted as an infant, by Florence & D.W. “Nic” Nicholas of Fairmont, MN. Her dad, a veterinarian, and her Aunt, a science teacher, played important roles in Ann’s life and instilled in her an interest in science. Ann received a BA and MA from Stanford University and worked in biomedical research in San Francisco, Berkeley and Houston before coming to Portland in 1963. She did research at the Primate Center at OHSU and earned her doctorate in microbiology from Oregon State University. After working on a research project in Belgium and teaching, Ann retired in Portland in1993. How did you become interested in planned giving? My aunt had a tremendous influence on my life and, among other things, taught me to never discriminate against anyone and share what you can, money and/or time, with those less fortunate than you. I have tried to live up to her ideals. How did you become connected to Boys & Girls Aid? My interest developed in the 1980s when I started contributing to the adoption program. I wanted other children to have the same opportunities I had been given by my adoptive parents. After I retired, I began to plan what I would do with the funds that remained after my death. With some research and thought, I set up my will to include my favorite charities.

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What made you choose a Charitable Gift Annuity at BGA? The benefit is to both Boys & Girls Aid and to me in that it provides me income for life, then the remainder goes to Boys & Girls Aid – a win-win situation. For more information about a planned gift, contact Suzan Huntington at 503.542.2304 or


Fall 2009


Stories and

Boys & Girls Aid works to impact the lives of children in need. To this end, the agency offers adoption services, foster care, mentoring, and shelter services. On this page, we’ve selected three brief personal stories to highlight the impact that your support makes possible.

Foster Care Adoption Ben is a typical daydreaming, outdoorsy 13 year old boy who is a big fan of the television show The Deadliest Catch. Ben is also one of Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, a signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption that provides specialized recruitment for children who have been waiting longest in foster care. Kendra Jacobson is the Boys & Girls Aid recruiter that works with Ben. When she noticed that the cast and crew of The Deadliest Catch would be attending the Pacific Commercial Fishermen’s Festival in Astoria this September, her mind immediately went to Ben. She contacted the festival and was able to compel them to sponsor a trip-of-a-lifetime. Ben traveled with his DHS caseworker to Astoria where he attended the festival and enjoyed a reception with his heroes – the cast and crew of The Deadliest Catch. “This was a very special event for Ben, one he’ll remember forever,” said Special Needs Adoption Supervisor Amy Dragon.

Mentoring Mentor Portland pairs have wonderful opportunities to make memories while attending fun group activities like trips to the coast and weekends in the woods at YMCA Camp Collins. But for many of the young people in this program, who are in the foster care system or who have a parent incarcerated -- the most memorable times are the small, simple moments spent with a caring adult. Adam (mentor) and Oscar (mentee) have been a Mentor Portland pair for nearly two years. Adam likes to take Oscar to places he wouldn’t normally go. The two have traveled to the state Capital in Salem for a historical tour and enjoyed adventures hiking in the woods where Oscar says the best part is when Adam brings chocolate! When asked what he likes about his time spent with Adam, Oscar had this to say, “I like it when we go around to all different diners together. We rate the food and say what we liked and didn’t like. I write it all down in a journal that I keep. The journal is about all the different things Adam and I do. I write it all down to keep track so that we never forget. Hanging out with Adam is a little like having a dad, since my dad is in prison. When Adam’s supposed to pick me up I’m waiting at the door and even if he’s two minutes or thirty seconds late, I’m so excited, I’m like, get over here!”

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Fall 2009



New Stories from Old Friends It is always a pleasure to hear from young people who have benefitted from our services. And innovations in technology make these moments happen ever more frequently. Here is a note from a young woman who found her former case worker, Sara Carmona, on Facebook. This is what she had to say…

STEP – Stabilize, Transition, Evaluation Program The STEP program’s two new houses, Seneca and Summit, have gradually filled up with youth and are operating close to capacity on a regular basis. The staff in the programs have made successful strides in serving a variety of youth with varying levels of need. In all, the opening of the houses has served to expand Boys & Girls Aid’s capacity to serve a greater number of youth with significant needs for shelter and evaluation services.

Transitional Living Program The Transitional Living Program (TLP) has redesigned the skill development area of the program. We are now offering parenting mothers weekly skill building groups designed to meet their unique needs necessary to move toward self sufficiency as well as strengthening their parenting skills.

Special Needs Adoption “I’m glad to have found you! I was thinking about my accomplishments over the last four years and looking back, the very first person who showed me that I could be a young leader and make a positive change in the world was you. It was all the little empowering things you said and opportunities you presented (like the Multnomah Youth Commission) that showed me I could reach out and help people too. It is amazing that one person can impact your life for the best without even knowing how much they influenced you. I just wanted to say thank you for believing in me before I even knew how to believe in myself.”

Our clinicians have been supervising 17 families with a total of 23 children. We tabled at the Clackamas County Fair in August, which resulted in great exposure and awareness-building. We completed FY 09 in September with a total of 20 placements and throughout the year, celebrated 27 finalizations alongside our families. We have also welcomed two student interns into our program, and are looking forward to our continuing partnerships with Concordia University and Portland State University.

Infant Adoption We provided homes for 23 infants during the last fiscal year. We have 25 families who have completed the home study process and are waiting to be selected by a birthmother. We began the new fiscal year with an increased focus on communities along the I-5 corridor in Washington and Oregon.

Mentor Portland Seventeen new matches were brought into the program this past quarter as a result of busy recruiting efforts. The mentors and youth have enjoyed a summer of fun including a trip to the Oregon coast. Matches also had the opportunity to participate in an evening of team building and communication skills training with Synergo facilitator, Cris Kelly. September camp was a great success and many relationships were strengthened by the experience.

Safe Place for Youth Shelter Safe Place has secured Basic Center funding from the Family and Youth Services Bureau with the Department of Health & Human Services. The award is $125,000 per year for three years. This funding allows us to increase the number of runaway and homeless youth served.

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Fall 2009

018 SW Boundary Court Portland, OR 97239

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November is

Don’t miss any exciting events coming up from Boys & Girls Aid

agency calendar December 4th

Cherry Branch Gala of Trees Salem Convention Center


National Mentoring Month May 15th  Black & White Ball The Nines

June 8th

Annual Meeting Location TBA

May 15th, 2010

Boys & Girls Aid Fall 2009 Agency Newsletter  
Boys & Girls Aid Fall 2009 Agency Newsletter  

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