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connected A newsletter for the people of Gervais, Woodburn, Hubbard and Brooks.

February 2014

Office Closures:

President’s Day, February 17

Pages 1-3:

Harry Lee Kwai Retirement

Pages 4-5:

Community News

Page 6:


Harry Lee Kwai, Retiring February 28, 2014 There aren’t many people you can describe as being genuine, enthusiastic and truly caring about people and what they have to say. When Harry Lee Kwai talks to you, you have his undivided attention. Some might say his only flaw is that he is a Ducks fan! Harry started working at Gervais Telephone in June, 2003 as the Sales and Marketing Manager. In the ten and a half years he worked here, he has not only formed a bond with his co-workers, but formed lasting relationships with the communities of Gervais and Woodburn. Harry has been known to step up to the plate on several occasions. First, he took a course on splicing and spliced fiber optics a couple of summers when demand required. Second, Harry stepped in to supervise the front office for an entire year when needed. And third, he even ran an annual meeting for John Hoffmann when he was ill! To say the least, he wore many hats, all the while displaying a positive attitude. After a few months of rest, relaxation and adventure, Harry plans on taking a part-time job as the Executive Director of the Woodburn Area Chamber of Commerce. Harry’s spirit of Aloha will be greatly missed. Harry has been a treat to know and work with. He is fantastic at organizing and getting people excited about the Gervais Festival. Thank you Harry for all your great help and leadership. -Petra Vela What I love about Harry: He's always so positive about trying something new...He's a natural leader who listens to everyone...your idea might not happen but you know you were heard! He loved Kim with all his heart. They were a team. In Gervais during any event they'd always be working together for a better outcome. Gervais will miss them both. We will always love them and miss their positive energy. -Pam Milam

Go Ducks It has been a pleasure getting to know Harry a little better over the recent years. He has been a tremendous supporter of our growing community in Gervais and he is always such a positive and inspiring person to be around! As a parent of a player on the football team the past few years, our group went looking for donations and sponsors for a fundraiser, Harry was quick to offer to help get a donation from Gervais Telephone. During my position as Co-Chair for the French Prairie Community Progress Team he played a key role in our group helping to serve and better the community. It was an honor to be a supporter of the Chalkfestival Committee the first year Harry brought the festival to our town and I've been a part of it since - his spirit shines through the festival, making it a very fun day for all individuals and families! Harry was quick to help be a leader in working on a grant team in our community and he doesn't even live here, that's part of what makes him so special, he goes above and beyond and truly cares for Gervais! Harry was one of the first people that welcomed LEaRN (a board that I sit on that brought our annual basketball tournament to Gervais) when we decided to move our tournament location from Woodburn to Gervais). He worked with our board to help us introduce a youth basketball tournament in collaboration with the Chalkfestival, his efforts were instrumental and so appreciated. I can go on and on about the person he is and all the qualities that make him so unique and how I feel blessed to call him a friend. I wish him the best of luck in his new chapter he's about to take in his life and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for all he has contributed to our community and for continuing to be an inspiration and motivator to me personally! Sincerely, Carmen Leiva

The first time I met Harry was in June of 2003 as we were beginning the 2 ½ year summer task of painting the side of Gervais Market. Harry came strolling through the alley way, and with this light that emanated like sun cascading off water crests, Harry shouts. “Aloha!” I had paint up to my elbows and all over my clothes, but that didn’t stop Harry from reaching out his hand to greet those of us with this “bigger than life” project ahead of us. Every day it was the same energy bolt that kept us going when we sometimes questioned ourselves as to what we had taken on. “Aloha”, Harry would say, and then followed by some genuine words of encouragement or praise. It only seemed fitting at the end of the project, a palm tree grace our Northwestern theme with “HLK” engraved in the bark! Harry is one of those remarkable people you meet once in a life time that you feel like you’ve known throughout the ages, a true friend, a kind brother. Now, here we are in 2014. Harry is a pillar of the community, a doer, a trend setter, and a remarkable visionary. Harry is a “can-do” person whose inspiration, set by example, let’s you know that the only limitations we have in life are the ones we put upon ourselves. Alone, we accomplish little. Together, we move mountains of energy into productive and enjoyable successes. Sometimes when someone leaves who has left such an imprint on our lives, individually, or as a community as a whole, it is tempting to say, “we’ll never be the same without…..”, but that is simply not true. What we will be is better because of that person’s influence, better because we can choose to take the next steps forward and polish that person’s legacy, inasmuch as to say, “your journey here gave us the hope and the desire to be the best we can be – together, a team.” That will never go away, as no one can shadow such a huge giving heart. So, Harry, thank you for the support, leadership, dedication, and love you have shown every person you come in touch with. There is a Native American saying that states, “In all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast aside. You shall look and listen to the welfare of the whole people and have always in view, not only the present but the coming generations-the unborn of the future Nation.” That was a quote from 1720 by Dekawidah. You are this living example. You will be greatly missed, but always remembered here in Gervais. Mahalo, my friend. -Mayor Shanti Platt

community French Prairie CPT Open House

Saturday, February 1, 2 - 3 p.m. We would like to meet you and fill you in on what we are about and how we can stay connected with you on what’s happening in the community! There will be cookies and punch provided. See flyer.

Gervais City Council Meeting

Thursday, February 6, 7 p.m. Attend the next Gervais City Council Meeting to stay connected with all that’s going on in Gervais. It’s a great time to meet the local City Council Members, Mayor & local Gervais officials.

French Prairie CPT Meeting

Monday, February 10, 4:30 - 6 p.m. Meeting held at Gervais City Hall conference room. Come show your support to the team that helps keep the magic happening in town.

Gervais Neighborhood Watch

Monday, February 10, 6:15 - 7:30 p.m. Meeting held at Gervais City Hall, immediately after the French Prairie Community Progress Team Meeting. The Gervais Neighborhood Watch Committee sponsors the annual National Night Out event in August for the Gervais Community, covers any reported graffiti around town and continues to support our community to promote safety for all.

Community Bingo Night

Wednesday, February 12, 7 - 8:30 p.m. Come help support us so we can support the community! The French Prairie Community Progress Team is organizing a bingo night even for the community as a fundraiser. Thank you to the Gervais School District for partnering with us to host this event at the Gervais High School Cafeteria! See flyer for more information.

Senior Parent Pancake Feed

Saturday, February 22, 8:30 - 11 a.m. Pancake Feed held at the Gervais Elementary School Cafeteria. $5 per plate. Meal includes pancakes, sausage and scrambled eggs! All proceeds go toward Gervais Class of 2014 Graduation Night. See flyer.

Buy-A-Block Fundraiser

The Gervais Sports League and the Gervais Girls Softball Team are selling blocks for $2 each for the new dugouts. See flyer.

L.E.a.R.N.’s 24th Annual Oregon Latino Basketball Tournament Youth Jam (3 on 3) - Saturday, March 22 Adults (5 on 5) - Friday - Sunday, March 28 - 30 For more information visit

• Protection. Awareness. Peace of Mind. • Live Streaming - Provides you real-time video for your property. • Video Alerts - Use state-of-the-art cameras to trigger recording, and automatically capture a video clip and send it directly to your mobile phone or computer. • Cloud Storage - Recorded video clips are stored in a secured off-site location.

To submit stories or ideas, contact Gervais Tel/DataVision: Marissa Gainer, Marketing & Administrative Assistant, French Prairie Community Progress Team (Gervais CPT): Carmen Leiva, Co-Chair, Familia. French Prairie Community Progress Team (Gervais CPT): Mariana Ruiz, Co-Chair, @GervaisTel

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