Friends of the Year

Friend of The Year is the highest award presented to a member or organization for extraordinary service to Friends of Mt. Tabor Park. The awardee is not required to be a FMTP member. Read about our stellar recipients below...

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2020 - Lise Gervais

Lise started volunteering with the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park Weed Warriors in 2013 and has served as program coordinator since 2016. Under Lise’s leadership, Weed Warriors continues its work to keep the park ecologically healthy through last Saturday of the month volunteer service projects and specially planned projects at other times to remove invasive vegetation and plant native vegetation. Lise works closely with Portland Parks & Recreation staff as Weed Warrior coordinator.

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2019 - Suzanne McCarthy

Suzanne McCarthy began her association with the Friends of Mt.Tabor Park by patrolling with her husband Pat. Together they enjoyed helping to maintain the park. When a vacancy occurred on the Board, she agreed to fill in. Shortly after she joined the Board, the post of membership chairman became open. A small question, “What does that involve?”, turned into a most enjoyable ‘job’. For the next six years, Suzanne maintained the group’s roster and facilitated communications with the members, helping to connect the members with the essential, far-reaching, and expanding activities of this valuable community organization. 

2018 - Patricia Morgan

Pat served on the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park board for nine years and was the membership chair.  Pat has hosted more FMTP meetings and parties than anyone, and she served many slices of pie at summer concerts. She assisted with mailing newsletters to members when that was the mode of newsletter distribution, has also participated in the placement and maintenance of trail markers in the park, and fills the brochure racks on the park informational kiosk regularly.

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2017 - Carol Baumann & Larry Duckwall

Carol and Larry have been true friends of Mt. Tabor Park over the years, whether it be staffing the Foot Patrol, pie sales at the summer concerts, Visitor Center volunteering, painting and installing tree post markers, trail marker maintenance, putting up and taking down concert barricades, and taking care of all purchases for the Visitor Center.

2016 - Dennis Puetz

A member since 2007, Dennis grew up on the South side of Mt. Tabor. His love of the park started in 1954. Dennis Puetz took over as Foot Patrol Coordinator from Beau Russell in August 2015. Not only does Dennis patrol the park regularly, but he also keeps meticulous patrol records for the Foot Patrol, coordinates scheduling, organizes group meetings, and creates handouts and manuals for the patrol. A detailed profile of Dennis can be found in the February 2015, newsletter.

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2015 - Dave Hillman

Dave was a founding member of Friends of Mt. Tabor Park and is a significant figure in the growth of FMTP. He has been an advocate for the park with the city and served as a board member. Dave's achievements are too numerous to mention but include everything from being a member of the Foot Patrol to organizing the volunteers to help at the summer concerts. His most significant contribution to FMTP is the conceiving of and establishment of the Visitor Center in the Park. The visitor center is open to welcome those who come to the park and is a reminder of all that Dave has done for FMTP.

2014 - Mary Kinnick

Mary Kinnick, a Friends of Mt. Tabor Park member since 2006 and a board member for many years, has been an advocate and activist for maintaining the park’s ecological health.  Mary got proactive in the park after a 2005-2006 study documented the terrible ecological state of the park. She served as Weed Warriors coordinator from 2008 to 2015, working closely with volunteers and Portland Parks and Recreation. Under Mary’s leadership, Weed Warriors grew significantly, and her fundraising efforts led to the establishment of an endowment to fund a part-time Stewardship Coordinator to provide professional leadership for the continuing volunteer work removing invasive plants.

2013 - Martrese Beck

Martrese developed and maintains the current FMTP website, and she moderates the group's Facebook page and Instagram account. As a graphic designer, she's used her skills to design  brochures and newsletters for FMTP and the park, and contributes all proceeds from sales of postcards featuring her photographs to FMTP. Martrese also served on the FMTP board for six years. She's an enthusiastic ambassador for the FMTP.

2012 - Beau and Nancy Russell

In 2011, Beau and Nancy took over and together coordinated the Foot Patrol for a year.  After that year, Beau took over as coordinator until 2015. Beau also served on the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park  board for nine years, during which time he held positions of Vice-chair, Co-chair, and Chair.

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2011 - Nora Hanna

Long-time Weed Warrior volunteer Nora Hanna was recognized for her efforts to remove invasive vegetation in the park. She inspired all who worked with her for her “never quit” spirit and work ethic and her special passion for removing clematis vitalba to save trees and shrubs. Nora was relentless in battling invasive vegetation and in reminding other volunteers of the significance of their work on behalf of the ecological health of Mt. Tabor Park.

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2010 Frank Gorshe

Frank is a founding member of Friends of Mt. Tabor Park. Over many years, Frank contributed to Friends of Mt. Tabor Park in a variety of ways: he served as a board member and Treasurer of FMTP, developed the first website for FMTP, was resident photographer for many FMTP events, and advocated for providing bike racks in the park.

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2009 Tim Van Vactor

Tim Van Vactor, a former Park Tech in Mt. Tabor Park, received the Friend of The Year award for his efforts beyond his official duties to address and solve problems affecting the well-being of the park.

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2008 - Nancy Norby

Nancy is known for her efforts to create, manage, and develop the Dogs Off Leash Area (DOLA).  After years of effort with Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association, in 2005 she stepped forward to accept responsibility for the DOLA. Nancy is Honored as Founding Steward of DOLA, and a plaque in Nancy’s honor is affixed to the new message board in the main area of the dog park.

2007 - Bunny & Gayle Marechal

Bunny and Gayle Marechal have been active volunteers since joining the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park in 2003. Their volunteer activities include regular foot patrols in the park, working at the summer concerts in Mt. Tabor Park, and volunteering with the monthly work days in the park removing invasive species.

2006 - Bertha Guptill

She’s been called "the Grand Dame of Mt. Tabor Park" and is a founding member of Friends of Mt. Tabor Park. Bertha conceived and helped create the system of trail markers that guides visitors along the red, green, and blue trails throughout the park. She spent two years mapping the various trails before coming up with the current red, green and blue trails system. For many years Bertha also manned the pie sales table at the summer concerts, served on the FMTP board, and was active in the Foot Patrol.

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2005 - Tony Cole

Tony, the first Friend of The Year, is also the first member to take an interest in invasive plants on Mt. Tabor Park and is a founder of Friends of Mt. Tabor Park.  He is the original leader of a group of nine volunteers that would become Weed Warriors, a large committee of FMTP which has made a significant difference in the ecological health of Mt. Tabor Park. Weed Warriors has provided an opportunity for school groups, church groups, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Nature Conservancy to volunteer in the park. Unfortunately the very first recipient of the Friends of The Year was unable to attend the presentation, and he has written a story about that evening.