I am a former publisher/editor of the Forest Grove News-Times, a small town weekly newspaper. Retired for nearly a decade, I volunteer on the boards of the Hollione Foundation, the Forest Grove Library Foundation and the Hillsboro Symphony Orchestra when I’m not taking wildlife and nature photos.
A few years ago I saw a piece on television news about PlayWrite. I had been involved for years in gang prevention and other efforts to help young people make positive choices in their lives. I thought donating Hollione Foundation monies to PlayWrite would be a natural extension of my personal beliefs.
I donate, typically, to organizations that “walk the walk,” not just “talk the talk” about helping young people recognize their inner strengths to live a valued and examined life. The more we, as people, can help each other “off the edge,” the more we’ll understand we are more alike than different. PlayWrite does that, encouraging young people to explore their inner feelings and desires — not an easy thing for a teenager in the first place — and share them openly in their performances.
I fondly remember a play at the Gerding Theatre one cold, rainy Sunday night. It was my first viewing of a PlayWrite performance and I was so glad I attended. I thoroughly enjoyed the performances, but talking with the young people afterward was especially refreshing. I heard some stories of life “on the edge” from some young men and women who had turned it around, thanks to PlayWrite, its staff and volunteers.
The Hollione Foundation, based in Corvallis, OR, strives to contribute to local, national and international organizations which focus on helping make life more manageable for people, animals and the environment.