Scott Loring - High Desert Region Events Chair
This is the second year that I’ve had the humble pleasure to introduce the recipient of the 2015 Community Service Award. As I look at the names on this plaque from previous years, I recognize many good friends and central Oregon residents that are fellow club members and who continue to give of their time and finances to help those in need. They’re the type of people who will never stop caring and acting. We are so fortunate to have such generous associates. And from what I see at our dinner raffles and the auction tonight, we all know that our mutual philanthropy is one of the reasons that we’re all so fond of each other.
Most of you know this year’s recipient. As I describe this person’s incredibly diverse endeavors to help others, you will all have the name on your lips before I make the announcement. What you might not know about her is the exceedingly comprehensive resume of charitable assistance and donations she has provided for decades.
From an early childhood, she recognized that a smile worked wonders as she assisted a friend in helping with a Down syndrome sibling, playfully interacting in a local pool. This is still an area of focus all these years later. In college she worked with a polio victim and spent substantial time with a young girl with severe injuries from a car accident. Already a horsewoman from a young age, she joined “Horse Power”, an equine health support group.
As the owner of an adventure travel agency for seven years, she covered the world. She became a source of medical supply distribution to far-away and primitive people extending to Central and S. America, Fiji, Africa, and Micronesia. The bush children at these locales were also favored with mostly inaccessible school materials such as colored pencils, notebooks, picture books, crayons and dinosaur Band-Aids.
Then she contracted Lyme disease. The battle to get healthy was a long one and made her an advocate for fellow and future patients.
Along the way, she donated over $100,000 to help develop new and more effective diagnosis to assist and save future sufferers. Just weeks after her cure, she was hit head-on by a massive truck. The resulting fight for life and normalcy lasted for 18 months. From the badly damaged body emerged a strong and willful person to help those who were similarly afflicted with brain damage and traumatic life events. She has given generously and personally nurtured our veterans with PTSD as her similar 18 months of therapy provided many of the skills she uses with Wounded Warriors. Because of her equine love, she opened her ranch to Horses for Heroes so that veterans and their therapists could work to establish trust and personal empowerment. She is an honorary member of the Sisters Band of Brothers.
Speaking of her town of Sisters, she is involved in a multitude of organizations to help people in her community: the Sisters School science project, Home to Share, a residence for the disabled, the Sister’s Trail Alliance, the Nature Conservancy, Back Country Horsemen, Oregon Equestrian Trails, the Central Oregon Veterans Ranch, which serves the 18,000 Deschutes County Vets, and Mustangs to the Rescue which brought 40 rescue horses to her ranch where they stayed free of charge until they were rehabbed and trained. Amazingly this is not the whole list! And, recalling the beneficial therapy of water, she built a 44,000 gallon pool on her property, most of it at an 18 inch depth, to share with Autistic and Down syndrome children.
Impressively, she has eschewed serving as a board member on any of these multitude of charities as she has a very strong sense that her “community member-at-large” status allows her be a more effective and forceful advocate for those in need.
Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to recognize a woman of deep empathy, robust commitment, abundant financial generosity, and daily personal openhanded participation…our very own and the very remarkable Tracy Stout!