Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kiwanis Queen

WHO is the QUEEN of the Kiwanis Club? That would be Corbett's own Sylvia Maly! If you mention her name to anyone associated with Kiwanis anywhere in the U.S., people will know her or at least her name. Raised in CA, Sylvia met her husband on a blind date while in college. Married in 1974, each were just 21 years old. Only six months later they were able to purchase their first home for $24K! (Although the interest rate was a "whopping" 7.25%!) Jerry's job kept them in CA for 12 years, and in 1988 they transferred to Portland, Oregon. Giving birth to two children, Sylvia and Jerry also adopted a third. Sylvia's sister died at age 50 when her daughter was just 8 years old. Elizabeth is now 23 years old. Daughter Stephanie is 31, and a dentist in Houston. Son Jeremy is 29 and lives locally. Sylvia and Jerry have also parented six foster children over the years as well as provided a home for many exchange students. Some parents have actually had the Maly's provide "parenting relief" for their kids when they needed a separation period. So when did Sylvia find the time and energy to become the "queen" of the Kiwanis Club?? She has been active since 1999 and has held many positions. Sylvia also started the KEY Club in 1999, a leadership group at the Corbett High School. She continues to volunteer in the kitchen at her church, with the ASPIRE program at the high school to help kids get college scholarships, and was at one time such a key volunteer at the Corbett Schools, they gave her her own key to the building! She has also volunteered with the Helping Hands food program at the Corbett Grange. On top of all this, Sylvia just retired from Wells Fargo Bank after 13 years! Corbett living has been ideal for Sylvia and her family. She appreciates the caring and commitment to help others that thrives here. She also appreciates the close proximity to Portland while still living in the country. What does she enjoy more than her volunteering?? Her only grandchild, Sophia, age 4. "The light of my life!"

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Magical Hands

Born in 1932 as one of six children, Gerald West was raised in Michigan. After graduating from high school in 1950, Gerald worked briefly for General Motors doing machine repair work. This started a lifetime career of working on mechanical equipment. Beginning flight training in 1951, Gerald joined the Air Force in 1952 with basic training in New York. He then had aircraft/engine schooling for six months in Texas, before heading to McCord Air Force Base in 1952. Gerald got his private pilot's license in 1953 and was transferred to Portland. Gerald finished his career with the Air Force as a Flight Engineer. Once he left the Air Force, he went back to work at General Motors where he oiled machines and did machine repair. While in Portland, Gerald met his first wife in 1955. They were married for 26 years and had five children together. Going through a difficult divorce, Gerald lived with Ethel Smith and her husband, George Rawley in Corbett for two years. This is a time in his life he feels deep gratitude for those that were such a strong support for him. After living with his friends, Gerald moved back into an unfinished home he owned in Corbett. Gerald had worked for the Oregon State Parks from 1984-1994 as a mechanic. In 1995 he met Lillian, his current wife through a man he had worked with at the State Parks. Together, he and Lillian would finish the Corbett home on the 40 acres that Gerald had. Lillian loved flowers, so there were flower beds planted everywhere! Both Gerald and Lillian love to work outside and be involved with the Corbett community. Both are members of the Columbia Gorge Rock Hounds, they each volunteer weekly at the Corbett Grange, attend a local church and love to help friends and neighbors with their mechanical equipment needs. Often they get together with friends to play Penuckle and Rummy games. Gerald says he is at peace and loves each new day and all it brings!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Menucha Employee for 30 Years!!

Pat Haffner is the second oldest of 15 children born to her parents. Her youngest sister was actually born AFTER Pat had already moved out of the family home! Having attended 2.5 years of college- first at Gonzaga Univ. and then Portland State Univ., Pat met her husband Larry on a blind date. They married shortly after when Pat was just 23 years old. Because Larry was in the service, they moved ten times in the first 12 years of marriage! In 1975, Larry and Pat got "lost" in Corbett when driving around. They stopped at the Corbett Market and when asking for direction, they also asked about the name of a local Realtor because they loved what they were seeing! Larry grew up on a farm in Illinois, and they had two sons that they wanted to have the same "country life" experience. Finding land they liked, the Haffner's built a home in the "woods" of Corbett that even has a waterfall behind their acreage! Loving their new home/lifestyle so much, they went on to have two more sons! Right from the beginning, Pat connected with the Corbett community. She volunteered extensively at the schools while her boys were young, was a PTA member for many years, served on the Corbett School Board as a member for nine years, has been volunteering with the Kiwania's Club the past 12 years, and has worked at Corbett's Menucha Conference Center for 30 years in their office, working on billings, collections, and setting up conferences. The last several years she has also volunteered with the Helping Hands food program at the Corbett Grange Hall. In the midst of all this, Pat and Larry took in an exchange student and two foster kids, one of whom spoke NO english! Having a heart for education, Pat has volunteered with the ASPIRE program to help kids apply for college scholarships. No surprise, all four of her sons have gone on to higher education- one becoming a teaching professor overseas, one a forestry grad who is now a private contractor, another a doctor of pharmacy, and the youngest is just shy of earning his audio engineering certification. Pat and Larry have four grandchildren and two are now attending school in Corbett. Pat does not just talk about her passion for family, volunteering and education, she has LIVED it- to the benefit of many in our community!