People Out Loud: Making it big time – From scholarships to bobble-heads

August 2015 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

DixonBy Dixon Bledsoe

Benny is hitting close to home. For those who don’t know,  Benny is an anonymous do-gooder who has been stashing $100 bills in different shops around the valley for a few years.  Recently, an unsuspecting patron of the arts was visiting Lunaria Gallery Aug. 2 and is now the beneficiary of Benny’s largeness. The shopper fell in love with one of Judee Moonbeam’s beautiful backpacks and wanted to use it right away.  An artist behind the counter, Rebecca Cozart, took the tissue out of the backpack and found the crisp $100 bill signed by the benevolent benefactor. The shopper was excited as this was the first art item she had ever purchased. Nice work, Benny. You are most welcome in Silverton and Mount Angel anytime.

Delbert  Haener and Sheldon Schnider may see their hand-prints in the Hollywood Walk of Fame soon, now that the Mount Angel pair have received rave reviews for their July performance in Oregon Region of Providence Health and Services film series, How We Care, narrated and hosted by Portland television celeb Mike Donahue.  The video, expertly coordinated by Cheryl Havens, dietitian at Providence Benedictine Nursing Center, focused on PBNC’s farm-to-table program.  PBNC Foundation Board member Haener was interviewed extensively as he just came in from the field harvesting broccoli and fellow board member Schnider’s blueberry patch made the final cut, too. Staff member Donna Pfeiffer and volunteer Ben Mueller also were part of the interview and filming. Congratulations to the men “outstanding in their fields,” and the entire PBNC crew for putting on a “two thumbs up” show.  See the film at:

Talking about nice people doing great things, especially since Homer Davenport Community Festival just celebrated service by honoring veterans,  how about a crisp salute to Vanessa Canchola, Kayla Labansky, Arely Nunez and John Inoue, soon-to-be seniors at JFK High School.  The dynamic quartet recently attended the Legion Boys/Girls State at Willamette University in June.  The leadership course sponsored by the American Legion was advertised as “One week to change your life” and has mottoes of  “Learning by doing”  and “Opening the doors to communication.” The Legion serves service members, their families and their communities.

John Inoue was awarded the prestigious Samsung Scholarship, valued at $2,000, for his excellence and participation in the program.  Eligibility for scholarship, the only such one awarded this year in Oregon, requires that the applicant have family members who have served in the U.S. military.  John’s  family’s military service spans generations, which his mother, Margaret, has well documented.  Congratulations to John, Vanessa, Kayla, and Arely. You represented yourselves and your community spectacularly.

John and Inga Mannion of Silverton are certainly established and successful in so many things – educators, mentors, parents to some awesome children, award-winning football coach and community-minded people.  But how do you really know when you have “arrived” and caught the brass ring? When your oldest son gets his own bobble-head as a rookie quarterback with the St. Louis Rams. Sean Mannion, the Pac-12’s all-time most prolific passer, is rumored to have his bobble-headed likeness out later this fall.  That is when you know you have made it to the big-time.

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