Youth movement: Good things happening in the under-35 crowd

May 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community

Dixon Bledsoe 2017Kudos to the Silverton City Council for selecting Rhett Martin for the seat vacated by Kyle Palmer, now mayor filling Rick Lewis’ seat, which was vacated so Mayor Rick could take over for Rep. Vic Gilliam’s spot in the Oregon House. Now that we have the musical chairs settled, Martin’s appointment is significant. It completes a very productive council which doesn’t always sing in perfect harmony on issues, but is virtually always respectful, open-minded and fair. But having known Rhett for some time, and considering him to be a very bright and fine young man, it is important to note that he is 25. In a town filled with clubs, organizations, public bodies, boards and commissions, he represents a group that is perpetually under-represented – the under 35 crowd. Maybe this is the start of something big, where we have diversity in representation with boards that look like we look: young, old, male, female, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Caucasian, African-American, Asian American, et al. It does my heart good to know that Matthew Burford, Eric Wareham, and Brent Satern joined the Rotary Club of Silverton, and that Briana Hupp (26) is the newest executive board member of Silverton Area Community Aid, Inc. (SACA). It is good to know that Silverton High School junior Rowan Lieggi was appointed to the City’s Environmental Management Committee.  And there are mor than 80 high school students in Rotary’s Interact Club and Kiwanis’s Key Club. Actually, the youngest public servant might well be Christie Diacetis’ four year-old daughter who recently attended a City Council meeting with her mom. Kyle Palmer better keep a wary eye on her – she seems like mayoral material.

Now that we are on a roll with wonderful people, let’s talk about Pat Casey, head coach of the number one ranked Oregon State Beaver baseball squad. At press time, they were 39-4. Many folks in Beaver Nation are making plans for an Omaha vacation next month for the College World Series. Why call out Casey? As a human being, he is incredible. He wrote a lengthy thank-you to my eight year-old nephew. Hand-written, thanking him for giving the Beaver team Miracle League of Arizona shirts. The Miracle League is an amazing organization with a motto, “Because Every Child Deserves a Chance to Play Baseball.” Drew plays in this heart-warming league with other special needs kids, and watching it in Phoenix two weeks ago, my wife and I were overcome with joy in seeing Drew play his favorite sport, challenges and all. We cracked up as the adult pitcher asked what he was doing, and Drew, the catcher replied, “Giving you signs.” Drew and his parents Todd and Tara Boedigheimer of Scottsdale (Todd is from Silverton, Tara from Hubbard, and both are Oregon State grads) gave the Beavers shirts from the Miracle League with the name “Drew’s Crew” printed on the sleeves. When presented with the shirts, Casey stopped practice, called all 25 players together for a photo, and they all put on the jerseys. A few players even turned sideways so viewers could see the words “Drew’s Crew.”  It was priceless. At Beaver games (in Arizona), he lets Drew hang out in the locker room and on the field. He gets it. His son has some challenges, too. Pat Casey could be 0 and 28. Don’t care. What a man.

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