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Willamette Valley Bank community engagement officer Daylee Howard, left, and branch manager Joshua Keck present Silver Fallsy Family YMCA board president Chuck White and board member Bryan White with a check for $2,500. Submitted photo

Building on success: Silver Falls Family YMCA fundraises for new facility

By James Day The Silver Falls Family YMCA has embarked upon a major fundraising campaign to pay for and construct a new building in which to operate its programs. Amid challenges to insuring an aging building, the YMCA left its long-time home in the Silverton Community Center in March.  The building is currently being leased by the city from the […]

Best Fox Ever: Competition combines fundraising with pageantry

By Melissa Wagoner It’s Best Fox Ever season at Silverton High School, a time when six members of the senior class go head-to-head in a competition to discover, not only who is the best fox but who can raise the most money for two important nonprofits, Silverton Area Community Aid and Medical Teams International – a nonprofit providing life-saving medical […]

City of Silverton

Goal-setting – Silverton council establishes goals for year

By James Day The Silverton City Council has finalized its work on goal-setting for the new fiscal year beginning July 1. The goals were discussed at length at a nearly four-hour special session at The Oregon Garden on Feb. 6, tweaked at the Feb. 26 work session and received unanimous support at the March 4 regular meeting. The goals are […]

First Citizen, Laura Wanker Melissa Wagoner

First Citizen: Educator and SACA board member Laura Wanker lauded

By Melissa Wagoner It’s been 40 years, nearly to the day, since Laura Wanker became a part of the Silverton community, initially working as an educator and volunteer tutor, mentor and educational advocate for students at Silverton High School before joining the Silverton Area Community Aid’s (SACA) board. “Laura Wanker’s impact on the Silverton community is broad and substantial,” former superintendent […]

City of Silverton

Silverton City Council – Community Center perplexity continues

By James Day Figuring out what is next for the Silverton Community Center is turning into a confusing game of musical chairs. The city holds the lease for the building, which is owned by the Oregon Military Department. That lease expires March 31, which means that tenants Jazzercise, Silverton Area Community Aid (SACA), WIC, the Silver Falls YMCA and the […]

When the city’s lease on the Silverton Community Center expires at the end of March it is likely that the Silver Falls Family YMCA will take on the lease and manage the property. James Day

Building transition – YMCA likely to take over Community Center lease

By James Day The lease on the Silverton Community Center likely will transfer to the Silver Falls YMCA when the Silverton City Council moves its meetings to the new Civic Center building next spring. The Oregon Military Department owns the Community Center building on South Water Street, with the city’s lease set to expire March 31, 2024. The council discussed […]

Silverton United Methodist Church’s Snack Sack group completes the week’s batch with help from students of Silverton’s Community Transition Program, also housed at the church. Front row, CTP students Paulina Rubio Saavedra and Kiele Pahia; back row, Luana Foster, Tally Stoffey and Donna Eberle. Not pictured, Carole Hogue. Brenna Wiegand

Snack sacks: Collaborative effort – with hands-on volunteers – get treats to kids

By Brenna Wiegand Every Wednesday a small group of women at Silverton United Methodist Church meet to provide extra goodies for the kids of families served by Silverton Area Community Aid. The church’s Friends Helping Friends, also known as the Snack Sack People, have decorated, filled and delivered some 35,000 bags to SACA since its inception in 2011. “A group […]

The new Sheltering Silverton facility off Silverton Road. James Day

Sheltering Silverton – Closing in on move

By James Day Sheltering Silverton’s move to a new space in the city’s Public Works complex is just a week or so away. Sarah White, the nonprofit’s executive director, told Our Town “we are very close to completing the renovations of our building.” Key work to be done on the modular structure includes plumbing, adding a kitchen and a bathroom, […]

33rd annual Thanksgiving benefit Jazzercise class set for Silverton

For the 33rd year, Silverton Jazzercise invites the public to the Thanksgiving morning benefit class for Silverton Area Community Aid on Thursday, Nov. 23, at 9 a.m. at the Silverton Community Center, 421 S. Water St.  Admission is $5 or three food items, with all proceeds going to Silverton Area Community Aid’s food bank. There are donors that have pledged […]

City of Silverton

The pick – Cory Misley hired as Silverton city manager

By James Day Cory Misley has been hired as Silverton’s city manager and will start work Oct. 16. Misley replaces Ron Chandler, who retired to Utah in May. Misley’s hiring and contract were approved Oct. 2, on a unanimous vote of the Silverton City Council. As the top administrator for the city Misley will supervise all departments and report to the […]

Free family fun – Silverton Community Picnic celebrates its 30th summer

By James Day The 30th anniversary edition of Silverton’s Community Picnic is set for Friday, Aug. 25. Events for the 5 to 8 p.m. soiree will be held in Coolidge McClaine Park and the Silverton Community Pool. “It’s just a great time to get together,”said Dodie Brockamp, executive director of the Silverton Senior Center, the lead organizer for the event.  […]

Silverton Community Center on South Water Street. James Day

Building dilemma – What happens to nonprofits at the community center?

By James Day The new Silverton Civic Center continues to take shape in the former Eugene Field School block. Less than half a mile away lies the Silverton Community Center, a multi-use, multi-tenanted facility owned by the Oregon Military Department with the city holding the lease. So what happens to the community center when the city moves north and its […]

SACA check-in – Connected past, demanding present, optimistic future

By Melissa Wagoner Silverton Area Community Aid – or SACA, as it’s affectionately known – has always operated with the same goal, to provide food for those in the Silverton area who need it. But that doesn’t mean it’s always looked the way it does today. “It started as a much smaller organization,” Executive Assistant Erin Wilson said. In fact, […]

Sorting it out – Silverton Civic Center build having domino effect

By James Day If you build it, other decisions will have to be made. That’s the challenge the City of Silverton faces as construction heads toward the home stretch on the new Civic Center on the former Eugene Field School property. The $19.5 million Civic Center project, which was opened to public tours March 16, is scheduled to be ready […]

‘Best Fox Ever’ – Popular mock-pageant gets new name, keeps commitment

By Melissa Wagoner Many may remember Silverton High School’s annual spring mock-pageant and fundraiser, Mr. SHS. But what they might not know is that in 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools, the contest was renamed, The Best Fox Ever, so students of all genders could take part.  “It’s stayed the same other than slowly more girls have […]

A new home – SACA excited at plans to locate into brewery building

By James Day The oohing and aahing echoed throughout the cavernous warehouse building. “We’re so excited,” Silverton Area Community Aid board member Laura Wanker, who along with fellow board member Kathleen McCann, was giving Our Town a tour of the old Ratchet Brewery building in North Second Street on March 1. SACA, which provides food aid and other community services […]

Mediation continues – Teachers, district seek to avoid impasse

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) is headed to a third mediation session with its teachers’ union as collective bargaining continues nearly a year after it began. Parties are scheduled to enter mediation again March 9 after sessions Feb. 7 and 13 did not result in finalized contract proposals. Both sides are allowed to declare an impasse […]

20 years on: Silverton group holds vigils for peace, advocates for justice

By James Day Silverton People for Peace, a group that formed amid the buildup to the 2003 start of the Iraq War, has turned 20.   The informal group, which began with vigils in opposition to the Iraq buildup, has broadened its focus and also participates in Silverton’s MLK Day observances as well as the Homer Davenport Community Festival, where […]

20th MLK Observance – Joel Autry to give keynote

When the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown his Silverton restaurant in 2020, rather than feel sorry for himself, Joel Autry saw the opportunity for community service, an ethic modeled by his parents. He opened his heart and pantry up to local residents hurt financially by the economic slowdown or folks who had relied on Silverton’s weekly community dinner, also closed by the […]

New funding – Safety Compass gets $20,000 to continue work

By James Day Safety Compass, the Silverton-based nonprofit that works to support survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking, has received a $20,000 grant to help continue its work. The Oregon Community Foundation grant, announced Aug. 9, was part of a series of awards to 371 nonprofits totaling $8.7 million. The foundation gave top priority to groups who worked […]

Food equity – Defining the problem a first step in finding the solution

By Melissa Wagoner Food is necessary for the survival of all humans but that doesn’t mean access to it is always equitable.  In fact, every month within Marion and Polk Counties more than 45,000 individuals – 15,000 of them children – rely on food assistance according to Marion Polk Food Share (MPFS), an organization of which Silverton Area Community Aid […]

30 years of service – Silverton Together to dissolve this summer

By Melissa Wagoner On July 1, 2022 Silverton Together, a beloved community institution whose mission was to strengthen and support families, facilitate community cooperation and promote health and well-being since 1993, will cease to exist. “This decision to dissolve was made after considerable board discussions over the last couple years as we responded to the federal, state and county foundation […]

Help wanted: Pandemic has put additional stress on local non-profits

By Stephen Floyd The Great Resignation has pummeled the private sector, with record numbers of employers across the country struggling to fill open positions. Local restaurants and retailers are seeking new hires, too. While societal shifts from the COVID-19 pandemic maybe partially responsible, other factors like baby boomer retirements also play a part. Volunteerism for some area nonprofits has been […]

Believing in the mission: DeSantis’ Distinguished Service award

By Melissa Wagoner It’s not every day that the employees of an organization recognize their boss for her distinguished service. But as the Silverton Chamber of Commerce began accepting nominations for the Community Awards for 2020, the staff at Silverton Area Community Aid (SACA) did precisely that, nominating their director, Sarah DeSantis, for the Distinguished Service Award. “We know when […]