2015 Florence B. Wager Award Recipients

The Leading Eagle Award recognizes a community leader who has led initiatives that have significantly influenced the life, health, and direction of our parks, trails, and recreation programs.  We are pleased to recognize Cheri Martin, former Executive Director of the Parks Foundation as the 2015 recipient.  The Parks Foundation rose to new heights under her 8-year guidance and raised more funds for our community and its Parks and Recreation Programs than at any time in its history. Cheri blazed a trail to insure that outlying communities, sometimes dwarfed by the larger city and county needs, were not forgotten. Her work resulted in parks once forgotten, becoming vibrant again with new equipment, skate parks in desperately needed locations and after school and summer recreation programs for children and teens. Since the establishment of the Community Grant program in 2008, the Parks Foundation has awarded over $420,000 to projects and programs throughout Clark County. All these projects and grants require funds, of course, and Cheri has been especially creative and energetic in designing and organizing multiple venues and means for the community to support the Parks Foundation. Thank you Cheri for all your energy, enthusiasm, and tireless work for the betterment of this community.

The V-Formation Flyer Award recognizes the spirited volunteer whose dedication goes above and beyond the norm, unhesitatingly giving of their time and resources to organize, develop, or enhance the parks, trails, and recreation programs in our community.  Congratulations to the 2015 V-Formation Flyer Award Winners – Dave Kuhlman and Allene Wodaege.

Through the tenacious efforts of Dave Kuhlman, more than $200,000 in funding were secured to repair and restore all aspects of Louis Bloch Park’s Baseball facilities in Camas, WA.  Installation of new field lights and restoration of the playing surfaces reinvigorated community support for local kids and families who love baseball! The revitalization has helped to grow the Camas/Washougal Babe Ruth youth baseball program from 2 teams in 2012, to 11 teams in 2015!  Dave’s dedication to the kids of his community who benefit from access to Louis Bloch Park serves as an inspiration to all volunteers. His contagious energy and enthusiasm are evident and his commitment to youth athletes unwavering. We appreciate you Dave Kuhlman for all you do to make Camas a better place to live and play!

Allene Wodaege is known as the “matriarch of volunteering and doing something.” Since 1970 she has been the driving force and passionate advocate for many programs and services that help define the Ridgefield community with easy access to parks, trails, recreation, educational programs and its natural resources. Some of the programs include: Launching Ridgefield’s environmental youth, outdoor-education program Cispus and serving as the Program Coordinator for 25 years; Founder of Friends of the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge; and Development of Overlook Park at the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge to name a few.  Her extensive volunteer and work commitments over the last half century were inspired by her love of  the environment, education and children and helped shape a vision for a better Ridgefield.  Allene’s dedication to the lives she has touched have strengthened their stewardship for the Pacific NW ‘s natural resources, city parks and trails and recreation-leadership programs.  Thank you Allene for your passion and endless efforts to improve Ridgefield.

The Tributary Award recognizes a parks and recreation professional who has gone above and beyond their daily duties in developing or enhancing innovative programs that connect the public to parks and recreation in new ways, creating new efficiencies to ease cost burdens, or securing/developing new grant sources or revenue concepts.  The 2015 recipient is Karen Llewellyn. Karen continually shows her “can-do” attitude and enthusiasm for parks, trails, sports fields and open spaces in Clark County.  She displays her happiness and joy in doing her job by phone, in person and the material she elects to write up in her newsletter for the County—always positive and always with plenty of energy.   She corrals the energy of volunteers, both young and old, and helps funnel that energy into thousands of hours of volunteering throughout the County.  With the initiation in 2014 of the Clark County Parks Advisory Board, she has been an integral part of the staff’s success in working toward the long-range planning for future generations.    As I talk with various Scouts who are being honored for their respective projects, they give lots of credit to Karen for helping them and her professionalism.  She truly is thinking future—both the youth and the lands.