The senator, in pain, decided to accept the volunteers at Salem

Chane Griggs, a longtime community leader and chairman of the Salem Planning Commission, stands to accept the top honor at Saturday’s First Citizens Banquet.

The annual luncheon, put on by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, recognizes philanthropists, community leaders and volunteers “who give their time, treasure and talent every day to make Salem a better place to live and work,” according to the event’s description.

The auction will be held on Saturday, April 8, at the Salem Convention Center.

Griggs, who has lived in the Salem area since 1977, will be the first Salem Citizen to be honored at the 72nd annual ceremony.

Previously president of the Rotary Club of Salem, a volunteer position, and regional director and philanthropic advisor for the Oregon Community Foundation.

Griggs retired from the Oregon Department of Corrections as assistant director after previous positions in the Oregon Legislature and the state Department of Administrative Services. He also served as a volunteer on the city’s Climate Action Task Force, the Oregon State Capitol Foundation Board and the Salem Public Arts Commission, according to Room website.

Griggs ran against Mayor Chris Hoy in Salem in May 2022.

This weekend, she will join previous Salem fixtures that have won the award in recent years. They include former state Sen. Jackie Winters, historic preservationist Hazel Patton, former Oregon Supreme Court Justice Paul De Muniz and most recently two local philanthropists, Gary Epping and Shawn Epping Engelberg.

The annual banquet recognizes four categories: First Citizen, Legacy Leadership Award, Outstanding Young Professional and Distinguished Service Award.


The former city of Sen. Peter Courtney, who will retire at the end of 2022, will receive the Legacy Leadership Award.

Courtney served as president of the Senate for 20 years, the longest tenure as a legislator in state history.

He entered public service as a Salem city councilman in 1974 before serving on the boards of the Salem Area Mass Transit District, the YMCA of Marion and Polk Counties and the United States, as well as 38 years in the Legislature.

As a senator, he helped direct hundreds of thousands of dollars to projects in the Salem area, including the Withnell Family YMCA, the Oregon State Hospital and a new 34-unit veterans housing complex called Courtney Place, according to the Chamber website.


The two Salemites who will receive the award for Outstanding Young Professional are Collin Box and Josh Kay.

He has been the executive director of Arca Capital Fútbol Club, a local soccer club that is home to 2,500 members, since 2011.

“A lifelong Salemite, former soccer player, coach and mentor, Collin Box firmly believed in the power of sports and its ability to bring people and communities together while teaching our young people valuable life skills,” Chambers wrote. “Collin leads a team that not only teaches kids about the game of soccer, but helps them grow and develop as community members, supporters and leaders.”

Kay is president of the Salem Leadership Foundation and a board member for the YMCA of Marion & Polk Counties.

“A fifth-generation Salemite with a deep love for his home and the business community of Salem, Josh is an active, powerful and inspirational leader,” according to the Chamber. “Josh continues to have a tremendous impact in providing hope, guidance, mentoring, and opportunities to our youth, neighbors and community. Widely respected by his peers, colleagues, and community members of all ages, his steadfast leadership and commitment to community building set a shining example for other young professionals and youth in Salem.


Oni Marchbanks, an activist and educator noted for equity and diversity, and Jim Vu, a local volunteer and local business promoter, will be recognized with the Distinguished Service Award.

Marchbanks founded the Equity Splash/Zenzele Learning Center, an educational program where black students can learn from people of color working in STEM fields. The program began in July.

“An addictive and vital guide to the lifelong experience of understanding the human desire, Oni’s transformative work has impacted many in the Salem-Keizer area,” Chambers wrote.

Vu is the president of the Salem Street Association. The volunteer organization was founded three years ago with the goal of being a downtown, “vibrant” place, said the Salem Reporter in 2020.

He is also the board director of the Salem Chamber.

“Jim puts a lot of personal and professional energy into relieving fellow business owners and helping them succeed,” according to the camera. “He and the street leaders have devoted countless hours and a tremendous amount of work to the ongoing renewal of Salem’s downtown area. Last winter, the group also brought back Salem’s Downtown Holiday Parade, which was a huge hit with hundreds of residents and visitors who flocked to our downtown streets and businesses for a time. attended the celebration.

Contact message Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ava Grey

Hi there! I'm Ava Grey, an enthusiastic article writer with a passion for the arts, fashion, and staying informed about current events. As a journalism student at the New York Academy of Art, I'm driven to use my writing to create positive change and spark meaningful conversations. I'm particularly interested in contemporary art and sustainable fashion, and I love exploring how people use these mediums to express themselves and communicate their values. I believe that staying informed and hearing different perspectives is essential for personal growth and learning, and I'm always eager to engage in lively debates and discussions.

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