On July 19, 1894, 193 individuals stood on the summit of Mt. Hood, and 105 went on to become the charter members of the Mazamas. In the 123 years since that historic day the Mazamas has created many traditions. This year we set out to create a new tradition, the Mazama Awards & Volunteer Recognition Evening.In the early years there were Annual Outings where upwards of a hundred members would travel to a new location and spend a couple of weeks climbing, hiking, swimming, and enjoying each other's company. The first Mazama Banquet was held in 1894. The first Mazama Bulletin was published in 1923. In 1932 Mt. Hood acquaintance climbs began. These climbs could see 200 people climbing Mt. Hood at one time. In 1976 the two-part climb card process that we currently use was put in place.
These traditions served the Mazamas well through the years. Some traditions lasted longer than others. Ninety-four years later the Bulletin is still going strong; although it bears little resemblance to the volumes of 1923. Our climb card process is showing its age and will be replaced next year. Acquaintance climbs went by the wayside sometime in the 1950s as the Mazamas made a turn towards smaller climb parties and more frequent climbs. This tradition changed again in the 1980s with the passage of wilderness regulations that limited most climbs to no more than 12 participants.
While these traditions have morphed over the years, the Mazamas original commitment to adventure, exploration, research, and conservation have not changed. Nor has the importance of volunteers and the desire to recognize outstanding achievement of its members been diminished. To that end, we are starting a new tradition. A night where we come together with the sole purpose to honor our members. To our volunteers who regularly give their heart and soul to the Mazamas in a variety of different ways. To our service award winners who have shown outstanding dedication to the Mazamas during the past year or over a period of years. To our winners of climbing and hiking awards for committing themselves to a big goal and achieving it. For all of these reasons we are excited to launch this new event, and have the opportunity to raise a glass to all of you.
We have been hard at work trying to create an event that can be enjoyed by all. So what is in store for attendees? The event gets underway at 6 p.m. on May 11 at The Evergreen in Southeast Portland. This venue, located at 618 SE Alder Street, is a newly remodeled open and airy space. Catering for the event is by Devil's Food Catering, and you'll enjoy heavy appetizers such as House Smoked-Salmon, Painted Hills Steak Sliders, Mezze Platters, and more (vegan and gluten-free options available). Each attendee will receive a Mazama bag, with a Mazama glass, a Kavu watch strap, and a great pair of hiking socks from either Danner or Bridgedale. There will also be some fun raffle prizes including Kahtoola Micro Spikes, Life Straw bottles, Yaktrax, a certificate for a free pair of boots, and more!
Once at The Evergreen, you'll have the opportunity to fill out a postcard to a Mazama volunteer that has made a difference in your life. Perhaps you want to send a note to your BCEP instructor or the hike leader who took you on your first street ramble. Postcards, a membership directory, and postcard stamps will be provided so that you can do just that. There will be a slideshow filled with photos and shout-outs that committee chairs and members have provided.
As we head into the official awards and recognition part of the evening, we'll be announcing the major Mazama service awards—the Parker Cup, Redman Cup, Hardesty Cup, Montague Cup, and Dafoe Award—along with climbing and hiking awards. In addition we'll be recognizing individual committees and committee members throughout the evening.
Throughout the years at different Mazama functions, we have learned that what Mazama members seem to enjoy the most is social time. Time to talk with old friends, meet new friends, and get to know what people look like while wearing something other than zip off pants and/or a climbing helmet! To that end we have built in plenty of time for socializing.
Take this opportunity to get dressed up in your finest non-outdoor wear and show your Mazama friends a new side. We look forward to building this new tradition with all of you.