The evening kicked off with an hour of social time. Attendees were treated to delicious food from Devil’s Food Catering, and an opportunity to enter win one of 20 awesome raffle prize—from backpacks to boots to puffy jackets! The venue was full with Mazamas of all ages and varying lengths of Mazama membership. We had brand new members who had just completed our Basic Climbing Education Program alongside 70-year(!) member Jack Grauer and all durations in between.
The program was kicked off by Chris Kruell who welcomed the crowd to the annual gathering, and acknowledged our new 25- and 50-year members. Chris then passed the mic to Executive Lee Davis who shared details of the Mazamas history with the crowd. We then moved into the volunteer recognition portion of the evening with highlights from our committees and teams, and thank yous for the volunteers involved with those programs.
Thank yous turned to congratulations as we moved into awards territory. First up was Bill Stein, Trail Trips Committee Chair, with the hiking leadership and participation awards. Bill also presented Terry Sherbeck with the Hardesty Cup, an award given annually to the Mazama who best exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism and service to the hiking community.
Larry Beck, Climbing Committee Chair, then came on stage to present the climbing awards. He led off with the Guardian Peaks Award, given to those who have successfully summitted Mts. Hood, Adams, and St. Helens with the Mazamas. This year’s recipients were Teresa Dalsager (daughter of long-time Mazama member Dick Miller), Buzz Lindahl, and Gary Riggs. This was followed by the Oregon Cascades Award, which had a single recipient this year, Buzz Lindahl. The Oregon Cascades Award includes successful summits of Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, 3-Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington, North Sister, Middle Sister, and South Sister. The final climbing participation award was the 16 Major Northwest Peaks award—the crown jewel of climbing awards—which includes successful summits of all of the peaks already listed plus Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan, Glacier Peak, Mt. Olympus, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Stuart, and Mt. Shasta. This year’s recipients were Kurt Gusinde, Kim Osgood, Chris Rears, and Lisa Ripps.
The final climbing award was the Terry Becker Award. This is a leadership award, earned by successfully leading the 16 Major Northwest Peaks. This award was first given in 2000, and only 14 leaders have achieved this milestone in 18 years. This year’s recipients Bruce Yatvin and Rico Micallef became the thirteenth and fourteenth awardees.
Howard Buck then took the stage to honor Jeff Hawkins for his tireless effort to get the solar panels installed at the Mazama Mountaineering Center. The solar panel project took more than 10 years to go from concept to fruition, and Jeff was the person who stuck with it all the way. For his efforts he was awarded the Montague Conservation Cup, which “recognizes and honors individuals who have had a significant and lasting impact upon the community through their efforts in conservation” and in protecting the environment. If you want to see the extent of the impact of the solar panels, you can go to beta.mazamas.org/mmc/ and see how much energy the solar panels are producing.
Lee Davis returned to the stage for the biggest awards of the evening. Honorary membership may be bestowed upon “persons who have rendered distinguished service to the club, or who are eminent for achievement over a period of not less than ten years in climbing, conservation, exploration, scientific research or outdoor activities.” The Honorary membership was bestowed upon Dr. Andrew Fountain, a world-renowned glaciologist at Portland State University, for his critical contribution to the scientific discourse about how glaciers worldwide are affected by climate change.
The final award of the evening, the Parker Cup, is viewed by many as the most prestigious award at the Mazamas, and it recognizes members who have distinguished themselves by hard work, ability, and self-sacrifice for the benefit of the Mazamas. This year’s honoree fully embodies these qualities. She served on six committees in her tenure at the Mazamas, including Executive Council twice, and chair of the Trail Trips committee three times! Some of her achievements include expanding the weekly Street Rambles from once to twice a week; leading Mazama members at the SOLV Beach clean-ups for 17 years; leading more than 700 hikes and backpacks; hiking more than 6,000 miles with the Mazamas; and previously winning the Hardesty Cup for distinguished volunteer service in the hiking community. For her tenure at the Mazamas, Billie Goodwin has demonstrated what it truly means to be a Mazama. To lead, to give, to share her knowledge with others, to not only be a part of our community but to have a hand in creating that community, and to help others have the life changing experiences she had when she joined our organization.
To bring the evening to a close 70-year Mazama member and past Mazama President Jack Grauer took the stage to lead the crowd in our long-standing tradition of singing the Happy Wanderer. As the music began to play, the pride of the Mazamas was palpable, and the crowd joined Jack in a rousing send-off to the evening.
Once the official program ended, members stayed to share in each others’ company for awhile longer. As attendees left, each took home a commemorative ceramic Mazama mug.
It was an evening to remember, and one we hope to repeat for many years to come. Thanks to all who came out to celebrate and to be honored for their dedication to the Mazamas.