The Heart of the Community. Not a moniker given to just anyone, but to someone truly special. Someone whose individual contributions impact countless others.
This year, the 10th Annual Heart of the Community Awards were presented to companies and individuals who’ve made lasting impressions on the Portland community through volunteerism. Hands on Greater Portland and the Trail Blazers through make it better
partnered to honor these inspirational people in a ceremony on Tuesday, February 15th.
The ballroom at the Governor Hotel was abuzz with the indescribable feeling that comes from true selflessness. The feeling you get when you know you’re making a difference to people, just because. The overwhelming feeling that inspires those around you.
Honorees of the Heart of the Community Awards, New Seasons Market, Latino Network, Carolyn Quatier, Ala Salem and Jacob Leonardi, impacted their communities in significant and measurable ways.
The marquee award of the day, The Heart of the Community Award, went to a member of the Portland Trail Blazers family.
“This year we are pleased to recognize someone who was once described as the heart and soul of the Portland Trail Blazers,” said Laurel Porter of KGW NewsChannel 8. “Today our award winner is pouring his heart and soul into a new opponent that affects millions of people.”
Trail Blazers Ambassador Brian Grant was recognized for his contributions to the community of Portland and the larger community of those suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Grant was the key player in organizing the Shake It Till We Make It
event, in August of 2010, benefiting the Brian Grant Foundation and supporting efforts in Parkinson’s awareness and education for patients and families.
Trail Blazers President Larry Miller expressed heartfelt thanks and sincere gratitude of of both the Portland and Parkinson’s community during the presentation honoring Brian.
“Brian, congratulations on winning the Heart of the Community Award. There’s no better recipient of that award that I can think of. When you decided to come back to Portland not only was our organization excited to have you back but this entire community was and we’re glad to have you back,” said Miller. “You continue to do great things to support and help people in this community and I just want to once again say congratulations to you Brian.”
Taking the stage to accept his award in true Heart of the Community fashion, Brian humbly thanked the community for the honor and praised those around him for their contributions as well.
Brian said, “I just want to finish by saying that this is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, community that we live in and I’m so honored and happy with the rest of you as I’m sure, to be able to live in and also to be able to give back to it. Thank you.”