Assistance League® of Greater Portland

Assistance League Honors Golden Girls

Luncheon Celebrates Fifty Year Tradition of Women Leaders in Philanthropy


Beaverton, OR -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/06/2015 -- On March 5th, a luncheon honored the original charter members of Assistance League® of Greater Portland and the dedicated leaders who have volunteered for the community service organization. The event was attended by 60 women, many of whom have volunteered with Assistance League for decades. The luncheon was a fitting recognition for the local chapter of the national nonprofit Assistance League. The group was formed in response to a luncheon in 1961 at the University Club in Portland where thirty-one local civic minded women discussed ways to serve those in need in the community.

Quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson, President Elect Carol Bray thanked the group. "The years teach much which the days never know." Bray continued"Assistance League has now accumulated knowledge gained over a fifty-year time span. Each of you has contributed to this legacy. We are a reflection of your dedication." Among the honorees were 16 past presidents, current President Carol Bergseng, and Gwen Wildfong, a charter member who remains an active volunteer with the community service organization with over fifty years of service.

Some of the volunteers are now retired but joined as career women. Louise MacDonald became an Assistance League member in 1978 when she became newly single. "I was very busy taking care of my parents and working full time but volunteering was very important to me." MacDonald spoke of volunteering on Saturdays and the Assistance League pot luck Monday night dinners shared among the professional group in that era. She added "I'm glad to have more time for Assistance League now that I'm retired." Barbara Durante, who joined in 1976, was a member of the professional group too. She commented that "Assistance League is a godsend to me. I have made so many good friends throughout the years."

Special guests of honor also included active member volunteers age eighty or better, mirroring this year's eightieth anniversary of the national Assistance League which encompasses 120 chapters and 26,000 members providing community-based philanthropic programs across the country.

About Assistance League Thrift and Consignment Shop
In the greater Portland area, member volunteers operate Assistance League Thrift and Consignment Shops at 4000 SW 117th Avenue in Beaverton, and raise funds through donations, grants, and special events to provide the greater Portland community with philanthropic programs. The programs serve children and victims of violence by providing new school clothing, enrichment activities for troubled youth at a residential treatment facility, personal history books for foster children, and clothing for women who have been assaulted and must forfeit their clothing in the emergency room.

Although many members have been active volunteers for years, new members are welcome. Those interested in becoming member volunteers of Assistance League of Greater Portland may contact Cheryl Lolich, Vice President, Membership at 503-526-9300 or