Promise Builder Award Winners

Volunteer action is a hallmark of our organization, rooted in the belief that a small group of dedicated individuals can make a positive difference in the lives of our youth. To recognize the outstanding dedication and commitment of elite PYAC volunteers and supporters, our board is very excited to continue our “Promise Builders: Wall of Fame” program. Each year our board will assume the daunting task of evaluating all of our supporters and selecting a “Promise Builder” of the year. A “Promise Builder” is a person or business that best exemplifies an unwavering desire to make a positive difference in the lives of the youth in our community.


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2017 Promise Builder: Ken elwer

In 2001, Ken came to Philomath as the new Chief of Police. Barely a year later, he became a member of PYAC's Board of Directors, where he stayed until 2015 -- the same year he retired from the Philomath Police Department. Ken continually brought a level of professionalism and stability to PYAC. As a law enforcement officer, Ken saw the need for programs, such as PYAC, in helping deter crime among youth. During his time with PYAC, he was a valuable asset.

2016 Promise Builder: Steven Kearsley

After retirement, Steve couldn't help but stay involved in our community. Steve was a member of PYAC's "Building on Promise" campaign committee, which served to build our current facilities. Steve joined our board in 2001 and served faithfully until 2013. During that time, he was fully committed to our mission and believed in leading by example. While his family's financial generosity always went above and beyond, his most important contribution was his willingness to roll up his sleeves and help our organization in any way we needed.

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2015 Promise Builder: Starker Forests, Inc.

Starker Forest is the first business that we have awarded the promise builder award to, and we believe that is fitting as they were one of the first businesses to really believe in our organization and fully support our mission.  Over the past couple decades, we have established an incredible relationship with Starker Forest and their employees!   While their financial support has been very generous and greatly appreciated, we feel our relationship goes far beyond monetary support.  They have always given wisely, asked questions, and required accountability.  In addition to giving of their time and resources, they have also encouraged their employees to be involved and to give back.  Some of the very best coaches, volunteers, and board members we have ever had have come from Starker and for that we are truly grateful.

2014 Promise Builder: Peter Finn

Peter became involved with PYAC through his three children and their shared passion for athletics. Not only did Coach Finn volunteer countless hours coaching every sport and level that we offer, but he always sponsored the teams as well.  Coach Finn was there to coach every child like they were his own, always wanting to bring out the best in everyone.  He understands the power of athletics and the responsibility that comes with the title “coach”. As a member of the PYAC Board from 2001-02, we know he will continue his legacy of being a selfless man that always does what is right.  Our organization, our community, and our world is a better place because of Coach Finn.

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2013 Promise Builder: Tom Gerding

It was T Gerding Construction that built the PYAC building in 2000. The company’s reputation has grown over the years due to Tom’s honest, intelligent business approach, coupled with his compassion and dedication to giving back to the community in which he lives. Tom served on the PYAC board for many years and is dedicated to family and their community.  Those of us who know Tom would describe him with a smile, as he is quick to make us laugh, guide us with words of strength and intelligence, and lend a sincere hand without a second thought. We would be hard pressed to find someone of more character while staying humble and true to those that are close to him.

2012 Promise Builder: Gary White

Gary joined the PYAC board in 1999 with a primary goal of ensuring PYAC had more to offer than just youth sports. While PYAC may still be known as a “youth sports organization,” because it is those programs that are the most visual with in our community, those more closely aligned with our organization know that we are much more of a dynamic “youth development organization.” During Gary’s time with our organization, we completed our capital campaign to open our youth center program, expanded our child care offerings to an all-time high of over 100 kids, and developed a mentoring program for at-risk middle school students. Gary took his role as a board member very seriously; always taking notes, reading provided materials, and following through with all of his commitments. He has always been a logical, practical, and detail-oriented person, and our organization is better off because of his involvement.

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2010 Promise Builder: Paul Mortenson

Paul hasn't been a coach nor a board member with our organization, but he's had as much of an impact as anyone. Starting as a member of our building on promise capital campaign to build our facilities, he established himself as our leading fundraiser over the last decade. Paul has never been afraid to roll up his sleeves and get involved. His positive attitude has contributed to our organization many times over.

2009 Inaugural Promise Builder: Kim Howard

Born and raised in Philomath, Kim was a unanimous choice for PYAC's inaugural Promise Builder. Kim was a key member of PYAC's Building on Promise Campaign, which served to build our current facilities. Serving as the Board President for nearly ten years, and a volunteer coach for almost as long, Kim has been one of the top individuals who has impacted our organization. 

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