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Terry Porter delivers inspiration to Portland area's 'Amazing Kids'

Read a story about Beaverton-area winner Coral Lara Rizo

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Anna Seely, Lake Oswego's 'Amazing Kid,' poses with former Portland Trail Blazer Terry Porter and Pamplin Media Group President Mark Garber at a special event Monday in Portland. Following a passion — especially one for community service — can inspire others and build a brighter future.

That was the message from NBA great Terry Porter to the Pamplin Media Group’s 2016 Amazing Kids honorees. The 25 winners of the annual regional contest were celebrated at a gala event featuring Porter on Monday in Portland.“Hopefully, you guys will inspire other young kids to come along with you,” Porter said. “I think our future is in tremendous hands and I think these guys have done a tremendous job of starting their young lives out.”

The former Trail Blazer (he's now the men's basketball coach at the University of Portland), who set several team records during his 17-year NBA career, gave the kids a basketball analogy.

“Every community in the state of Oregon is a team and we are all players on that team,” Porter said, encouraging them to work together. “When we do that, everyone wins.”

The 2016 Amazing Kids, their families and supporters got a chance to mingle with Pamplin Media Group reporters, editors and staff, as well as sponsors and celebrities at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry event.

State Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) said people often talk about kids who are making the wrong choices, but this was a chance to highlight kids with an ethic of community service.

“Here, we’re celebrating kids making good choices,” Johnson said. “I think this is a wonderful way to celebrate young people in our community.”

The parents of Anna Seely, the Lake Oswego Review’s Amazing Kid honoree, said they wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

“We’re just super proud of Anna and what she’s accomplished the last 18 months,” said her mother, Kim Seely.

Paul Carlson, father of the Canby Herald’s Amazing Kid AdriAnne Carlson, was beaming. “We’ve always thought that she’s pretty fantastic, pretty amazing," he said. "But now the world can see it, too.”

Deepak Vijay, the Hillsboro Tribune’s Amazing Kid, said he felt the event was very prestigious.

“It’s really nice to have recognition and meet with other Amazing Kids,” Vijay said.

His mother, Kowsalya Vijay, said her son is so busy, he doesn’t tend to look for accolades.

“I always felt like he needed recognition, and this big appreciation came his way, so it’s really nice,” she said.

For Madras Pioneer Amazing Kid Gavin Begay of Warm Springs, the suit and tie, catered affair at the Theory Eatery was a new experience.

“I’m used to being recognized by Native Americans, but not other ethnicities, I guess,” Begay said. “It’s a different but good experience.”

Amity Humphrey of Tualatin said she was nervous while getting ready for the event, but happy to be recognized for her fundraising work for an orphanage in China. The 9-year-old vowed to continue taking on service projects.

The event's major sponsors included Fred Meyer, which recognized each Amazing Kid with a $200 gift certificate.

Look for the Amazing Kids section in today's edition of the the Valley Times and in our online flipbook at beavertonvalleytimes.com.

Think you've got an Amazing Kid? Your local Pamplin Media Group newspaper will start taking nominations again in February 2017.