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The 'center' of attention

Hoodland Community Center named for reluctant pair
by: Garth Guibord, From left, County Commissioner Bill Kennemer, Bob Dorman, Althea Dorman, Judy
Chambers and  Dan Zinzer, Director of Business and Community Services for
Clackamas County stand behind the new sign that will hang on the
north side of the building at 25400 E. Salmon River Road, formerly the Hoodland
Community Center.

Those who are familiar with tireless mountain-area volunteers Bob and Althea Dorman know this about them: they prefer to stay out of the spotlight.

So when the Hoodland Community Center building was rededicated the Dorman Center in the couple's honor on Saturday, Oct. 21, it was kept a secret from the couple.

A room at the center - originally built in the 1960s by the Hoodland Women's Club and the county - was previously named in their honor.

That was embarrassing enough for the humble pair and organizers of the dedication ceremony wondered before the event how the two would react when they discovered the entire building would receive the same honor. Despite the fanfare, the Dormans took it in stride.

'It was a shock, to tell you the truth,' Althea Dorman said after a new sign was unveiled that will hang on the north side of the building. 'It's a real thrill and completely unexpected.'

The Dormans, both 86, moved to Welches 25 years ago and quickly found themselves volunteering in the community. Althea started as the treasurer for the Hoodland Women's Club, which included managing the community center. Bob took up a role in maintaining the building itself, acting as janitor, caretaker, repairman and anything else that was needed.

Over the years, the Dormans continued to volunteer their time at the center and with the groups that use it, including the daycare and the Hoodland Women's Club.

'There is nothing that I can say that gives the true idea of how important they are,' said Judy Chambers, president of the Hoodland Women's Club, during the ceremony. 'I don't think there are enough vocabulary words.'

'These are the people who have gone to let people in at 6 in the morning, or to take care of alarms that go off at 3 a.m. on weekends,' said Barbara Saldivar, board member for the Villages at Mt. Hood. 'I can't emphasis enough how much they've done for the community.'

Since Althea will step down from the Park Advisory Board after 22 years at the end of this year, a variety of organizations and officials determined that it was the perfect time to honor them.

'It's a real thrill,' Bob Dorman said. 'The building is a real community item; it's very important.'