by:  Patti Hallgren

For her 60th birthday, Patti Hallgren organized a snowshoe walk at the Mt. Hood Museum and Cultural Center to benefit Go Red for Women, an organization that bands together to prevent heart disease and stroke.

After her mom died of heart disease at age 60, the issue became Hallgren's passion.

She's already planning the seventh event for her 66th birthday, and in 2009 was elected a Portland area Go Red Ambassador.

As an active volunteer and leader, Hallgren encourages her fellow community members to show up and remember the importance of asking others to show up.

Mt. Hood Area Chamber of Commerce honored Hallgren with the Outstanding Volunteer Award on Oct. 4 for her many hours of service to the chamber and broader community.

Coni Scott, chamber president, said this is a specialty award given for the first time.

'She is such an asset to our area and our chamber,' Scott said of Hallgren. 'She is very unselfish with her time and so willing to support people.'

Hallgren has lived 'up the mountain' for almost 20 years with her husband, Ken. The Hallgren family owns Sandy Funeral Home.

Before she moved up the mountain, Hallgren became involved with the Mt. Hood Area Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, she has been associated with the Hoodland Women's Club, Sandy Business and Professional Women, Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters in Clackamas County, and the American Association of University Women in Gresham.

'Patti has abundant grace,' said Marilyn Peterson, a chamber member. 'There has always been strength in her perseverance, commitment and service. She has an exceptional mind and sense of her values. How she chooses to put them into meaningful service is a tremendous example to us all.'

Hallgren said having a good family, friends, work and experiences makes it important to give back in whatever ways possible. She sees the Mount Hood and Sandy area as a ripe place for volunteer opportunities -- from schools to civic clubs, there's something for everyone.

For many community and chamber members, Hallgren has been a source of inspiration.

'If anyone is going to want to be like somebody, it would be Patti,' said Regina Lythgoe, a chamber member.

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