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At Adult Community Center, Doug Oliphant's legacy lives on


The community of Lake Oswego has lost one of its farsighted leaders with the passing of Doug Oliphant.

Most of Lake Oswego knew Doug far longer than I, as I was only privileged to work with Doug for the past six years. But I know that he had a genuine passion for the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center (ACC) that came from the love his parents had for the center. It’s no surprise to anyone who knew Doug that he manifested this love actively.

No job was beneath Doug. I witnessed him flipping crepes to raise funds for the ACC, and saw him advocate for use of center endowment funds to improve the building. These funds supported a remodel of the center in 2011 — a lasting testament to Doug’s involvement.

I feel compelled to write about a decision Doug made in 2012 that most people probably don’t know about. This decision is now part of his legacy.

While Doug was president of the Lake Oswego Adult Center Foundation, he helped it fulfill its mission of raising more than $300,000 to support the programs and services of the ACC. He, along with other foundation officers, had a vision to provide direct services to those seniors most in need in the community, so they created an account with the Oregon Community Foundation to allow the distribution of funds over a 20-year period to provide services at the ACC for persons with dementia and other chronic diseases.

Today, the funds are being used for caregiver retreats, diabetes education and evidence-based exercise programs to prevent falls and ameliorate ongoing diseases. These funds also allow licensed music, art and horticulture therapists to conduct sessions with the ACC’s Respite Program clients, thereby enriching their lives.

It is especially fitting that I was recently handed the following poem. Under the direction of the ACC’s music therapist, it was set to music by clients with mild to moderate dementia. I would like to think Doug would approve.

I Feel at Home

(Set to the tune of “Kumbaya”)

I feel at home when I am comfortable

I feel at home when I’m with family

I feel at home when I am loved

Oh Lord I am home

Ann Adrian is the center manager at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center