TIGARD - This year's Shining Stars award recipients are beginning to emerge.
Last week the Tigard Area Chamber of Commerce began unveiling the winners of its annual Shining Stars Awards, which recognize locals in a variety of categories for their work to improve Tigard and the Chamber.
Margie Greene has been named the 'From the Heart' Volunteer of the Year.
The award - named after longtime Tigard volunteer Jim Hartman - honors people who have dedicated their time and energy to the community.
As president of the Foundation for Tigard Tualatin Schools, Greene has a long resume of volunteering for the school district, turning her volunteer position on the foundation into the equivalent of a full-time job.
'I probably spend at least eight hours a day working on the foundation,' Greene said.
Every year, the nonprofit gives $9,000 to each of the district's 15 schools in annual grants and awards other funds to schools throughout the year.
'With these changing times, I would like to help keep education as strong and relevant as possible,' Greene said. 'The positive impact it has on our kids and our community is immeasurable.'
Greene also volunteers on PSO's at Tigard High and Fowler Middle schools, serves as co-chair of the Art in the Burbs fundraiser that helps support performing and fine art programs in the district, and co-founded Tigard's Youth Track club with her husband.
'All of these efforts center around Margie's efforts on behalf of the children in our district,' said Debi Mollahan, CEO of the Tigard Area Chamber of Commerce. '(They) show that her motivations stem 'from the heart.''
'Volunteering just feels natural to me,' Greene said. 'Perhaps because I grew up watching my own mother volunteer much of her time to my school and other community events.'
Greene isn't the only Shining Star to receive an award this year.
Brian Castellanos has been named the winner of the Bert Tousey, Tigard Chamber Volunteer of the Year award.
Castellanos, an associate manager with Country Financial, volunteered many hours to the Tigard Chamber, helping to bring in four new businesses as members. He also served on the fundraising subcommittee, sponsored the chamber's annual golf tournament in 2010 and 2011 and was chairman of the golf committee even after moving to a new location in Beaverton.
According to Mollahan, Castellanos is always connecting and advocating on behalf of the chamber and has expanded his outreach to include advocacy of the Tigard Area Farmers Market to businesses interested in sponsorship.
'Brian always brings great energy and a positive outlook to all his interactions with the chamber,' Mollahan said. 'Without volunteers like Brian, the Tigard Chamber would not be the vital, growing organization it is today.'
The chamber also awarded two $1,500 college scholarships to two Tigard High School seniors.
Jordan Gensler is the founder of Keen Studios, a web design and smartphone app development company. Gensler is also involved with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which helped organize an annual community walk to raise awareness of teen depression at Tigard High School.
Sydney Hutton, who said she wants to work in mental health medicine to help people deal with anxiety and stress, has studied Spanish for several years. She used her knowledge to take part in an immersion program in Costa Rica.
Hutton has put in more than 550 hours volunteering with groups such as the National Honor Society, Tigard Christian Church, Aurora Historical Society, Sherwood Ice Arena, Costa Rica Spanish Institute and the Roloff Charity Foundation.
The scholarships are made possible through contributions from Pride Disposal and more than 80 other Tigard businesses.
The 2012 Shining Stars Community Awards Celebration is Friday, April 27, at Embassy Suites, 9000 S.W. Washington Square Road.
For more information about Shining Stars, visit tigardchamber.org.