Honoring an unsung hero
Alex Kachirisky wins first Robert Moore Award
In the years he spent volunteering in West Linn, from organizing the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program to coaching youth soccer, Alex Kachirisky never thought about winning any sort of award.
He just did it to be part of the community and help make West Linn a better place. Maybe people would notice or maybe they would ignore his efforts that was hardly the point.
And until this year, there was no award in West Linn for community service. That changed when the city council created the Robert Moore Award back in September, and on Monday the award was formally presented to Kachirisky.
Its kind of humbling just being recognized, Kachirisky said. I do what I do just to be part of the community. I never did anything expecting or wanting recognition its very humbling.
The Robert Moore Award was designed to recognize individuals who contribute to the quality of life in the community without reward or recognition. To name the award after Moore was only fitting; though he founded the city, Moore chose to name it after friend and mentor Dr. Lewis Linn.
Because of people like Robert Moore and the recipients of the Robert Moore Award, West Linn is the wonderful place it is today, Mayor John Kovash said during the award presentation Monday.
The city accepted nominations for the award until Nov. 1. Residents were allowed to nominate more than one person, or even a group or organization.
In the end, the city received nominations for six citizens: John and Cheryl Borden, Kathy Brandenberry, Holly Miller, Roger Shepard and Kachirisky. A review panel made up of members of the West Linn Leadership Academy reviewed the nominations and forwarded recommendations to the city council, which made the final decision.
Alex believes strongly that it is the role of a leader to support the people and work according to their wishes, City Councilor Thomas Frank said, not to use their position as a way to manipulate outcomes or as a bully pulpit for the leaderships own agenda.
Kachirisky grew up in Southern California, just outside of Los Angeles, and moved to West Linn eight years ago as part of what he called a change of lifestyle.
We were looking for a better place to live, Kachirisky said. Somewhere not so congested, cleaner, with better schools for the kids.
West Linn fit that criteria, and Kachirisky remembers falling in love with the tree coverage as well.
Growing up where I did, to see a pine tree you had to drive into the mountains, Kachirisky said.
It didnt take long for him to become involved in the community he helped spawn the Neighbors Helping Neighbors volunteer program back in 2008, and in 2009 became president of the Hidden Springs Neighborhood Association.
This is my community, Kachirisky said. My children have grown up here, and I plan on being here for quite a while. I want to see it rise and be a better place.
Going forward, Kachirisky is set to step down as the Hidden Springs president, but will still remain active in the neighborhood association. Preparations for Aprils Neighbors Helping Neighbors community cleanup are also set to begin in January.