To celebrate her 50th birthday in June 2012, Gresham businesswoman and civic activist Sue Piazza is raising $50,000 for five local charities.

Piazza said she wanted to give back to the community for her birthday. With the help of a few friends - Bess Wills, Bob Avila, Michael Patrick, Stacey Warden and Marnie Vroom - Piazza started the Fab 50 Project to raise the money hopefully before her birthday.

On June 14, Piazza plans to celebrate at Gresham Baptist Church and hand out $10,000 checks to My Father's House, the Good News Community Health Clinic, The Salvation Army, the Rotary Club of Gresham and the Gresham-Barlow Education Foundation.

'I chose these charities because they were based on helping children in one way or another,' Piazza said.

For example, Piazza said, Gresham Rotary helps send children to summer camp; the Good News clinic in Rockwood treats children and families who are uninsured or underinsured; and The Salvation Army in Rockwood is raising $3.3 million for a gymnasium and family service center for after-school programs.

'Sometimes, people have trouble deciding where to donate,' Piazza said. 'If you donate here, you're helping five different charities.'

The Fab 50 Project has already raised $13,000 through sales of Piazza's 200-plus recipe cookbooks and gift cards. The project has also held an October harvest party fundraiser at Liepold Farms and a holiday shopping open house on Dec. 18 at Gresham Ford.

In January, Silk Espresso plans to donate a day's profits, Piazza said.

In addition, people have been sending in checks in the amount of their own age, Piazza said.

'This past weekend a woman turned in a check for $60 because she just turned 60,' she said.

Donations are tax deductible and are being handled through the Gresham-Barlow Education Foundation, of which Piazza previously served as president.

For more information on the Fab 50 Project, including how to contribute, contact Piazza at 503-926-4419 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit the Facebook page at

Checks, written out to the Gresham-Barlow Education Foundation, can be mailed to 2229 N.E. Burnside Road, No. 37, Gresham, 97080.

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