[Heritage] Oregon 150 lists accomplishments, closes doors

Heritage Info heritage.info at state.or.us
Wed Sep 30 14:55:04 PDT 2009


One year ago most Oregonians couldn't pronounce "sesquicentennial."
Now, as the official Oregon statehood sesquicentennial comes to a close,
more than three-quarters of Oregonians know 2009 is the year we
commemorate our 150th year of statehood.

An independent survey conducted throughout the month of August 2009
found that 83 percent of Oregonians are aware of the state’s 2009
compared to 34 percent in 2008, with nearly one-quarter of Oregonians
having participated in an activity to celebrate Oregon’s 150th year of
statehood this year.

In a letter included in a new sesquicentennial viewbook available at
www.oregon150.org, Governor Theodore R. Kulongoski, Honorary Chair of
Oregon 150, the non-profit organization that planned the official
celebration, and First Lady Mary Oberst, Chair of Oregon 150 write:
“Our sesquicentennial is coming to a close. The celebration started
on February 14, 2009, has been extraordinary for many reasons. We have
learned together, remembered together, had fun together, and most of all
- pulled together. In a year that was difficult for many Oregon
families, our celebration of 150 years of statehood reminded all of us
who we are as a people, why we love Oregon, and how blessed we are to
live here.”

Oregon 150 set out to inspire people across the state to “remember,
experience, and celebrate Oregon and, together, create a robust and
sustainable future.” The
organization began its work on July 1, 2006. The organization concludes
the state’s official seven-month commemoration today, with many
independent community celebrations still planned through the end of the

Unlike Oregon’s 1959 centennial in which the Legislative Assemblies
committed $2.6 million (nearly $17 million in today’s dollars) to the
celebration, Oregon 150
received no General Fund dollars and has been dependent on private
fundraising for its signature programs and activities after receiving
support from the Governor
and Legislature in the 2005 and 2007 biennium in the form of Lottery
dollars. The Lottery funds ($838,000) were used to help build the
organization and cover early operating expenses. Of approximately $3.3
million in funding, more than half came through in-kind donations, which
totaled over $1.4 million. Grants, corporate support, individual
donations and the sale of promotional merchandise totaled just under $1

Among the sponsors of Oregon’s official sesquicentennial celebration
were PGE, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Spirit Mountain
Community Fund, Hotel Lucia & Hotel Deluxe, Columbia Sportswear Co., NW
Natural, CH2MHill, Harry & David, The Kinsman Foundation, PGE
Foundation, The Standard, The Wessinger Foundation, Port of Portland,
Qwest, United Finance Co., Stoel Rives, Hoffman Construction Co.,
Regence, Maybelle Clark MacDonald Fund, and many others. 

Oregon 150 relied on a volunteer board of directors and a talented
small staff that executed its six signature projects. Oregon 150 relied
heavily on volunteers, in-kind donations like its website and logo,
which were designed pro bono by Wieden+Kennedy; public service
advertising, media coverage and community efforts. It was also the first
state commemoration to actively utilize social media through blogs,
Facebook and Twitter updates, including posts by Seski Sasquatch.

The official sesquicentennial planning group focused on executing six
signature projects: Oregon Stories, Take Care of Oregon, Travel Oregon
150, Imagine Oregon blog, Youth Legacy Projects, and Oregon! Oregon!
2009. The projects were created to reconnect Oregonians with our state
and engender an appreciation of what it means to be an Oregonian. The
viewbook showcases the ways in which Oregonians traveled the state,
cleaned up communities, shared family histories, and envisioned the
future is available today on www.oregon150.org.

After Dec. 31, 2009, the sesquicentennial website, www.oregon150.org,
will be permanently housed through the Oregon State Archives, a division
of the
Secretary of State’s Office. Additionally, questions or further
information needed regarding Oregon 150 can be directed to Kyle Jansson
of the Oregon Heritage Commission at kyle.jansson at state.or.us or (503)

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