Events Flourish with All Forms of Volunteerism

Recently I had the pleasure of assisting a gentleman who was working to revive an event in our community that had lost its national funding.  Coming down from Washington, he was only able to spend 1 day in Prineville putting together sponsors, volunteers, and over-all getting assistance in pulling off this child-focused program that was only weeks away.

In our conversation, he asked if we have any weekends without an event in this small town, as he was shocked at how many posters he saw around for upcoming events.  It was a lighthearted and playful comment, but he was seriously surprised at the variety of events our summer entails.  His marketing position takes him to all sizes of communities across the country, and he said he wasn’t sure if he had ever seen such an engaged and supportive town.  This is just one piece to the pie that makes Prineville an amazing place to live.

None of these events could exist without an amazing volunteer pool.  Take for example the Crook County Fair (which the CC Foundation partners with to host the Picnic in the Park concert on August 8th).  As someone who has participated and worked in the fair industry for most of my life, it is one of the most complicated and time-consuming festivals to produce.  Just the sheer number of people who are involved with 4-H, FFA, open class exhibits, entertainment, operations, etc. is in the hundreds.  But a dedicated consortium works year-round to makes it happen each August for young and old to enjoy!

This gentleman, as a guest in our community for only 1 day, saw a side of volunteering that is different than most think of.  Throughout our town, our citizens volunteered to help connect him with agencies, people, and sponsor dollars.  More amazement struck him when he ran into our Prineville Police Community Officer in a parking lot (who offered support for this event), a park official in a hardware store (who spent 30 minutes helping answer questions about park usage), and random people who offered to help him just by seeing the logo on his shirt.  Small efforts like this happen every day in Prineville, generous people who love their community and want to see it thrive.  For an event planner, or non-profit organization, these nuggets of goodwill all year long add up to tremendous support.

At the Western Days Festival, I ran into a couple vendors who asked if I thought an idea they had for a festival would work here.  It was easy to reply that with a good idea, Prineville will back you!  Our citizens want strong programs, activities to attend on weekends, arts and culture experiences, and most importantly a chance to socialize with those you might only see at events.  From serving on committees, working as event staff, or providing guidance to a visitor on who they need to connect with – everyone can play a role.  It has been exciting to see new events flourish and old events stand the test of time and expand into traditions.

With the variety of arts, music, galas, sports, educational programs, and more that we have in Crook County, everyone is sure to find a charitable cause that you are passionate about and may be willing to assist with.  Not sure where to begin?  Contact the Crook County Foundation and we can provide suggestions on what might be a good fit for you.  The Foundation also has several opportunities, from serving on the Picnic in the Park committee to helping with the latest On the Move programs.  Call Brandi Ebner, Crook County Foundation Executive Director at 541-362-1210 or email  Also, please visit our website

Posted in Uncategorized

Heat Related Weather Awareness and Warning signs and symptoms of heat-related illness

This information was provided by Crook County Health and Human Services.

Crook County Public Health & Human Services Department wants to increase awareness and remind everyone about heat related events in and around our county.  The weather forecast indicates the temperatures will be in or near the 90’s and above over the next couple of weeks.  According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are expected to reach the mid- to upper 90s Thursday and Friday around Central Oregon, and above 100 in parts of eastern and southern Oregon.


During times of extreme heat we encourage everyone to check in on anyone you know that may be sensitive to the heat, which includes anyone who may be medically compromised, anyone homebound, the elderly, youth of all ages, pets and those who may have chronic medical conditions.  People with a chronic medical condition such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer or kidney disease may be less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature. Also, they may be taking medications that can worsen the impact of extreme heat. People in this category should be closely monitored to make sure they’re drinking enough water, have access to air conditioning and know how to keep cool.

Those who exercise in extreme heat or work outdoors are more likely to become dehydrated and get heat-related illness and should pay particular attention to staying as cool and hydrated as possible.

As it is difficult to predict the weather with exact certainty this is a precautionary notice to increase awareness of the potential dangers of extreme temperatures and heat related emergencies and illness.

Here are some tips for staying safe and healthy during extreme heat conditions:

  1. Stay cool
  • Stay in air-conditioned places when temperatures are high, if possible.
  • Limit exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest. Try to schedule activities in the morning and evening.
  • Open windows to allow fresh air to circulate, especially during morning and evening hours, and close shades on west-facing windows during the afternoon hours.
  • Use portable electric fans to exhaust hot air from rooms or draw in cooler air.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing to keep cool and protect your skin from the sun.
  • Use cool compresses, misting, and cool showers and baths.
  • Avoid hot foods and heavy meals; they add heat to the body.
  • Never leave infants or children in a parked car. Nor should pets be left in parked cars—they can suffer heat-related illness, too.
  • Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 when going outside.
  1. Stay hydrated
  • Regardless of your level of activity, drink plenty of fluids, even if you are not thirsty and especially when working outside.
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing large amounts of sugar.
  1. Stay informed
  • Keep up-to-date on the temperature and heat index when planning your activities so you can find ways to stay cool and hydrated. The heat index measures how hot it feels outside when factoring in humidity with the actual air temperature.

Learn how to prevent, recognize, and treat heat-related illnesses. Know the warning signs of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn and heat rash, and how to treat and prevent them.  Get additional information from the following sources:

If you are being faced with a life threatening emergency please call 911 immediately and help will be dispatched to your location.

You can sign up to receive emergency notifications through the emergency alerting network, which is managed by the Crook County Emergency Manager – you can sign up by visiting the Crook County Sheriff’s website and click on the Alert Crook County logo.


You can also get up to date information through our tri-county emergency information blog at:


For more information please do not hesitate to contact:

Vicky Ryan – Crook County Health and Human Services

Emergency Preparedness Coordinator / Public Information Officer

Cell – 541-233-8504

Direct – 541-323-2467


Posted in Uncategorized

Get Out Those Dancing Shoes!

One of our community’s favorite events is ready to launch – the Picnic in the Park (PIP) concert series.  For 14 years this program, produced by the Crook County Foundation, has brought a variety of bands and individual musicians to downtown Prineville.

Started in 2005 to bring performing arts to residents, there have been over 50 bands to grace the stage at Pioneer Park, ranging in genres and uniqueness.  This popular annual event series could not be possible without the generous support of our local community.  Over the years, nearly 50 businesses, totaling over $215,000 of financial support, have contributed to allow these free concerts to happen.  The top sponsor has been Mid Oregon Credit Union and they are joined again this year as a Rock Star Sponsor by Oregonians Credit Union and as a Platinum Sponsor the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce.  There are also several businesses who provide important in-kind support that help host the performers and promote the shows.  The series has also had grant support from Facebook and the Crook County Cultural Coalition.  Please visit our website and peruse a PIP program to learn about all the incredible 2018 sponsors.

The line-up for this summer is sure to raise the bar for local entertainment!  PIP kicks off on Wednesday, July 18 with Nashville recording artists Farewell Angelina.  Named after a haunting Bob Dylan song, Farewell Angelina is an all-female country group with four powerhouse vocalists, dynamic songwriters and multi-instrumentalists.  Their stellar blend of heart-stopping harmonies over blazing double violins and guitars has earned soaring praise across the board.

Next on July 25 will be Pressure Point, one of Portland/Seattle area’s most asked for cover band over the past ten years.  They will be performing music from the 40’s to now!  Then we welcome the Hook Me Up band on August 1.  Their talented, professionally trained musicians will wow you with a variety of vocal and instrumental musical entertainment. They have something for everyone whether you like dipping and dancing, dining and fine wining, or getting lost in a memory from a nostalgic melody.

PIP is excited to continue our great partnership with the Crook County Fair, where on August 8 Papa Doo Run Run will hit the stage in the big tent at the fairgrounds.  They have been performing continuously since 1965 and all their members have performed and recorded with The Beach Boys for 3 decades.  On their own they’ve released 10 albums and a dozen singles, along with earning 2 gold records and a Grammy nomination.  PDRR never fails to get the entire audience on their feet, singing along at the top of their lungs.

We head back to Pioneer Park on August 15 with the return of the High Street Band.  This phenomenal show band of 8 talented musicians play top hits from every decade from the 40’s to the 90’s.  Lastly, we wrap up this year’s concerts with Heartache Tonight on August 22, performing all the great music of The Eagles.

So, dig out those dancing shoes, fill a cooler with a picnic dinner, and grab your favorite lawn chair!  We will see you on gorgeous Wednesday nights July 18-August 25 from 6-8 pm, catching up with friends, enjoying amazing entertainment, and appreciating our great community.


Posted in Uncategorized

Wishing the Future of our Community an Inspiring Journey

As the incoming Executive Director of the Crook County Foundation, I was excited to participate in our scholarship determination process my first week on the job.  I have been involved with scholarship granting before, but it is always interesting to see how each organization conducts the review.

It was inspiring to see the dedication to education, sports, extra-curricular activities, and the community by tomorrow’s leaders.  There were applications from students staying at home and attending community college, many attending Oregon’s prestigious universities, and some who were traveling alone to other states to venture out on a career path that they have dreamed of for years.  Regardless to the type of institution, location of the schooling, or job that will likely come at the end, all our youth today deserve to be supported when they embark on an opportunity to give back to society and earn a solid wage.

Not every student is destined for a Bachelor or Master degree, and we need to let our kids know that any educational option is perfectly acceptable.  The world needs welders, bakers, construction workers, nurses, mechanics, woodworkers, hairstylists, and many more trades people.  There are scholarships and opportunities available for all these careers.  It was disappointing to see not one application for a trade specific scholarship this year, but I have hopes that if we begin to better recognize that all types of workers are important to our society, we will see more students looking to achieve a variety of higher education.

To those students looking at their senior year coming up, I encourage to start preparing for the career that you will be passionate about and energized to go to for years.  Start working on the pieces that make up your scholarship applications if you have not already.  Look at your community service, if you need to boost it a bit, look for ways to give back and volunteer in our community.  There are many amazing civic clubs and businesses who would gladly take on a student to help with their projects and programs.  Think about your essay, this is your chance to shine and give the reviewers a glimpse into your life.  What shaped you into the person you are today?  What are your goals, dreams, and desires?  Where do you see yourself in 10 years?  And look for mentors who can not only provide you recommendation letters but open the door for you to learn in ways that cannot be taught in a classroom.

There are many paths you can take in life, luckily, we live in an amazing community that supports our youth with over 100 scholarship opportunities going into a trade, to a community college, or a 4 year university.  As my career begins with the Crook County Foundation, I can already see that this will one of my favorite times of the year as we get to be inspired by the youth of today and assist with creating the leaders of tomorrow as our seniors close one door and open another.

If you are interested in learning more about the Crook County Foundation, or any of our scholarships and programs, contact Brandi Ebner, Crook County Foundation Executive Director at 541-362-1210 or  Also, please visit our website

Posted in Uncategorized

Get your move on…


What do clovers, pots of gold, costumes, parades, fun, walking, running, teeth and taxi’s all have in common? 

Well, the Prineville Paddy Pint Run of course!

The Prineville Paddy Pint Run is an annual walk/run event hosted on St. Patrick’s Day. You may remember a parade of green racers touring the town as they make their way to the finish. The race is back for its 5th year and will kick off at 4:00pm on Saturday, March 17th.  Start line is at Good Bike Co. racers finish at Foundry Four.

The Prineville Paddy Pint is open too all!  There is a 5K route for the runners who wish to be timed or run for fun and there is a one-mile walking route. Families are encouraged to participate too and there will be a kids carnival at the finish line block party following the race.

Excitement and participation continues to grow race organizers are expecting a crowd of 500 racers this year. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes as they parade the streets of Prineville.

Dr. Tony Ramos, race founder and planning committee chair said “The Prineville Paddy Pint is such a fun community event generating comradery and enthusiasm for getting active all while supporting a great cause.”

The race generates support for the Tooth Taxi and other community vitality initiatives. The Tooth Taxi is a 38′ state-of-the-art dental office on wheels with two dental chairs and a full-time dentist and staff. It visits Prineville schools multiple times a year providing free dental care and oral health education to uninsured and underserved children.  The race has provided a $5,000 annual contribution to this cause.  Proceeds above that amount are used for other community vitality projects in Crook County.

Dr. Ramos said, “While efforts continue for improvements in children’s oral health, there is a serious need for programs like the Tooth Taxi that provide immediate relief of dental pain and infection for children who lack access to basic dental care.  Our kids suffer more dental pain and infection than children in almost any other state.  This isn’t just a cosmetic issue. Poor oral health affects the overall health of our kids.”

Date: Friday, March 17th
Time: 4:00pm
Start Location: Good Bike Co.
Finish:  Foundry Four (NW 4th St. )

Posted in Uncategorized

The economy of giving…

How can we measure the Crook County Foundations impact on our community in terms of economy?  

First lets define economy.  According to the Webster dictionary economy is defined as: the wealth and resources of a country or region, especially in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services and the careful management of available resources.

To begin to understand the economic value it’s important to have some historical background of why The Crook County Foundation was formed. 20 years ago, in 1998 the founding partners (City of Prineville, Crook County, Crook County School District, Crook County Parks and Recreation District and Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce) realized the need for a “hub” that could: serve as a vehicle for community investment, build efficiencies to accomplish community initiatives, act as the convener to see community goals reached, and bring outside dollars into our community. In an effort to fulfill the mission of bringing people, resources and inspiration together for the enrichment of the community.

The foundation’s purpose through the lens of “economy” is defined through its services. The foundation provides a variety of services to the community through scholarship administration, community event coordination, and administration of community projects.

Did you know that your community foundation is hosting the weekly What’s Brewing? forum where questions that matter to you are discussed?  Free to the public, you are welcome to join us each Wednesday October to May.  Signup for our eblasts to get reminders and topic information.

Picnic in the Park is just around the corner mark your calendars July 18th is the kick off.  We will be announcing this years  line-up soon.

Do you know someone who has received a college scholarship?  The Crook County Foundation awarded $66,540 in scholarships to 43 students last year!

Each service provided requires resources to be exchanged.  Community events bring monies into our community from tourists who may take in a concert at Picnic in the Park buy gas and food and accommodations. That same concert may bring locals out to purchase items from vendors and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Prineville.  Businesses provide sponsorships, performers are hired to entertain, other services are rendered to make these community events possible – all stimulating our local economy.

Did you take part in the Prineville Paddy Pint? Over 400 runners participated. School children ran 211 miles earning money for school activity programs. Benefiting the tooth-taxi, enabling our children to have access to essential preventative and corrective dental care.  Have you heard of the great work that community organizations are doing with Facebook Community grants?  What about grants from Crook County Cultural Coalition that propel cultural arts forward such as the Prineville Music Theater Camp and Beaver-State Gunmakers.  All these projects are examples of how the Crook County Foundation efficiently manages your resources by providing administration support – enabling these community treasures to continue with minimal overhead.

Our board of directors recognizes every dollar and hour given is an investment. In an effort to efficiently manage your investment we want to ensure more goes directly into our community to propel our community forward and less goes into administrative overhead.

The Crook County Foundation is your community foundation bringing economic value to Crook County!


Posted in Uncategorized

It takes a village…

You may have heard it said, “it takes a village to…” that is certainly true for many things including: seeing dreams realized, citizens engaged, lives enriched, and our community strengthened. These are the pillars of focus for the Crook County Foundation and like other charitable organizations we depend on our village of dedicated volunteers, donors, friends and advocates to accomplish the mission set before us.

As 2017 comes to and end let us reflect on some of the accomplishments, that you, our dedicated Crook County village has made possible this year.

“My husband and I are new to the area and we just love What’s Brewing? thank you for these awesome presentations.  We feel connected and informed and look forward to them each week.” Anonymous attendee.

“I am returning to college to complete my degree that I began 30 years ago. Thanks to your generosity and support.” Carla Nyman, 2017 non-traditional scholarship recipient.

“My grandkids looked forward to Picnic in the Park every week last summer.  They loved the music and dancing.  Dancing is such a past-time we just don’t get much opportunity to do these days and it sure was fun watching the kids jive to the music.” Darlene, Picnic in the Park concert goer.

“I chose the nursing program because I have a passion for helping others.  As a nurse, I plan to travel the country and world helping whoever I can and learning new things everywhere I go. I can’t wait for my future to begin. Thank you for making it possible for me to follow my passions so that I can help others in the biggest ways possible.” Nayana Bickford, 2017 scholarship recipient.

“I am so thankful for the commitment of our community and the support of the Crook County Foundation that is keeping my dream for the Prineville Paddy Pint Run alive and flourishing.  Thank you for having fun with us and getting active as we race for the benefit of children’s dental care. ” Dr. Tony Ramos, DMD, Prineville Paddy Pint Run, Founder and Coordinator.

Reading these testimonies from those impacted by the Crook County Foundation it becomes clear you are making a difference. You are laying the foundation for the future success of students who receive scholarships.  You are bringing the community together for conversation and collaboration at What’s Brewing?. You are generating community togetherness in the shared experience of enjoying music and summer nights at Picnic in the Park. You are enabling partnerships with community members and groups who aspire to invest in community improvement.   Thank you for joining us as we endeavor to make Crook County a more viable and vibrant community.

Posted in Uncategorized