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APRC Honors Award Winners

Ashland Parks and Recreation is proud to announce four statewide annual awards this fall, recognizing key partners, staff and volunteers. All award winners were recognized at the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission Regular Business meeting on December 6, 2023.
Ashland Parks and Recreation awards recipients
PIctured left to right: Rick Landt (APRC Commissioner), Stefani Seffinger  (APRC Commissioner), Isleen Glatt (APRC Senior Services Superintendent/award winner), Justin Adams  (APRC Commissioner), Anne Bellegia (community member/award winner), Jim Lewis  (APRC Commissioner), Kathy McNeal (community member/award winner), Jim Bachman  (APRC Commissioner), Ana Byers (Rogue World Music Executive Director/award winner), Lonny Flora (APRC Recreation Manager), Natalie Mettler (APRC Senior Services Coordinator).

The awards and winners are:
  • Oregon Recreation and Park Association (ORPA) Private Sector Partner Award: Rogue World Music – This award recognizes a business entity, corporation or non-profit organization that has made a signification contribution to the park and recreation profession in Oregon. Rogue World Music is a successful non-profit organization that is building community and cultural connection through world music. Since 2017, Rogue World Music has partnered with Ashland Parks and Recreation to:
    • Produce and present the Ashland World Music Festival. The festival has grown from a one-day 4-hour concert into multiple days, events, and locations over the Memorial Day Weekend. Rogue World Music’s team has been instrumental in leading efforts to build a vibrant festival that brings popular performers to Ashland to share culture and stories from homes around the world.
    • Provide expertise and staff for resource development to execute festival plans, artist curation, sponsorship recruitment efforts, and grant-writing that has funded visioning and supported cultural artists efforts to provide enriching musical experiences through community programming.
    • Offer these experiences year-round with a Festival Educational Series giving community members access to learn and perform a variety of cultural arts.
    • Raise nearly $30,000 for organizations assisting LatinX and disadvantaged community members that have been disproportionately affected by local wildfires. Fundraising has gone directly to families and children affected by the Almeda fire in the Phoenix-Talent School District, local farm worker unions and supporting one of the first community-owned mobile home park projects in the area after the devastating Almeda Fire.
  • ORPA Volunteer Service Award: Kathy McNeal – This award honors an individual or organization whose efforts as a volunteer made a significant contribution to parks and recreation in the state of Oregon. Kathy McNeal is a dedicated volunteer for the Ashland Senior Services Division. In the past two years, McNeal has logged over 700 volunteer hours, well above any of the other 1,500 volunteers that assisted Ashland Parks and Recreation during that time. Senior Services Superintendent Isleen Glatt observes, "Even among our many wonderful volunteers, Kathy’s contribution truly shines in her commitment, skills and leadership. She is a valued and trusted resource for our senior community." McNeal has volunteered with Ashland Parks and Recreation since 2018, helping at events, making outreach phone calls to vulnerable and isolated seniors during the pandemic, serving on the Ashland Senior Advisory Committee from 2021-2023, and doing critical office reception work when budget cuts led to reduced staffing at Ashland Senior Services Division.

  • ORPA Section for Older Adult Resources (SOAR) Outstanding SOAR Management Staff Award: Isleen Glatt This ORPA Section Award recognizes leadership, innovation, creativity and/or dedication in providing older adult resources. Glatt has served as Ashland Senior Services Superintendent since 2018, when she was hired to lead the new Senior Services Division to better meet the needs of Ashland’s growing and diverse senior population. Under her tenure, the Division’s accomplishments include: building partnerships with other agencies to increase opportunities for older adults; recruiting business sponsors to offset costs and extend programming opportunities; expanding Division programming, education and events to serve diverse audiences; maintaining and improving Ashland Senior Center facility; overseeing extensive special services for older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic; and organizing vaccination clinics to overcome access barriers for older adults in Ashland.

  • AARP Andrus Award for Community Service: Anne Bellegia This award is given to one individual per state, recognizing an outstanding individual age 50+ who is sharing their experience, talents and skills to enrich their communities in ways that are consistent with AARP’s mission, vision and commitment to volunteer service, and that inspire others to volunteer. Bellegia is a founding member of the Ashland Senior Advisory Committee, which advises the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission and the City Council on the needs of local seniors. She founded and co-chairs the Livable Ashland Alliance, which is working on “all-age-friendly” livability improvements for Ashland. Bellegia is also an extraordinary, long-term volunteer with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at SOU. Bellegia formerly served on the regional Senior Advisory Council for Rogue Valley Council of Governments Senior and Disability Services and on an Oregon state advisory committee for caregiving issues. AARP State Director Bandana Shrestha notes, “Anne Bellegia exemplifies the AARP commitment to positive social change through advocacy, information and service.” This award includes $2000, which Anne and her nominator have chosen to donate to the Ashland Parks Foundation Senior Services Fund.

Leslie Eldridge, Interim Director
Ashland Parks and Recreation
Released December 7, 2023 

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