Wager awards honor parks advocates

Inaugural honors to be presented June 14



Three advocates for local parks and programs have been named winners of the inaugural Florence B. Wager award.

Ron Onslow, John Garofalo and Debbi Hanson will receive their awards June 14 at the Parks Foundation Annual Meeting and Luncheon at the Water Resources Education Center.

The awards, named for longtime community activist Florence Wager, honor leaders, volunteers, and parks and recreation professionals who, through their actions, influence and example, have had a significant impact in the development and enhancement of the parks, trails, and recreation programs of Clark County, according to a news release.

Onslow will be presented with the Leading Eagle Award, which recognizes a community leader who has led initiatives that have significantly influenced the life, health, and direction of parks, trails, and recreation programs. Onslow, Ridgefield’s mayor, coordinated volunteer efforts towards construction of Eagle’s View Park and the Blue Heron Community Garden, organized fundraisers in support of the Ridgefield Overlook Park Project, facilitated the improvement of more than 3,000 feet of city-owned trails in Abrams Park, and led efforts in planting more than 300 trees and native plants in Ridgefield’s parks and open spaces.

Garofalo will receive the V-Formation Flyer Award recognizing the spirited volunteer whose dedication goes above and beyond the norm. Garofalo has been involved in the Vancouver Tennis Center for more than 20 years and was instrumental in the development of the Vancouver Tennis Center Foundation. He will chair this year’s major fundraising event.

Hanson is the winner of the Tributary Award, recognizing a parks and recreation department professional who has gone beyond his or her daily duties. Among the many achievements cited in her nomination were the development of fitness and exercise programs for seniors, the establishment of a summer playground program, and the creation of community-wide holiday events and programs.

Award winners will be presented with natural stonework statuettes designed and sponsored by Vancouver Granite Works.

The 2011 Florence B. Wager Award recipients were selected by committee members Paul Christensen, Bill Hidden, Lance Killian, Jerry Nutter, Val Ogden, Pat Sheaffer and Wager.