I had the privilege to host the Medical Teams International (formerly Northwest Medical Teams) annual dinner and auction Saturday night. The auction was held in MTIs warehouse in SW Portland. You could peak around the curtains and catch glimpses of the boxes of medical supplies stacked high, knowing the money raised that night would go to buy more supplies and to get them delivered to disaster areas the world over, like the cyclone-wracked areas in Bangladesh and the devastating floods in Mexico. Where there's a need anywhere in the world, you usually find medical personnel and supplies from Portland's Medical Teams International.
The money raised Saturday night to support MTIs mission was spectacular! Last year this event raised half a million dollars. The goal this year was an ambitious $700,000, through the auction, raffle and silent auction. I love silent auctions. It’s like bargain hunting for cool stuff while giving charitably at the same time. This was one of the biggest and best I've seen. Lisa and I got a great deal on a one-week condo stay in Sunriver and a new Nike putter for me. I'm always a sucker for golf items. But what always blows me away at charity auctions is the general call for giving. This is when the auctioneer simply asks people to give at a range of funding levels, and invariably, the auction paddles go up. There were four donations of $25,000 a piece. The level of philanthropy in our community is something we can all be proud of. So what was the grand total? A record $864,000! Thanks to all who participated and gave so generously, especially the volunteers and MTI staff who I'm sure worked past midnight to make it all happen.
I was up early Sunday morning to beat feet to my second host event of the weekend, but this one included some exercise. The 9th annual BorderClash was held in the cold rain at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton. This is a really fun event that pits the top 40 boys and girls high school cross-country runners from Oregon against the top 40 from Washington.
We do a little media race before the main events, and KGW was strongly represented. In fact, kgw.com's webmaster Frank Mungeam won the media race with an 8:20 time. Frank is really fast! Although the finishing order changed, the top three in the media race remained the same from last year: Frank, Bill Gallagher from KXL Radio and Nike's Bob Applegate.
That's Frank on the left drinking the drink of champions: luke-warm black coffee. Next is Gina Zandy, KGWs 5pm producer, yours truly, (I was, uh, in the 2nd tier of runners with a time of 10:29, well behind the leaders on the 1.5 mile track), and Joe Arndt, KGWs assignment manager.
Same as above except between Gina and Joe, that's Leilani Welch, KGWs 630 producer and team cheerleader, only because she broke her foot in a marathon back in the summer and can't run for a while. Or snowboard, meaning the slopes of Mt Hood are safe for the first few days of the season anyway. Yes, there's Frank again clutching his luke warm coffee, calling all his running buddies to tell tell them: I won! I won!
About 2,000 spectators came out to watch the main events. What I love about BorderClash is the “Braveheart” style start. The two teams begin at two separate starting lines and run straight at each other for the first 100 meters of the 4.4 kilometer race before the courses merge. With drums beating
and all those feet pounding, it's a total adrenaline rush! And that's just for the spectators. Once again, Team Washington took first place. The boys winner is Miles Unterreiner from Gig Harbor, WA. The girls winner is Nichole Cochran from Tacoma, WA. I don't know the names of the runners pictured below, but they sure were working hard.
Washington has beaten Oregon in 7 of the 9 BorderClash races. The BorderClash trophy will reside at Seattle’s NikeTown until BorderClash 10, next fall.
From Left: Why is the weather guy the only one still wearing shorts?, Leilani Welch, Joe Arndt, Jennfer Iveson; Reporter, Gina Zandy, Frank (streaming online, streaming on foot) Mungeam, Rich Kurz; Special Projects Manager, and Kerry Arndt; Producer.
We had a great team and a great time! Looking forward to next year already!
KGW Chief Meteorologist