My wife, Robin, and I moved to Woodburn in 1991 and It didn’t take long to recognize this is a special community.  Neighbors, businesses, and future friends sincerely desired to welcome and include us. It was easy to feel at home and part of something bigger.

Much has changed since we moved here thirty-three years ago and somehow our community holds on to a culture of belonging. Could it simply be common ground? Wanting the same things? Living and working in a friendly and safe place to prosper together?

Whatever the reason, it seems the greater Woodburn area successfully continues to find new ways to work together in a manner that other towns have forgotten or lost along the way.

But there must be some secret ingredient…  a tie, knot, or glue which continues to bind diverse cultures, age groups, and interests. Sheer will power alone does not maintain such things. So what is the connection and how is it perpetuated?

My belief is there are many factors contributing to this culture of working together. One such contributing tradition happens this week as we prepare to celebrate those who give their best to all of us.

The Woodburn Area Chamber of Commerce 72nd Annual Distinguished Service Alma Awards on Friday March 3rd celebrates those who give back. The recipients exemplify the heart and soul of what it means to be a part of our community and the awards recognize their efforts to help us work together more effectively and remain as one.

I believe this longstanding tradition is at least partially responsible for holding our compass true during times of change. For in consistently recognizing those who contribute in such important ways, we all feel a bit more connected. This culture of working together must be celebrated and those who give back deserve our thanks. By doing this, we help the tradition continue.

John Zobrist

Executive Director

Woodburn Area Chamber of Commerce

Press Release

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