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Founded in 1979, Solar Oregon is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit membership organization providing public education and community outreach to encourage Oregonians to choose solar energy.
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The Perfect Solar SUNday

By Solar Oregon Board President Ron "Mac" McDowell

The weather was perfect. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the abundance of sunrays was a welcome addition to our afternoon outdoor event. It was a celebration of solar energy after all. We were most appreciative because we had attempted this event once before, in September 2010, and had to cancel due to torrents of rain. [See my blog article “A Soggy Saga”]

This time our Solar SUNday event – held on September 16th – was a fabulous afternoon of fun in the sun, ahhhh … the perfect day for BBQ, beer, educational workshops, silly contests and networking with solar enthusiasts!  We were joined by people from all across the Portland metro area and as far away as Salem, Molalla, Cascade Locks, Newport, and Longview, WA. 

Since this event was the kick-off celebration for our 2012 fall membership drive, I’m happy to report that we added 30 new individual members to the Solar Oregon community as a result. This was indeed a good day for Solar Oregon and for everyone who supports clean energy in our beautiful state. Many who attended went home with terrific raffle prizes supplied by our event sponsors, like SolarWorld jackets, t-shirts and backpacks, bottles of Solterra’s Pinot Noir, New Seasons Market and Fred Meyer gift cards,  “Solar Taxi” movies, and tickets to Portland's Build It Green! Home Tour & Info Fair.  Home Power donated copies of their magazine for everyone who attended the event.

Portland City Commissioner, Amanda Fritz, was our great keynote speaker and Graham Smith-White added to the atmosphere with his special brand of music. By most accounts, the workshops were very popular and informative. They included:

·      Intro to Solar Thermal - John Patterson, Mr. Sun Solar

·      GreenStreet Lending Program - Blaine Bartholomew, Umpqua Bank

·      Solar Policy Update - Claire Carlson, Solar Oregon

·      Community Solar - Stanley Florek, Tangerine Power

·      Basics of Going Solar (residential) - Solar Oregon

I want to say THANK YOU to our dedicated and hard-working staff: Claire, Imogen, Emily, Michelle and especially Kaleen who put so much time and effort into making this a success. (The Full Sail keg beer donation was the best ever!) Thanks also to the dozen or more Solar Oregon volunteers for the work you did too! We couldn’t have done this without Noriko, Robert, Fred, Tomoko, Phil and Adam’s assistance. If our goal was to host a "funraiser" and share in the good-will of our mission, while bringing in new members, well my friends we certainly accomplished all of that. Great job!!

I thought we might share some of the emails we've received as a result of this event …

“In the seven states I cover, there is no organization close to the caliber of Solar Oregon. I would say it is probably among the best in the country – thanks to Mac and the rest of the Solar Oregon staff and volunteers. Thanks for all that you do to make the world a better place!”

~ Kevin Keene, Account Manager, SolarWorld NA


“What a fun time we had yesterday! It was such a great turnout and a lot of activity - hula contests and politicians, wonderful food and educational workshops. I think it was a great event and everyone should be extremely pleased how well it all went. Tell Noriko that the food was extraordinary, so many fabulous dishes to satisfy the carnivores and vegetarians alike. Another outstanding gathering that did a lot of good for the solar community, you should both be very proud!  Thank you.”

~ Suzanne Olsen, SW Portland Neighbor


”I attended a wonderful party in beautiful weather at the home of my friends/neighbors Mac and Noriko this afternoon, to inform about Solar Oregon programs and successes. I recognized that the success of solar businesses developed over the past four years is one reason Portland was in the top 10 cities for job growth last year.”

~ Amanda Fritz, Portland City Commissioner


“It was a great event yesterday. Mac and Noriko were great hosts. I thought Mac did a particularly good job as MC. The spirit of the day was sweet and good reflecting the personalities of our hosts. I was blessed to a part of it. Thanks again for a marvelous day. You two are great people and a great asset for the cause of good.”

~ John H. Patterson, President, Mr. Sun Solar


“We got a great compliment from Josh who does a lot of non-profit work, has studied NPOs, and attends lots of these types of events. He said Mac and Noriko did a fantastic job of creating a very relaxed atmosphere where people could really enjoy themselves and do all of the activities without feeling stuffy. The focus was very much on raising fun rather than funds thus allowing him and others to focus on the work that we do and learn a few things at the same time.”

~ Kaleen Boyle, Solar Oregon Events Coordinator


Lastly, a shout out to our generous event sponsors!  Thank You for supporting Solar Oregon!

Solar SUNday sponsors


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