Community Services Consortium

Serving Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties in Oregon. Helping people. Changing lives.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fourth Annual Barrel to Keg Relay a Huge Success!

Nearly 700 runners and walkers traversed a backcountry race route from Philomath's Harris Bridge Vineyard to the Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport for Community Services Consortium's fourth annual Barrel to Keg Relay – Race to End Poverty (B2K) on Saturday, July 12. More than 150 volunteers were also stationed along the route, helping the day to flow smoothly.

Relay participants came from as far as Canada to raise money for CSC. Walkers covered seven legs totaling 32 miles, and runners covered 14 legs totaling 69 miles. There were 111 teams of runners and walkers, mostly comprised of six team members.

Solo ultrarunner Seth Paredes
This year's B2K also included a solo ultrarunner, Seth Paredes of Newport. Paredes did the full course in 14 hours and 44 minutes, at an impressive 12:49 pace.

“I'm glad I was able to finish. I really shocked myself with the last 15 miles to go.” said Paredes.

One walker, Roger Sinks, also chose to solo the route, completing 32 miles in 10 hours and 55 minutes at a pace of 21:09.

Running team “We Got the Runs” came in first place overall with a total time of 7 hours, 25 minutes and 6 seconds at a 6 minute, 28 second mile pace. This is their fourth first-place finish at B2K.

First place in the Women’s Open division was “Bad Mother Runners,” and first place in the mixed Open division was “Mixed 6.” Team Mixed 6 included CSC’s own Youth and Education Manager Sean Larsen.

In the Master’s division, “Coast Hills Bootleggers” received first for Men’s, “Easy But Not Cheap” placed first for Women’s, and “Santiam Snot Rockets” placed first for Mixed.

Walking team "Don’t Worry Be Hippy” came in first with a total of 8 hours, 30 minutes and 52 seconds and a 16 minute and 29 second mile pace.

With the help of the Lincoln County Emergency Radio Operators, Newport Police Volunteers and TCB Security, the course was kept safe and communications ran smoothly.

When participants completed the course against a beautiful backdrop of the Yaquina Bridge, they were greeted with a celebration inside the Rogue Brewery headquarters. B2K sponsors made the Finish Line Party possible, with Rogue providing food and beer, Oregon Coast Event Rentals providing an elegant and comfortable setup, Harris Bridge Vineyard serving up wine, Franz providing bread and cookies, Bespoken Roasters brewing fresh coffee, and Cabot Cheese providing delicious cheeses. Cytomax energy drinks and Odwalla bars were also available. Participants and their families refueled and enjoyed live music by the Valley Cats and Island Joy. Verterbrata Chiropractic welcomed participants with free massages.

During the celebration, the best costumes award was given to "#oldladyproblems" and “What’s With the Pound Sign? #.” The best team name award was given to "Seven Deadly Shins," and the best-dressed vehicle award was given to "Shamble in the Bramble."

Costume contest winners #oldladyproblems and
What's With the Pound Sign? #
CSC Executive Director Martha Lyon said this year’s B2K was the most successful relay yet, with a preliminary estimate of $37,000 raised.

“The proceeds from this race are used to help stabilize people in poverty in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties, and then help them acquire the skills and tools to move out of poverty.” said Lyon.

The agency will use the money raised to support programs and services for low-income families with housing, utilities, food, education, and job skills training, as well as weatherization to better insulate their homes and bring down monthly heating bills.

CSC would like to thank the many race participants and sponsors for their support - we hope to see you again next year!

To learn more about B2K - Race to End Poverty contact or visit us at  

LBFS Planting Seeds to End Hunger

Wilma Whitmore poses with her towering tomato plant
Linn Benton Food Share (LBFS) – a CSC program – has been busy this summer with two innovative programs aimed at increasing the amount of healthy, locally grown produce available to those in need in Linn and Benton counties.

Members of LBFS’s 14 gleaning groups took part in the Patio Project, growing 900 vegetable plants at their homes, with vegetables distributed by LBFS. Many gleaners are seniors with gardening experience, and have families eager to learn how to grow food for their children.

FOOD for Lane County also shared a generous BiMart donation of vegetable seeds with LBFS. LBFS distributed seven pallets of seeds, valued at $25,000, across their two-country area for the summer growing season.

Cindy Rice, manager of the Sweet Home Emergency Ministries food pantry in Linn County, distributed some of the seeds to clients accessing emergency food boxes.  She reports that many clients are excited to grow vegetables at home, and are planning to contribute excess produce back to the pantry.

LBFS also offered seed packets to several local programs including the CSC Youth Garden. The group will grow the seeds in the garden, and a portion of what these young people learn to grow is given to partner gleaning groups.

Many generous local businesses provided the vegetable starts and supplies to grow the seeds.

The donations of seeds and starts will help LBFS increase the amount of healthy, locally grown produce available to those in need through their 74 local partner agencies that include emergency food pantries and shelters, soup kitchens, child and senior care centers, residential care homes, and gleaning groups.

LBFS Director Mike Gibson notes that Food Share has made it a priority to increase the amount of fresh, nutritious produce for emergency food boxes. With an increase of 28% this year, a total of over one million pounds of produce will be distributed.

“Linn Benton Food Share is thankful for the generous donation from Bi-Mart and local nurseries,“ Mike stated. “These seeds will provide produce for people who are at risk of going hungry. We always feel good when we can increase the nutritional content of the food we distribute—and in this case, the people planting the seeds have a new way to provide for their families.”

Interested in joining a gleaning group in Linn or Benton counties? E-mail Susan James at or call her at 541-758-2645.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Happy Retirement Terry, Hello Marisha!

Marisha Johnson has been appointed as CSC's new Director of Housing and Energy Services. Prior to joining CSC, Marisha was the Mental Health Planner for the Oregon Health Authority Addictions and Mental Health Division, where she administered the State’s Community Mental Health Services Block Grant. She also led the statewide initiative to implement Supported Employment for individuals with serious mental illness and staffed the Addictions and Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council.

Before moving to Albany, she was Transitional and Legal Services Coordinator with Battered Persons’ Advocacy in Roseburg, Oregon, where she managed their transitional housing program and worked to provide safety for victims of domestic and sexual violence. She was also a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor II at ADAPT providing substance abuse counseling services for adults and adolescents.

Marisha received an Executive Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Portland State University, and a BA in Psychology from Northwest Christian University.

Marisha is filling the shoes of retiring Director Terry Knoll. Terry took on a number of roles in her 27 years with our agency, excelling in each of them as her dedication to serving our community shined through.

"I’ve known true joy in community service in my various roles as an energy assistance receptionist, intake worker, energy education coordinator, case manager, program manager and department director. My career at CSC has been one learning experience after another and every day I have been inspired through the association with my coworkers." said Terry.

We will all sincerely miss Terry's smiling face, positive outlook, and upbeat personality, and look forward to working with Marisha and continuing to improve housing options for those in need in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties! 

Welcome to CSC's blog and e-newsletter!

These communications tools can be used to make announcements, acknowledge donors and volunteers, post videos and slideshows–whatever we want to share with our online community.

There are 3 ways to deliver info to stakeholders:

  1. The blog itself, which can be linked to our current website
  2. Email news blasts (blog articles sent via email as eNewsletters)
  3. RSS Feed (subscribers read in Google Reader or other feed reader, can also send posts to Facebook and Twitter)
We're excited about these communication tools and look forward to both your input and feedback for continuing improvement and positive information-sharing.

If you have agency/program information you'd like posted on this blog, please send full text and/or photos and videos, ideas, or suggestions to Janet Hessel and she will take the next steps.